My Mom Eats Raw Chicken. Quit Complaining About Your Life.

Keeping mom at home is becoming increasingly difficult and stressful. I’ve found a home that I think will be a good fit — as good as they get. It has a solid reputation both locally and nationally. Still, it’s a home. Or more accurately, a floor. A floor filled with people who sit in wheelchairs or limp slowly around.

I’m not sure if mom has gotten worse or if my dad has simply reached a point where he realizes he cannot do this for another 5 years. Physically, she’s in good health. I don’t blame him. In fact, I’ve been pushing him to start thinking about placement again.

He goes back and forth. I can do this for another year. I don’t think I can do this. I want her to spend Christmas here in her home. Good days, bad days.

Mom requires constant care, especially when it comes to food. Dad has to chain up the refrigerator. I’ve heard of other caregivers doing this. I remember one girl from my support group in New York telling us a story about how her dad drank an entire bottle of olive oil. I think I laughed at the time. My mom did something similar, except her drink of choice was maple syrup. I didn’t laugh at that. Of course, maple syrup turned out to be a minor infraction. Dad said she tried to eat raw chicken… she was hungry, she went to the fridge, she took out food. Dad stopped her. She put up a fight. She wanted to eat. She’s strong.

If dementia doesn’t kill my mother, salmonella will.

This is my life. This is our life……………………………………………….

…………………………………….which explains why I get so incredibly bent out of shape when people complain, yet do nothing about their lot in life. I know a small handful of people who complain about their job. Constantly. I was one of those people, but I left. I got off my butt and did something. I find myself wanting to slam their heads against a wall in an attempt to remind them that they still have their minds……………… free will, choice….. it’s a gift, so do something. Quit complaining. Stop threatening to quit and take up a job at Starbucks… if you’re that miserable, do it. Work at Starbucks. I could use a discount. I want to remind these people that my mother’s life is over. She has no free will. Her daughter and husband are talking about institutionalizing her — right in front of her. She can’t understand us. She doesn’t connect the dots. She sits there with her hot water bottle starring into nothing. My mother’s mind is gone. Yours is fully intact. Mostly.

I know people who complain ad nauseum about their lover/spouse. I don’t understand how you can stay with someone who makes you so miserable — and who, if you become seriously ill, will be your primary caregiver. Do you want this person to change your diaper? Think about that. You get one year to hate your mate, then you should do something. Do something. Own your life. Seize it.

Life is short. Life is not always easy. It could be worse (and it could be a lot better aka Kate Middleton).

I know this sounds rather sanctimonious, but I don’t care. I don’t care. I’m sick of it. Sick of listening to people moan and complain about circumstance they can change — or at least try to change. You can try to change course. Try.

Don’t be that Eminem/Rhianna song.

My mother can’t even try.

Everyday is Groundhog’s Day for my mother and my father.

I didn’t create my current drama. Sometimes I feel sorry for myself and dwell on what I don’t have. But unlike a job or a spouse, I can’t get another mother. So when you feel sorry for yourself, why not spend a day with my mom…. you’ll quickly get a grip.

Life’s not that bad, and Starbucks offers its employees health insurance.

>>Flickr pic by I Believe I Can Fry


  1. SO well put. When I hear my sister complain about helping my parents who are in a facility, it makes my skin crawl. “You are 5 miles away!” I want to yell. “What are you complaining about. Your life is good. Theirs is nearing its end.”

  2. You are me..I am you. No one understands. My mother would rather have lost her arms and her legs then her brain. I would rather wheel her around,feed her, dress her do anything ANYTHING she asks if only she could tell me what day it was, or tell me what she ate for breakfast 5 minutes ago. Like the old homage goes,” you don’t realize what you had until it is gone”. She was a genius. Now she is like my little girl. I don’t want her to be my little girl, I want to be hers..even though I am almost fifty..I miss my mom..

  3. I feel for you and your family. I have been there. It sickens me to think that there are millions out there suffering and many don’t have “true” caregivers. It sounds like your Mom “needs” to be placed. It also sounds like your Dad “needs” to have his wife placed. If you found a great facility, do it. It is not an easy decision. As long as you both keep a watchful eye in her care, she will be fine and perhaps better off. What may help is asking yourself, if the roles were reversed, would you tell your loved one to place you? You both did the time… the very best. May your journey get simpler. Be well.

  4. Wow you hit the nail on the head!! My Mom has FTD too and we found her munching on a raw onion the other day. Yum! This is totally how I feel some days and have found I’m increasingly disdain towards selfish people with superficial problems. I am learning a lot about life through this for sure!

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