Nobody tell you how much life blows when you get old. How truly it sucks especially when taking care of an elderly parent. I was forewarned about how little sleep I would get after each of my boys were born. How with the addition of of each boy that my house would become more cluttered and less spotless. No one warns you about how to take care of a parent like they do when you are pregnant or a new parent. There are tips, websites, blogs, oh-so-friendly advice from friends, neighbors, even my mailman. Now, that I’m taking care of my elderly mother. Zero advice. Nothing. Not even a good luck. I wasn’t warned that I would have to tell her to use the restroom or that I would have to clean her room more than my teenage children’s rooms. Or even how to get the smell of adult poo out of the house when it lingers because she “forgot” to use the restroom.
I should also add how no one warns nor helps with a mentally disabled parent either. After my parents divorced, I became the sole responsibility of my mother who has only held two jobs her entire life and doesn’t do any type of housework. I helped her enroll in community college to give her a skill set. She failed at it. The college did help with one thing (two if you count student loans debt)…they realized that she has a disability. It’s not a small one either. If any of my boys had the same disability, it would have been diagnosed in elementary school. My mother is 63 years old. Back then, any type of disability was labeled as stupid. She just needed to find a nice boy to marry. She kinda did that. But she never really had the mental capacity to properly care for my two little brothers and me. That’s a complete other posting…
Anyway, the college sent her to a vocational rehab center to figure out exactly what type of disability she has. She has the IQ of a Kindergartner. That may not be true… her IQ is only 72 and 70 is labeled as mentally challenged or when I was in school labeled mentally retarded (now educators and therapists do not use this label). How do I deal with a 63 year woman who constantly soils herself and verbally abuses me on a daily basis for properly taking care of her? That is the question I have been asking myself for the past few months. I still have no answer.
I am taking her to be tested by a neurologist since our family doctor thinks she has early onset Alzheimer’s. Oh, I also forgot that she’s a hypochondriac. All of these issues have resorted me from being the child to a parent at an early age. I have loads of bitterness and hostility about it. There’s nothing I can do or say that will change anything. Here I am trying to do what’s best for my kids, her, and myself.
I just haven’t figured out what that is yet.