Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, cooking, make-up, travel, art and the occasional rant!


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I am getting really tired.  Even with a full-time aide for mom, I still am going 24/7. 

Mom is very demanding… not in a mean way, but about half the time she insists she needs to go to the toilet about every 30 – 40 minutes, or she wakes me up every hour during the night to use the commode, and this week she’s been crying about the pain in her shoulder and leg.  I am giving her the maximum dosage of everything she can have…

She wants me to rub this, scratch that, move this pillow, shift that one… every time I sit down!  And I mean, as soon as I sit down, get my laptop in place… she cries out for me. EVERY bloody time!!

She wants to walk “herself”… she can’t.  But she won’t let the fact that her left leg won’t support her or that her left hand and arm don’t work be taken into consideration.  Tonight, because I didn’t jump up as soon as she said she wanted to go to the toilet… again (5th time in three hours)… she starts to get herself out of her chair… she slid herself down the leg rest of the recliner which was up, and threw off her pillows… she was hanging off the leg rest without any part of her still on the chair.  I couldn’t lower the leg rest because she’d land on the floor, and she couldn’t shift herself because she couldn’t get her legs under her for traction.

I ended up having to yank her up by the armpits.

She starts asking to go to bed around 6 p.m. every night because her shoulder hurts… I learned my lesson the hard way about letting her go to bed early.  Each time I have given in to her whining, she then “rewards” me by waking me up every friggin hour through the night… on a work night! 

If she stays up past 10 p.m. and I giver her Tylenol before bed, she generally will sleep until around 6 without waking me up more than once.  But if she goes to bed earlier she starts waking up just as I am going to sleep…

Amy has been very diligent about doing her exercises with her everyday… today they took it easy.  Amy says that mom will not say when something hurts, even though she has been told that the exercises are not supposed to hurt.  And she insists on doing more than she should each time… then she is in pain all night.

I am getting really frustrated… I snap at her and lecture her a lot and I don’t want to.  But there is no way she really needs to pee every 30-40 minutes.  She does NOT have a bladder infection anymore, she is perfectly capable of holding it all night (9 hours) or for 6 hours when we go out for the day… but if we are home she wants to go every half hour… she wants to move, she is sore, so she uses having to go to the toilet as a reason to get up.

I don’t mind at all taking her to the toilet… when she really needs to!  But, I am trying to take care of the house and garden, cook, make beds, clean the toilets, dust, study, do my books, do laundry, try to take care of my business operations, get ready for work, etc. while she’s doing all that.

I’ve never been a “touchy” person… I am not inclined to give back-rubs or massage people.  I’ve never been a hugger or into personal contact – most of my life I did not like being touched (I’ve mellowed in my old age and occasionally have hugged people myself …) BUT I really prefer NOT to do that sort of thing.

So when mom wants me to rub cream on her back or scratch her foot… I really have to force it.  Aside from the fact that my hands hurt and have for a couple of years – my fingers lock from RSI and my wrists ache badly.  I have grip issues too… so it is painful for me to rub or massage for any length of time.

My day consists of getting up at 6 a.m. (or earlier if mom calls me), putting mom on the commode, then back to bed, having a shower, getting mom’s breakfast and meds ready, make coffee, tidy the kitchen, get partially dressed, eat some breakfast (sometimes I don’t get that done), get mom up, dressed, to the bathroom for her teeth and hair, then get her settled, feed her, give her meds, make both our beds, empty and clean commode, take her to the toilet… finish dressing, sometimes I have time to pack a lunch… then Amy arrives and I leave for work.  I get home around 5, and Amy leaves right away… mom usually wants to go to the toilet before I’m even in the door.  Then I have to put away groceries (I usually bring home a few things), make dinner, clean up dinner, load the dishwasher, water the garden outside, bring in the mail and paper and take care of anything related to that, change my clothes, find something decent on tv, take mom to toilet, reposition her for comfort, try to get on the computer to check email and respond to inquiries, do laundry, sweep, take mom to toilet, get mom’s bedroom ready,  take mom to toilet, find something else to watch on tv, unload the dishwasher, try to use the computer without interruption… which is pretty much impossible, then give her night meds and bedtime snack, toilet, undress and put to bed.  Then I go to bed.  If it is a Friday or Saturday (like now) I’ll spend some time on the computer or watching tv in quiet bliss for an hour to two.

Weekends if I don’t have a gig I take mom out shopping and to lunch on Saturday and Sunday is major housework and yard work day – if it is nice I’ll take mom outside to sit for a bit.  It is a major undertaking to get her outdoors though.  And then Sunday is bath day.  I would have liked to give her a bath more than once a week but it just isn’t easy to fit in and she’s fine with the schedule (if they can do it only once a week in the hospital why not continue it at home?)

Mom is very, how shall I say, conscientious about saying please and thank-you.  She isn’t being mean, and I know it is horrible for her, but… I just have to be able to sit and relax and watch a whole tv show without missing the important part because she wants to pee again… and again… and listen to her crying and whining about her shoulder hurting.

She doesn’t want to wear her sling, but she has to so that her shoulder joint doesn’t separate from the weight of her arm…

I know it hurts… and I am giving her all the pain meds that I can to help.  There isn’t much else I can do.

Anyway… I just needed to rant a bit.


One thought on “sigh…

  1. Aww Shannon sorry you’re struggling. Everything seems so much harder when you are constantly exhaused. There is no easy answer. Perhaps you need to be a little tougher to make the long term easier on you both? Hard I know. Try giving your mom a timer and say that its set to an hour and you will come and move/toilet her then but not before as you need to get on with other stuff and then once she is used to it you could increase it by 5 mins at a time. She will have something to aim for and the knowledge that you will be there to help at the set time and it may offer her reassurance? It may not work for your circumstances but thought I would offer it as an idea. Take care.

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