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How do you handle family who doesn't understand?

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    Hi Blundy and Mrs. Wow, this topic really touched a nerve. I am 24/7 caregiver for my 100% dependent quad husband. He has 3 children, 2 grown, that haven't seen him since his accident in 2000. He has 3 brothers and a sister. One brother, since 2000, called us to meet him for lunch because he had been in our state for a WEEK and that is all the time he could spare.

    I am also responsible for my mother who has had 5 strokes and is in the hospital this week, since Monday, with pneumonia. I leave my husband to drive the 55 miles to the hospital everyday and just die from the guilt that I can't stay with her at night. She is hallucinating from the meds and is just totally out of it. I gave her caregiver 2 days off recently, ran between our house and hers, and just didn't know where I should sleep. I have one brother who lives 300 miles away and has seen my mom no more than 5 minutes in 8 years.

    My heart goes out to your wife. A wise neighbor of mine once said, "You are never going to please everyone." So quit trying. And I believe that the husband is the number one priority. As you said, she does what she can when she can. Sounds like she has a pretty full plate and you sure sound like an awesome guy to be aware of it. My guy is pretty cool too.


    • #17
      kate are you SURE we aren't in the same family?! [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] Your'e family isn't sane either? And all this time, I thought it was just mine! My sisters (2 of the 3 anyway) do the exact same thing to me. Rarely any direct questions or conversation, but just little barbs that I usually ignore, but God it burns me up!

      This recent crisis with my dad being in the hospital has let me KNOW how my sisters truly feel about me and Ray (Blundy) now. Of course, I already knew in my heart, but I've had enough verbalized to me over the past couple of weeks to have no doubts now. And that's a good thing. We know how they feel and I have drawn my line. I'm sure they will continue to harbor ill will toward us, but that will be their burden, not mine. Not anymore. I am done. They smile to Ray's face, but then begrudge him care. They don't TRUST me that I'm telling the truth about our situation. I can only guess from what they've said that they think I exaggerate. I WISH I WAS EXAGGERATING! Then the only thing to solve would be my supposed lying problem! [img]/forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

      kate, like you I don't think I should HAVE to defend myself or explain our situation. I tried that once and it did not help. It seemed the more I tried to explain, the worse I made things. But, because they are my sisters and I loved them, wanted them to know I had REASONS for not helping more, not that I just didn't care about them. I think explainations only help when you are dealing with rational people and two of my sisters are not. One of my sisters is normal, thank God for her! I don't have to explain anything to her. She just has common sense and she trusts me. I think it's weird that the other two don't trust me, because I have never done anything deceitful to either of them. Maybe they DO believe me, and like you said earlier, just don't WANT to know the reality. They want to believe I can do a lot still like I did before.

      Shabu that is terrible that your husband's children and siblings do not see him. [img]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/img] I don't see how anyone could do that to their father or brother! Especially their father!

      Your'e plate is way more full than mine, I do not see how one person handles all that. I know it must be hard to leave your mom when she's like that, and like wise leave your husband to go to your mom! If it's any consolation, when my dad was just in the hospital and he was on a lot of meds and hallucinating too at some points, he says now he does not even remember any of it. So, even though your mom seems so distressed, I bet she won't even remember it. Not much consolation to you now, but it did make me feel better that Daddy could not remember all that. I do hope she is well soon and can come home. I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers. [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

      And Martha...just where IS that Precious Moments you promised me?!! [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

      Marm and Shabu, yes I agree, husband and marriage come first. I think my sisters also have such a problem with me putting Ray first because they DO NOT have good marriages. I think from one there is some jealousy, and from the other she has a distorted image of what marriage is about. Just my guessing, but $20 bucks says I'm right about them! [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]


        Carol, just give me your address, and I will personally, and with great pleasure, drive to your house with a case of PMs and a couple of hammers! [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img] [img]/forum/images/smilies/tongue.gif[/img]


        • #19
          Martha I hope you are familiar with driving the big-rigs cause it's gonna take a tractor trailer load of the little demons! I'd also like to request sledge hammers! Not the regular small kind! [img]/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] Thanks for the laugh! I needed that! [img]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/img]



            Well, just a little good news. My mom is home from the hospital and things are pretty much back to normal. Bless her heart. Thankfully she doesn't remember her dreams or hallucinations. I see no point in telling her anything but fun ones.

            There have been a few days that I didn't know what I was going to do. Actually the first two years of my husbands injury. At that time I put my mom in a nursing home. I just recently brought her home as that place closed and couldn't afford the rates in another. I took a couple of breaks last year, but this year none. I plan to go in August to visit my children and only granddaughter in WA. state.
            Some days I feel like a rubber band pulled to the max.

            I remember something my ex husband said to me once. You have YOU to please and ME to please, and to hell with what everyone else thinks. Good luck to you


            • #21
              [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]Shabu I am so happy to hear that your mom is home! That is very good news! I'm also glad she does not remember the hallucinations! I agree with you. We didn't fill Daddy in on any of his either.

              Your ex's saying is a good one! I think I'll make it my new mantra! [img]/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img]

              I was wondering if there is a a senior citizen's organization in your area. In Alabama, we have the Alabama Dept. of Senior Citizens. They have all kinds of programs/assistance for Seniors and their caregivers. Maybe there is a program your mom could be involved in that would give you at least some breaks during the week.

              I'm glad you are getting to go visit your kids and grandchild! [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] You gotta take care of you too! Sometimes I think, how easy it is to say, and so hard to do! Oh, there's LOTS of things I'd do for myself if I just had the time! I try to make little 5 minute moments of things I enjoy if nothing else. For instance, last summer I was able to get my flower beds weeded by just weeding for 5 minutes a day on the way down to feed the animals. Weeding is something I love to do, but I just didn't have time to spend a day doing it. Even if it was just 5 minutes, it was five minutes for ME! Hang in there Shabu!! Thanks for your great posts! [img]/forum/images/smilies/cool.gif[/img]

              I found out yesterday that somebody besides my "good" sister and my husband does love me! [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img] My mother-in-law came out yesterday and cleaned house for me while I was at work! I have not had time to do much of anything around here because of all that's going on lately. I'm really miserable when the house is a mess. That was the best present I've ever gotten! [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]

              Peace!! Carol [img]/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/img]