Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Why I can't call you
I can’t call you. You see if I call you to vent about what my day is, she is listening. And if she hears me speak of the problems I am having with her or even with just my own body, she gets very upset. She will throw back those things at me in a very mean way. If I speak of the temper tantrum or the crying spell, I am “making her lose her mind.” See, I can’t call you to vent. Instead I have to type it out and hope to hell you understand why I can’t speak with you when it’s happening.
Today I have been in tears three, no, four times, because this is the fourth episode of crying. (BTW, it’s hard as hell to read what I am typing through tears. So if shit is misspelled or I have fragmented sentences, please forgive me.) Let me tell you what just transpired….
Mom is sitting watching GH and I am sitting at the kitchen table eating a late lunch (1:15 pm MST). Out of nowhere she says, “I need one of those Glade spray things. This house always smells bad.”
“Mom, you have one. I can set it up for you but then I can’t be in the room it is in. It sets my asthma off.”
“You always tell me no. Why do you live here?”
I didn't respond. Just let her mumble to herself and kept eating.
A minute later, “I have perfume in my room; I better go throw those away too. God forbid your asthma is affected.”
“Mom, perfume doesn't bother me. You can wear as much perfume as you like. It’s the propellant in the canister that affects me.”
I go back to eating; she goes back to watching GH. “You know this is why I don’t like watching this show anymore. I like Sam and the baby, but I don’t like Connie or Todd.”
“Really mom? I thought you liked the show. Sam is good but there’s always got to be the bad guys for people to hate. TV shows just can’t leave the bad out.” (I didn't say this sarcastically or anything. I thought she wanted to have a conversation about the show- which I don’t watch. I’m usually not even in the room when it is on.)
“Well thank you Miss Know it All. I’m so glad you told me what I didn't already know.” She glares at me which I barely caught. “You know you annoy me so much. I’m going to my room and shut the door. Just stay the hell away from me.” And she picked up her bag and soda and walked out of the room.
I shook my head and went back to eating. Not two minutes later she’s back in the room (the kitchen and family room are joined) and looking for something. “Mom, what are you looking for? Can I help?”
“I can’t find my bag. I just had it and now I can’t find it.” She starts to cry.
“You took it with you when you went down the hall. I’ll help you find it.” And I follow her down the hall to her bedroom. Once there I find her bag on dad’s side of the bed on his night stand. “Here it is mom. Can I open the bedroom curtains for you?”
“Yeah, because I’ll be living in this room since you keep me locked up in my room all day.” She is red in the face and then says, “You know, if you tell that doctor that I’m losing my mind or crazy, I’m telling him NO. It’s you who’s crazy. You’re the one losing your mind. All you do is tell me what I can’t do all day.” She is crying and looks like she wants to hit me.
“Mom, no one thinks you’re crazy. And you can do whatever you like. If you want to read, or knit, or watch TV or take a nap, do it. You have your office, the living room, the porch, the family room. I'll take you wherever you want to go. You know you can do whatever you like.” I am on the verge of tears at this point.
“No, you tell me no. All you say to me is NO. I hate you. All you want is to keep me locked up. You don’t let me do anything. I own nothing in this house but my husband and you’re trying to take him from me.” She is bawling and now I am crying.
“Momma, you can go anywhere in the house you want. All the furniture upstairs in yours and you own it. Your office is yours, the living room has all your antiques in it, and your bed that you’re sitting on is yours. My stuff is downstairs and that’s it.” I wipe away my tears before she realizes I’m crying.
“I’m so frustrated. All you keep saying to me is that I’m losing my mind. I am not. You’re making me go crazy.”
“I’m sorry you’re frustrated momma. How can I help? If you don’t tell me what I can do to help you, I don’t know what you need. Do you want to cook dinner tonight?”
“No I don’t want to cook. I don’t like to cook.”
“Do you want to help with the laundry or the cleaning?”
“No. That’s what you’re for. You do it.”
“Okay, then what do you want to do?”
“I want my own space.”
“I can understand that momma. Normally I’m not upstairs with you as much as I have been today. But I needed to clean the pantry and the fridge out. I’ll go downstairs right now and leave you alone.”
“I don’t want to be alone. I have a headache. I hate this headache. ” I can hear the frustration in her voice and it hurts me that she’s hurting. So now she’s crying and I am too. And she sees it and it confuses her. That I see in her eyes.
“Okay, do you want your medicine? I know how bad a sinus headache can be. I can give you two pills and if you want to nap you can. I don’t like that you’re not feeling well momma. I just want to make sure you’re okay. That’s why I come up to check on you so much. I don’t want you to fall or get hurt.” I hug her and she leans into me.
“No I don’t want that stuff. I don’t want to be dependent on pills.”
“But if they help you feel better and get rid of your headache….”
“Why can’t I just do what I want? I can’t remember how to knit!” And I feel her start to sob. She makes no sound but her body shakes as I hold her tight.
“I’m sorry momma. I can’t help you with that. If I knew how to knit I’d help, but I’m sorry I just don’t know how.” I feel as helpless as a two year old at this point.
I sit down next to her and we both cry a bit more. She looks at me and frowns. I don’t know what she’s thinking, but I am trying to change the subject. “Do you want to take a nap? Or would you like me to find Criminal Minds on TV and watch that?”
“I am too panicky to nap. I want to be out of this room.” She’s rubbing her head and face. I know her head hurts but I can’t force her to take the pills to make it better.
“Okay, then let’s go into the family room and you can sit in the recliner and relax. I need to go downstairs and do laundry because I’m almost out of underwear.” I am not, but I know this way I can “disappear” and she will be okay with me giving her space.
So now she’s settled in her chair watching TV. She’ll probably forget about this episode by the time I’m done typing it up. That’s the only up side to this damn disease, she forgets about this type of stuff very quickly while it eats at me.
I am downstairs now with the laundry going and tears flowing. I called my dad at work right after I got her settled and let him know it’s a very bad day. He understands and lets me vent a bit. I can’t talk for long for fear that she will somehow overhear what I say. She does still have that SUPER MOM hearing.
I wish with all that I am that I could call you right now. To hear you tell me it’s okay. That I’m doing the best I can. But I can’t. Instead I have to reach out to you via this blog. Because texting this thing, I don’t think any phone could handle that!
I know what’s bringing on mom’s mood and there’s nothing I will or can do to make it go away. She has her MRI and ultrasound on Friday. She is worried about what it will show. She doesn't want to know. My mom has always hated the doctor. She is a former nurse, and makes the worst patient. Her fear is making her lash out at the nearest person… me. I know over time that I will grow thicker skin to this and I’ll learn how to turn her from this type of frustration.
Until then, I’ll vent via here. And know you’ll be praying for me.
PS: I was right! The doorbell rang and she called for me. Up I ran to receive the box that arrived. She’s laughing with the mailman and playing with Belle. I give her one of the books because it’s not her Christmas present and her eyes light up- The Chew cookbook, and the earlier episode is forgotten. One hour later and she is back to being silly. I only wish I could get over it that quickly….