Sunday, June 7, 2015

In which Primo goes to his mom and dad's again for another medical issue - the second trip in two months

Primo is at his mom and dad's again. His dad needs gall bladder surgery. I didn't think Primo had quit his job to spend his time flying back and forth to his parents' place. If they were going to consume his time, he could have kept the job and taken FLMA and kept his benefits.

I don't see how this ends well.

Day 1
It's really bad here. Messy and dirty. My mom had eaten almost nothing today and was tipsy. It appears that they eat only takeout and microwaveable foods other than simple stuff like sandwiches, English muffins, and eggs.
I mentioned that they need to look into Meals on Wheels, and my dad said they've been so busy with doctor's appointments, etc. that they don't have time.
The cats have some kind of skin problem (itching, patchy hair loss).
I'm cranky.
It seems that my mom has lost the will to take care of herself. She needs someone to take care of her, and this week my dad can't do it.


Day 2
  • Primo
    And there's going to be much more going on here. My mom is really not doing well. She does not have any acute condition right now, but she's just not taking care of herself.
    She doesn't eat enough.

  • Me
  • any luck in having serious conversations with them?

  • Primo
    I'm trying. I looked up Meals on Wheels. There is a monthly menu. Most days, they wouldn't eat what is offered. But they may use it occasionally.

  • Me
    what do you mean, they wouldn't eat what's offered?

  • Primo
    There is a lot of bland food like open-faced turkey sandwiches (on white bread, no doubt) with mashed potatoes and gravy.

  • Me
    they would rather have processed frozen food or get takeout?

  • Primo
    Probably.

  • Me
    I guess my opinion doesn't matter

    they eat what they eat

  • Primo
    A couple of days ago, my mom hardly ate at all. There was little food in the fridge when I arrived. My dad had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, but she didn't want that. She asked him to get some kind of sandwich from Arby's, and he didn't want to go out, so she didn't eat.

  • Me
    this is not a good situation

  • Primo
    They don't have the energy to prepare good food, but they want to be picky eaters.

  • Me
    i still think they should hire someone to come in a few times a week to shop and cook

  • Primo
    There would be about ten levels of resistance to that. I can't see it happening.

  • Me
    what are they going to do, then?

  • Primo
    They don't know anyone. They don't know anyone who knows anyone. [Their cleaning lady]won't refer anyone. What if they pick the wrong person? What if the food isn't good? They don't want to deal with someone coming here.

  • Me
    no, I mean what is their solution?

  • Primo
    They don't have a solution. They just try to get through each day.
    Their days are filled with doctor's appointments and tests. (Each of them has been to the clinic here to have blood drawn a couple of times during the last two months, my dad had his nuclear scan, my mom had her colonoscopy, etc.)

  • Me
    what a mess
    I am sorry, sweetie
    if they were in a retirement place, at least they could take the van to their appointments!

  • Primo
    And they'll need to find new doctors if they move to this place they're possibly going to consider.

  • Me
    well, they don't like their doctors now!
    This is really hard for you
    I am sorry you are having to deal with this
    You have tried so hard to avoid this
    to help them avoid this

  • Primo
    They can afford the place, I think.

  • Me
    yeah
    they can afford it
  • Primo
    Yes, this is hard for me. Your mom will not put you in such a mess, and you have a brother and a sister.

  • Me
    they are not going to live another 130 years
    no, my mom is very organized
    and is very concerned about not being a burden on others

  • Primo
    My parents don't want to be a burden, but they haven't made (and now probably can't make) enough of an effort to avoid being a burden.

  • Me
    yes, you are right
    my mom has made a lot of effort to make sure she is not a burden

  • Primo
    It is amazing that my dad manages to do what he does. He can hardly move.

  • Me
    and it is really unfair of them to burden you like this
    they are both highly intelligent people
    and I wish they had thought more about the impact of their inaction on you
    I know they love you
    but they have not really thought about you
    and what this means to you
    are they close to making a decision about that place?

  • Primo
    He is relaxed when sitting, but standing up and moving around requires a lot of effort; he breathes heavily whenever he is standing or walking.

  • Me
    I wish they would just hire some help

  • Primo
    No, they've only received the first level of financial information. They need to go and visit the place but haven't had enough of a break from health problems to do so.
    It is a couple of hours away.

  • Me
    oh sheesh
    so what is their plan?
    when are they going?

  • Primo
    They don't have a plan!
    Their "plan" is that they'll pursue it when they are well enough and have time.

  • Me
    oh
    well, that's a good plan
    it's worked for them so far
    you're going to be stuck with it, aren't you?
    I am sorry
    this is an awful, awful mess
    and this is not the reason you quit your job!
    If you were going to be spending all your time dealing with your parents, you could have kept your job and taken FLMA leave!

  • Primo
    They spend time each day reading the paper, doing crossword puzzles, reading political stuff online, etc. They look at planning for the future as work they don't want to do. (Just as I don't want to deal with the timeshare because I have to drive it. The girls aren't going to make it easy for me, even though their mom dumped it on me.)

  • Me
    I am sorry
    perhaps they need to know that dumping it all on you is not an option?
    that you will not fly in to save the day?

  • Primo
    They keep thinking that things will get easier after the current round of health problems.

  • Me
    well that is what history teaches us

  • Primo
    Or maybe they're not oblivious enough to actually think that but are just completely overwhelmed by day-to-day life and the health problems.

  • Me
    I don't want this to turn into a disaster
    that is, that you have to fly down there, find a place, and move them
    because they are no longer capable of doing anything

  • Primo
    They have reached the point where obtaining food, eating, dressing, bathing, feeding the cats, cleaning the cat box, and taking out the trash are all they can handle (even with help on the trash from Jack).

  • Primo
    For my mom, going anywhere is a struggle and she doesn't want to get ready to leave the house. I saw this in my grandma not long before she died. I was visiting my grandparents in late 1985, I think, and we went out to a restaurant. Any kind of outing was a struggle, and returning home was a huge relief to her.

  • Me
    they could audition some people
    pay them, of course
    but try some of the people on sitter city
    or maybe the council on the aged has recommendations?
    have someone prepare a meal
    pay them for a day of work - to shop and cook
    and if they like it, well, they hire the person!

  • Primo
    It's not very appealing to have strangers come into the house for that, so they'll avoid it.

  • Me
    then that is their choice
    but the solution is not for you to come
    that cannot be their fallback option

  • Primo
    I wish [their cleaning lady] could recommend someone. (Or would. I'm sure that she knows people, but she won't recommend anyone.)

  • Me
    but it sounds like the recommendation is not the issue
    it's that they don't want someone in their house

  • Primo
    I guess she does not want to be responsible for the results of any recommendations.

  • Primo
    You think in terms of laying out everything that needs to be done to be responsible (and to avoid burdening others) and just doing it.

  • Me
    yes
    isn't that the right way to do it?

  • Primo
    They think in terms of doing what must be done (i.e., according to externally-imposed requirements and deadlines).
    My mom has another issue: her good friends are dead. My dad mentioned that he has people he corresponds with, but she really doesn't any more.
    So I should just stay here if I'm all she has, right?

  • Me
    Your poor mom is so lonely
    I feel so bad for her
    Your dad is not always nice to her

  • Primo
    They went to the doctor's office. The doctor who did my mom's colonoscopy will be giving her the results, and my dad will be having his first procedure done by the same doctor tomorrow. He will be admitted to the hospital tomorrow and is expected home on Friday. This is why I had to be here: she can't get by for two days on her own.

  • Me
    I know
    but that is not a long-term solution
    unless you decide you don't want to be married to me any more
    could they ask [their cleaning lady] to come more often, do you think?

  • Primo
    He has postponed his knee replacements (which are apparently much easier to recover from than they used to be) because she can't get by on her own.
  • Primo
    I can talk to my mom about this while my dad is in the hospital, but she always says that he is more resistant to any change.

  • Me
    yes, that does not surprise me

  • Primo
    He'd rather take care of things himself, but that can mean not taking care of himself.

  • Me
    again, your dad cannot think that you are the solution

  • Primo
    Well, he is the solution (as he sees it), but there is no backup plan.
    And they don't look at Jack as someone who can be a backup plan.
    They see him as someone who can give a ride when it's needed or help them with the trash, but not someone who can be here for two days while my dad isn't here.

  • Me
    you cannot be the backup plan
    that is not why you quit your job!

  • Primo
    And he is part of the family but not my mom's son.
    I'm not close to Jack, as you know. I think he has been more of a liability than an asset.

  • Me
    I know. Jack has no responsibility to your mom
    except of course from the restaurant money side
  • Primo
    He caused my parents to waste hundreds of thousands of dollars. (They are also responsible, of course, but he should feel the need to try to make it up to them.)

4 comments:

  1. Sounds to me like Primo needs to take charge, one way or another. Get them moved in somewhere. This is not going to get better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh LPC - I wrote this months ago. You are so right. This does not get better. It is a complete disaster. I had no idea when I wrote this how bad it would get.

      Delete
  2. Long time lurker, time to say hi. Please keep letting us know how this shakes out. I'm in a similar boat over here (unfortunately it is both of our sets of parents). It feels impossible most days.

    I see from your comment above that this has only gotten worse. I'm sorry to hear that, the stress is a monster to deal with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Kait. I am sorry to hear this. It's hard enough with one set of parents - I cannot even imagine if my mom were sick, as well. (And not just because I would think she would deserve more attention because she is nicer than Sly and Doris!)

      Yeah, the stress is brutal. Primo has lost weight. (I have found it.) We fight a lot.

      Delete

Sorry about the new commenting requirements - I have been getting spammed like crazy.