We had hoped for a family afternoon Sunday outside with a magnificent 70 degree sunny day. Patti, however, was in a dark mood and things just didn’t work out that way.
When we arrived, though Patti was oblivious, it was apparent she had a bowel accident. The nearly 40 minutes it took to single handedly get a non-ambulatory person undressed, showered, and redressed was physically challenging enough without the constant stream of verbal abuse. In recent years these outbursts of abusive behavior have increased. I’m told it’s linked to MS related, dementia-like damage to emotional control aspects of frontal lobe. However, when I’m the recipient medical 'reasons' don't make it easier to put up with.
To me, yes people can get upset and angry but no they cannot get upset and angry with the people who are trying to help them. If you start trying to rationalize reasons why someone is behaving that way besides that they are wrong you risk crossing the line into what psychobabble calls codependency.
As a parent I’ve always had an easy cut off point as soon as Patti begins to verbally begin to rage against Megan. After verbal assault against Megan while she tried to help her Mother with her shirt it was time to leave Patti alone with her own dark mood. Fortunately in a 24/7 care facility you can walk away when pushed to your limit, in homecare your only option was to leave Patti unattened and at risk.
While Patti’s MS related memory problems will erase the incident that is NOT the case for the rest of us. And I haven’t a clue how it all effects intangibles like mother daughter bonding. Yet it's nothing new and I'm sure it won't be the last. It's living with MS in our family. It's choice, it's chance.