Mom left the tub running again and went into her room. Then called to me, alarmed, because the tub was filling up.

It’s a tub. If you leave the faucet running at full force, it will fill up. She thinks it has to run for a few minutes for the water to heat up, and I can’t shake her of that notion, which is why every freaking day she takes a shower in three inches of standing water unless I get to the shower diverter first. Except today she just walked out of the bathroom altogether.

She’s demanding I call a plumber, but I know there is nothing wrong with the drain. It never backs up when I take a shower. I told her I would call a plumber only to get her to drop it.

I had to ask her multiple times this morning to take her pills. Like always. Every day. It’s not like I can just shove them down her throat like you do with a cat. Or put them on a spoon with peanut butter like I do for the dog. Or hover over her like a shadow until she takes them. That just makes her mad.

It took me 20 minutes of telling her she had to get going for her shower in time for her friend to pick her up for lunch at 11:30. Now, she’s likely to be late. Again.

I’m tired of nagging her to take her pills.

I’m tired of nagging her to get moving when she has somewhere to be.

I’m tired of jumping out of my skin when she calls to me from across the house in a tone that makes me think she’s down on the floor in a pool of blood only to find she can’t comprehend the tub. Yes, of course, I’m relieved it is latter and not the former. It’s the jumping out of my skin several times a day.

I’m tired of feeling like the only way to avoid jumping out of my skin is to literally follow her around the house.

I’m tired of having to deal with people who have no clue exactly what it means to care for someone with memory loss and cognitive impairment. The other evening I nearly throat punched someone (who is barely even an acquaintance and who I don’t care for in any event) who shoved her nose into my business by contradicting how I was helping Mom order dinner. The mere fact that I did not tell this person to fuck off is a testament to what frayed patience I have left.

I’m tired of feeling like I should pretend that I’m not tired, and feeling guilty when I don’t do a good job of pretending that I’m not tired.

I’m tired of feeling embarrassed that I am tired.

I’m tired of having the devil on one shoulder saying I should be better at this than I am, and the angel on the other shoulder telling the devil to fuck off.

I’m tired of losing my patience with those who mean well, but just don’t understand.

I’m just plain tired.

11 comments on “I’m Tired

  1. Breathe…(I know, you want to tell me to f-off), but breathe deep anyways.

    You are doing the most difficult “job” on earth. Some days better than others, but each day difficult none the less.

    NEVER feel embarrassed, guilty or otherwise. Taking care of someone with memory loss is thankless work. You must dig deep, then deeper, then to a place that’s so deep within, you didn’t even know excited-that is where you find the strength to keep going.

    It’s ok to be tired.


  2. I’m sorry that you are going through this. My mom leaves stacks of dishes in the refrigerator, and pours soda into the sugar bowl. She leaves poop on the bathroom floor and sometimes leaves dirty underwear lying around. It never gets any easier, but nobody can deal with this alone. I am about to hire a part time caregiver because my brother is neglecting our mom and I can’t afford to quit my job. If you can afford to hire some extra help even if it’s just a couple of hours a day or on weekends just to help you to have some time for yourself, do so. If you have siblings or a husband ask them to help you as well. I know it’s hard. God bless you and your mom.

  3. Kim nailed it. Follow her advice. I think I will, too.

  4. Mona McGinnis

    Francey, I came to your blog through Satisfying Retirement.I commend you for living with your mother. It takes more energy and patience than is fathomable to deal with my mom (who has dementia on top of a persnikity [?] personality) and she lives in a lodge setting now. I don’t think I could live with her full time although we humans with a can-do attitude tend to rise to the occasion. I like that you don’t sugar-coat the experience. I appreciate the use of the f-word; sometimes there’s just no other word that suffices. And beating the shit out of something benign is truly a good venting process. I do yard work and that expends the pent up energy of frustration. I will be a regular reader, I’m sure.

  5. Betsy Sloan

    Excellent! Thank you for speaking your truth!
    I have zero tolerance for ignorance !
    I am exhausted!???????????

    • Francey Jesson

      Thanks, Betsy. I admire you so much for everything you do, for your family and for keeping that awareness train moving. Dementia sucks. #KAAM

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