Mar 23, 2009
I'm not looking for answers or sympathy right now. I'm just needing a quiet place to put my raging thoughts, maybe put them in perspective. I find I'm getting tired of talking and thinking about my goofy life and I'm sure my friends are tired of hearing about it as well.
No way to explain everything without writing a novel and that's not the point. I just need to see things in print, get it out of my brain.
The past 2+ years have been overwhelming. My Dad was told he had end stage heart failure and had a few weeks to months to live (Nov. 2006). So he was on hospice care, we were on edge wondering if he would survive the holidays. He stabilized and continued to live although was very weak and sick. They took him off hospice care.
My Mom, who has always been critical and negative, became even more so. I tried to see it as fear or denial but her behavior bordered on cruelty at times. My husband and I would go over every week to give them a break from each other, a little peace for my Dad while I take my Mom out to get her away from him. And that's the way it went till he died last August from cancer.
Through all this I've had my own little fun and games with my stupid heart, surgery for a large ovarian cyst, friends being ill and dying and my trip to ER recently with abdominal pain and fever.
To say I'm tired may be a bit of an understatement. Since my Dad died we've been there for my Mom daily at first, then a few times a week and now down to twice a week with daily phone calls. Since I'm an only child, all the funeral details and paperwork has been left up to me. I couldn't have done it without my husband. My folks didn't like each other and hid so many things from each other. That made finances and insurance affairs a real treasure hunt. But we finally got her things in order, simplified and everything working for her so she won't have any money problems.
What's getting to me now is still her anger and negativity. She still bad mouths my Dad, tells me what a terrible person he was, that I never really knew him and how mean he was. Well, maybe he did get nasty at times. But I know for a fact she has a sharp tongue and isn't afraid to use it. The other week we went out to lunch and a sweet little boy held open the door for us. He was about 7 years old. She walked in, we followed, told him thank you and then he and his Mom came in. My Mom got real snotty and said she didn't want to sit near any bratty little kid, they're too noisy. The whole day was going along like that. At one point I leaned over to my husband and whispered "Kill me now!" LOL
One last thing: last night she called us around midnight, said she couldn't breathe, her chest hurt and she thought she was going to die. She just wanted to let us know so if we found her dead on the floor, we wouldn't be surprised. Gosh, thanks. She's done this before and there have been too many times of drama for me to get shaken up. So I talked to her, gave some suggestions, called her every 10 minutes. Finally she just wasn't going to calm down. So we got dressed and drove over to her place (30 mins. from us). We spent the night there. She did calm down of course. This morning she was ready to go get her hair done as scheduled and then go out to lunch. That was our plan for today. And that's what we did.
It's a tough line I'm walking between being sensitive to her loneliness and fears but keeping my boundaries up and keeping my sanity. She has done so many odd things over the years to get attention. It's sad really. But it's a huge responsibility to try to decide what's real with her health and what's just attention grabbing. I have to go by what I can see and measure. Last night I checked her: BP was fine, pulse and temp fine, lungs and heart sounded perfect. I chose to sit it out. Then I think, "What if there was something really wrong?" I've done the trip to ER with her before. As soon as she gets settled in the bed, she's all chatty and laughing. But then we're stuck there for hours as they have to run the tests.
OK, so much for not writing a novel. Perhaps now that I've started this rant, I can just add things on the very bad days to cleanse my mind and emotions. I can't stand to talk or think about this too much or I get even more stressed. I just figured this is a neutral place to throw up.
And for those that wonder why she doesn't socialize more, we've tried to get her involved with people so many times but she just won't go for it. She'll go to her church. . . . if we take her. She'll visit with someone she knows. . . if we're there. But she won't take any initiative on her own. Again, I'm walking that fine line between taking care of an elderly woman (she's 80) and being used or an enabler. Aaaaggghh.
Theoretically, I should feel better now. Maybe a little. Perhaps a piece of chocolate will finish the job. Yep, laugh or cry - those are my options.