Thursday, June 11, 2015

In which I learn to temper my responses because sometimes the truth is not a good idea

Primo: So my dad may have this new kind of knee replacement where they can do both knees at once and he would be walking again in two days.

What I wanted to say: How can your parents, as committed socialists who are old and in poor health, justify using scarce medical resources? Is health care rationing just for other people?

What I said: Well that would be good. They wouldn't need that much help post surgery.

Primo: I keep asking my mom to stop drinking but she won't.

What I wanted to say: If you lived with your dad, wouldn't you drink, too?

What I said: I'm sorry. That has to be really hard for you.

Primo: They are actually considering getting someone to live in.

What I wanted to say: Yeah. I've only been suggesting that for five years now.

What I said: That would be a great solution to their problem. I hope they find someone.

Primo: Stephanie called. My mom and dad have nothing nice to say about her. They say she is not helpful at all.

What I wanted to say and what I did say: What reason did they ever give her when they still had a legal family relationship with her for her to be loving, loyal, and nice to them? They have been nothing but mean about her and to her.


  1. The Cosmic AvengerWednesday, June 17, 2015

    About the live-in help, good luck finding someone who will put up with Primo. And if they do, they'll probably steal from them, just like abused, low-wage office workers steal office supplies to feel better about their situation. I'm worried about this with my dad, who is better with me than Primo is with Sly, but mostly because 1) I'm an only child, and 2) I've told him that if he speaks that way to myself or my family that he would not be able to speak to us at all.

    1. I expect you mean someone to put up with Sly! My sister had the same observation. "In assisted living, it's harder for them to quit," she said.

    2. The Cosmic AvengerWednesday, June 17, 2015

      Sorry, of course I meant Sly! And I almost did it again in this comment because I'm Skyping into a meeting (but my part is pretty much over so I can half-listen)!

      Really, Primo needs to say he will come once every X months, unless they let him also start making arrangements for assisted living or in-home care. And I think he's unlikely to do that, at least until he gets a little more fed up. It sounds like he's getting there, but not quite there yet. I've been putting my foot down with my dad for a while, and to be honest it is hard, but not as hard as enabling or watching them self-destruct. It does take some initiative, and like Sly and Doris, sometimes caregivers can let inertia take over and feel like they only have the energy to maintain the status quo. I've got a tween daughter, so taking time to see my dad and take care of his issues is really emotionally draining for me.


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