I Have A Candle to Light The Darkness--But No Match


(Oregon)

My mother needs to go to the podiatrist. Her feet look like she could snatch a salmon out of a river. But I'm sick of having to deal with this, on top of all the other things I deal with--the doctor appointments, the recreational trips to the ER, the bill-paying and calendar-keeping, the pill organizers, etc.


To say nothing of trying to survive the complaining, the bitterness and negativity, her mostly dead memory.

Today's example: the slippers that are too small (Size XLarge) must therefore be defective, even though my mother has lymph-edema in both legs (her vascular system is compromised because at 89, she's been smoking at least a pack a day for 70 years). One leg is much worse.

Her accusation--and it is an accusation--is that the slippers I bought her are all factory rejects because a normal pair doesn't fit her deformed, outsize foot.

After three tries at this, I decided to modify the ones I'd already bought, turning regular scuffs into adjustable scuffs with eyelets, elastic shoestrings, and sewing.

"Why the hell do they put out such goofy merchandise?" I reminded her that I'd spent three hours on the project, trying to accommodate her. (I don't have time for this! I'm 65 and still working.) I didn't buy them that way. "They're too big."

"They're adjustable now."

Grump. "I guess."

Unlike many here who post these heartbreaking, nerve-wracking laments from the edge of insanity and despair, I'm an only child. I don't even have useless siblings. I have no one to complain to except my friends (and don't they hate to see me coming these days!) and you all.

I can't get help because I'm the only existing family member, and my mother will not for one minute entertain the idea of having Meals-on-Wheels or county assistance. It's me or no one.

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Candle - Part II
by: Oregon

I finally got my mother in to see her podiatrist.

He looked at her feet and gave me a withering glare: obviously it was my fault that things had deteriorated to this point.

He irritated me, but he will not make me feel guilty. I'm beyond that.

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I Have the Match --But I'm Too Tired To Light IT
by: Laughatmyself

Oregon,

I read your comment and I laughed so hard, I thought I might wet myself! :) Your description of your Mom's toenails still has me laughing, since my Mom's fee t are exactly the same!

As the sole caregiver for my 95 year old Dad and my 90 year old Mom, I can honestly say that I have never been so exhausted - mentally and physically!

Your story about the shoes happens in their house, too! Everything must have been made poorly, or needs to be returned or exchanged (by me), because it can't be because of their aging bodies & feet not fitting things the same way anymore.

My Mom has recently had me on a paper tape hunt for the perfect tape that will stick - but not too much, or not too little - on 95 year old skin that is so frail it could blow away in a strong wind? She did think the hospital nurse was made of gold when she sent home paper tape for us to use - stating that it would be far superior to the stuff she has been having to use.

Did I mention that I was sitting in the room when she said this? I found it interesting that once she got home, she decided the hospital tape was worthless & I should go out looking for another brand of paper tape.

Thank you so much, Oregon, for being the kindred spirit I was hoping to find. Someone who understands exactly how it feels to be in this spot, but can still make someone else laugh over the craziness of it all.

I have been putting off the Podiatrist visit because then I will have TWO of them walking around in agony, just in time for the big holiday gathering at their house they have insisted on.

Please don't get me wrong about how much I love them both, but they are making me crazy! Who knew when I retired that this was what my new life would become?

Sometimes I think God just laughs to Himself when I try to make a plan to get things of my own done - and then the phone rings with a new perceived disaster, more items to be picked up from the store, another prescription to be picked up, or library books on hold that I simply must bring home right away.

I hope more of you will share some of the crazy stories that happen in your situation, knowing that you have an understanding audience here, and that it is okay to laugh at times over the nutty things that happen on a daily basis as we try to survive this phase of our life. :)

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Its a Thankless Job
by: BH

I understand your every word and how your situation makes you feel. Its hard. Period. And nobody who hasn't been in our shoes can begin knowing how difficult it is.

What's saddest to me is that my mother, who's 94, still has her mentally faculties and even her great sense of humor.

She can't hear well and that's probably the most frustrating part because I get tired of repeating everything and/or reminding her to put her hearing aids IN her ears.

It is debilitating arthritis that determined she could no longer live alone, so she's been here 3 years now.

I miss my privacy and freedom to live as I please in my own home or to travel like I'd planned on doing after my husband was gone. When mom moved in, everything about my life was put on hold.

At his point I have one over riding thought every day ... is it cruel to ask why people have to live this long when they can't even pull up their own pants any more?

Are those of us who dare to wonder such things destined for hell just because we want our own lives back before we become incapacitated and unable to do things we looked forward to doing in retirement?

So many struggles, mentally and emotionally. I don't think we have any other choice but to keep doing what we feel we can but there are certainly days when the resentment hits me harder than a ton of bricks.

This web site is the ONLY place I can go for support. I'm glad it's here's because sometimes we just need to vent.

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