Sunday, October 18, 2015

In which God dies and makes Ted The Boss

You guys, we are so tired.

Primo left this morning for Florida again. (Nope. Don't care if Sly finds this blog. Didn't want Doris to find it because it would have hurt her and that would have been mean, even if she was not the nicest person in the world. But Sly. No quarter.)

He was home for only a few days. In that time, he did a ton of work around the house, although the garage and the window trim are still not being painted and the stove and the microwave are not being replaced. Those were going to be his summer projects, but now, Sly is his summer project.

I would like Sly to put Primo on the payroll, at least.

We woke up at 6:30 this morning with the intention of leaving for the airport at 8. At 7:40, Primo still had not taken a shower, which made me anxious. I had to remind myself that I DO NOT CARE IF PRIMO GETS ON THE PLANE. If he misses his flight, oh well. Then he comes home.

So deep breath. Exhale. Relax.

Except right before we left for the airport, Ted emailed. I will not copy the entire email because Ted is all blah blah blah and takes ten words to say what normal people say in one.

A summary:

Jack and I decided that all these hard things need to be done for dad, like tearing out the carpet in the house and smoothing all the rough spots on the floor, and we want you to do it. And make dad stop drinking and make him lose thirty pounds.

But you have to see these words - this is what he actually wrote (part of it - a very small part):

My top-line observations, a few conclusions, and action items for you two: 1. Obesity is his greatest obstacle. All else devolves from that in terms of his well being for the remainder of his days. Meds and surgery have ameliorated his cardiac, joint, and gastro issues. He's not going to like to hear that absent a duodenum, one shouldn't drink alcohol. The goal of living in this house again is positive and potentially realistic--if he progresses optimally.  2. Need to translate his verbal determination into rehab performance milestones.

1. He assigned action items for Primo. Because Ted is the boss and Primo is the flunky. And wants milestones for Sly.

2. He says it is "realistic" for Sly to live in the house again - and then goes on to say, "If he comes back to this house, it must be retrofitted for an almost immobile person and skilled nursing."

Primo asked for clarification about the apparently contradictory statements.

Your most surprising statements were these:
  • "The goal of living in this house again is positive and potentially realistic--if he progresses optimally."
  • "If he comes back to this house, it must be retrofitted for an almost immobile person and skilled nursing."
You and Jack felt very strongly last week that Dad should never go back to the house to live. Have you two discussed this and come to a joint conclusion that is different from what we talked about last week, or are these thoughts yours alone? It is hard for me to see how he can live there by himself without some serious retrofitting and without significant home care -- i.e., some help with cooking, cleaning, etc. daily or at least multiple times per week. I was prepared to investigate a transition to assisted living ASAP. Extensively retrofitting the house -- e.g., removing the bedroom carpet (which. of course, requires completely clearing the room) and removing all bumps on the floor -- for a very short-term stay does not seem worthwhile, and his return to live there as a long-term (or even medium-term) arrangement seems unwise to me. My thinking during the past several days has been that we'd focus on getting Dad into an assisted living facility and then work on getting the house ready to sell.
Ted answered,

Yeah Primo we're on the same page. However he is very determined to get back into that house and the carpet is going to have to come out sometime anyway Jack and I have discussed all this this morning on the way to the airport with a good half hour with dad and the house does week of cat urine it is a factor believe me alright I know you'll do the right thing & make the right choices

Ted delegates. "I know you'll do the right thing and make the right choices."

As in, Ted decides, Primo implements.

UPDATE: There is a letter in the Washington Post today about dealing with an alcoholic, widowed father, which made me think of the emails Ted sent to Primo. I decided we needed more detail. Here is more of the email from Ted, edited so it is not incomprehensible:

> 3. Less linear directives here: ... Safe still locked out; security should open with Primo present. Only wallet inside. I'll leave MacBook Air manana. Cross-talk is key. By that I mean one of us telling the different disciplines of health care providers his story repeatedly. As a master of repetition, I have slain that dragon multiple times the past 3 days. May need to rinse and repeat when necessary. 

[Sly's lawyer] will contact Primo but frankly get on him. Said that Dad should "revisit the trust language from 2005 with Primo." 

Dad working on Doris' obit and thinks June 21 service works at funeral home. Understands that it's Father's Day. He MUST drink more water. 

I garbaged all of Doris' meds on her dresser and confirmed with him. No flushing away. 

House reeks of cat urine and his bedroom carpet should be stripped and discarded asap; also the LR carpet. The slightest bump on the floor could result in broken limbs and catastrophe (pun intended). If he comes back to this house, it must be retrofitted for an almost immobile person and skilled nursing. De-cluttering is of course a process but to date, for fully understandable reasons, only nibbling around the edges has occurred. ... Crucial to improve circulation, which, with water, will rid his body of toxins and adipose tissue. 


  1. I realize this isn't in real-time, but fuck Ted and his sanctimonious high horse.

    1. Lauren, I like the way you think.

    2. @Lauren- agreed- totally. If I was Primo (which Ted is lucky I'm not) I would have fired off an email (or call) so fast about expecting Ted and the other brother to taking equal responsibility in any new ventures they deem appropriate made into the house. blood is boiling from that, but that kind of behavior can set me over the edge. Especially when you know you've been the sole care-giver while others critique.
      I'm secretly hoping in future bogs we read how one day Primo goes ape-shit on a sibling and I really hope there is visuals...OH or a video!

    3. Anon, I really want to write that post about Primo telling Ted to go to hell!

  2. I believe he used "devolve" incorrectly, to boot.

  3. My #1 action item for Ted is unprintable.

    1. Please put it out in the universe, Emma. Ted continues to be a jerk and is getting even worse. We have to stop him.

  4. Wow. Makes me so glad that my in-laws had long term care insurance which paid for the 24 hr in home care she needed. Although she was mobile so that helped.

    1. My mom has long-term care insurance, too. She also already has the paperwork ready for me to have her financial POA and my sister to have her healthcare POA when the time comes. My mother has her act together. Quite unlike some people I know SLY.


  5. I cannot believe it, yet I know I must.
    Pompous jerk/s.

  6. Primo has the patience of a saint. I'd set rules in my email so that Ted's just went straight to the trash and I'd ignore his phone calls. I ended up blocking my half sister's number as she was being such a PITA after our mother died. She still isn't talking to me but I consider that a bonus :-)

    1. Scarlett, me, too! I keep trying to convince Primo to do that. I read your comment to him and told him that you were still alive to tell the tale and that your life has improved, but I have not convinced him yet. I think he thinks this is normal. Or, rather, functional. Might be normal. Is not right.

  7. I am hoping so hard that Primo did not get bulldozed into remodelling the house. If Ted wanted it, he should feel free to do it himself.

  8. It is probably FARRRRRR too late in your real-time lives for this, but my grandparents back-and-forth wobbled forever over modifying their home or going into assisted living until it was way too late to even attempt to modify their home because they needed care, right now, immediately, no further delays.

    Okay, they agreed to go to assisted living. And then we went to talk to them about which one and how to make it happen, and so on.

    Grampa started talking again about modifying their home and my father stood up and said "I am here to talk about assisted living and how we make that happen and nothing else. If we're not going to talk about that, I'm leaving."

    Grampa piped down. They were not nearly as happy as they would have been in their last years as they would have been if they had really made all those choices themselves with full commitment. But it did stop the cycle of us over-overextending ourselves trying to help them with their lives. And really - they were all out of options. Even with live-in care. Which they had no room for in their small inaccessible home.

    So if any variation of this comes up again, Primo tells Ted and Jack "We have agreed on this course of action. I will not talk about doing anything other than this course of action. If you don't want to do this then figure it out yourselves, but leave me out of it." (Variations on a theme that did get repeated for my grandparents from time to time when they wanted to go buy an apt closer back to where they used to live, but further than we could get to easily, etc.)

    Anonymous Cat

    1. Anon Cat, a friend of mine had to find assisted living for her mother in one day. Her dad, who was her mom's caregiver, died while the mom was in the hospital. Hospital discharged mom and my friend had to put her mom not in a nice place but in the only place that had room.

      Your dad did it right. Your grandparents did not.

  9. I hope, I hope, I hope Primo goes to live with Ted and y'all block both their phone numbers and changed your email address. I love my family and how well we work together!

    1. I am assuming you mean Sly goes to live with Ted! Yes, that would be the perfect solution!


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