Apologies in advance if this all sounds like a misery memoir.
Mum has steadily worsening dementia although she won’t accept the diagnosis. She was also diagnosed with breast cancer before xmas (i’m still not sure how the nursing staff at the hospital missed a lump the size of a grapefruit when she was an inpaitent for over 10 weeks).
I’m no different from so many people on here, struggling through during lockdown and gradually finding themselves running on empty but I’m stuck without a soul to support me. My Ghost Sister has done exactly what I predicted she would - taken the first opportunity to absent herself from the scene without the slightest bother as to how Mum’s going to manage. We haven’t seen her for three months and although she has spoken with Mum on the phone it’s usually to wail about how bad her life is. She’s never rung me to see how I’m bearing up or offered any kind of support.
I’m a key worker and until this week haven’t been allowed to work from home so in between rushing back and forth to tend to Mum’s needs, shopping and washing etc I’ve been spending my working hours dealing with frightened people and arrogant doctors (wonderful as a lot of them are, the ones I deal with are not the angels of current legend) I’m running up and down like a demented chicken trying to ensure that everything is done. Mum hasn’t the first notion of patience any more and if she wants something done it has to be done NOW never mind that I am almost cross eyed with tiredness. And whatever happens or goes missing it’s never her, of course. That is the dementia and I know she can’t help it but, ye gods, it is exhausting when you’ve rescued her pills from the bin (where she never put them) for the 93rd time. I now keep them with me BTW. she goes from one ailment to the next in a Malaise Merry-go-round. In half an hour this evening she complained about her bladder - we had that sorted with some antibiotics from the doctor and despite her not going any more than me she still insists she ‘keeps’ going, she then complained about her knees but refuses to use the riser chair I got for her, then she had a headache, mainly because I mentioned i had one …and round and round we go. I just think I’ve got one issue resolved and up it pops again. What worries me is that a lot of these complaints are just habit. Mum has always ‘enjoyed’ bad health and her griping about one ailment after another predates the dementia but what if there is something significant wrong and I miss it?
I feel like I can’t call my soul my own at the moment. I’m now working from home which is great but also entails me running up and down between mine and Mum’s to accomodate looking after her, usually lugging two massive cats with me because she wants me to stop two or three nights a week and I can’t leave them home alone. I spend hours squaring her up and doing washing, shopping and cleaning but when I get to my own home it’s gradually sinking into an episode of Hoarders because I’m too knackered to actually do my own domestics.
All the carer’s advice I’ve read insists you should make time for yourself but since I can barely find time to blow my nose I’m not sure how I can achieve that.
I do apologise that this sounds like one great mound of self pity.