Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Overwhelmed

That's how I'm feeling these days. My life is not my own. Mom isn't sleeping in her bed...said she can't breathe but I have a feeling (as does her home health care nurse) that it's more that she's afraid because it was night time and she was alone when she had the heart attack and no one would come in to help her.
So, I figured she could sleep at my house as well as her apartment in a recliner/rocker and that would free me up to do things at home while she is there. She liked that idea and tonight will be her third night there. While it's nice to have her home and with people who love her...I am exhausted beyond anything I could ever have imagined. She doesn't sleep through the night so I'm up with her 4-5 times a night and I'm sleeping on our couch in the family room so I can be right there if she needs anything. Honestly, I don't know how long I can keep this up.
My kids have helped sooo much...and I know they would stay with her during the night, but I know that teenagers sleep so soundly I would worry that they wouldn't wake up to hear her. So now I am beginning to think that my only option is to hire someone to stay with her during the night so I can work during the day. Having someone while I'm at work is great, but at the same time that leaves me to go to work all day and then take care of her all night. It's just too much.
This was my schedule for yesterday:

Wake up and decide to get up at 5
Take mom to the bathroom
Get ready for work
Get mom's medication
Fix mom breakfast
Take mom to her apartment for her home health care visit (friend sat with her)
Go to work
Leave work early to relieve friend
Wash mom's laundry
Run the vacuum cleaner
Check mom's blood sugar
Fix her some dinner
Meet with physical therapist
Load wheelchair and walker in my car
Take mom over to my house
Take Betina to photo supply store for school supplies
Drop Betina off at home and go to grocery store
Fix mom her evening snack
Make dough for rolls (for pot luck at work)
Give mom her nighttime medications
Settle her in for sleep
Finally got to sit down at about 9:45pm

Up by 4 this morning to take her to the bathroom. That's after she was up 3 times during the night.

This is soo not going to work. I spoke with a few of the ladies I work with who are very knowledgeable in families with long term care issues and they all said I need to get some outside help on a temporary basis...before I crash and burn. So...that's one more thing to add to my "to do" list.

It's just so hard. So hard to try and act like I'm all fine and that this isn't such a big deal when in reality I'm having such a tough time keeping it together. If I had not had all this going on now for over a month, been able to get some quality sleep, maybe I would be handling this a little better.
It isn't that I don't want to help her, because I do. I feel so bad for her. It must be terrible to know that your very existence depends on someone else. This is not her fault...this is nothing she did. So, like thousands of other families around the world I'm learning, and I'm doing what I can and I'm making adjustments.
What else can I do?

1 comment:

Amanda Cheek said...

I'm sorry Ruth. That's hard. My mom did that with my Grandma. Give her our love. We're still prayin for you guys! we should chat in the middle of the night when we're up with our babies... Love Ya!