Minor irritations become big...

lilod(NoCal/8)July 12, 2010

when one is not fully functional and wants to minimize the "I want" - or "will you get me...please" and so tries to organize things so to be able to just get or do something, and the care-taker doesn't pay attention and even gets slightly hurt when it's pointed out.

Example: I keep important paperwork in one spot on my desk, along with the check-book, envelopes, stamps etc and a pen. Make my way to the desk to do some things, and can't find the pen, it's on the kitchen counter, daughter needed to make a shopping list, used that pen and left it. I tried to explain that I need this stuff organized just one way, and she's a bit miffed, thinks I am "bossing her around', says "it's easy to keep things organized if you live alone, but other people in the household change the situation...that is not what I meant at all, just leave my stuff or put it back, so I can relieve her of the "fetch" requests as much as I can.

She says: "I am 57 years old, run a business and a household and travel and go to meetings and seminars, you don't need to remind me..."

It's so irritating and frustrating;I love her dearly, she nice looking, smart, personable and very talented and all that and doesn't get it.

One solution I thought up for some of it: I attached a plastic bag to the walker, and carry small items, cough-drops, my phone, my glasses-case and a pen - it does help.

Am I over-reacting or ? Just venting...

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That's a hard one Lilo. For nutritional purposes I'm hooked up to a portable IV for many hours a day. I can get around just fine but at the beginning of the cycle it's awfully heavy carrying that case around. Anyway..I need help from time to time if I need something and it happens to be upstairs or someplace out of the way. I find myself much more irritable these days than I used to be and I'm sure it has more to do with myself than anyone else. Right now you are in the initial stages of adjustment and of course having your stuff moved would drive you bonkers since it's a chore getting them.You are probably going to be over reacting to lots of things for awhile but this one sounds valid to me.Maybe you could try explaining it to her in a way that doesn't make her feel like the kid being scolded by mom. Do they ever get over that???

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:38AM
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I agree with Marda. I've been laid up with various ailments and it's really a pain to adjust to someone else doing for you when they don't really know exactly how you run your life. Everyone tells you to just call or ask but sometimes when you do you feel as if you are really intruding on them. I found that I had to adjust more to the caregiver than the caregiver to me, odd as that sounds, because otherwise I was coming across as "demanding."

Your issue with the pen makes me think of a time when we were visiting my DIL's parents, both of whom are blind. If we didn't put things exactly where we found them, we might as well have thrown them away because they were now "lost" to unsighted people.

When daughters have to take the "mom" role for a while, it really changes the dynamics of the mother-daughter relation. Vent here as much as you want, you have the right to kvetch sometimes and we're out of the way enough that we'll sympathize with you.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 11:27AM
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Different as night and day these 2 daughters of yours. I know what you are going through Lilo....had to depend on Pete for almost a month after the heart ordeal and im not looking forward to being in the same boat after the hip replacement....esp since he is not in the best shape either and is very short tempered to say the least.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 12:14PM
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Since my husband has used a walker and has one right now, he too uses a plastic bag tied to the walker to keep what he needs. It takes a couple of days to get everything organized to both of your satisfaction.
Got to agree with Marda, no matter what you say and how, it's mom telling what to do and how. Never mind how old they are. 2 days later it was their idea to do that in the first place.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 12:40PM
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When one is used to doing for one's self and suddenly has to depend on others -- it's hard, to say the least. It'll probably take a *settling in* period, Lilo, for you and your daughter to *settle in*. :>) And by the time that's happened -- you may not need her!

As for her getting "miffed", it's partly worry for you, I bet.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 3:10PM
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I can understand what you are telling. Last summer I had knee replacement surjury.My daughter was good about coming to stay for three weeks. I am cold natured and keep my air conditioning set high. She likes it cold, so I just didn't say anything and almost froze. The day she went home, she was just out of the drive way and I hobbled to the control and set it for 79.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 10:09PM
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I'm wondering if you need to make a list of things like that...things you have in the place you have them not by accident, but on purpose. Your daughter can't know unless you tell her. Perhaps a friendly chat, laced with some of your wonderful humor Lilo, would be in order. As a person who lives alone I think I wouldn't be thrilled if someone had to come in to help me and moved stuff around.

Courage, mon brave!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 10:26PM
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jazmynsmom(Z5 Madison-ish)

Not an over-reaction, just a plain old reaction. Hers too. There's bound to be some friction when two independent adults are thrown into a situation where the independence of one is temporarily compromised. I don't imagine you're any good at being "helpless" and it'll likely color your perceptions of things... Were I in your shoes, I wouldn't appreciate things that got in the way of the stuff I *could* do unassisted either.

So have you figured out a way to rig a weed-whacker to the front of your walker yet?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 8:20AM
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Things are improved, sometimes lessons teach themselves? I had made a deal with Linda that I get up at my "middle of the night" time and let her sleep, if she sets up coffee and a few other minor things for me, so I don't need any assistance and can have the early morning to myself, which I really prefer and appreciate, First morning everything was fine, except I had to move something awkward and not possible to do with a walker and had to wake her to do so...she realized that it takes thought and foresight to get an arrangement, which essentially is in her favor, so things have been easier since then - like don't leave your laptop on Mom's printer if Mom has to (or maybe even wants to) make copies of documents, give me room to get to wherever I need to be to act.
On the other hand, here was son Steve last night, calling Linda and wanting details of what I can eat, what to look out for and what care I need. He and my DIL will be here Friday, hope they are not the opposite and "Hoover" over me too much - may have to slap them down?
Good kids, all of them! At their age I can't take credit for all of that, time has done it's job, too. It's a stern taskmaster, but I can take credit for teaching them to listen to all guides and teachers Life throws at one.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 10:39AM
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I moved in with my mother several times in her later years to help her after surgeries, and it was a learning experience for both of us. She had set up really complicated but to her (logical) routines about how she did everything from feeding her cats to doing her laundry. Actually her housekeeping put mine to shame.

She accepted readily that I would not be doing things exactly as she did. And because of that after she gained her independence again, she altered her daily routines somewhat so that it would be easier on her and seemed to adjust.

This isn't the same issue you have, however. I guess I'm getting at it's amazing how routines have to change to accomodate disabilities and the changes are to the caregiver as well as the care getter. It's all about making life as simple as it can and still meeting needs.

As Pidge related, my g'mother was blind. She lived alone with my mother's help, but I remember what an issue putting absolutely EVERYTHING back in its place was. My mother knew the routine, but it didn't come from osmosis. That comes with time and my mother did figure out all sorts of ways to make it easier for g'ma, and that in turn took more of the burden off Mama.

I do know, with my mother, and also with my g'mother it's ALL ABOUT fostering as much independence as possible for the disabled person. I firmly believe in our society we sometime shoot ourselves in the foot by not figuring out ways to let the disabled do as much as they can for themselves, and all in the name of trying to do the right thing. Most people want that independence. LOL. I can only imagine how frustrating something as simple as getting to a pencil must be.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 11:40AM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

"When daughters have to take the "mom" role for a while, it really changes the dynamics of the mother-daughter relation." Whoo boy can my mom and me relate to that statement! and also to "She had set up really complicated but to her (logical) routines". My mom's routines have so many many steps. And I am wired the same way. I will do something using steps A1 thru Z18, and dh will say why didn't you do 1,2,and 3? And a light bulb will go off and I can see how simple that way is but not without him pointing it out. Genes are a scary thing.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 6:55AM
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