MS Victoria

by Victoria
(Harlow Essex UK)

I am becoming ill myself after caring for my 89 year old mother alone for the past eight years she suffered a stroke and lives in a little flat near me but does nothing for herself and waits for me to do everything, including switch the TV on which she cannot manage to do anymore. I am single and now and retired I resent having my last active years taken away from me by this burden I have been totally unable to get any help from anywhere including social services I haven't had a break for 8 years and am obliged to visit every single day

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yes, it's hard
by: Anonymous

I totally understand. My mother lives with me and it's basically the same thing. I also am filled with rage that my last good years are dwindling away while my own health takes a back seat to hers.

However, something happened last week that didn't put a stop to any of it, but changed my thinking about all of this. I was putting it all on "her" when it isn't "her" at all, it's the brain and I will explain.

She had a fall and they did an MRI of the brain to make sure there wasn't a bleed. I got to see that MRI and it was the best thing that could have happened because it allowed my rage to move away from her to scientific fact instead.

None of this is her fault, nor will it be my fault if/when it happens to me. Seeing that MRI gave me some compassion I had been struggling to find. Her brain looked like Swiss cheese. No kidding. And it was very small. Brains shrink as we age.

As the neurologist explained, that one little hole there I was looking at might explain why she can no longer use the TV remote, the other little hole might be why she can't figure out to pick up finger foods, and on and on.

The connectivity for functions to make sense and allow them to follow through has been broken. Those holes are roadblocks. There are days where I am still angry, yes, but I do feel compassion now for her and the world of confusion she must live in.

Perhaps you could look at your mom that way. She isn't not turning on her tv to spite you, she simply can't figure out how to do it anymore. Can you imagine sitting there by yourself wondering what is happening to you?

As her fear increases, so does her dependence on you. She may get to the point that she absolutely can't live alone and if you're the only one to help, you must prepare yourself for that day as well if no help is available.

Short of putting them in a home (which we can't do because of her finances) where someone else deals with them, there is no solution to this but to reach for compassion and change our own thinking.

It is definitely helping me even if there are still days I want to go in the garage and scream. My daily mantra has become "it is what it is." Nothing is going to change and there is nothing that can be done, so I try not to fight it anymore. Take care and vent when you need to, it helps.

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