.....It is painful to watch...
...someone self destruction in front of you.
Indeed it is.
Well, it's tomorrow where I am. I have the computer instead of the tablet that started the thread.
It's bad enough when the person is sick and needs medical care and is going downhill slowly and there's nothing you can do.
But add in the lying and trying to cover the lies by digging deeper in further lies, it is really sad to watch her self destruct in front of me.
I am talking about my sister. She is in a nursing home with totally debilitating Multiple Sclerosis (MS). She has been unable to walk for years and is losing other controls now. I won't detail her situation, but she was down to 80 pounds just a year ago at home while she was trying to starve herself to death because she couldn't stand her husband's fulltime care of her.
Her husband did a pretty good job, but it's been years of this. They are both social security recipients. He claims he cannot work either, its total bullcrap, but he stayed home and cared for my sister. I tried to give him breaks but he got paranoid and didn't want her to be without me. He was afraid she would leave him.
Talk about self-fulfilling prophecy. His paranoid attitude is the very thing that made her try to starve herself. I am a realist. If he needed to go to the store, I understand he would leave her home alone with the phone nearby. But his paranoid thoughts made him sure she would call 911 while she was gone and he took the phone away while he went to the store sometimes without her. She had to be in adult diapers and he would cut her off from liquids after dinner so she would make it through the night.
Those last two were just too much. I managed to get her out of the house and took legal power of attorney. She has needed the 24 hour care and has been away from her husband nearly a year. She refused to let him even see her. She started the procedure for divorce. I allow her to make her own decisions about care, but I have to sign off on everything. With regular eating, she has gone up to a respectable 110 pounds.
Well, it has crushed him. I cannot use all my time trying to get you guys to understand my feelings for him. He could have worked 20 and more years ago instead of mooching off her legitimate "welfare." (She was sick with MS that long ago.) He didn't take her to the doctor for the same fear that a doctor would remove her from his home in the last year of his taking care of her. He's mooched off my mother who felt obligated to help her daughter. He got so flippant that he stopped asking her for money and just handed her phone bills and gas bills and said, "I need you to pay this." Most of what he has told me over the years has just been lies.
The problem is that his social security isn't enough to get by on while she gives her share to a nursing home. He is at his near point of losing the apartment and disappearing. I have had nothing to do with him since shortly after I got her out of his home. She has had him on a list of people not authorized to visit her. I had nothing to do with putting him on that list. At first, he begged me to let him visit, but I told him it is her decision.
NOW, to the title of the thread. Well, she has called him on a semi-regular basis. Trust me if I tell you that if he were allowed to visit, he would come at the very beginning of visiting hours and stay until they kick him out. He would spend the whole time telling her how she needs to come home and how he will take better care of her this time. While I don't tell her she shouldn't call him, she feels that I won't like it so she doesn't tell me, but it slips out now and again. She is currently actively seeking a divorce. She's got me taking her to a legal counsel next week. But she is playing me.
Today, I picked her up to go to the doctor. (I literally have to pick her up and put her in the car, as I don't have a wheelchair van.) She started telling me how she needs new socks as her feet have swollen. Going through her stuff to see what she needs, I asked what happened to all the old socks. (She has this huge problem with her feet "feeling" cold all the time and socks and boots are her regular obsession. She cannot even care for her own clothing, so I or my mother have to go through her things and inventory and make sure she has enough provisions.) She tells me she put the old socks on top of a dumpster in an alley so that homeless people can find them. (That is something her husband and her always did.)
I was thrown for a loop for a moment. "How in the world did you get outside in January to an alley to do that?"
She throws this quick lie out- I know it's a lie when I hear it. "John Doe, a friend of mine here in the nursing home is allowed to go out on his own, he was allowed to sign me out and pushed me in my wheelchair. We went to CVS because I needed some things. Here's the receipt." (I take care of her finances via a trust fund from Grandma's will- long story, but the important part of it is that were she at home with her husband when the trust fund was issued, her husband could have spent the money by now, several thousands of dollars. As it is, I have it locked up and only approved items are paid for, and only I and the state can approve items.)
"Where did you get the $20 for these items on the receipt?"
"Oh, when my aunt visited (a couple months ago) she gave me money." Another lie. I pay for everything and I know how much money she has in her safe in her room.
So I leave the room and asked the nurse who signed her out. "Well, I never saw this man before. He said he was her husband." She described him and showed me his signature in the sign-out. It was, indeed, her husband. The nurse asked if that was okay, knowing that I am supposed to approve who can sign her out. I said "No, because one day he will sign her out and never bring her back."
Nurse: "Well, that would be kidnapping because she has to be brought back to our care. The state pays us to care for her, we have all her medications. She needs 24 hour care."
Me: "I know. So list him as unauthorized. He's slick. He will come when you are not here and insist as her husband that he has the right to take her out for a short time. Let him know that the police will be called if he leaves with her. (There really isn't any high security, it's just a nursing home.)"
I did not confront her today with this. She thinks she got away with her lies. I still have an appointment with the legal counsel to help with the divorce, but I am sure it's happening because he would get about $100 more per month if he wasn't married to another welfare recipient in the community. She lives in pain and emotional instability, so the turmoil her husband can introduce back into her life is probably just looked at as a way to fight daily boredom. She forgets how she tried to starve while with her husband.
Nothing I have done wasn't asked by her of me. I get none of that money and pay for many things out of my own pocket that cannot be approved. I live across town and it is a pain to visit once a week and for doctor's visits and the like. I don't complain. It's my sister. But I don't care for watching her slowly die, and now she decides, probably out of boredom, to add some anguish to life. She brings back the guy who wants her welfare if not her trust fund. (He cannot get it from me. I am in control of it, and couldn't give it up if I wanted to.) Visiting is one thing, let him come. But taking her outside in January to push her in her wheelchair 4 blocks roundtrip to the drugstore, that's asking for trouble. He probably already would have kidnapped her yesterday if not for the fact that he has none of her medicines. And lying as if it's nothing as fast as she can make it up. UGH. She dug deeper in her lies when I told her I or her mother would have brought her the things she thought she needed at the drugstore.
Next week, I think I will say that I need to meet with John Doe in order to determine if it's okay to take her out. When she won't allow it (because he doesn't exist) I will have to say that I will have to talk to the nurse about making sure he is unauthorized to take her out. She'll break down and cry and tell me the truth about her husband, but she will say she doesn't know why she called him. I cannot get psychotherapy approved on the trust fund. The nursing home has a psychiatrist visit, but he gives her ten minutes every other month. I will try again to get therapy approved, but what part of "I live in constant pain with a total inability to even care for my own most basic needs" can a therapist really help her with? I had her neurologist revisit her antidepressants yesterday and we will see what needs to be done, but he agrees there isn't much to do.
I expect she will be in and out of the hospital soon with pnuemonia and infections. As sad as that is, at least at that point, her husband will know he can't care for her at home. I don't know if she will live 6 months or 6 years like this.
Anyway, I had to write it out. Thanks for reading.
You're a good man; what I wouldn't give to have my brother show me a tiny bit of the care and love you have shown her. It's hard, I know, but keep on keepin' on.
OTWO, my heart is with you. I had to do similar care for my mother with both similar and different nightmares. It's heartbreaking. And it takes a toll on you.
Be sure to take good care of you and remember something my therapist told me on day one of therapy for anxiety. I'll apply this to your sister...she is on her own journey. The day she was conceived she was set on her own journey. No one guaranteed it would be an easy journey. No one but your sister can walk her journey. You can help ease her pain, but you cannot carry her on her journey.
My therapist told me this when I was coping with my grandson Mickey being taken from my care. She told me that if a parent is so afraid a child will get hurt that the parent never lets the child's fit touch the ground, the child will never learn to walk. She told me I had to let him walk his own journey. It's a simple thought, but it helped immensely in allowing me to distance myself enough from him emotionally, so that I would not be in such horrible, emotional pain. Now I am trying to do the same with my other grandson, who left after 7 years in my care.
What's really eating me is that IF her husband had allowed me to help years ago, she would still be at home and they could have had that money to do what they wanted with it and I would have an easier time just relieving him once a week or so. I understand that a person in pain and anguish like my sister is going to make bad decisions, but her lazy-ass husband has aggrevated the entire thing. As emotionally unstable as she is, he is worse.
I never stood in the way of him visiting, but they will re-write history to say that I did.
I cannot get that money from the trust fund, but they will believe I can.
As much good as I try to do, he will try to make her side against me to get power of attorney back. He is her husband who cared for her mostly well for twenty years. I can't overcome a power he has over her now because he's no longer able to care for her properly. I don't think I should interfere in him visiting, but I know that's the start of her trouble.
I think things are proper now so that she won't be removed from the nursing home, but I had to deal with him for years and have enjoyed the year without him in my life. She was in the hospital in December and she said not to call him. She could have died then, and I did as she asked. I don't feel good with that kind of decision either way.
I guess I am mainly venting. Thanks.
keep on keeping on too.
perhaps let her have her deceptions. My wife worked for a few years as an aged care worker and has nursed MS patients who were not 'old age'. In later stages she noted that some became almost like dementia patients.
It may not be unreasonable to wonder if she has delusions or irrational thoughs. Perhaps she may not remember things from a time before...
It does not excuse lies but maybe she isn't aware of everything she is doing? A quick google lists a range of cognitive changes in MS patients beside the more obvious physical ones.
I am not able to give advice on all that stuff but maybe you can check with her doctors or carers, they may be notice personality changes too.
but, all that aside, I take my hat off you you sir.