Toenails....gross, eh?

Most of us have probably reached the toenail stage. One day you happen to get a glance of those bare feet and you're appalled. How do those toenails even fit in the shoe and how is she still able to walk??

So, you gently tell mom she needs to go in and have those nails professionally groomed by a doctor and thus starts the argument. For six months, I cajoled, begged, pleaded, threatened, reasoned with mom why those nails needed to be cut and she argued against me every time that she could do it herself, that she hated anyone touching her feet, and it was ridiculous to go to a doctor to have it done.

Every month I watched them get thicker, longer, more curled. I knew if she didn't go in, there would be worse consequences, like toenails growing into the skin, infections, and guess who would have to put the medication on the feet everyday!!!

I finally got a recommendation from a friend and made mom an appointment and I didn't tell her until the day before the appointment so that the arguing would be at a minimum. I told her she was going, I took her in, and then, just like that it was done.

That was bad enough but what was just as bad was the lack of support I got from friends and family. I even sent my brother pictures of moms toes and he said yeah, that's bad.

I vented to friends
the whole six months about how stubborn mom was and they said, yeah, that's stubborn.

When it was finally done and I told my friends and brother, they said, well, that's good, now it's done.

Last night I felt so despondent that getting those stupid toenails cut took so much of my time and energy, and now it was simply done just because mom decided she would go.

This is the crux of our dilemma as caregivers. NOBODY GETS IT!!! We are so alone in our struggles and battles. After six months of frustration and anger trying to get this done, it's just over, and you have to just move on to the next battle.

The worse thing about caring for a parent is that, unless someone else is doing the same thing, they just have no idea what we go through and you end up feeling so alone in it.

Late last night at the end of that day, I went to this boomer site and found so many encouraging messages, that I actually was able to sleep and I woke up feeling better this morning.

The people on this forum are my best support group. I've been writing here for five years and this is the only place of true understanding that I've ever encountered in all that time. I can say anything and I'm never judged.

Thanks for taking the time to write your stories. You have no idea how much you may be helping someone else.

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Toenails, EWWWWWW!!
by: AKK

I get it. I SO get it. I'm so happy to have found this site - just yesterday. Venting to others who are in the same boat is such a relief - WOW! My mother finally passed away in February.

She had been in memory care for the 8 months prior to passing. She was mentally ill her entire life, which was pointed out to me by a very kind woman in a support group.

WILD that I never realized till the dementia set in, mom turned vicious and I went to the support group. I knew she was a piece of work. But not a clue that she was really ill. She was, however, one of the cleanest people I have ever known.

The beginning of the end of the last small shred of denial I may have harbored came the day I caught a glimpse of her toenails. I couldn't help myself - I thought of Howard Hughes and started laughing hysterically.

I had to leave the room and tell her I'd just been thinking of something funny at work. GOTT IM HIMMEL! She always ridiculed my aunt and me - and really any woman - for going for mani/pedis.

We were all a bunch of G0&&damm entitled idiots. I am NOT a princess. Not by a long shot. But I'd go every week if I could afford it. My mother COULD afford it and was going around like the Bride of Frankenstein.

Would she go to the salon with me? Would she let me take her to a podiatrist? Oh, certainly not! Yours truly got to cut those disgusting, filthy things. She paid me $50 AND dished out abuse the entire time.

I thought "great, my life has come to this. Sitting at the Queen's feet, trying to figure out if I should plant daisies or potatoes, listening to her big, foul, nasty mouth." But I did it a few more times.

I needed the money and she needed not to get an abscess and go lame. It's over now. But I never EVER thought I'd get the chance to vent my absolute disgust over THE TOENAILS to anyone. My dad is 95 and about to drive me around the bend. I vented here about him last night.

Came back today and saw the thread about TOENAILS and the home pedicures with The Wicked Witch all came flooding back. Wow. Caca. Urine. Long, filthy toenails. Abuse. Demands (the word "please" was the first to go). And the beat goes on. And on and on and on.

Speaking of Nails...
by: Anonymous

When my grandmother was being cared for in assisted living, her youngest daughter asked my mother (also a daughter) if she would go over and clip their mother's fingernails.

When my mom forgot to do this (and why should she have cut her nails, since granny was getting full care?) my sanctimonious aunt told me that rich granny had wanted to disinherit my mom for being the designated family blacksheep, years earlier.

The unjust moral of this lesson? Don't forget to do the bidding of a rich grandmother's daughter, or else you'll know what it is like to be considered a piece of dirt by your relatives. Bah!

Having one of those moments!
by: ABT

I couldn't help but laugh! I didn't mean to, but I was looking at my mom's feet today and she had the same response.

I am still tickled as I write this response. Not in joy of your discomfort, but finding a little glimpse in mine. You are so right, the struggle is real! I just started venting on this site and you're right it gives you a release in such a non-judgmental way!

I commend you for your efforts! Just to let you know, two years ago my mom and I used to go regularly and get our nails done together.

Now, I have to take her and let her get taken care of separately, while I manage her outbursts and give constant instructions of repeating what the technician is asking.

I take her to the same place each time and the young lady is very, very patient.

Thank you for sharing!

Re: Toenails Disgust
by: BJH

Yep. I get it all too well. I also understand why this site is like a lifeline to those of us caregivers who need a place to vent because, honestly, venting is the ONLY way we can cope day after day.

My mom's been with me for 3 years. She's 94. I'm 67. Except for arthritis (which makes it difficult for her to do most things) and the blessedly irritating hearing deficit, she's really not so hard to live with. Mostly it is the loss of privacy and the freedom to live my life as I've always assumed I could at this age. Naive, huh?

Last night was a really rough one for me ... firstly I have to tell you I've developed a serious lung/breathing issue.

I use a CPAP at night too and, until last night, I didn't realize how much I need it until the power went out at 10 pm and didn't get restored till 11 am this morn.

Suffice it to say I spent the entire night sitting very upright in a chair in my bedroom struggling to sleep, which I never achieved.

Besides needing my CPAP to work, I also needed my sister's dog - which I was babysitting for 5 days while she was on a vacay - to stop snoring, farting, and making generally other annoying sounds and smells.

I should've just put her in another room but my oxygen level was plummeting so I just stayed where I was and so did the dog.

I heard my mother get up at 9:30 and went into the dining room to tell her the power had been off all night. She had no idea; she was able to sleep thru it just fine, which I was a relief. I, on the other hand, was absolutely so exhausted I could hardly stand up and when I tried to explain why, it all went in one ear and out the other (if she even heard any of it, because all she cares about is her own needs.)

Consequently I got no sympathy from her, not that I was looking for a pity party, but it just would've been nice for someone to acknowledge I'd had a rough night at least. Oh well. Onward and upward.

When the power came back on at 11 am, I told her I was going to bed so I could use my CPAP and get some rest. Not surprisingly, she asked "Why? Didn't you sleep last night? I did. I feel great!" I assured her I was happy for her, and reminded her, again, WHY I hadn't been able to sleep. I think I fell asleep on the way to my bed because I don't even remember laying down.

4 hours later my sister showed up to get her dog so I got back up. I still didn't get the sympathy I so desperately yearned for. Hah. And do it goes ...

Until someone else has walked in your shoes its impossible for them to appreciate what you've had to deal with. But I did find an awesome article that helps me understand my resentment and cope a little bit more, so I'm going to insert a link to it here. Maybe some of you can relate to it, too.

Be happy.

"Why? You couldn't sleep last night??" Ugh.

by: Anonymous

Grrrrrrr!!! Don't I know it!

Once in a while a neighbor pitches in, and she's hinted that she'd like to be paid. While I appreciate her limited help (calling my mother once in a while and breaking down some empty Depends boxes), I don't see that as a paying job.

She says, "I know it is not easy! You are doing a great job!"

Thanks, but really, she *can't* know it isn't easy. She has toddlers and that's not harder than this.

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