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Need To Vent

I'm a 61 yr old widow with anxiety, severe depression and Bi-Polar1. Not on any meds. (Dr won't give me anything for anxiety and nothing helps for the depression & bi-polar)

Live-in caregiver for 87 yr old Mom for the last 3 yrs. Until recently, she was self-sufficient, ambulatory, showered and dressed herself, etc. The only things she stopped doing are cooking and driving. Although not officially diagnosed, she has Alzheimer's and dementia. Not horrendous but bad enough that she couldn't live alone. She was a danger to herself. Managed to sneak out in her pajamas on a cold February night, fell in front of the house, broke her wrist and couldn't get up. Thankfully, a cop drove by and brought her in. Two weeks later I caught her trying to burn the cast off because it hurt. Thankfully, she couldn't turn on the burner she wanted.

Three weeks ago she went to the ER with abdominal pain. Emergency surgery within hours for a small intestine that telescoped into the lg intestine. Surgeon found a large mass and did a resection. Huge incision. Pathology is Stage 3 colon cancer. (she doesn't know) Doesn't appear to have metastasized but . . . she had 2 small bleeds during surgery, which the Drs didn't even realize. I told them that something was drastically wrong and they did a CT. On top of all this, she got a UTI and a pretty bad intestinal infection that kicked the living crap out of her.

Mom came home on Friday. She's in a hospital bed in the living room with a feeding tube. Can't walk or talk and is grossly incontinent. Rehab was not an option due to covid. A deadbeat brother lives here with us. He's a sarcastic asshole who thinks she's going to bounce back and be herself again, walking, talking, etc. It's not gonna happen. Every time we change her, we inflict horrible pain due to a number of conditions she has. It's a torture session that she has to endure multiple times a day and it makes my anxiety explode. I got her a pain med yesterday (from her Dr) and the asshole brother decided that it made her virtually comatose (it didn't) so he called my older brother (Mom's medical proxy). He snidely informed me last night that she'd never be given a full dose again. He's now opening her mail (I've been taking care of all her mail and bills for 2 years), takes control of the conversation with visiting nurses and is nasty, passive aggressive with me when we're out of earshot of Mom. In his mind, he's never wrong. Ever. He's THAT guy. The one who will top your story with one of his own every single time you utter a sentence. Everything is about him.

I'm about to lose my shit after only 3 days. I can't stand subjecting Mom to such pain every few hours. I can't fathom the depths of the denial that makes my brothers think that Mom's going to improve in anywhere near a meaningful way. She's has zero quality of life, little hope of getting physical therapy and is absolutely miserable. They've decided that she will remain mostly alert, which means pain.

It's been a long time but today I considered <mod edit - method>. What stopped me is the knowledge that I have another place to live if/when I reach my breaking point. The downside is that if I bail, then the guilt will be overwhelming. Can't stand seeing Mom suffer. Can't change it. Want to run for the hills but feel like I can't. Stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to go to sleep and wake up in a different decade. Any decade. Just not this one.

Sorry for rambling. No one to talk to here and I had to get it out. Thanks for listening.
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To Wish Impossible Things
Safety & Support
SF Supporter
I'm so sorry that both you and your mum are going through this, I can't even begin to imagine how awful it must be.

Is your mum able to communicate her wishes for pain relief? Not ideal but are you able to give her more pain relief when your brothers aren't watching?

Please feel free to vent here as much as you need *hug


Well-Known Member
I'm sorry for what you're going through, Alone Again. Care giving is a very exhausting and depleting thing to do. I think you should be proud of the years you have been doing this for your mother. What an awful brother to have to deal with, acting like he's the know all of what your mother needs regarding pain. I went through this myself with my own mom 3 years ago, my brother and sister refused to let her have pain medication and she was basically doped up on anti psychotics. I had no power over her health managemnt, all I could do is stay close as I could and do what I could for her. I understand at times wishing you could run away from it because you cant deal with seeing her suffer. When having siblings to deal with that makes the decisions I think it leaves you so emotionally beaten up, but realize that being there when you can for her is the best you can do and try to make peace with that. If its possible for you to talk to the physician that handles her medication maybe you can bring it to their attention so they see that you are aware that she needs to be comfortable, and you have been doing the care giving for years so you would know more. I wish I could be of more support. I hope you are ok right now and wish you the best and your mom as well. hugs


Recovering Alcoholic
SF Supporter
Good morning. I wish to give you a hug and comfort you. Taking care of someone in your mother's condition is a large task, not easily handled. The fact that it is exacerbated by your brother's treatment makes it much harder. I hope that you are getting some time alone to recharge. I lived with my mother in the last few months of her life and it was extremely difficult to watch her slowly die; it is a very painful thing. I hope that you get some comfort in the fact that you are doing your best to get her what she needs. Thank you for sharing your story with us and I hope you continue posting here to give us updates.


SF Supporter
Alone Again, I am sorry you are going through this. I'm wondering if you can stay somewhere else for a few days just to take a break.

I'm wondering if you can have a family conference, possibly with a social worker, to set up some guidelines for her care. I know these family situations can be awful, having gone through it myself two years ago.

At the very least, take care of yourself by giving yourself breaks, talking to friends, coming here to vent. Its a stressful time, but remember that your life is precious and you are good.

I'm so sorry that both you and your mum are going through this, I can't even begin to imagine how awful it must be.

Is your mum able to communicate her wishes for pain relief? Not ideal but are you able to give her more pain relief when your brothers aren't watching?

Please feel free to vent here as much as you need *hug
From a medical standpoint, my mother is non-verbal. She can get out a word or two sometimes but sentences trail off into gibberish. She knows exactly what she wants to say but her speech center is damaged. She seems unable to write and I'm unsure if she recognizes written words. I've tried several times. I get answers to yes/no questions. Irrelevant, though. My brothers think they're geniuses and will do what they want. To the best of my knowledge, neither has ever asked her if she's in pain and/or wants meds. The live-in brother consistently attributes her agitated behavior to everything under the sun except pain, when I'm sure that pain is the source.

I'm not able to sneak anything to Mom. There are always at least 2 people in the house and she has a feeding tube. Too much time is required to pause the feeding, unhook the bag, crush a pill and inject it into the tube. Someone would walk in and then all h3ll would break loose.

I can't even talk to my counselor because of Covid. He does video chat but my house is too small for real privacy so I haven't been able to talk to him since March. :(

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