When I first came home, Mum’s pastor and I seemed to be on the same page. That was a few years back. She understood mum was not always the person she claimed to be. Over the years, it appears I’ve changed. I’m now over protective, I don’t let anyone help me, I need to let my sister ‘step up to the plate’, and I need to let mum alone. The few times the pastor has visited or called, mum has been chipper. When I share mum’s not well, I’m disbelieved.
Today mum was supposed to attend a quilting party. Mum had expressed interest in this gathering to the person hosting it, as well as the pastor. I knew mum would be unable to attend. The pastor called to remind mum about it this afternoon and I said I’d tell her. The pastor wanted to talk to mum. I let her and mum cheerfully said she was doing something else. Mum is doing something else. A project she’s mussed up here and there and she is not cheerful. She is weak and tired and whimpering a bit. She is forcing herself to do things because mum feels she is a weenie. Mum is constantly telling me she needs to get stronger. I get she does not like losing the threads of her life, I get she needs to pretend, it just makes it damn hard on those who actually see her.
I almost wish she had gone. If the gathering had lasted for longer than two hours, then people would notice mum isn’t as well as she pretends. I do let her alone and so far I’ve only helped her open up bottles of low sugar Gatorade, gotten her paper (it was NOT in the box and she insists she can get it herself, but today it was too cold out), and listened to her mumbling about how this project is not working. She did tell me she wanted my help, which was not entirely a good idea. (I can follow a pattern, but I cannot eye ball fabric to make a creation!) She’s done her own self-care and her glucose today was 145 at breakfast and 394 at lunch.
I do have trouble letting others help me. It has gotten easier since I’m letting mum do things on her own. I don’t need to find anyone to give her shots, she can do those badly all by herself. I do need to help change fittings (something NO ONE wants to try to do and the hospitals get paid big bucks for that procedure!). She has not wanted visitors and will tell me no if anyone calls to ask if they can come over. She says she wants to do many different things and then doesn’t want to when the chance pops up. I do leave her alone to do her errands (many of them things she’d put off) and they can last up to 6 hours if I’m lucky.
I won’t let my sister help for a couple of reasons. First, Jake is a drama queen. She reminds me of a loose live wire in the middle of a storm. All around her things are going on that need attention, but nope, she is flailing around making a big deal of herself and if you touch her you might die. (Jake often drives me nuts.) She’d treat mum like a huge deal and hover (Jake is a hover parent. I am too, but I tend to hover further away and let my kids get into trouble..I am still mad I let Strider fall out of the tree when he was 6. It was just a little fall and his dad went to catch him, but I held him back and CRACK! Badly broken arm.) Mum is also not nice to Jake. I’ve mentioned this before and it makes me feel icky when mum speaks in mean words to her. The last reason I don’t want to have my sister help is that she probably won’t unless it is convenient. She works less than 6 miles from mum’s house and since March, she has visited mum probably 5 times (one was in May, when The Craftsman visited). She says she’ll give mum eggs (Jake has a chickens), but I need to go pick them up where my sister works. We were gone for a few months last winter and she rarely cleaned out the kitter box, didn’t clean the oven (THAT would have kept mum from trying it on her own!) or fridge except to toss out a few things, and tried to get the snow plow guy to send the bill for two houses to her. (she said we could pay her, I opted to pay the plow people myself and made her mad)
In just the hour since the pastor has called, mum has decided she needs to stop working on her project and take a ‘brain break.’ I think she forgot to take her insulin at lunch, too. I heard her go in the kitchen and say ‘oh, shit.’ And then she got something out of the fridge. When she returned to the fridge moments later, she said ‘that should work.’ When I asked what would work, she said she was talking to herself. I’m betting it is the shot of insulin that should work.
But, I’m probably making it all up.