Parental Woes in shiny things

  • Feb. 28, 2019, 9:51 p.m.
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It’s been a very stressful winter as far as our parents are concerned. Mine, Baker B’s, and Kim’s. Baker B’s mom fell for the twenty-zillionth time in mid-January, thought she was okay and wouldn’t go to the emergency room to get thoroughly checked out (she pressed her lifeline and the rescue people came), then suddenly she couldn’t get up a few days later, and long story short, after being taken to the hospital twice in a few days and being released the same day both times despite being almost 98 and having fractured her tailbone when she fell, as it turns out – and being taken back home in the ambulance both times because she was so weak and frail she couldn’t be taken by car; which you would THINK would warrant them, oh, admitting her to the hospital but of course not because we’re in America and our health care system is absolute shit-FINALLY between Baker B, his brother, and his sister-in-law, they got her admitted to a nursing home for rehab. Which she had to completely pay for since Medicare will only pay if you’ve spent three nights in the hospital prior to being sent to the nursing home. As she should have done.

But anyhow, she got in the nursing home in late January, and is still there. The jury is out on what will happen next, but she is still not in any shape to be released. Last summer when she was in the nursing home after falling, I said there was no way she could go back home without full time care. She went back home without full time care. I think this time everyone is in agreement that she HAS to have full time care if she goes home - “everyone” as in the family; nobody has had the nerve to broach the subject with her yet and she is determined to go back home. Last time she actually was a lot stronger after her rehab stent, but this time I don’t think that’s going to happen. She just got moved to a more permanent room that’s larger and on a quieter floor, but we’ll see what happens, I guess. Baker B’s brother and SIL, who live in Baltimore, have not been down here since she fell due to health problems of their own - his brother just turned EIGHTY - but I think the plan is to wait until they are able to come down in a few weeks and then assess the situation. SO, it’s very sad and upsetting. I actually dreamed last night I was rushing through a building on the way to do… something… and passed by her, and she was screeching at me to get back there and help her. I yelled that I would be right back, and kept going, as I wondered how I could avoid her on my return trip. She really IS quite a demanding princess, so that’s not a very far-fetched dream.

While all this was going on initially, at the end of January, I got a call from my brother just as I was leaving for work, telling me my dad had fallen, was unconscious, and they were en route to the hospital (in a bit of extreme good fortune, my SIL was with him when he fell - they were going to a doctor’s appointment). When they called back a bit later, he was conscious, but they had determined he’d had a stroke. This actually was not nearly as bad as it sounded at the time- they took him to the regular hospital which has an excellent stroke center, instead of the VA where he generally goes, and they were able to give him the stroke-fighting medicine very quickly so it didn’t do much damage at all. BUT he also had the flu. And then he got bronchitis. And a UTI. He spent a few days at the hospital, and then got moved to the Veteran’s Home for rehab, and is still there. He’s been so weak he can’t get up without help, so he will be there for quite some time. I’m afraid there’s a chance he might not get to go home either, although if he does improve to the point of being able to get around the house and get dressed etc by himself, he could probably get by with home health care coming by every day. He JUST got over his last UTI, which landed him in the Veteran’s Home for a month during the fall. He’d only gotten to where he could drive again a month or so before this happened. Oh, yeah, and he’s 91.

SO, trauma and stress all around! OH and Kim’s mom (92!!!) fell right before Baker B’s mom fell - she managed to break four ribs!!! And she was in rehab too, although she did really well and is back home again. Expecting Kim and her sister to do everything for her instead of getting home health care. Actually, I think she FINALLY has agreed to home health care a few days a week after this last fall - prior to this she refused. Or, more accurately, she would agree, and then they would happily set it up, and she’d call and cancel it. Because why would she get home health care when Kim can kill herself working full time then going to her mom’s, who lives half an hour from her, and doing all HER stuff, including cooking meals?? Kim’s sister lives right beside their mom, but has boundaries. And that sounds awful, but their mom has needed to either move into assisted living or get home health care for YEARS, but she refuses to do it, and has fallen a zillion times and she knows Kim has problems with boundaries. Kim’s mom is a demanding princess too, just like Baker B’s mom!

We’ve all three agreed that we’re not going to be like this when we are ancient!! We’re going to admit it when we’re at the point of not being able to get by on our own!! Well, none of us have kids to run into the ground. We’re going to have to move in together when we can’t live on our own anymore. And of course that’s going to be a million years away, so no point in even thinking about it! Except our parents are going to be the death of us all.

And look, it’s time to go home! Maybe I can make this a habit – HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Last updated March 01, 2019

noko March 01, 2019 (edited March 01, 2019)


Gosh. That is a lot to deal with! And in the winter too. So glad your dad was able to get treatment for the stroke right away...but you all must be so preoccupied and annoyed and feeling bad about being annoyed and...Yeah. I am going to need to move into some sort of co-housing when I am like 80 before it all gets bad. I am trying hard to savor my independence now. 80 is only 15 years away! That is just wild about Baker B's brother being 80 himself.

edna million noko ⋅ March 01, 2019

It’s beyond bizarre that Baker B’s brother is 80- he’s 20 years older, and Mark’s sister was 19 years older, as are a number of his cousins- clearly he was quite the little surprise! - but it’s never seemed like they were THAT much older than we are. It’s shocking to realize they are getting to the point someone should be looking out for them, after all these years of excellent health.

And I am SO annoyed, and feel absolutely horrible about being so annoyed! I keep reminding myself that it’s really not all about me and how much I hate my free time being impinged on and how it’s WAY worse for them and I need to stop being such a princess....

Kim and I are constantly saying we have to do things NOW, not put them off, enjoy everything while we can!! She’s recently moved into a job at the VA that involves visits to nursing homes that have veterans, so she’s seeing it from every side.

Marg March 01, 2019

Oh wow you 3 have been through the mill lately - that's a lot to be dealing with! So glad your Dad got the stroke care quickly especially when he had so much else going on at the time.
And man do your families live long lives!! I'm gobsmacked that my brothers are in their seventies and starting the serious health problems now - you just expect everyone around you to live forever!
It scared me when I got so ill last year because I got a taste of what life might be like at that age when you can't manage on your own anymore and having seen what mum went through, no way do I want to have to endure that so I kind of see where all the parents are coming from but it's also not fair to put the burden on their kids either. So I don't know what the answer is. It's just a horrible problem all round!

edna million Marg ⋅ March 01, 2019

It is a horrible problem- I can't stand the thought of ending up somewhere like that myself, but it could be there's no option. Which of course makes me all panic stricken thinking of what could be down the road!! And I feel terrible about both the parents, and hope we can end up with a better solution that what they have now. The Veteran's Home is actually very nice, and seems more like a hotel than a nursing home - everyone has their own room- but it isn't home. I'm hoping my dad will at least rally enough to be able to live at home again with a little help. My poor MIL will be harder, so it's going to be a rough choice. And is really going to be her choice since her mind is amazingly good for her age.

Marg edna million ⋅ March 01, 2019

That's really tough - don't envy you the day when you have to have that discussion with her!

Sabrina-Belle March 01, 2019

You have had a lot to cope with lately. Care of the elderly can be such a problem. My own mum spent her last year in a care home and I always felt guilty about it but I couldn't have coped with her as I had 2 young children and live in a small cottage with no downstairs toilet. It was a very good home though and she had friends who called to take her out.
It's good that your dad got the stroke medicine so quickly.

edna million Sabrina-Belle ⋅ March 01, 2019

My aunt was in a nursing home for a year and a half, and we all felt awful but there wasn't any other solution. She also had a lot of friends who visited and took her places, which really helps. It certainly makes you think about/dread what's down the road!

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