Tuesday, February 08, 2011

On the verge

Trying something new here: writing when I'm in a bad place. What I want to do is to scream the f-word at the top of my lungs. Why? My parents.

First you need to know that I love my parents. A lot.

My dad has Alzheimer's, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gout, depression, osteoporosis, and weighs (I almost put the actual number) a lot. He's 81. He's a LOVELY human being. And he cares for my mom, My mom is bi-polar (stuck in the down part of the cycle for about a decade now) and doesn't leave the house.

(I'm so tempted to just ditch this and not write...it seems mean.) :(

So my dad does laundry and fixes meals and tells my mom when to get up. My mom goes from the bed to the table to her chair and back to bed. They watch tv. They nap a lot. And they are content. And they don't want anyone in their house except for me and my brother.

So I call him every morning to tell him to take his medicine, and every evening to tell him to take his medicine. And I go there once or twice a week to keep the meds up to date and to take him to the grocery store and pay bills (most are on auto-pay) and make sure all is well.

We're on the verge of this not working, though.

We've agreed that a weekly shower for my mom is a reasonable thing. And in the last 6 months, she's gotten clean about every 3 weeks. Yesterday was supposed to be shower day. But they weren't up for it. So now the clock is ticking.

My dad hasn't taken his meds in the last 4 nights, even though we've called him 3 of those 4 evenings to remind him. (We were at a movie and forgot one of the nights.)

They want to stay in their house. And they don't want any strangers involved. And this can't continue. And I just want to cry as I type this, out of frustration, anger, fear, and love.

When I write again, I'll probably write about handstands or about Girls on the Run or about the sunshine. At least that's what I hope I can write about. For today, though, this is what weighs heavy on my heart. Well, this and Austin's ankle. Heading to see an orthopedist in a few hours.


Colette said...

I feel your pain and frustration! I think it is time to get a third party involved. It may not be what they want, but it is what they NEED. Talk to your brother and find someone you both trust. It's for your parents safety and their health. Maybe for the first few times, when the nurse goes there, you or your brother could be there too, so it's not as uncomfortable. I know this is such a hard thing to do, but I think deep down you know it's the right thing.


Eileen said...

Oy. I have been there, to some degree, but only with one parent. It was awful...all the worrying about did me in. My mom was also totally ok with a totally not ok living situation. It was heartbreaking to watch. I could not convince her to move to an assisted living place, but she eventually fell and though not injured badly, it was enough and I simply did not ever bring her back to her home. But you cannot just wait for that to happen...

Have you contacted your local Council on Aging? Maybe they have some resources to help you. Also -- their doctors may have some guidance to share.

My heart goes out to you Leslie. This really is a tough situation...and one that so many are facing, and will continue to face, as our population ages. Surely someone out there has some answers, huh?!?

Brit-Man said...

You missed one night, it happened, you're human and have a life too.

Ultimately you need to do what is best for you and them. Only you can really know what that is, but whatever that choice is and whenever you feel you need to make it, don't be afraid of it, just do it and GOOD LUCK.

:-) :-).


Diana said...

Not only have I been in this place, but I see it every day at work. The strain, both mentally and physically this situation can put on a person is incredible. We have to come to a point where we finally say to ourselves that we "just can't do this alone anymore" and be okay with it. You obviously deeply love your parents and I'm sure they know that. It is time to let someone in and give you a helping hand. I agree with Eileen in regards to calling local services-there's help out. Saying you think you need to get some is half the battle. All works out in the long run.....thoughts are with you and your family during this rough time.