Maybe If I Had Been a Mother, This Would Be Easier?

Fairy GodmotherI woke up this morning with the fervent hope that my dementia-riddled mother had kept her Depends on all night and that the Immodium I gave her before bed worked.

When I crept out into the hallway and peered into her room she was still asleep after being up for two and a half hours later than her usual sleep time last night. Great! I have a couple of minutes to snuggle with hubby, check my email and YouTube subscriptions, maybe get a little Facebook time in on my beloved IPad. Aaaaah.

Half an hour later, I see her,on the surveillance monitor, standing in the doorway of her bedroom, looking lost. I hauled myself out of bed, donned sweats and slippers and came out into the hallway. She said that she had been calling me but I didn’t answer. Cue dramatic music—GUILT! I had shut my bedroom door and was listening to Chad Vader’s latest video when she needed help. Aaaargh!

Skip forward a few minutes. She didn’t remember that she has trouble walking and was wondering what was going on. Alas, she did NOT, after all sleep in her Depends.  There were great pools of pee all over the sheets and the plastic covered carpet. Groan.

My blessings this day boil down to: at least it’s only pee and not piles of steaming sh%# and, thank the powers that be, it didn’t get onto the carpet! Whew!!!

I help her turn around, grabbed her cane and took it to her. I turned her around  again to remind her where the bathroom is so she could shower. I then hunted down a roll of paper towels to sop up the ocean on the floor, found the cleaning supplies, rubber gloves, and such. Pointed her again to the bathroom, ran into the bathroom for her walker, took it to her and showed her again how to use it. Ran back into the bathroom, turned on the shower, found a clean wash cloth and placed the soap within her reach. Pant, pant, pant.

I went back into the bedroom She was almost to the bathroom, apologizing. I reassured her that it’s okay, she couldn’t help it. Helped her out of her wet nightgown and slippers and into the shower. Handed her the soap and a cloth and reminded her to use the soap.

I shut the shower door after seeing that she was safely seated on her shower chair, then back into the bedroom to continue “clean-up on aisle 1.”  Shower done, I saw that she did not use the soap. Too tired already to fight about it. F#@& it, I handed her a towel after she struggled to stand up.

I went into her closet to get her some clothes and clean slippers. Then, into the bedroom for socks and clean Depends. Helped her get started dressing. Picked up the dirty clothes from her floor. Back into the bedroom to strip her sheets. Took the whole bundle downstairs to the laundry. Ran back upstairs to continue helping her get dressed. Ran to my office down the hall to get her morning medication.

Then I came back, got her cane, reminded her to leave the walker behind, hold on to both railings and be careful coming down stairs. I walked halfway down to see that she was doing it right, then moved into the living room to clear her spot on the couch of the piles of books, and stuff she stacks up every night. I went back to the stairs to remind her to turn right and use her cane. She hobbled across the family room floor to her spot on the couch. Once she was seated (grass grows faster), I went into the kitchen and saw that no one cleaned up last night. Ugh! I cleaned some dishes, pots, the stove, the counters, and rinsed and stacked some other dishes because the dishwasher was full of clean dishes and I was simply NOT going to empty it.

I went back into the family room to give mother her morning meds. Then fed the cat that was threatening to eat my ankles if I didn’t give him a can of his morning sniff and reject treat.

I made tea, an egg  with butter and marjoram, and warmed a leftover homemade cranberry/walnut muffin from yesterday. Put it all on a tray with vitamins, and such, gave her a small glass of juice and took it into her on the couch.

In the meantime, I looked at the small sofa in the living room. OMG! Full of cat puke and a wrinkled Piddle pad that I put down on the seat because one of the cats has declared it hers to pee on. Must shampoo sofa today and do something to deter kitty. What? I don’t know.

Hubby is on his way downstairs. LIghtbulb above my head! Aha! Maybe he will clean the sofa. I ask him to do it. He just nods. This means he might, if he remembers. Don’t get me wrong, Allen is an angel. He supportive, caring, and hard-working, but he too is busy and that might slip his attention unless I “remind” him.

I think, okay, now I can go upstairs and get dressed. “NOT SO FAST!”  screamed a shrill voice in my head, “There’s still the LAUNDRY.” Right. I went into the laundry room and stuffed everything into the washer. I don’t even bother to separate anymore. If it gets ruined, so be it. Everything gets a scoop of detergent and a little Oxyclean. It’s washed on cold. So there. I used to care. Now, with having to do mountains of laundry almost everyday, I don’t give a flying fig.

In the meantime, during the day, I have to produce product to make a living, take care of mother when she needs a new Depends, or when the guys can’t or they need a break, go shopping, clean house, and talk to clients. I have to work on the big projects I’m trying to finish (and may never at this rate), talk to pharmacists, doctors, help in the garden, cook, and such.

Maybe if I had been a mother, this would be easier. It would have prepared me for the monumental task of caretaking. On the other hand, I only have to go through this once in my life instead of multiple times (if had children). But all is not gloom and doom, I have  a royal title now—Queen of Poop, Pee, and Vomit. Wow, could life be any better?

Thanks for reading. I feel better now. I am going to Paneras for breakfast then run errands at Target, Trader Joes, The Vitamin Shoppe, and Home Depot.


About anitaburns

Confetti Head: My life of change, and color, weirdness, and fun. From the colorful days of Hippie, to all night rocker parties, to married life, contemplation, meditation, and more. My life has been blessedly full and rich. Anita's Real Food: I have loved cooking since my first Easy Bake Oven when I was four. I bake, cook, invent, share, and eat. Enjoy my Real Food Blog. Astrology Learning and Secrets: LIttle-known facets or a deeper dive into the wonderful world of Astrology
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5 Responses to Maybe If I Had Been a Mother, This Would Be Easier?

  1. chris s says:

    Oh my goodness! What a trouper you are.


  2. Michael McLane says:

    Has the CIA or FBI showed up yet? Maybe, just maybe, there will be a tad of comic relief. Appreciate it if it happens and write it down.

    Yes, you are a toughie. It was bad enough with professional help for us. Wow, “professional” is such a comforting word. I cannot beat them up too much. They are just trying to make it through the day. Hell, everyone is trying to make it through the day.

    The task is beyond belief and my heart goes out to you. You have the right focus in that you only have to do it once but at the same time there is a conflict between care and survival. Bottom line is that if you do not survive the care stops. There will be times that guilt will run rampant. I am giving you permission to tell guilt to F@#& off.

    The truth is that you will never be able to do enough but the stars are going up for what you are able to do.

    Call me when you need an upper and I will do my best to support the troops.



    • anitaburns says:

      Thanks MIchael. It’s a learning curve. She’s on new meds now from a really good neurologist. She has an MRI on Monday. He put her on Namenda and took her off of Lexapro. So we have Namenda and Resperidone. X fingers that it works.


  3. Briana says:

    Hi Anita! It sounds like your day is a bit like mine (with a 4 month old baby). Of course, I know that if I set him down somewhere I will be able to find him there a few minutes later (and he won’t have pulled his diaper off!). I think you are an amazing daughter for doing this for your mom. I’ve had to deal with dementia with my grandma, but she is not as severe as your mom (as she is still able to live on her own and take care of her daily needs). From what I have experienced with her, I can imagine what you are going through. Hang in there! Sending positive energy your way!


    • anitaburns says:

      HI Briana. Thanks for your comments. This is a learning process for me. She had a good day today and I took her to Common Ground. It was good for her to get out and see people she knows.


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