, , , , , , , , , ,

I’m coming to the end of my rope. I’m going insane.

I needed to write this out – to get my frustration out. And, hopefully, to get some sane input from all you guys; my blogging buddies.

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *   *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *   *  *  *  *  *

My mother-in-law came to live with us in July of 2011. She’s 82 years old. A kindly old woman. A Christian for sure. But she has her issues. In this case, I’m talking about one BIG issue. Non-cooperation. Before we brought her to live with us, she had next to no medical care. All they told her was “You have blah, blah, blah, but there’s nothing we can do about it.”

So when she came to live with us, we began to hook her up with doctors of all sorts to get her fixed up so she’d start to have a decent life: general physician; heart doctor; psychiatrist; urologist: gastroenterologist; eye doctor; neurologist; pain doctor; dentist; and physical therapist.

She’s cooperated with none of them.

She sits in your lazy boy and watches TV. She won’t come out of her rooms [we made a little sitting room / bedroom combo for her] except to go to the bathroom. She refuses to do any exercise, and she only wants to eat fast food. No vegetables of any kind. She won’t use the micro-wave; says she’s too dumb for it [her mind is as sharp as a tack]. She will eat almost nothing of what I fix for her. Without the constant supply of fast food hamburgers [we’d get them for her every day if we didn’t live so far away from a MacDonalds] she’s loosing a lot of weight.

She wants to die I’m pretty sure, but I have a hunch she’s going to be around a while to suffer from what she’s doing.

Now, however, because she’s gotten so weak from the not eating or exercising, she’s become unable to lift herself off the toilet.

This seems to be my last straw.

Does anyone else out there have an old person living with them? Can you tell me what you’re going through in living with them? Is this a common theme?

I’ve been nice to her. For a year and a half, I’ve been very nice to her. In response to my urgings to get her physically moving, and to eat some decent food, without using that exact phrase, she’s basically telling me to; “F*** off”.

So last night I finally blew my cork at her. To my “nice” she’s said only; “F*** off”; to my  “firm” she’ said only; “F*** off”.  But when it’s time to use the toilet she says; “Robin, help me!”.  Now I’m beginning to get just plain mean! I don’t want to be this way. I want to be Christian about this and have long-suffering for her. But I’m so human. And I’m beginning to see I have my limits.

Last night, as my husband was helping her off the toilet, I began to scream at her from down the hallway.


Where is my husband [her son] in this? Up to the last few months he’s been allowing me to take on just about the total load. I don’t blame him for that. I allowed myself to be the caretaker without insisting he help. He’s started picking up some of the weight a couple of months ago when it became apparent I was beginning to lose it. But it’s only been a couple of months for him so he doesn’t get what dealing with non-cooperation is like. He hasn’t had time to run out of patience with her yet. So he doesn’t understand my wholehearted frustration. Not yet anyway.

The thing is…. the place I’m starting to get to is… heaven help me… everything inside me is screaming and railing against it. Yet I’m beginning to understand… how elder abuse can happen.

Help me, and pray for me.

Robin Illustration
robin claire