Monday, April 28, 2008

There's a bear in there!

It's been another tough week (is there any other in this house?)

Once again my mother in law has been unwell (still i guess). She went downhill rapidly a few days ago . She saw a new psychiatrist who changed her meds a bit, and has encouraged her to go to hospital for a while to be monitored. She has totally resisted the hospital part - making up every excuse under the sun not to go. Favorites amongst her arguments for not going to hospital:

"but they don't have electric blankets on the beds and i really like my electric blanket".
"i don't like lining up for my meds"
"they serve meals at particular times and i like to choose when I eat"
"i'd be bored"
"what is going to happen to "insert hubby's name, pets, my washing, bills, etc here" ?"

But all her arguments are in vain because let's face it - she has tried getting better at home on her own and it just isn't working. Even though I got help in to shower her hubby, provide meals on wheels, clean the house, do their shopping, sort out medications, take them to appointments etc, (which they have tried to cancel several times because "they don't like strangers coming to their house"), even though she has seen GPs, psychologists and now psychiatrists, she just isn't getting any better. Even though i go down there a couple of times a week to take her out shopping, to cafe's , the library - wherever. Even though i make her favorite meals, clean stuff that the carers don't get to (like the 4 sinks worth of dishes i did on friday). Even though i answer the phone to her several times a day (the current record is 9 calls in a morning). Even though everyone is bending over backwards to help her - she just is NOT getting better!

The psychiatrist has said that she needs at least 2 weeks in the hospital. I agree.

The crunch came on Friday when Hubbs and i tried to spend the morning together as a family - a very infrequent thing when you have a business open 7 days a week. Being a public holiday, we had the chance to sleep in together, cuddle, eat meals together and play with Alex together. We were both really looking forward to it.

But early on, the calls started. By midday we had had 9 calls each lasting a minimum of 30 minutes. On the 9th call we ascertained that she had had nothing to drink, nothing to eat and was feeling dizzy from her meds. The locum GP had been to visit and told her to skip the next tablet if she was feeling ill, and she was asking us whether we thought she should take the next tablet or not. We told her logically that if she was taking them on an empty stomach they were likely to affect her more, and she should eat. She said "'hubby' won't feed me" which is crazy. It was getting stupid so i said to Hubbs "let's just pack Alex up and go over there".

So we did and when she answered the door to us she said (almost in a childlike gleeful voice) "ohhh I knew you would come". It was then i realised that she was really manipulating us and she had just won.

I took over 3 containers of home made soup - (so she could freeze two and eat one), and some fruit because she had told me she was out. (mind you - i called her the day before and asked her what groceries they needed, then gave her two hours to think about it and called her back and all she said was "milk"). We sat her down and made her eat some soup and drink a glass of water, and then she went back to bed.

I started doing all the dishes, and she kept calling me in a pitiful voice "bugsy,.... bugsy" and i would go in there and she would ask some inane question like "do you think i am going to get better?" and i would answer "of course you are - long as you do what the doctor says", then i would go back to the dishes until the next time she called out to me. This went on for about 3 hours and i was exhausted. Hubbs was looking after Alex and trying to talk some sense into her husband who was telling her she didn't need to go to hospital she just needed a new pet dog. (mainly cause he knows he can't stay in the house on his own and would have to go into respite). When we left i said to hubbs- "run, quick before she calls out for me again".

She hugged us all when we left and told us how much she loves us. Sad thing is that Hubbs told me that she never hugged him or his brother - ever. That was the first hug his mum has given him that he can ever remember. It is so sad to watch her degrading like this.

She has also started saying horrible things like "please just smother me with a pillow - i don't want to live like this". It breaks my heart to hear it.

So on Saturday her psychiatrist called me and said she MUST be admitted to the hospital, and i could call on monday and work out with them when she can go in. So since then i have been talking to her several times a day to convince her that she must go. i have spoken to her other son in Sydney, and her husband's two sons as well. They are all in agreeance with me. I have organised with the hospital when she is being admitted (Wednesday morning), and organised respite care for her husband. He is adamant he is not going but i have told him that he cannot be home on his own - it just isn't safe. I have entrusted his sons with getting him there (it shouldn't after all be all my problem to get him there as well), so he is supposed to go there Wednesday afternoon.

So Wednesday i have to get Alex up early, and get him ready to go, and be at mum in laws by around 8:30am, help her pack her bag because she doesn't have the brain power at the moment to pack, get her in the car and to the hospital by 10am and get her settled in there. I also have to organise with the neighbours to feed the animals (if they will, otherwise they might have to go to a cattery/kennel if i can get them in or i have to drive there (25 min drive each way) every day to feed them myself).

Then begins the days upon days of her begging me to pick her up, telling me how much she hates it there, and me trying to be strong and convince her to stay there to get well. i will have to visit a lot, which is hard with a baby, and this isn't really the sort of hospital i really want to take Alex to, but someone will have to visit her, bring her things, take her washing home and bring it back again etc.

It is going to kill me. If i can pull this off, i reckon i can do just about anything.

I have refuted all her arguments against going to the hospital - she said "you are getting pushy" I replied "I'm trying"

In other news - relations with Hubbs has been strained again. It is just all the stresses we have. But we are working through it and he closed the shop today so we could spend the day together - it was heavenly being together as a family (despite the phone calls from "you know who").

I am not well, but not really admitting it (i never said that - honest). I think i might have a kidney infection (but don't have time to deal with it so just really ignoring it). I am taking cranberry tablets and drinking cranberry juice and hopefully it will rectify itself. I have also pulled muscles in my shoulders and neck (probably from lifting boofer boy). Hubbs said I should go to the doctors (pfftt doctors smockters). I will look after myself once i have dealt with Mum in law.

Anyway, time for more pictures - Here is the little bear that invaded our home on Friday (since it has been blooming cold here in Melbourne lately - and he needed rugging up to go to visit his Nutty Nana)

Isn't he just the cutest little bear you have ever seen? Don't you just want to snuggle him close? I know I do - ohh wait - I just did!

I also got him a new bath seat which has been fabulous - means I can bath him in the spa bath without having to get in the bath with him. It is still a little hard getting him in and out but much much easier than it has been and a lot safer.

Jobie - those bath toys you bought him are fabulous! He loves them. They are the perfect size for him to pick up, chew and play with. Thank you!

Can you believe buggy butt is nearly 9 months old? I find it hard to believe. He is so amazing though. he is saying Dada all the time now but refuses to say Mumma - hubbs is coaching him so hopefully he will start saying it before mother's day. He gets closer every day to crawling - I think it will only be a couple more weeks and he will really take off. Then we will be in trouble!

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At 3:40 am, Blogger Dooneybug said...

You sure do have a lot going on! I'm sorry your MIL is such a pain to deal with. Get her where she needs to be and hopefully having someone else take care of her for awhile will give you a little break.

But don't neglect yourself!! Cranberry juice only helps prevent infections, it won't clear it up so if you really think you have one, please go to the doctor!

Alex is just adorable! I'd love to give him lots of snuggles.

You are doing a great job and you should be very proud of how hard you work, even if those around you don't appreciate it.

At 2:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for you to deal with!
I commend you for your ongoing support of your MIL. Your one tuff cookie... BUT you neeeeeeed to see a Dr or you will be the one in hospital.. Please... Otherwise Alex will have to come to visit you!
When A.j was just under a year old and it was his first xmas I ended up in hospital after trying to ignore bad stomach pain.. I was miserable because all my family were enjoying the xmas lunch while I was so distressed and in so much pain and isolated in a hospital. I missed most of A.j first xmas.

Oh...Your a BB fan.. Cool... wonder who's going home tonight.
Luv Ya Bugs...

At 5:05 pm, Blogger Sassy said...

Gorgeous little jacket. And a pretty handsome little man too. I love his smile.

Sucks about MIL. Could you give yourself a week off and not take her calls for the first week she's in hospital? It sounds like you really need a break and while she's in a safe place it might be time to take it.

I don't know if it would help with you but when my grandparents moved some family members into a nursing home they asked them not to call or visit for the first two weeks. That way they had no choice but to settle in and couldn't manipulate them and distract themselves by causing drama. It worked a lot better than the previous few times they'd put them in hospital, etc...

At 1:40 pm, Blogger Katt said...

that jacket is so cute!

you REALLY have to pack that bag for you and little man..and get your butt down here missy!! no excuses just relaxing..while the inlaw is in the looney bin is a good idea!!

glad to hear you have gone to the doctors..hope they get it sorted out soon for you..

take care of those important to you before anyone else yourself and your son....all others matter not..


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