Posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2009
by L. Denise Jackson
My 46 year old sister had a stroke May 28 and my nephews named me as the person to take care of her. Now, knowing what I know about her and her personality (which is showing through), I made the decision up front that she would not return to my mother’s house (she moved out 2 years ago to live with a boyfriend—which I discovered was abusive and will not let me get her things or medical information from the house) because of her returning attitude. We have dealt with this when she was well, so I chose not to put my 69 year old mother or her sons through this.
So, she is referring to the boyfriend as the one that was taking care of her (but we know otherwise) and she is shutting down a bit. Then we have the meddling family members from my father’s side who feel entitled to see her but they have no idea what they would be dealing with in terms of all of her care and her mentality. My father is coming into town (finally) but I know he won’t be able to really deal with her mental level.
I really hope in a year she can live independently but I am not sure. Part of me just wants her to plateau soon so I can have some normalcy in my life. It is crazy and I am tired already. I am doing it for my nephews and of course I would make sure she is safe but I told them the first time she believes she is at full wherewithal and tells me to kiss her booty, I am done and the next round will be on them.
I am single and live 250 miles away and told the boys, I will make sure she is in a safe place but we are going to live because that is what we have to do.
I am just plain tired. I have to say.
You sound not only tired but depressed! You do have a lot going on. No matter how you look at it the BF will be a problem unless someone seeks legal advise since she is unable to make decisions for herself or her sons. She may or may not be competent enough to care for herself or her children & that is where the legal advise will be your biggest help.Hang in there, You‘re all in my prayers.
My nephews are adults and I am going to try to get the POA signed this week...so we will see.
I am drained and a little depressed because I had my whole summer planned and this happened so I have to place this on hold...
My big thing is that I was so ready to move forward on the new business that I just feel stagnate and am struggling to keep my own quality of life. I just vented and dumped...
Basically I deal with my 3 to do lists and don’t get to vent. I am just a bit exhausted...that’s all.
Oh, the BF by the way won’t be the problem...we can very well start from scratch...her name is not on the lease and he has no rights or access to anything. Sorry about that.
Gosh, I feel your pain, to a smaller degree. My mom had a stroke in Feb this year, following my dad’s complicated open heart surgery last Feb. She received treatment timely, so the brain damage was minimized. Thankfully they are still able to live in their own home, at least for now.
This is a very difficult situation for you, I know. Recovery will be such a long road. You are going to need some reinforcement from time to time because, as you can already see, it is exhausting. And this can be very stressful because the patient experiences a lot of emotional turmoil as well, and will not always be easy to handle.
How severe was your sister’s stroke? Is she able to walk? I assume she has lost her speech to some degree. Can she care for herself on any level, such as brush her own hair, feed herself, etc.? Is she in rehab of some kind yet? (I’m sorry if these questions are redundant. I do not get to visit this site regularly and may have missed your previous posts.)
You might seek some advice from the medical professionals that are treating her. Because I have been included in my parents’ medical records with all of their physicians, I am able to call the drs to obtain answers and information about their medical conditions. If you are not authorized yet, that will be an important thing to have updated so that you can better care for her.
Are you planning to move your sister in with you so you can care for her?
I don’t mean to intrude. If you feel these questions are too personal, please do not feel it necessary to respond.
No that is okay and yes this is L. Denise. I am a columnist so here too so I have a different profile.
So she will be in a facility because I cannot give her the 24 hour care that she needs. Her speech is sharp and her vocabulary is amazing at times, however her mental connection is not there.
She had brain swelling so they had to take part of her skull bone out and are putting it back next month. Needless to say, she had a massive stroke. She cannot walk and there is no movement with her right hand.
She just started brushing her hair...we cut the rest of it off just a few weeks ago...she can brush her teeth but needs help in an out of bed, toilet, shower, etc.
She is in acute rehab which I think has been great, however, her mood has changed in a matter of 8 hours from great to nasty and horrible. I have a schedule of people (immediate family and 2 friends) to go see her and I get reports of what is going on at all times.
My 20 and 27 year old nephews have made me the POC so I am getting the POA signed this weekend.
Oh, my fabfriend, that is heart breaking. To go from being a vital, active woman to confused and nasty is a great burden for you as well as her. Do you find it hard to know how to respond to her? At times, do you struggle with believing her remarks when she can be so harsh? Sounds so difficult.
Thank goodness you have found a good place for her. Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job of getting her what she needs. Especially by engaging other family members. That will help both you and her. And your presence may keep that awful bf out of the picture, too.
I wish I had some words of wisdom to offer you, but I don’t. Know you can come here to share your struggle, and there are those of us who will listen. I feel blessed to read your post because you are helping me by doing so. I guess there really is some truth to that saying “Misery loves company.”
This is going to be a long journey. Be sure to find rest whenever you can.
Misery does love company but I am coming here to share and vent in a supportive environment.
It is long but the weekend has been good!
I’m relieved to her you sound a little better than the last time you were on. I didn’t realize that your nephews were adults! Why are they putting this responsibility on you if they are adults & it’s their mother?You are only one person with a life of your own. I don’t mean to sound cold but I’ve dealt with my own family on similar matters & they love to leave major decisions to other people.Hope you had a good weekend & have a better week!I hope I didn’t say anything to upset or offend you.Maria
Family members caring for those who have a stroke and former stroke patients support group.