Ron, like Judy my interfering relative is my mom also. I know what this situation is like - OMG, do I ever. Short version? I had to ban my mom from my hospital room. Since she doesn't drive and has never learned to drive, this was easy, I instructed relatives who would have driven her not to. I called her on the phone and told her not to come to my hospital room, that I was in terrible shape and I needed quiet. And to recover in peace. I probably said she was making things much worse. This was all 10 years ago. Whatever I did, worked. My mom stayed away. Prior to this she practically lying prone in my hospital pet, pawing and petting my face, behaving as if I was at death's door. It was torture. And I mean torture!
Once I had her removed from my presence and hospital room, the problem went away.
It began again when I was discharged. Because her friends always helped their daughters or daughter-in-law recover from surgeries and/or delivering babies she wanted to move in with us for a week. I said NO over the phone, as emphatically as I could and lied thru my teeth that I had lots of help. This is probably why I managed so well back then - I knew what was 30 minutes away - a long-term visit from my mother! LOL Somehow I made it thru each day and managed an ostomy all at the same time. Of course my husband was a ton of help, I have to point that out. In a very quiet way. My husband could give lessons on how to be an excellent caregiver, let me just say that, he was superb. Never saying a word, but there if you needed help. I used to get irritated he couldn't read my mind but after a few days I loved him for his style - waiting to be asked to do something and then just quietly doing it (laundry, meals, errands, etc.).
Telling someone like this they need to change, won't do it. You just have to keep that person away during stressful times like this. I discovered that lesson the hard way.
And get this - my mom still, 10 years later, throws it up into my face how I "banned" her from my hospital room. I just smile and say - you made me ban you! It was the only way I could recover. She then points out that initially, 1 to 2 days post-op I wanted her in my room. I just stare when she says this - and of course chalk it up to being drugged out of my mind on Morphine! She hates when I say this but it must have been true. Once I came out of my drug induced stuper, I knew what had to be done - ban the mom!
I will never, ever, ever in a million years be like this with my husband, daughters, their families someday, other relatives. I simply ask these simple words - what can I do to help? Such simple words but they are golden words to the patient.
Help can be as easy as cutting someone's lawn while in the hospital or stocking the freezer before they are discharged.
Hang in there Bob.........your MIL and my mom must be long-lost sisters.....
- Rectal Cancer 4/29/99, Stage I, no treatment necessary
(5 hour colon resection: 90% sigmoid removed, 15 inches of colon removed, gall bladder removed, temporary colostomy, reversed 8 weeks later)
- Chronic IBS/D symptoms, multiple bm's, on low residue diet
- Takes Colace 50 mg each evening