Thursday, January 20, 2011

In those small dark hours of the morning... when I go a little crazy.

I am tired all the time now - Mom can no longer be left alone.  At all.  Ever.

The exhaustion is grinding.  It eats at my sanity, it erodes my body.

TW & Twinks are showing the effects, too.  We are all snapping at one another; we are all perpetually waiting for our turn to sleep.

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For the last two weeks, we have had what TW euphemistically calls "hired guns" every night; these are trained healthcare workers who sit with Mom every night, Monday through Friday.  They are lovely ladies; sweet, caring, professional.  But they are also here only overnight - at $22/hour, we really can't afford them, but we can no longer afford NOT to have them.  Twinks has school... TW has work... and I have to get a little bit of rest, even if I have to *pay* for it.

Most nights, it crosses my mind at least once that I am *paying* someone $22/hour for the privilege of sleeping in my own home.  I lie in the dark, doing the mental math. 

The numbers are frightening.

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The weekends have been mine.  Saturday and Sunday nights, I am up all night - sitting next to Mom's bed, making sure that she is OK.   The job is relatively simple; make sure that she doesn't try to get up out of bed unassisted.  Help her in the bathroom.  Keep her safe, and comfortable.  Let her know that she isn't alone; that someone is there with her in those small, dark hours of the morning...

Make sure that she isn't scared.

Because I am scared enough for both of us.


Daughter said...

Oh Thimbelle- I am praying for you. I don't know how you can possibly keep this up. This could go on for a long, long time.

Take care my friend. I wish I could help...

Chuck said...

Thimbelle, have you thought about an assisted living place? I don't know what it would cost vs. what you are paying the overnight caregivers but you might be able to find something comparable. Now, no place is perfect and as you know we've had one or two issues with my Mom's facility, but overall we're very pleased with it and Mom is quite happy there. As it turned out, it was the least expensive place we looked at and it was also the one we liked best. Just doing the numbers on the rates you quoted, I bet you could find a full-time memory care place for around what you're paying the overnight workers....or in that ballpark anyhow. Whatever you decide, good luck!

Ericka said...

i know it's horrible to think about, but i agree with chuck - it's probably time to look into assisted living. i'm so sorry that you're going thru this. *hugs*

Anonymous said...

Daughter - thank you (again). You truly do help more than you know.

Chuck (and Ericka too!): Mom is no longer a candidate for AL (assisted living) facilities.

Yesterday she had a major stroke, and is now bedbound, fully incontinent, and cannot speak or feed herself. :(

She would now be placed into LTC (long term care) or NH (nursing home) type facilities.

The problems with placement are numerous - not the least of which is that it typically isn't just a "flat fee" situation, but more of an "ala-carte" type of billing arrangement. The more care your loved one needs... the higher that monthly bill goes. And financially speaking, where we are now isn't sustainable for very long. So, to avoid laundry charges, I would have to schlep her dirty clothes and bedding home daily. To avoid extra charges for hand-feeding, I would have to go there for every meal and snack.

And so I have the dilemma that so many other adult children in the sandwich generation face: Which is better?

I don't want to place her, and then spend all my time on the road between there and home. I can't place her and not visit her every day.

And no facility will ever care for her the way that we do here at home; I know that, and it is part of the heartbreak as well.

But I know that you are both concerned about me, and I truly do appreciate it. It means so very much to have such sweet and caring friends. :)

Chuck said...

Oh my, I'm sorry to hear the bad news, Thimbelle. Just know you are in my thoughts and prayers. *hugs*

Buck said...

Words fail. My heart aches for you and yours, Thimbelle. I wish you love and strength.

Suldog said...

Thim, all I can do is pray, and I've done that, and will keep at it. Know that we wish - hope - implore that you and yours be granted peace.

Stu said...

I wished we lived closer - we'd help out. Best we can do is pray and offer our emotional support. And not for nothin', the loyalty and commitment you are showing your mother, it's incredibly moving. I hope my kids grow up to be just like you.

Suldog said...

Any update you'd like to post? If just a need to unburden a bit, we're here.

Suldog said...

Tim - Are you out there somewhere? Give us a visit. Please?