Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Any of you graying ILXors dealing with this? I am the sibling living closest to my 87 year old mother so I spend part of almost every day running errands with or for her and also taking her to doctor appointments. I have to keep track of all her medical issues because she can't remember anything. Not Alzheimer's—just severe short-term memory losses. My sister and I convinced her not to drive, which she resents mightily on account of being in complete denial about all her aging issues (Hearing loss, poor vision, the memory thing, heart condition, late-onset asthma). I'd love to play along with the "I'm fine" delusion, but not if it means letting her drive! I would have to live with the guilt if she hurt someone!
She also insists that she is capable of traveling alone on a bus, and believe me, she is not! I have been to the ER with her too many times for one reason or another. No way am I sending her off on a bus! When she goes to visit relatives we line up a driver, or drive her ourselves.
The whole thing has me mildly depressed.

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Monday, 21 August 2006 17:44 (seventeen years ago) link

Any of you graying ILXors dealing with this?

It's a ways yet for me -- my folks are in their sixties and in good health still. But my dad is starting to slow down a touch -- kinda good that he's retired, officially -- and more than once I've wondered a bit about what the not-so-far-away-now future will mean.

Certainly I salute your patience with this all -- I'm not sure how I would react.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Monday, 21 August 2006 17:52 (seventeen years ago) link

But I'm not patient at all! That's the problem. It's hard to convince myself that her behavior isn't deliberate cussedness, because she has a cussed streak! But her brain is obviously changing.

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Monday, 21 August 2006 17:56 (seventeen years ago) link

Had to deal with this with my mother in law some, recently. Gave me a preview of how it might be with my own parents, and it was absolutely fucking exhausting. She's not intentionally cussed, but stubborn nonetheless.

The patience is key, but it's really hard to keep it up. Can other siblings/capable family members come to visit to spell you for a bit?

patita (patita), Monday, 21 August 2006 18:43 (seventeen years ago) link

Any of you graying ILXors dealing with this?

If by 'graying', you mean 'balding', then yes, to some extent I am such a one.

At the moment the brunt of the responsibility has fallen to an older sister who lives much closer to my 81 year old mother than myself or my other siblings. She takes on the 'dutiful child' role, while the rest of us come in and put in a burst of assistance whenever the tide of troubles rises above a certain level, so my sister doesn't burn out.

My father died two years ago. During his last year and during the year immediately following his death, I drove the 75 mile round trip to see the two of them (later, just my mother) very often. There was so much that needed tending to.

My father, too, suffered from severe short term memory loss toward the end of his life, reducing him to a small shadow of the man he had been - because he became literally unable to encompass any activity that could not be completed within the two minutes or so that he was able to form and hold a single thought. He, too, was inclined to minimize or dismiss the severity of his problems. I finally realized that he understood very well the extent of his diminished capacity, but facing it was too great a threat to his sense of worth and happiness. Denial was how he held depression at bay.

Now that he has passed on, my mother has grasped the nettle of losing her companion and mainstay of 57 years with surprising firmness. I spent 8 months visiting her almost weekly during that transition. It helped a lot, I think, to have family members to talk to and grieve with, and help her form plans and carry them out.

I wish both you and your mother the best, but, as you no doubt know in your bones, even the best possible outcomes available to you and her are still damned difficult to embrace. The cost of love can be pretty steep sometimes, and the bills fall due with increasing frequency at this time. Good luck.

Aimless (Aimless), Monday, 21 August 2006 19:10 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm dealing with this with my grandparents and (sooner or later) my parents.

I just moved all of my (paternal) grandfather's stuff in with his, uh, 'friend' because he couldn't afford his truck payment and townhome rent and medicines and everything else at once. And since he's still part of the family cosntruction business I spend much of my day ensuring that he isn't overworking (or just screwing things up - he gets frustrated easily that his muscles and joints don't work like they used to).

My grandmother (maternal) has Alzheimer's (early-mid stage), and drove me kind of nuts before it was full-blown. Neither of my uncles, none of my ten cousins and my brother don't do shit. Anything not handled by my parents falls directly to me. The extent of the agonies here (some her fault, some not, mostly involving my useless uncles and their brood) is too long to list.

With both I'm always on-call to fix something or help out or figure out why the TV isn't working or why this bill didn't get paid. I can't say no, even when I want to, and the occasional feeling of being put-upon hasn't helped my relationship with my grandmother. (And, theoretically, I'd like to move north when my finances are sorted and my degree is finished - but I can't knowing that I'd leave anyone in the lurch.)

Only 20 years 'til my parents are in their late-70s...

milo z (mlp), Monday, 21 August 2006 19:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes, although my particular issues are different. My father has had one major stroke and probably innumerable little ones. The first one forced him to retire. Although, in the grand scale of things, he recovered, he definitely has problems remembering things (e.g., the Rolling Stones came out as "the one with the lips" after about five minutes) and isn't too steady on his feet. He's been in three car accidents in the last two years -- not hurt, but totalled two cars. A certain degree of bad luck, but the end result of it all is that he doesn't really leave the house, so he mostly just lays on the couch, watches television, and is grumpy and depressed. Thankfully, my mother's in pretty good health. But none of us really have any idea how to deal with the situation, and it falls to me to say "no" and/or make any "unpleasant" decisions. Meanwhile the two of them of managed to complete bungle their finances: they are possibly the only household in America who have managed avoid ANY capital appreciation on their real estate over the last 20 years (although they have done a wonderful job accumulating credit card debt). Sigh. I am already worried enough about my own finances, but it has now become apparent that I am unlikely to ever own my own home, as any extra money I have will be needed to keep them afloat.

i'll mitya halfway (mitya), Monday, 21 August 2006 20:17 (seventeen years ago) link

My parents are both in their late 50s, so not really aging as such, though my mother has a sort of rare foot problem, which affects nerve endings in her feet, and the implications of this and the way she has dealt with it thus far have caused considerable strain in the family.

It's a tricky situation as for whatever reason, mostly a weird sort of shame or embarassment, she is loathe to talk about her problems with my Dad or myself, or anyone really, my sister whom she is very close to can sometimes get a little discussion about it.

It's terrible because she grieves for her feet as things worsen, quite slowly, though the condition may one day lead to her being in a wheelchair. She grieves yet she never seems to get past the denial stage, she can't accept or discuss the problem.

So she will often cry kind of uncontrollably, it's awful to hear, but worse is that she won't allow you to help or even talk, my Dad sometimes just says to me "I have no idea what to do", which is also quite weird, it all feels kind of dysfunctional.

So I relate to the "denial" thing you mention Beth, my mother is much younger and this is a problem. I can only imagine what she'd think if she knew I was discussing this on a messageboard...I just wish I had some productive advice rather than just empathy...

Ronan (Ronan), Monday, 21 August 2006 20:31 (seventeen years ago) link

Empathy is just the ticket, thank you all. I don't think there are any easy solutions. People say "you have to hire someone," but that would entail such a huge loss-of-face for my mother. Suddenly she'd be this person for whom people have to be hired. I'd like to put that off as long as I can. Which means extra strain on my nerves, but I have to feel like I'm doing right by her, as long as it doesn't turn me into a total bitch. Which it could do. When I'm the slightest bit sharp with her she'll say "don't get mad at me all the time," which is manipulative crap because I DON'T get mad at her all the time. But she loves the sacharrine niceness of hospital nurses. She wants that from everyone, all the time, and sorry, I just can't do it.
Yikes, Ronan. Your poor mom! But maybe it's good that she's weeping like that. Sounds like a little window of non-denial.

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Monday, 21 August 2006 23:43 (seventeen years ago) link

Argh, that pride and independence is hard to deal with. It had my grandmother living alone until she was 102, and my mother, aunt and uncle running around at her beck and call constantly for 8-10 years before that.

Good luck Beth, and everyone else posting here. I've been really lucky so far, but the day isn't far off -- my mother will be 74 next month and my dad is 77. But my dad, Jesus, he heals quicker than Wolverine. He planted his garden this year, went in for quintuple bypass surgery, and was recovered enough to bring in the harvest himself.

Danny Aioli (Rock Hardy), Monday, 21 August 2006 23:58 (seventeen years ago) link

I've told you before and I'll tell you again, Rock Hardy. You come from excellent stock!

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:04 (seventeen years ago) link

My father's 77, suffers from dementia and psychoses due to alcoholism which the psychiatrists think was in part due to early onset alzheimers as well as his being extremely depressed. He's in a home, a wreck of a man and his family barely talk to him and none of his old friends come near thanks to the treatment he metted out to everyone. My mum watches out for him and takes care of him. It's quite horrible, he doesn't recognise me.
I'm just saying I hope you appreciate good people in ill health as well as good health. It's a massive burden and can be very upsetting. My eldest brother refuses to aknowledge my father's situation in anyway which is horribly awkward because he's the legal next of kin. (Which is another thing to be wary of when you have to take care of your parents, your status in law). Don't be ashamed to look for help if you can. But if you do make sure that they're treated well, homes and nurses aren't necessarily good, abuse of the elderly is more common than is often aknowledged and pretty horrible.
Anyways I hope all your parents always have plenty to smile about whatever their troubles.

Major Alfonso (Major Alfonso), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:14 (seventeen years ago) link

xpost --
I think about death a lot, but haphazardly -- impressionistically, I guess -- because I haven't had to face it up close. I don't really want to live as long as my grandmother. There was a big reunion of my father's clan a couple of years ago and just by chance, a couple of days earlier there had been a story about an 80-year-old guy who played golf with his buddies and had died of a heart attack right after finishing. I was telling one of my aunts about this, and how awesome it was. "That's how I want to go, 80 good years, then lay down for a nap and drift away." My aunt was a bit pissed off at this. "I'm 80 years old, do you think it's time for me to lay down and die?" Holy fuck, ultimate foot in mouth.

Danny Aioli (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:17 (seventeen years ago) link


Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:19 (seventeen years ago) link

I blame my dad's wine.

Danny Aioli (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:25 (seventeen years ago) link

If wine was the key to longevity we'd be a family of the undead!
My parents used to get mailings from the Hemlock Society, but when it came right down to it, my father couldn't do it. He had Alzheimers, too, so if there was ever a case for offing yourself... I think in a case like that you just have to pick a day to do it and stick to your plan. My father was a terrible difficult person—I wrote upthread about the difficulty in believing that my mother's dotty behavior isn't deliberate—somehow manipulative. With my father it was the same, if not more so. Even though I knew his brain was being turned into a rotten hunk of plaque I still felt like the resulting behavior was just more of the same shit we'd been putting up with our whole lives.

The child unable to believe that the parent has lost power?

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:31 (seventeen years ago) link

terribLY difficult. Sheesh!

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:34 (seventeen years ago) link

haaa, no, I blame my dad's wine for being thoughtless enough to tell some old people I wanted to die when I got their age. (Which is not exactly what I was saying, but I'm sure it sounded like that.)

Danny Aioli (Rock Hardy), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Too bad you didn't say quickly enough, "Oh, I figure I'd have to live at least to 90 in order to get in that many good years!"

Aimless (Aimless), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 01:09 (seventeen years ago) link

Good one!

My mother (89) has had alzheimers for about 8 years. Her body has served her well, but her brain slowly went to bits shortly after my stepfather died. Unable to manage her house anymore, my brother and I moved her to an independent living center that guaranteed access to its nursing home if and when the time came. It came about two years after the move. I live 3 hours away, but my brother lives within walking distance and visits her several times a week and we included her in family events until about a year ago when she just became unable to feel comfortable outside of her nursing home environment.

She's now almost totally deaf and has never used a hearing aid which makes any serious communication impossible. I visited last week and found her doing a crossword puzzle. We did the puzzle together for a while, but her mind kept drifting all over the place.

My wife's father (82) has Parkinson's and fell down the stairs recently. Compression fractures of three vertebrae was the diagnosis. Surgeons injected some kind of cement in his spine and he was getting about with a walker after only a few days. My wife plans to care for him in his home in the near future. He suffers from dimentia, too, but is on so many meds that I think that may be a contributing factor. This guy was an infantryman in world war II, a radio and tv personality and has had a very good life. He is loved by many people and has had countless visitors at the hospital. He is very frail now and has told me, and I'm sure others, that he knows his life is at the very end.

These are two of the coolest people that I have ever known, both with precious little time left. One knows it and one doesn't seem to. They are both receiving the best care available, but y'know sometimes that don't mean a thing. My thoughts are with all of you.

jim wentworth (wench), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 01:27 (seventeen years ago) link

five years pass...

This. Heavy shit, huh?

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Monday, 20 August 2012 17:34 (eleven years ago) link


curmudgeon, Monday, 20 August 2012 18:31 (eleven years ago) link

In darker moments, I look at my folks now (esp. my Pa who is 75 this week) and feel like the wave of their good years is just on the cusp of breaking. Not really ready for it, not at all.

that mustardless plate (Bill A), Monday, 20 August 2012 18:44 (eleven years ago) link

My mothers good years are most definitely past. This has become very evident as she's staying with me for a couple days and it's totally heart breaking. Also, there's some memory loss/disorientation stuff happening that's scaring the crap out of me.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Monday, 20 August 2012 18:54 (eleven years ago) link

so heavy i can't really talk about it

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Monday, 20 August 2012 19:00 (eleven years ago) link

Yeah. I started trying to talk about it with someone at work and couldn't really hold myself together. This is really tough. :/

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Monday, 20 August 2012 23:12 (eleven years ago) link

Good luck Erica... luckily my parents are still mostly 'together' and my dad's problems are a result of his alcoholism rather than real mental deterioration, but it's still awful to have to deal with this stuff.

one dis leads to another (ian), Monday, 20 August 2012 23:31 (eleven years ago) link

yeah i'm going through this too. all the best, E x

jed_, Monday, 20 August 2012 23:36 (eleven years ago) link

and everyone else :/

jed_, Monday, 20 August 2012 23:36 (eleven years ago) link

This took up took up over 10 years of my life (from 1994 - 2008 in fact). Both my parents got ill in their early to mid-seventies, and both had dementia and a pretty terrible end in a nursing home in their late seventies.

I spend most of this period visiting at weekends, and other times - and in that rather mad space where you seem cut off from the concerns of normal life, unable to relax for a minute, and living a kind of nightmare existence that no-one else around you realises. (Nothing like the horrific life of a full-time career - but bad enough).

The only thing you can say about it is that it passes, and you realise that what felt like an endless enduring period was in the end just another temporary era.

Bob Six, Monday, 20 August 2012 23:43 (eleven years ago) link

Siblings help -- if you're lucky.

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 20 August 2012 23:46 (eleven years ago) link

I'm an only child. This is the only time I've ever wished I had siblings tbh.

Thanks, guys. Things are OK and we had a really nice evening. She's staying with me until she flys back to FL on Wed. Ian - alcoholism is a factor here too in addition to a lot of other things. I guess I just really feel for my dad and am really saddened by realizing that it's only going to get worse from here and I'm afraid it's going to do so pretty quickly.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:10 (eleven years ago) link

I feel for you, ENBB. I'm an only child too; my mom's 84 this year but still drives, takes care of her own stuff, is still sharp as ever (dad died in 2000). But I dread so deeply the coming of the signs. I can't even model it in my mind. Hugs.

Lewis Apparition (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:37 (eleven years ago) link

my mom's 84 this year but still drives, takes care of her own stuff, is still sharp as ever

That's fantastic, good for her! Mine is 74 this year but she's an old 74 and hasn't driven in at least 5 years. Anyway, like I said, we had a lovely day today. It's just a really difficult process to watch and I worry about what will happen down the line.

(✿◠‿◠) (ENBB), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:53 (eleven years ago) link

pullin for you E - us only children gotta stick together. this terrifies me too - and is a big part of what motivates me to do what I do now - but hopefully there will be a good, long time before anything really happens.

jack chick-fil-A (dayo), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 00:58 (eleven years ago) link

You know you have my support as another only, but I'm too much of a weakling to talk about this stuff
In earnest
In public
Beyond this

But you know where to find me offboard if you wanna talk!!

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 01:57 (eleven years ago) link

i will say that my mom is pretty damn sharp in mind, but whenever i visit, i insist on driving EVERYWHERE. her driving scares the bejesus out of me, don't understand how she hasn't had her license taken away. and it only gets worse as she gets older.

for reasons of sass (the table is the table), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 05:28 (eleven years ago) link

yeah driving is often the "tipping point" of aging parents decline. really hard to give up.

my heart goes out to enbb,la lechera, ian and everybody facing this. all my middle-aged friends have ailing/aging parents right now, you guys are confronting it early like i did. these days my father in law is essentially dying, i was going to post this on the fuck cancer thread but it fits here too. he's 84, until a couple years ago was robust mentally and physically, the picture of how you'd hope to age. so it's shocking to see his rapid decline not just bodily but he's become very confused and withdrawn, barely a shell of his former self. chemotherapy is keeping him alive but at what cost? we just had our annual visit and my wife, her mom (who's a rock) and her two siblings are stressed out and struggling. not much else to say. but it's good to talk about it, in fact it's important for your - our - own mental health to let it out.

(REAL NAME) (m coleman), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 09:39 (eleven years ago) link

My dad had the driving decision taken out of his hands as he went blind in one eye at the start of the year, but he was getting to be quite a dangerous driver before than (he's 80) so we're really quite glad about it.

ailsa, Tuesday, 21 August 2012 09:54 (eleven years ago) link

even though she knows she needs them, my mom refuses to get glasses because she thinks that they make her face look weird
she lives in fear of having her driver's license taken away from her because she is a very independent person and likes her alone time

these albatrosses have no fear of man (La Lechera), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 13:24 (eleven years ago) link

My mother-in-law has had quite serious dementia for the past six years or so. This started when she was in her early-to-mid 60s - one of the first events that really got us thinking that something was up was when she drove her car the wrong way round a large roundabout into oncoming traffic. At the moment she lives in a nursing home as is pretty much just a shell of her former self - she doesn't even know who her children are any more when they come to visit, but thankfully she does still appreciate the company which at least is one small positive that you can take away. Totally depressing though, so for anyone out there who is dealing with this right now, I can totally sympathise.

mod night at the oasis (NickB), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 13:35 (eleven years ago) link

My mom, turning 80 next month, has been fighting the decline, bless her. Joined the hospital wellness center, has been selling and giving away decades' worth of my dad's accumulated packratcrap, still gets out there and mows her own lawn, etc. Next week she, my daughter and probably my wife are heading off to Biloxi to the casinos. But the decline is there...bad knees, bad feet, diabetes... My sympathies to everyone having a tough go of it these days.

Romney's Kitchen Nightmares (WmC), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 13:45 (eleven years ago) link

My mum (68) has been dealing with my gran (88) for a long time; my gran has alzheimers. About six months ago she finally got her moved to a nursing home in the same town (200 miles from where my gran was before). Only now is she at the point where she can see any humour in the situation, which results in Facebook messages like this from my mum:

Today's visit to your gran!

G. (after a bit of mumbling and searching for words) Are you my daughter?

Me. Yes.

Gr. Are you really my daughter?

Me. Yes.

Gr. I can't remember. Am I your mother?

Me. Yes.

Gr. Where did we live?

So I started giving her a potted history of our life.

GR. How do you know you're my daughter?

A bit later on....

Gr, Haven't I got nice legs!

She thought it was quite funny that she couldn't remember things; seemed very happy and settled. The staff bore this out.

Sick Mouthy (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 21 August 2012 14:11 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

My mom and grandma live together with mom's "girlfriend", and I moved to be closer to them and my terminally ill Dad (they were separated). Grandma is sharp as a tack and well into her 90s. Of course I love Grandma, but mom is making seeing Grandma a miserable experience.

Like I said elsewhere she is getting into that old people thing of being passive-aggressive. I know I called her a "fascist" I didn't mean it, it's that her emotional state is kind of fascist.

It's her stupid family. She wasn't raised by her own mother, she was raised by her abusive and creepy grandmother and aunt and it really shows in how she deals with stuff like death and adult responsibilities.

If anything difficult happens in her life - death or whatever - she just escapes mentally. Her mom's family had a lot of money and stuff was handled for her all her life!! She doesn't understand why other people don't have it as easy. Because of her family, she feels she has a lot of power and I can't ever suspect her of having mental problems EVER.

six months pass...

My mom gave up driving last month. Kinda shocked, but pleased that she came to the decision herself. She's 88 and is in reasonably good health for her age - despite the piles of crap that she's hoarded (ongoing issue for her entire life). Sister is gone for several weeks so I'm on mom duty... it's extra frustrating because her hearing is so bad that she leaves the televisions on with the sound maxed-out and she can't hear the phone.

Vexing problem of the moment... Her sense of time and calendar dates are slipping, so making plans becomes a comedy of errors ("stop by this week" *does so* "what are you doing here, I said to come by next week") ad infinitum ad nauseum

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 1 July 2013 23:40 (ten years ago) link

wow, that sounds like a serious challenge. i'm sorry. i have this thread bookmarked and it popped up just as my parents arrived yesterday for their first visit in 3 years. they are aging. my mom is in great shape (in spite of some health issues this year) but my dad keeps looking and acting less like himself, which is thrown into stark relief when we look at old pictures together.


free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:15 (ten years ago) link

I am going to visit my parents this weekend and I think that I'm actually going to have to ask them point blank what they want me to do for them if they ever get dementia or need care etc. My mom is in bad shape and her memory is already slipping and my biggest fear is that my dad dies first (though this is prob unlikely you never know) and I'm left to make decisions for/about her. I want to know now and while I know she's not going to want to talk about this I'm going to make them because I'm an only child and they have no other relatives here to help and I can't handle the stress and weight of this alone without knowing what they want.

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 14:19 (ten years ago) link

Just to share my own personal woes on this thread --

My father nearly died last week; he collapsed on his way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. The ambulance came and got him to a hospital and it turned out he had two massive ulcers in his stomach and large intestine. This comes about 6 weeks after a surgery to biopsy a growth in his spinal cord.

Yesterday morning, recovering from the emergency surgery to stitch up the ulcers, he had a major heart attack and is in the hospital with a breathing tube, heavily sedated etc. On our way up to Rhode Island yesterday our van broke down on the Triboro Bridge -- shocks gave out and started to rub against the front tires, causing lots of burnt rubber smoke. We got it towed back to your neighborhood (luckily we weren't halfway through connecticut) and it's going to be repaired this afternoon, $800 later. I'm incredibly worried about my dad. The doctors are not sure how to treat him; they can't give him the usual blood thinners and medications because of the ulcers and recent surgery. I wish so badly I was there. And now I'm worried about the drive up, even though the car is getting fixed, I have a strong distrust of automobiles... Just don't know what to do. It's bad when my aunt is telling me to go straight to the hospital and bring his 'paperwork' (read: living will.)

So scared :\

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 17:06 (ten years ago) link

I'm sorry to hear all of that.

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 17:37 (ten years ago) link

me too. suerte, ian.

free your spirit pig (La Lechera), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 18:41 (ten years ago) link

Oh, Ian. I'm sorry.

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 18:51 (ten years ago) link

Aw man... Hoping for the best

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 2 July 2013 23:26 (ten years ago) link

the latest news is that he's off the respirator and able to talk a bit, though he is very disoriented and doesn't know where he is... so that's great news. the doctor was surprised at how much he's improved since last night when things were a bit more up in the air.

our car didn't get repaired until after 5:30, and not wanting to drive in rush hour, we are going up tomorrow morning.. thanks everyone for your kindness.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Tuesday, 2 July 2013 23:34 (ten years ago) link

Safe travel, sweetie.

Tottenham Heelspur (in orbit), Wednesday, 3 July 2013 03:53 (ten years ago) link

Urgh ENBB, reading your posts here and on other threads - I have the feeling that we're on the same boat.
I'm an only child, living 4 hours away from my parents, with my father at a very advanced stage of Parkinson's and my mother seriously diminished by years of alcoholism (with late-blooming epilepsy added to the mix). My dad has been the justification for getting home-help but in my mind the caretaker's role is also to watch over my mom and alert me when things get real bad. I've been freaking out for the last two years at what will happen if/when my dad passes away and I cannot justify to my mom keeping a caretaker at home.

that rather mad space where you seem cut off from the concerns of normal life, unable to relax for a minute, and living a kind of nightmare existence that no-one else around you realises.

Nailed it. The last two-three years of my life have been a long panic attack basically, always concerned what may be happening at my parent's house at any given minute, always refusing to relax or to go on trips because I always feel like i'm on standby mode and might need to rush to my parent's home at any time.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 3 July 2013 07:54 (ten years ago) link

There is a fine line between being a responsible child of an aging parent and being a child who feels responsible for his aging parents in the same way a parent is responsible for their child. If you feel like a disaster of some sort is perpetually imminent in your parents' lives, then they need both more and less from you than your being on perpetual panicky standby.

Hovering nearby in anxiety just exhausts you and accomplishes very little. They need your assistance to form a plan to get more help in their daily lives. If they refuse this assistance, either you must honor that refusal and trust them to steer themselves, or if they have become legally incompetant to be responsible for themselves, then you must bite the bullet and seek the authority of a conservator or guardian, so at least you can move them away from the brink or perpetual disaster.

I know this x1000 times easier to say than to do. I just would like to plant the seed of this thought so you can consider it.

Aimless, Wednesday, 3 July 2013 18:14 (ten years ago) link

Yeah you're totally right. Knowing deep down that this endless anxiety has zero value to them is one of the most frustrating parts. I basically feel I'm on the border between the two scenarios you describe - ie. my mother is too lucid/young/healthy to be completely assisted or put in a home or under my legal guard - and yet alcoholism makes her accident prone and unable to care for my dad and her household. They've got several hours of help every day but even that is starting to seem not enough.
I know that I should stop aimlessly panicking and start making concrete plans but my general response to the anxiety is to try as hard as I can to put in my head in the sand and try no to think about it. So yeah, obviously not a winning strategy

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 3 July 2013 19:05 (ten years ago) link

Alcoholism really complicates that picture. You have a damned tough row to hoe. But you can't realistically save people from themselves.

Aimless, Wednesday, 3 July 2013 19:09 (ten years ago) link

baaderonixx - Yeah, it does sound similar although thankfully my dad is still in pretty good health but you never know and that's what scares me. I've tried to talk to them about it before but my mom flat out refuses to do so because she likes to ignore her mortality but that's just fucking selfish and I'm sick of worrying about this so I'm going to bring it up when I'm down there next weekend. He is her caretaker right now and I just have no idea what I'd do if something happened to him. I'm sure as hell not moving to Florida that's for sure.

"The last two-three years of my life have been a long panic attack basically, always concerned what may be happening at my parent's house at any given minute, always refusing to relax or to go on trips because I always feel like i'm on standby mode and might need to rush to my parent's home at any time."

If my dad weren't around and in good shape I'm sure this would be me too. That said, if my phone ever rings and I see it's them calling at a time I'm not expecting I go into extreme panic mode. Also, Christmas this year was so awful that I wound up extending my visit to go with my mom to the dr to see about her meds/drinking but sadly, it didn't really do much. At least I felt better for trying.

Oh baad, I'm sorry you're dealing with this. It's really stressful and yours sounds like a particularly tough situation right now.

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Thursday, 4 July 2013 02:00 (ten years ago) link

geez ian, hang in there man.

call all destroyer, Thursday, 4 July 2013 02:02 (ten years ago) link

five months pass...

I'm spending my Christmas break cleaning out my mother's hoarder house. She's 89 and after being very active for most of her life, her body has quit out on her and she's depressed, but meeting it with competing levels of rage and denial. She's flat-out refused all help for years and can be quite alienating about it. Her balance is very unsteady, but she can't use a walker in the house because there's too much trash. My sister brings her food, but she won't let anyone in the house. Hoarding has been an issue in her entire life - it's the reason why my parents broke up. When given the choice between her house full of newspapers and unopened mail or her family, she chose the pile. Now there are consequences.

Ten days ago she began (lust like the commercial) falling down and not getting up. She knows she can't call 911 because emergency services will report just how much of a fire hazard things are in there. Each fall has been progressively worse... The next day, my sister found her fallen over on a pile of unopened magazine. Apparently she had been there overnight without any clothes on and had, well, vacated herself on top of things. The day after that, she fell again and became hypothermic. So after a stay in the hospital and time away from the horrifying conditions in her house she's in outpatient assisted living and impatiently wanting to go home. Only she can't, because it's a shambles. About the only plus side to having to having to Make A Decision about assisted living/nursing homes during Christmas break is that there are so many of them in Orange County.

So we're finally cleaning the house. Desperately want to rant about the weird shit I'm finding, but I don't anything ending up on Reddit right now. The photos I took of the "high water mark" before we began emptying things out have been powerfully radioactive. I think my aunt had a nervous breakdown and I haven't heard back from the last person I sent them too.

his Christmas I've broken out of my current state of "existential depression fortified by all-new economic anxiety" has been interrupted by

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 05:23 (nine years ago) link

oh man

mookieproof, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 05:26 (nine years ago) link

oops... meant to finish with

"At least this Christmas I've broken out of my current state of "existential depression fortified by all-new economic anxiety" with this."

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 05:31 (nine years ago) link

ugh, i'm sorry, that must be really stressful. :-/

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 06:14 (nine years ago) link

oh wow C that's so awful. I hope you get thru it with plenty of support.

the Bronski Review (Trayce), Tuesday, 24 December 2013 06:53 (nine years ago) link

Aw, jeez, I'm so sorry you're dealing with this right now. Well, at all, really. Hope that she is able to get the help she requires, and that you are able to cope with it all.

Branwell Bell, Tuesday, 24 December 2013 10:47 (nine years ago) link

My sister and I went on a whirlwind tour of four different assisted living places yesterday. The outpatient place where my mom is put us in touch with a woman who works as a real estate agent for (what the preferred term is) assisted living facilities. Whatever stereotypes you're imagining after reading that describes the day. If I was a douchey indie film screenwriter, a repeating theme would be:

ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY AGENT has programmed the addresses of dozens 
of facilities in the satellite navigation system of her Mercedes SUV and scrolls
through them with the expertise of a veteran video gamer.

Oddly enough the one we went with is the one that felt most like a well appointed desert Indian casino. Guess that's what the Greatest Generation goes for now. The facilities were all new and the staff simply seemed like they gave a shit about the residents. Blurted out "it looks just like The Village from The Prisoner" several times during the day.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 28 December 2013 12:31 (nine years ago) link

I know what you mean - we went through a similar search three years ago, right before the holidays, for Mr. Jaq's mom. If there had been a more casino themed one available, it would have been a perfect fit. As it is now, he takes her out every other Sunday to one. She was just moved into the "memory care" unit though, and has trouble remembering how the slot machines work. It's a challenging time, and my thoughts are with you.

Jaq, Sunday, 29 December 2013 23:15 (nine years ago) link

I'm so sorry man, that's so rough. It's such a hard decision to make. I foresee that we'll be facing similar tough decisions in the coming year/s with my father in law as his dementia worsens. There's a small, quiet part of me that hopes that he shuffles off before such a decision has to be made.

It's so hard to bear witness to that level of helplessness...I really sympathize.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 29 December 2013 23:30 (nine years ago) link

So last weekend, my mother unplugged the monitor and tried to use the bathroom by herself (this is still at the first outpatient place). She fell and hurt her back pretty badly, so assisted living is now completely out of the question. Go directly to Memory Care, do not pass Go, etc. The doctor's report gets directly to the point... "dementia, memory loss, wandering & fall risk." I drove her to the new facility on Monday in her own car, but she couldn't recognize it and kept forgetting after I reminded her. Since then she has been just horrible to the staff who have been nothing but patient. I got a message this morning that she had been screaming so loudly at everyone that she developed chest pains and had to be readmitted back to the hospital.

I had been thinking to myself "ok, maybe after 90 days (a totally arbitrary number) things will become predicable again." Now I'm not sure at all.

Thanks for all the kind words. Need to unload somewhere and it might as well be here.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 4 January 2014 22:41 (nine years ago) link

In the meantime, I'm dealing with two floors of this.

The front door to the house is back there somewhere. I bought a giant 150 count box of 13 gallon trash bags at Home Depot and have filled half of them (75 - I counted) with unopened mail, magazines, and newspapers. That's just from the living room.

I think I'm now an expert in dealing with aging parent hoarders - feel free to ask questions!

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 4 January 2014 22:46 (nine years ago) link

Oh, ET, I am so sorry it's going down this way. Just wishing you strength to cope with it!

Branwell Bell, Saturday, 4 January 2014 22:58 (nine years ago) link

(feeling kinda guilty tho coz that room is really only a year or so away from my living room. Eep!)

Branwell Bell, Saturday, 4 January 2014 22:59 (nine years ago) link

oh jesus. sorry elvis and best to u

mookieproof, Saturday, 4 January 2014 23:30 (nine years ago) link

Damn. Sending best.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 4 January 2014 23:36 (nine years ago) link

et, you will get through, i'm so sorry to hear of the circumstances. stay strong. don't forget to take care of yourself.

Hunt3r, Saturday, 4 January 2014 23:47 (nine years ago) link

Oh Elvis. I'm so sorry.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 5 January 2014 00:08 (nine years ago) link

This is the tough stuff of life, sorry you are going through it.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 5 January 2014 00:33 (nine years ago) link

I recently learned that hoarding disorder is now classified as a distinct disorder (as opposed to a form of obsessive compulsive disorder) in the new DSM-V. One of my profs at BU does hoarding research--apparently it is very difficult to treat. I'm so sorry that you have a massive cleanup on your hands on top of your mom's move. What a good child you are, you should be proud and take all due credit for what you are doing on your mom's behalf. Best wishes during this difficult time, to you and all of the other ilxors dealing with aging parent issues.

quincie, Sunday, 5 January 2014 00:47 (nine years ago) link

And to ENBB and everyone else trying to engage their family in end-of-life planning, you might find this helpful? This is how I'm pushing my spouse to structure a convo with his parents:

Click on "download the one slide"

quincie, Sunday, 5 January 2014 00:50 (nine years ago) link

quincie, thanks for that link - knowing it's too late to have this conversation with my MIL makes it seem possible to approach it with my mother, and to think about what I would want for myself.

Elvis, oh man - take care of yourself as you deal with all this, take full advantage of any and all resources you can. It can feel invasive to contract out a cleanup, but remember the possibility is there if it becomes just too much.

Jaq, Sunday, 5 January 2014 01:45 (nine years ago) link

It can feel invasive to contract out a cleanup, but remember the possibility is there if it becomes just too much

My sister and I have considered this, but there's some treasure mixed in with the trash so everything needs to be looked at. An example...

A great uncle had a career straight out of a Biggles adventure story. When World War One started, he left Canada for England, learned how to fly, and joined up with the pre-RAF Royal Flying Corps in 1915. He was a reconnaissance pilot, was pals with King Albert I of Belgium, took part in the first aerial survey of Africa, and somehow survived it all. Would have loved to have met him, but he passed before I was born.

One long-standing mystery was whatever happened to his war medals (a Distinguished Flying Cross, a cigarette case presented to him by King Albert, etc.) My mother eventually convinced herself that one of her sisters took them when the old family house was cleaned out but she was always questioning herself about it.

Well I found them. Stuffed in a plastic supermarket grocery bag, Underneath a pile of squalid newspapers with a chair over them. The only thing missing was a "Beware Of The Leopard" sign.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 5 January 2014 03:26 (nine years ago) link


mookieproof, Sunday, 5 January 2014 03:34 (nine years ago) link

Seriously wow

Jaq, Sunday, 5 January 2014 03:35 (nine years ago) link

I recently learned that hoarding disorder is now classified as a distinct disorder (as opposed to a form of obsessive compulsive disorder) in the new DSM-V. One of my profs at BU does hoarding research--apparently it is very difficult to treat.

Does your prof have any articles or books out? Would love to read anything on hoarding that's not at a reality show level. I'm especially curious about neuropsych/genetic connections. My mother's father was a big hoarder, my brother is a hoarder, while an aunt is an obsessive neat freak.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 5 January 2014 03:37 (nine years ago) link

BTW, while I'm not a physical hoarder - I do have 8TB of hard drives full of mp3s, scanned comics, etc.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 5 January 2014 03:40 (nine years ago) link

Finding some amazingly Really Weird Shit too. My favorite so far is a fake pewter (but probably aluminum) peacock free-standing flower vase. Apparently you're supposed to put the flowers in its butt. It's aggressively hideous.

Black humor helps immeasurably through all this.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 5 January 2014 03:49 (nine years ago) link

By the way, if anyone here is facing these kinds of issues with your parents. PLEASE do everything you can to have power of attorney, bank accounts, etc. squared away. I don't know what we would be doing now if that wasn't taken care of.

On the lighter side, I found this. Yes, I'm a member of the Wacky Packages generation.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 5 January 2014 03:55 (nine years ago) link

I wish you the best ET, I empathize with your situation, and I recommend a book called Stuff by Steketee/Frost. It was very compassionately written and totally not stupid. It changed my relationship with my mom after she read it.

mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Sunday, 5 January 2014 04:14 (nine years ago) link

The Steketee/Frost book is great. Recommend it to anyone dealing with this.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 5 January 2014 04:51 (nine years ago) link

One more crazy treasure-in-the-trash story, but I'm doing this at risk of class warfare.

My mother's interests can be summarized like this: cars, football, skiing, ice skating, and the British Royal Family, but cars are definitely #1 on the list. She was pretty active in vintage car clubs, and 2013 was the first time she missed going to the vintage races and concours up in Monterey. The Little Old Lady from Pasadena? That's her.

About two years ago she voluntarily chose to stop driving. This was a HUGE decision and one I never ever expected her to make on her own. She was just way too independent to admit that her eyesight and hearing was failing on her.

The Little Old Lady From Pasadena might have driven a shiny red Super Stock Dodge, but my mom drove these:

When she stopped driving, the key to the A-M vanished in the house somewhere. I offered to help look for the key, but she completely refused (with increasing levels of fury and anger as her health worsened). Getting a new key from the dealer was out of the question ("I'm not paying for a new goddamn key - it's in the house somewhere!") so there it sat for a year.

I eventually found the key at the bottom of a box filled with letters (date range 1968 - 2009) and thousands of those pre-printed return address labels that you sometimes get unsolicited in the mail.

P.S. to the story... When I took her to the nursing home on Monday night, I took her in the A-M - patiently explaining "don't worry, I'm taking care of the cars. I found the key. etc. etc." She didn't recognize the car at all. Sure, she might have occasionally called me by my brother's name and she's been repeating her words for awhile, but this was my first hand "she's not coming back" moment. A couple hours later, I found out that Benjamin Curtis passed. Fucking hell.

P.P.S. What's getting me through this is cooking (the meals at Casa Drone are spectacular and my baking skills are now off the charts), binge watching X-Files on Netflix, and good old-fashioned California Medical Weed. One day at a time as they say.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 5 January 2014 05:48 (nine years ago) link

Indeed. And yeah...not coming up for the Concours must have seemed so strange.

To an earlier point:

By the way, if anyone here is facing these kinds of issues with your parents. PLEASE do everything you can to have power of attorney, bank accounts, etc. squared away. I don't know what we would be doing now if that wasn't taken care of.

Thankfully -- very thankfully -- my parents have been extremely good about this, and I have all paperwork to hand if necessary. We just spent a little time as well during the holidays updating access to safe deposit boxes too. As time progresses we'll see what more needs to happen, but they've been very proactive, and if anything my sis and I wait on them. And so time continues, for now.

When my grandma died, my parents and my dad's brother and his wife spent months clearing out what was a fair amount of stuff from her house, and much like ET mentions, there were hidden treasures among...not trash per se (it never got that cluttered), but a lot of unnecessary things. They said the experience made them aware of how to keep things as simple as possible in terms of what was kept at the house -- it's almost been two decades since grandma's and the process has always been one of a careful paring down of possessions and necessities -- and seeing a story like ET's make me feel very fortunate.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 5 January 2014 18:25 (nine years ago) link

ET, we're dealing with something not dissimilar. my wife's mom has alzheimer's (70 years old) and is getting progressively worse (yesterday she thought i was her father) and her eyesight is also terrible. in addition to that, my wife's dad (83 years old) is a mid-level hoarder (almost in a "sweep everything under the rug" way; the living room is deceptively clean but the bedrooms and his office are stacked with old newspapers, magazines, etc, the garage is worse than that, real earthquake hazard rooms.) he refuses to throw pretty much anything away and the kitchen and dining tables are stacked with papers that have to be shuffled aside so we can eat.

worse still is that he was never social and has really no friends, and she has one good friend. plus he leaves her alone for 90 min every day when he goes to temple. and he won't stop. we're just in the process of trying to get their finances in order as best we can AND getting someone into the house to help while working our jobs and raising a two year old.

christmas candy bar (al leong), Sunday, 5 January 2014 18:35 (nine years ago) link

my inlaws are caring for my father inlaw, who has severe dementia. my brother inlaw swore to his mom before she died that he would take care of his dad, and now he is saddled with the depth of that reality.

at first it was just him & my sisterinlaw doing the caring, but two months of that proved that the task was too big for just them to manage. my brother inlaw, a paramedic & firefighter, had come across Samoan women caring for dementia patients a few times when he ran calls, and he had noticed how good they were with their charges. years later he remembered them & made some calls, and hired two of them to take over his inhome care & housekeeping 7-4 every day except sunday.

this was a HUGE gamechanger. it allowed my inlaws to restore their relationship with him somewhat instead of being "in charge of him" which is a big distinction & a hard role to take on for family members. it also frees up their time so they could separate a little during the day & focus on caring for him at night. unfortunately sunset is the worst time for him - he gets anxious & belligerent, barricades himself in his room, and loses a lot of his cognition around this time of day, as quickly as if you flipped a switch.

the carers have bought them some time, but we are all well aware that it's all borrowed now. but unless/until he becomes violent or a threat to himself/family, my brother inlaw will keep him under his roof.

and while he still knows who we are, it seems to do him some good.

but i have every understanding for anyone not in the position to manage homecare. it's not black or white, and ultimately the best thing for these people we love is as changeable as weather.

i think the thing I have learned watching my father inlaw is the sad reality that most of the qualities i associate with him are now largely gone, just swept away like an eroding sand dune. the shape of him is still there, and it tricks you...but he is fragile inside, and more and more unable to live up to what we all want for him in this stage of his life. it's the hardest thing to watch

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 5 January 2014 19:41 (nine years ago) link

Tomorrow marks a milestone: my 89-year-old grandmother has sullenly consented to live-in care. Mind, this was a woman who up until two hours ago still drove her car to the supermarket, about three miles east to the beauty parlor and manicurist, and until three months ago balanced her own checkbook. To increasing scorn and now resignation from my grandmother, Mom has taken this away and restocks her pillbox every week. Except for short term memory lapses which clear as soon as she has a conversation, she's a woman of stunning mental and physical fortitude: no heart trouble to speak, no hereditary cancers, no longterm problems of any kind! When I visit Sunday mornings we watch the Food Channel and she tells me what horrors Guy Fieri concocted an hour before.

Although I'm proud of her independence, it's not a good idea for a woman a year shy of ninety to drive anymore, and my mother understandably resents waiting by the phone anxiously when it's 6 p.m. and Grandma doesn't answer the phone -- she's at the supermarket and lost track of time. Pride keeps Grandma from admitting she wants Mom to do for her what Grandma did to her own mother: be a slave in the most abject manner as she deteriorates (my great grandmother's dementia was a searing experience; unlike Grandma she was a violent woman who bit, kicked, punched, and yelled bloodcurdling imprecations at anyone, young and old, male or female). She would like nothing more than my mother to simply move in with her, regardless of the fact that she's married, happily, to my father and has no intention of spending her autumnal years in bondage to quiet dementia...and for what exactly? To assuage a guilt that doesn't mean shit anyway once the person dies?

When my grandma died, my parents and my dad's brother and his wife spent months clearing out what was a fair amount of stuff from her house, and much like ET mentions, there were hidden treasures among...not trash per se (it never got that cluttered), but a lot of unnecessary things. They said the experience made them aware of how to keep things as simple as possible in terms of what was kept at the house

My mom learned the wisdom of this a few months ago as she threw away Grandma's tax returns from 1976. Fortunately she gave Mom power of attorney and do-not-resuscitate orders years ago, before the trouble.

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 5 January 2014 19:50 (nine years ago) link

The Steketee/Frost book is great. Recommend it to anyone dealing with this.

Gail Steketee is my prof! Super smart and passionate.

quincie, Monday, 6 January 2014 00:24 (nine years ago) link

three weeks pass...

I filled an entire cargo van with paper garbage (newspapers, unopened/junk mail, and magazines) to the recycler yesterday. Total weight: 1.52 tons. This was mostly trash from the upstairs living room and side bedroom. There's still a long ways to go, but at least there's a little bit of maneuvering room.

Strong possibility that the nursing home might Section Eight my mother out to a mental hospital for a couple of weeks while they adjust her meds. My sister and I brought her some furniture on Friday night and she greeted us with the worst kind "my children are horrible. I'd rather die alone" hostility and violence (she's been punching the staff members and shrieking out loud for minutes at a time). The floor supervisor told us that this behavior is "moderate to average" for Level 4 dementia. Had to ask what the worst is and she said that they sometimes get residents who throw themselves against the wall, beat their heads on furniture, etc. Wondering what the hell level 5 and up is...

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 27 January 2014 01:16 (nine years ago) link

Sorry to hear it, ET. A psychiatric unit may be very helpful for your mom; clearly she is having a hard time of it (which of course means YOU are having a hard time of it, too!). Sounds like you making good progress with the house, kudos on that.

quincie, Monday, 27 January 2014 01:46 (nine years ago) link

Sheesh, ET, my heart goes out to you, I can't imagine what it's like to go through something like this.

While I was out in Vermont last autumn, my Mum, while in the process of rearranging her own house, announced that she had no intention whatsoever to live past 80, even if it took measures to ensure this. And at the time I was kind of freaking out, like, how can you say this, it's not your choice to make, you live as long as you live, if I'm not allowed to end my life, you're not allowed to end your life. But then I realised, that she is a priest, and has an ageing congregation, and spends half her life going to hospitals and old age care facilities, and administering last rites, and she's seen a great deal of how people end their lives and under what conditions. I suppose I should commend her for making the decision while she still has the faculties to make it, but it scares the shit out of me.

I'd rather be the swallow than a dick (Branwell Bell), Monday, 27 January 2014 10:38 (nine years ago) link

Oh ET how hard this must be for you to go through. I'm so sorry you've been dealing with this. I have about 30 something unread bookmarks and only just now saw this. I can't even imagine.

My mom is beginning to forget things. A lot. She forgets words for this and instead describes them and stops mid-sentence. Last week she apparently had no idea who my dad was in a picture of the two of them taken back when they first met and admitted that her forgetfulness is beginning to scare her.

I never did get to talk to them about what will happen if he dies first and I'm literally the only person left to make decisions about her/with her etc. I think I really need to when I go visit next month though because her flat out refusal to talk about his not only ridiculous at this point, it's insanely selfish.

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Tuesday, 28 January 2014 14:06 (nine years ago) link

I have about 30 something unread bookmarks and only just now saw this. I can't even imagine.

You need to stop hoarding bookmarks.

pplains, Tuesday, 28 January 2014 14:39 (nine years ago) link


yeah I think I'm gonna delete some now tbh. I bookmark things I don't even care about which is weird.

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Tuesday, 28 January 2014 14:54 (nine years ago) link

I mean, someone's going to have to come along and delete those things one day.

I kid about a harsh subject because I'm on the internet and none of you can punch me, but I've been watching my parents go through all of this with their parents. My mother has been moving things back and forth between three houses since my grandmother died nine years ago. I just want to say STOP, THROW IT AWAY, TAKE IT TO CHARITY.

And my diabetic father who's losing feeling in his feet lives in this swanky 1981 A-frame with spiral staircases and a loft bedroom that has this imitation wrought-iron barrier separating him from the living room 25 feet below. Step-mom has MS. Right now, there are about 20 years worth of Fantasy Football trophies sitting on the floor at the pinnacle of one of those spiral staircases.

So I'm not as close to the situation as some of you are, but I can sure smell it from here. My dad's mom went a little demented late in life, thinking Mexicans were electrocuting her dog through the carpet. I ask him, what am I going to do when you start saying crazy things like that? His answer is along the lines of, "Well, first of all, Mexicans weren't really doing anything to your grandma," and I"m like I KNOW THAT.

pplains, Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:11 (nine years ago) link

thinking Mexicans were electrocuting her dog through the carpet

Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:12 (nine years ago) link


Airwrecka Bliptrap Blapmantis (ENBB), Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:12 (nine years ago) link

Oh, they'd come in and steal checks that she had written to the phone company. Leave the TV and jewelry behind, even the checkbook itself.

pplains, Tuesday, 28 January 2014 15:15 (nine years ago) link

So I'm not as close to the situation as some of you are, but I can sure smell it from here.

My sister and I knew that the status quo with my mother was going to change sometime - we just didn't know when and how it would play out. You just end up waiting around vaguely worried and on hold. I'm right in that age-range when people are dealing with elderly parents and answering the "hey ET, how's it going?" question has led to a lot of stories. I believe a lot of us are more worried about our parents than climate change.

*throws away more mp3s and bookmarks*

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 28 January 2014 22:34 (nine years ago) link

haha yeah - for the last 3 years my parents have been my main source of concerns (on a daily basis basically). My situation is pretty extreme, but it's true that once your touch the subject you realise how many people around you are dealing with all kinds of family shit.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 31 January 2014 16:56 (nine years ago) link

as documented elsewhere here I'm helping my wife deal w/her parents (her mom has Alzheimer's and her dad has hoarding issues) and it's a terrible combo. I think this particular generation of people was a generation also that accumulated a lot of stuff, in general, maybe more than subsequent ones. I have no evidence to back this theory up but I also know a lot of people ourselves included who are almost terrified of having too much random crap around the house bc of how we've seen it pile up in the houses of older relatives. my wife's grandparents on the other hand (who are in their 90s, lucid, and sadly well aware of their daughter's state) on the other hand just have always thrown or given everything away (to almost comical degrees: they'll get a gift from someone and a week later quietly give it to someone else. Sometimes the same day!)

christmas candy bar (al leong), Friday, 31 January 2014 17:09 (nine years ago) link

my wife lives in fear of the day she inherits the staggering hoard of antique car parts that fills the barn and house of her childhood home

sleeve, Friday, 31 January 2014 17:18 (nine years ago) link

Call those American Picker guys.

carl agatha, Friday, 31 January 2014 17:36 (nine years ago) link

my wife lives in fear of the day she inherits the staggering hoard of antique car parts that fills the barn and house of her childhood home

FWIW, the antique/collector car underground is surprisingly helpful when it comes to these situations. Last year a friend of mine had to deal with her father's car/car parts hoard and after just a few well-placed ads got connected with a collector who paid $$$$ to take the whole works. That world is obsessed with "old cars in barns" stories.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 2 February 2014 23:33 (nine years ago) link

my wife's grandparents on the other hand (who are in their 90s, lucid, and sadly well aware of their daughter's state)

This is heart-breaking

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 3 February 2014 11:37 (nine years ago) link

my hard left (but stock market baller dad): "wait for rick santelli's take, he knows what he's talking about"

nothing a reincarnated ronnie james dio couldn't fix (brimstead), Thursday, 6 February 2014 21:36 (nine years ago) link

Aging parents.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but one of the reasons I moved to Los Angeles was to spend the last few years of my guardian's life with her. She raised me and though she was not my biological mother, she was the closest thing I ever had to one.

Today marks two months since she passed away. There was a lot of reflecting going on in the last three months. Earlier in 2013, I remember having a conversation with a good friend and telling her, "I don't know if she can make it through another winter". But the next winter seemed so far away. And even a couple of days before her passing, death seemed so far away.

Now, I'm not judging anyone, obviously, and I think it totally depends on other circumstances, but we would have never put her in a home. Too many thoughts going through my head right now to write something coherent.

I remember about 8 of us slept in her hospital room for probably four days, because we didn't want her to be alone. Many of her family members visited and she seemed to be improving. As the black sheep in a Catholic family, I always looked at the science, and was sceptical ever since maybe April of 2013. And everyone kept...I don't know if deluding themselves is the right word, but they kept holding onto their faith and at the hint of any positive news, they'd forget about all the other ill-occurrences and symptoms she'd had and would continue to have. It was shocking to me, and I tried to say something, but pretty much got accused of so many bad things and being so negative, when I was only trying to help.

Too many thoughts.

She was probably the strongest person I have ever met in my entire life.

I remember when I first created this user, it was meant as an experiment. I really can't keep it up anymore, as it is too much work and seems quite infantile and frivolous. Still trying to understand if there was a deeper meaning for all of this than what it all appears on the face of it.

Created a new user.

c21m50nh3x460n, Friday, 7 February 2014 00:51 (nine years ago) link

god bless you. i mean that. and i don't believe in god. but i feel for you. i went through something similar w/ my grandmother, but it's too difficult to write about right now.

espring (amateurist), Friday, 7 February 2014 01:00 (nine years ago) link

I spend most of this period visiting at weekends, and other times - and in that rather mad space where you seem cut off from the concerns of normal life, unable to relax for a minute, and living a kind of nightmare existence that no-one else around you realises. (Nothing like the horrific life of a full-time career - but bad enough).

The only thing you can say about it is that it passes, and you realise that what felt like an endless enduring period was in the end just another temporary era.

Pfff - i'll requote this again, mostly for my own personal benefit. Good to know that people have gone through this shit, since it often feels like you're living a nightmare that's completely oblivious to everybody else.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 13 February 2014 16:18 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

An Amazing Village Designed Just For People With Dementia

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 24 March 2014 20:07 (nine years ago) link

For example, one common symptom is the urge to roam, often without warning, which had led most "memory units" and dementia care centers to institute a strict lock-down policy. In one German town, an Alzheimer's care center event set up a fake bus stop to foil wandering residents. At Hogeweyk, the interior of the security perimeter is its own little village—which means that patients can move about as they wish without being in danger.

pplains, Monday, 24 March 2014 20:25 (nine years ago) link

The whole concept makes me very teary, I think that is a wonderful way to care for dementia patients.

And the fake bus stop made me lol, I bet that would work wonders with my father in law.

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 24 March 2014 20:31 (nine years ago) link

If I could live out my final days as a shambling Number Six perpetually harassing The Village in that annoying old-person way... I would be so fucking happy.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 05:57 (nine years ago) link

right? it makes total sense

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 25 March 2014 06:04 (nine years ago) link

What if you already are? WHAT IF YOU ALREADY ARE?

pplains, Tuesday, 25 March 2014 14:08 (nine years ago) link

The floors are now able to tell The Village if you've wandered too far:

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 09:48 (nine years ago) link

Was it on this page where I talked about my grandmother thinking her dog was being electrocuted through the carpet by her neighbors?

Because I'm so glad she never saw that link, Elvis.

pplains, Wednesday, 26 March 2014 14:28 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

TMI ahead.

So back in March my mother managed to sneak out of the memory care floor and make it outside by hiding next to the food cart in the elevator and then casually walking out the front door. Alert! The facility calls the cops and everything becomes comically ridiculous with all the procedures that have to be activated when a well-appointed assisted living facility in 2014 surveillance state Orange County goes on lockdown. I'm so fucking thankful I have a job however tenuous because I dodged being the one who had to take the call to persuade my mom to go back inside - my sister did. It all works out OK and she goes back in. The folks at the facility were trying to figure out how she managed to get off of the second floor, but I know the real reason: all the 60s/70s-era pulp espionage fiction she loves*! Alistair MacLean, Len Deighton, Robert Ludlum, Clive Cussler, etc. she read it all. One unexpected benefit of being the child of a super-conservative mom is that we saw every James Bond** movie, every nihilistic conspiracy movie, cold war/WWII/etc. movie on opening night at the Big Edwards in Fascist Island.

The situation over there though was worsening. My mother was just being obnoxious and belligerent, kept trying to get out, and just horrible to everyone. Two weeks ago the facility finally had enough... An Official 5150 (really! It's on the form) and she was moved to a psych hospital for a couple of weeks so her meds could be straightened-out. Success! My sister saw her today and the difference was incredible. She's still talks in cycles and thinks she fell down and hit her head while ice skating but at least she's friendly. One staffer described her as being "the mom you wished you had." Hoping so at least for her sake. I haven't been over there since she told me to shut up and shrieked like a pod person.

*I've been hauling all of these books out of the hoard and taking them to Goodwill by the van-full. My sister and I just started in on month four of this and by my rough calculations + actual vehicle weighing we've hauled out 8.5 tons of crap: most of it books, old clothes, leftover material from abandoned construction and bags upon bags upon bags of paper garbage. One set of civic trash cans have already been killed and replaced (for free!) with larger/stronger ones. Last weekend I let my inner troglodyte take over and took two van loads of disgusting desiccated furniture and leftover construction material to the San Juan Capistrano landfill. At least there's an ocean view out there. The master plan for that part of the county is that the landfill will close in 2067 and then a regional park and city built over the top. I haven't been to the county landfill in over twenty years and I had no idea just how oversized it is now. These days you just kick the trash out of the van onto the landfill moonscape while a bulldozer the size of a McDonalds stands by to grind your filth into the ground. I totally nerd out on infrastructure and things the CLUI does but holy shit there's an eye-croggling amount of Future Bullshit our followers are going to have to deal with. I hate hoarding. I fucking hate it. I hate the corporations who sell "collectables" to elderlies because it's only collectable to a dying generation. I hate the default "that will be worth something some day" and "one day I'm going to fix that up" attitudes. I'm even more annoyed when my hoarding gene is validated and something I hung onto becomes useful again. Prima Deshecha Landfill is now my #1 search term on my phone's Google Maps.

**Of course there will never be a movie about what happens when the older children of an 89-year-old Stage 4 Dementia Moneypenny have to deal with her craziness. I'm still waiting for that perfect existential moment to hit while driving the Aston Martin around but so far no success. Too many assholes that rev engines at stop lights and try to ruin your day.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 14 April 2014 11:23 (nine years ago) link

whoa! I can't believe your mom sneaked out! That is scary but also totally amazing and I can't help but cheer for her.

Glad she is doing better. What meds is she taking? <<< that is a totally personal question so feel free to ignore, of course, but I do have a professional interest in such things or I wouldn't ask!

Your cleanup is amazing. So is your writing. TY for these posts!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 14 April 2014 13:04 (nine years ago) link

I wish I could be around in 2067 for a 20th Century bureaucrat to explain to the new mayor what to do with the landfill.

"Well, our thinking back then was that you could build a park on top of it."

Porcelain Air Bud doll, commemorative plate remembering the 5/23 attacks, wicker bean bag roll by...

"Yeah, that's what you were thinking, eh?"

pplains, Monday, 14 April 2014 13:40 (nine years ago) link

medication adjustments can really make a huge difference

my father in law (dementia) was aggressive, argumentative, downright misogynistic to my sister in law and his female carer and over a period of 6 months had turned into this horrible man that they didn't want to be around, and did not at ALL resemble the man he had been before things ramped up.

a month ago they took him off a few medications, put him on some new ones (I couldn't tell you what exactly the changes were)...he's back to his old self. He can follow a logical flow of conversation, doesn't get aggressive or agitated with ideas that are new to him, and is much friendlier to be around especially for my sister in law and his carer

I think it's difficult when they are on so many medications for physical ailments AND mental ailments, and in some cases they may have more than one doctor and none of them know what the other is prescribing, or aren't made aware by guardians or whatever. having someone knowledgeable to act as a *medical* advocate for aging patients where mental health is an issue can really make a difference

set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 14 April 2014 23:41 (nine years ago) link

Glad she is doing better. What meds is she taking? <<< that is a totally personal question so feel free to ignore, of course, but I do have a professional interest in such things or I wouldn't ask!

I haven't seen the full report back from the hospital so I don't have the full details. The text from my sister simply said "Better living through chemistry"

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:28 (nine years ago) link

I wish I could be around in 2067 for a 20th Century bureaucrat to explain to the new mayor what to do with the landfill.

You don't have to wait, you can read about the toxic mess at the former Coyote Canyon Landfill site

From all outward appearances, Newport Coast—the prized real-estate development project of Orange County's wealthiest, most powerful man, Irvine Co. billionaire Don Bren—looks to be a slice of heaven on Earth. Elaborate gates and private guards protect hillside neighborhoods with sweeping, Pacific Ocean views. Mediterranean-style houses, some accurately called "palatial estates" in real-estate guides, can fetch $20 million or more. Even the palm tree-, succulent- and flower-lined, litter-free public roads suggest paradise.

It's the perfect setting for a crime or, at least, a bizarre mystery.

Just as Bren hails himself as the perfect, proud capitalist even though his private, cash-cow project is (cleverly) publicly subsidized, Newport Coast is built on a contradiction. Next to all those gorgeous estates is one of OC's largest toxic dumps: Beside Newport Coast Road, the 395-acre Coyote Canyon Landfill contains 60 million cubic yards of municipal solid waste generated from household, commercial, industrial, recreational and agricultural trash sources during a 30-year period.

But the waste—so extensive it goes 200 feet deep—hasn't just been sitting there. County officials and Bren have allowed a gas-recovery company to burn the trash to generate power. Incinerating trash can have negative consequences for nearby humans through the release of dioxins and arsenic into the atmosphere. In January 2010, a decision to burn Coyote Canyon trash around the clock seven days a week doubled the cancer-risk threshold, requiring government air-quality officials to alert 200 Newport Coast households to the danger.

This is where our crime mystery begins.

After the decision to keep Coyote Canyon incinerators burning nonstop, Anna D. Steiner—a practicing medical doctor, single mother of three children and well-to-do Newport Coast resident—noticed that her children (ages 14, 12 and 11) began suffering unusual symptoms, including bloody noses and chronic abdominal pain. Concerned, Steiner took them for urinalysis testing. Arsenic—a lethal poison in large doses—was detected, but in levels considered normal. The kids continued to exhibit signs of sickness, and Steiner continued to test. In May 2010, her youngest child twice tested positive for above-normal levels of arsenic in her system.

The findings were understandably alarming. Steiner wondered if Coyote Canyon landfill activities caused the poisoning, or if a sneaky, would-be killer was loose. On the advice of a social worker and with the hope of solving the mystery, she went to the local police in Bren's home city for help.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 15 April 2014 00:42 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

If there are any Boston-area ilxors who read this thread, I need your help.

We live in nyc, but my wife is in Framingham right now trying to get her mother's situation sorted out. In a nutshell, her mom has had severe OCD for a long time and it has gotten to the point where it is seriously imperiling her health (she's barely eating or drinking because of her inner edicts). She lives on her own in a subsidized complex and gets social security. She still drives (is only in her early 70s) and goes out every day, but is highly, angrily, nastily, cunningly resistant to treatment for her problem. My wife is down there to basically force her into treatment by hook or by crook, preferably CBT and with a female practitioner, maybe inpatient if medicare/Tufts HMO will cover it. Wife is gonna stay down there for a week and half but there is def gonna need to be something like a caseworker popping in on Mom after that to make sure she is working whatever program is assigned her etc. I am hoping one of y'all might know a) a provider that fits the bill in the area around framingham/metro west and or b) some kind of MA state program that is especially geared toward this kind of instance with elderly patients? Or a state hotline that points one in the right direction? Wife does not have much internet access down there and only has her smartphone with her so I'm trying to come up with a game plan from my perch in nyc...

Khamma chameleon (Jon Lewis), Thursday, 22 May 2014 16:24 (nine years ago) link

By the way, if anyone here is facing these kinds of issues with your parents. PLEASE do everything you can to have power of attorney, bank accounts, etc. squared away. I don't know what we would be doing now if that wasn't taken care of.

Does anyone here have any advice on convincing a reluctant parent to cooperate in this sort of business? My mother is living in squalor reminiscent of the pictures upthread, and in the past has dodged the question when I try to bring up this subject. I dread the idea of something critical happening, and having to dig through feet of stuff to try and find her information.

(I am so cowardly in the face of this that I am considering getting back together with the guy I dumped years ago, just in hope of getting some emotional support.)

#TweetFromAnUnknownWoman (, Sunday, 25 May 2014 20:57 (nine years ago) link

hey jon. to get the attention of the people you want, just keep posting here: Boston -- Classic or Dirty Water?

that's kind of our thread. (even if you didn't get a response last time)

markers, Sunday, 25 May 2014 21:43 (nine years ago) link

it's been more inactive as of late than it has in the past, but it's possibly your best bet on ilx

markers, Sunday, 25 May 2014 21:43 (nine years ago) link

Best wishes and positive thoughts to all on this thread -- this is hard, hard stuff.

Since his retirement, Pa C. has been living in a cabin in the north Georgia mountains. Over the last year or two it has become obvious that his ability to function on his own is waning. What finally prompted me to intervene was his inability to make the drive to or from our house, about 100 miles, without becoming confused and lost and arriving many hours late. After his last nerve-wracking attempt, I talked to him very directly about how much stress and fear his diminishing capacity was creating for me and for the rest of the family. His short-term memory is shot, but he's otherwise still fairly cogent, and he seemed to respond much better to my saying "you can't live this way any more because it's scaring me to death" than "you can't live this way any more because you're frail and demented."

Once I got him to acknowledge there was a problem, he gradually let me get more directly involved. That was about six months ago. Last week he moved into a place a few blocks from ours and so far seems to be adapting well to his new environment. How I am going to adapt to spending many hours a week helping him shop, clean, etc. remains to be seen.

I think a huge part of the challenge of these situations is breaking through the psychological conditioning of childhood in relating to a parent, whether that conditioning disposes one toward passivity, rebellion, deference, terror, or whatever. It's difficult to get past habitual emotional responses and find new ones that are based more on current events than on history. This opportunity for emotional reorientation is one faintly positive aspect of events that otherwise can feel overwhelming.

Brad C., Sunday, 25 May 2014 21:53 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

By calculation I'm up to around 13 tons of crap out of the house and into the Goodwill and Prima Deshecha: City Of The Future. Most of the heavyweight: mouse-pee infected furniture, 1200 pounds of rusted wrought-iron furniture, enough books to stock several Goodwill stores of the type of books Goodwills carry, and unending piles of accumulated bullshit that's hard to deal with. Every day I utter "Fuck, do I just put all that into a bag?" I feel like I'm paying some perverse type of psychic penalty for being really into Mad Men - having to dig out a mid-century modern house

I keep thinking in terms of restarting a derelict spaceship ("life-support is at 35% captain") but the reality is more ferally practical. I want to get the fucking toilet working so I don't auto-conclude "enh, it's just easier to pee in the trees on the hillside." On top of all that, I'M MOVING IN. It's hard not to think of it as squatting in a derelict place, but if those maniacs in Slab City can make it work out in apocalypse land I certainly can deal with this. Mad respect to those folks in Detroit who buy ten dollar houses and somehow Make It Work.

Meanwhile my mother is... well let me quote from an email my sister just sent me:

It seems that when mother is left alone, she walks around a bit and participates on the periphery of things going on, which is a big improvement. As soon as one of the staff is in the room or I'm there, she manipulates and moans and groans. There was an issue a week ago of two staff people having to make her get in the shower, and those people are now "evil."

There's another hoarder on the floor! She comes into other residents' rooms and takes stuff.

Potential problems!!

The CENSORED is having a hard time renting out the room next door because mother enjoys walking around in the nude. She doesn't go out in the hallway like that though--yet. Another big problem (brace yourself for this one) is that she is also very sexual and noisy about it. A number of dementia patients are like this--more men than women. I asked if there was some kind of med to tone it down, and there is one that they give to men sometimes. CENSORED STAFF will ask the doctor.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 27 June 2014 07:51 (nine years ago) link

You cannot get enough praise and support for what you're dealing with, ET.

If I lived near you I would totally adopt your mom and hang out with her, because it is SO MUCH EASIER when it is not *your* parent!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 27 June 2014 11:36 (nine years ago) link

i think you deserve a break
how heavy, on a scale of 1-10 is this for you? (feel free to not answer this if you don't want, i don't mean to pry)
i ask bc if it were me (and it will be eventually on some scale), i think i would be completely imploding. i hope you have someone you can talk to and hang with irl to decompress.

La Lechera, Friday, 27 June 2014 13:23 (nine years ago) link

1 = can totes handle this no problem
10 = take me down to the hospital

La Lechera, Friday, 27 June 2014 13:24 (nine years ago) link

aw dude, sending you good vibes.

polyamanita (sleeve), Friday, 27 June 2014 14:05 (nine years ago) link

It's all over the scale. Sometimes I wish my memory wasn't quite so sharp because *everything* in there has sense memory and you can't turn that off. My gf has come down several times to help me dig out and she approaches it as pure archeology - separating the treasure from the trash - and is asking the honest "keep, eBay, Goodwill, or trash" question and I keep having answering "trash" and getting frayed around the edges because every single fucking thing in there was a choice my mom made to value that thing more than she valued her family. There's no sense of importance - the piles of unhandled junk mail become equally as important as family photographs, kindergarten drawings, old furniture she compulsively bought at garage sales, broken hot plates, dozens of old desiccated dolls, even more dozens of teapots, hundreds of never opened cook books, water-damaged photographs that I remember not because of the vacation or occasion but because she made me feel bad about wearing glasses ("you got your father's eyes") and demanded that I take them off, and on and on and on.

At some point I just had to push back and deliberately say out loud "you will not be able to make sense out of this because she's crazy. Crazier for much longer than you suspected. It's also not your fault because she got a bad hand dealt to her by her parents." I've been seeing a therapist regularly for about a year and a half now. Good guy - he and his family left revolutionary Iran for Australia and then the US with only the clothes on their backs. Has a perspective on life I can relate to and specializes in PTSD. I actually started seeing him after I was laid off and discovered that nuTech had disrupted me out of my profession and into a New Economy Midlife Crisis. The mother stuff came a few months later and after a sufficiently long period of weed, screeching guitar noise, staying up all night watching X-Files reruns, Diablo 3 and halfhearted attempts at looking for work I had to make the choice of either surrender to depression and just be Depressed Guy or slowly and deliberately get some momentum going again. I went with cathartic determination and my own special blend of black humor.

The last major breakdown I had onsite was last week when I finally found the picture from the time my parents and I went to Florida to see the launch of the last moon landing flight - Apollo 17. A NASA astronaut from Orange County spoke at one of my mom's political groups, got us passes for the launch with everything it entails for a minor local visiting dignitary. Go ahead and guess how important that trip was to seven-year-old me. Anyway, after the flight he got the A17 crew to autograph a print of the launch - not a NASA PR auto pen, but actually hand-signed. The photo disappeared into the horde and hadn't been seen since 1973. Sure, that photo has huge artifact importance to the Telecom household but that to Florida was the last time my parents and I went on a vacation together and acted about as well as a normal family could be. Huge psychic importance and I wasn't giving good odds to recovery as six months into the digging I had found nothing. Until last weekend. Found it sandwiched in between 30 year old magazines and crumbling newspapers. Still in the original NASA envelope. I must have cried for 15 minutes straight.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 27 June 2014 22:26 (nine years ago) link

Some cool side-effects... In the early 50s my dad was trying to sell short-stores to magazines. My mom always said that he put "writer" in the Father's Occupation box on my brother's birth certificate because he felt bad about putting in "Taxi Driver," but I didn't know that he was actually working the hustle. Found a box with all his stories complete with the rejection letters from Esquire. Remind me a little of Elmore Leonard.

Also discovered that my kindergarten art is so obvious of an indicator that I'm going to be into abstract expressionism, obsess over Kandinsky, Leger, etc.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 27 June 2014 22:35 (nine years ago) link

Another side-effect. I'm in the best physical shape I've ever been in this century. My next door neighbor was positive that I was ten years younger. Seriously looking at preparing for a big hike on the John Muir Trail later on.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 27 June 2014 22:37 (nine years ago) link

Elvis i fucking love you for these posts.

OutdoorF on Golf (Jon Lewis), Friday, 27 June 2014 22:53 (nine years ago) link

One of my parents-in-law is gravely ill rn, but NOT the one whose house is filled to the gills with a physical pandemonium that (I'm told, we've not been allowed in there in the 10 years my wife and I have been together) bids fair to put anything seen on Hoarders in the shade. When that parent in law passes I'm going to be the copilot for a garbage journey that will probably be unimaginably painful and intense for my wife. May tap you for wisdom when that time comes.

OutdoorF on Golf (Jon Lewis), Friday, 27 June 2014 22:59 (nine years ago) link

oh man elvis

pretty sure my reckoning will be, for better or worse, infinitely more mundane: fifty-year-old sewing/gardening implements, windows 3.1 manuals, 90s-era newspaper clippings, hidden caches of v8 juice forgotten amidst the mess

mookieproof, Friday, 27 June 2014 23:55 (nine years ago) link

Seriously looking at preparing for a big hike on the John Muir Trail later on.

My dad and sis have done it. I encourage you to do so.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 28 June 2014 02:30 (nine years ago) link

elvis, your posts in this thread are humbling and inspiring. i have a shit ton going on with my elderly folks at the moment, and i truly appreciate the fortitude, forthrightness, and imo righteous dignity that you present here. take care of yourself. hope you get to go hiking.

blisco sinferno (Hunt3r), Saturday, 28 June 2014 05:01 (nine years ago) link


set the controls for the heart of the sun (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 28 June 2014 05:11 (nine years ago) link

ET, this sounds like an almost unbearable load, and yet you seem to be bearing it with forthrightness and even good (albeit black) humour. That you are taking this terrible experience and turning it into this heartbreaking yet beautiful and strengthening series of posts is such a sign of your personal strength and integrity. This is going to sound like a strange thing to say, but I hope that you are writing it down elsewhere, as well. You are such a creative person, creativity is really the way to handle these impossible and unbearable things. (Short way of saying: it's an insane and yet fascinating experience to be digging out the personal archeology of your and your family's life as you try to transform a hoarder's prison into a liveable home. I'd read a book about that subject, should you have the energy to turn it into one.)

I dunno about saying the other half of what I want to say (my talking about mental illness on ILX always ends up coming out wrong) but it's this: you do have the right to feel angry and sad and frustrated and betrayed about your mother's aberrant behaviour. (Some of it - the stuff about the glasses - yeah, that's not mental illness, that's a choice.) But the stuff that very much *is* mental illness - the hoarding, the indiscriminate composting of your most treasured family memories in amidst fucking garbage - the thing that I always have to try to remember when dealing with the seriously mentally ill members of my family, is that people are not being mentally ill *at* you. Intention is one of those hard things to disentangle, because, when someone is hurting you, and badly, it does not matter if they *meant* to step on your foot or not, it still hurts having your foot stepped on and your bones crushed, and you have a right to that pain. But when you're reading into it "my mother didn't care about me any more than she cared about rubbish" - that's not how it is. Your mother's mental illness was unable to distinguish between mementoes of your life and mementoes of the morning's post, but that is not an intentional act, that is the madness, and as hard and as painful as it is, one cannot draw conclusions about what a person truly values, emotionally, from what their mental illness and their compulsions compel them to do.

Like, to use a metaphor here, which will feel very familiar to you: I hoard CDs. You've seen (at least part of) my CD collection, and you know that it's physically impossible for me to get rid of CDs, even promos I don't even like. I keep everything, it's a weird compulsion. Yet, when it comes to the things I treasure, I fucking know the difference between "this is a treasured and meaningful artefact, a demo that was given to me by the guitarist" and "these are 37 copies of the same single (not even my favourite single!) in different formats that I just have because my bandmate was working at their record company when it came out that I cannot bring myself to get rid of." No one looking at that CD collection would know that the treasure sandwiched between 37 copies of junk is my treasure, but I still know. It's a dumb metaphor and probably doesn't work, but it's just about the futility of trying to draw ideas about value from the actions of a compulsion.

Anyway, just sending you light & love and reminding you that there will eventually be an end to all this digging.

FEEL MY DESIRE. I'M A FRUSTRATED FAN. (Branwell with an N), Saturday, 28 June 2014 08:02 (nine years ago) link

Branwell -

If anything I've learned just how human my mother is. I allude to her family background a little in but in short - she was raised in a 1920s-era children-seen-and-not-heard family were parental emotions were, at best, austere. Her father was also a out-of-control hoarder. Furthermore, she was the eldest of five daughters - I can only imagine what the competition was like in the middle of that: fifty years later, my mother still held a grudge against a younger sister who got ballet lessons when she didn't. Others held grudges against my mother for being the one who "moved away and left us." I was born so late into the marriage that all of this background may as well have happened to another person - I never really had an idea of what her experiences were like and reading all the saved letters (and they're *all* saved) has been, well, eye-opening. She was dealt a bad hand, got married at 19, and sadly was never able to get out in front of her own festering mental illness. Who could? It was the 1940s and 50s - mental illness itself wasn't even an addressable problem, much less hoarding. My dad used to say "I wonder how bad it could get?" Um dad, pretty fucking bad!

Of course I bring my own baggage and perspective to the Current Situation. I'm a expert problem-solving guy - perpetually on the lookout for patterns and intentions and latching onto them like Sherlock Holmes. I can't help it - my whole brain is optimized for doing that. After thirteen broken hotplates, 70+ teapots, endless numbers of empty tissue boxes and on and on and on it I finally had to admit to myself that I probably would not and never will find any connections, explanations, and certainly not any answers and to just get on with the digging. If I paused at every "WTF is this?" moment I'd still be outside trying to open the door. I'm also completely terrified because in a parallel universe that's very close to this one, I'm a hoarder too and probably just as bad - towers of albums, books, ephemera, on and on.

I used to think that I was responsible for a lot of her behavior. Two weeks ago I made it to the back wall of the garage (the windows had not been opened in over 45 years - I know this for a fact) and found most of her things that pre-dated her marriage that she could never let go of. There's a lot of it. I wish that she could have found a way to let go but hooboy were there a lot of consequences. I need to write a follow-up post to my exegesis at Tell me all about 10-year-old you

I didn't intend to take over the thread, but megathanks to everyone here for all of the support. Whenever I answer the "so what have you been up to?" question with "89-year-old hoarder mom" more often than not it inevitably ends up being a "I don't know what's going to happen to my parents" discussion. Seems like there's a lot of ambient fear, uncertainty and doubt when it comes to dealing with parents in the final stage of their lives. I wouldn't usually suggest stream of consciousness core-dumps on ILX, but HFS I gotta get this out somewhere.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 30 June 2014 04:07 (nine years ago) link

xxxxxxpost to Jon - please ask away when it's time.

I can only describe the excavation as like writing a book, climbing a mountain, driving I-10 through Texas or really anything that requires constant, steady, unchanging work. It sucks, I hate it. I want my weekends back and then all of sudden, holy shit I made a clean spot. Hey, there's a house under here. That bedroom can now be yellow-tagged.

Sign posts like that keep you going - also taking things to Goodwill where I'm hoping the stuff will, you know, actually get used for once.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 30 June 2014 04:23 (nine years ago) link

OK, one last thing.

You know who I hate? I hate the people at Franklin Mint, QVC, or anyplace who markets ridiculously priced "collectables" at elderly folks vulnerable to the exploitation of nostalgia. Over a long enough time scale, the value of these collectables is a Big Fat Zero. Can only imagine the meetings going on as these people look at aging population of baby boomers and how to best market them out of their money.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 30 June 2014 04:36 (nine years ago) link

the thing that I always have to try to remember when dealing with the seriously mentally ill members of my family, is that people are not being mentally ill *at* you.

Thanks for this, Branwell. You're absolutely right.
I've been dealing with my own aging parents hell, as documented upthread, and yeah I do get in these fits of rage because of my mother's drinking and all the accidents and the middle-of-the-night calls from the local hospital. But beyond all the horrible practicalities, the hardest part is this misguided resentment I have towards my mom - as if she was stabbing me in the back everytime she buys a bottle.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 1 July 2014 13:36 (nine years ago) link

Louis Theroux's documentary about dementia patients in Arizona to thread:

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 11 July 2014 06:49 (nine years ago) link

^^^just finished watching this--thank you for posting. I'm feeling a little torn about doing my next internship (I do 2--am currently in a hospital ICU) in hospice or at a memory care facility. I'm going to try to get a volunteer gig it a local memory care joint to get a little experience.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Saturday, 12 July 2014 13:46 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

When I first learned that dementia progression was broken down into numbered stages I kept thinking of hurricane and tornado strength ratings. If you're already at stage five, then what the heck happens when things get even worse?

Last week the nursing home called. In short, my mother's needs have gone beyond what they can provide. They're absolutely correct too... her dementia is progressing very quickly and because of all the falling, she's had to trade in the walker for a wheelchair. She can barely cut her food, much less move a fork to her mouth. Using the bathroom (which she does often) is more of a production. Her instinct is to get up and go, but that's when she keeps falling down and whenever she complains about the pain the home automatically sends her to the hospital for examination. Repeat repeat repeat.

The next step is a board-and-care house. These are residential houses with five to six residents and since they're smaller, the staff (the better ones have RNs on duty) can provide constant and more individualized care. They're also significantly less expensive. So last week my sister and I met up with a Realtor For The Elderly and we visited a half-dozen. Knocked flat at just how camouflaged they are - they look just like a regular Orange County suburban house from the outside, but the insides are all set up for dementia care. Instantly thought of suburban marijuana grow houses or stash houses for the undocumented. Apparently there's a lot of them in OC, because of the crash quite a few homeowners have converted their properties to board-and-cares. Just in time too, there's not enough facility space to accommodate the growing numbers of patients.

Finding the right match is tricky. One house was scratched off because of my mother's casual racist colonialism (the director was Indian and I instantly envisioned my mother going off again on "how horrible it was that England gave up on India"). Another house scratched because the manager looked visibly worried when we mentioned the middle-of-the-night hollering and attempts to walk. All of them have hospice options which I suspect we're going to need sooner rather than later.

Meanwhile there are some issues with her physical health. A couple months ago the doctors ran a complete physical test and found an aortic aneurysm. Surgery is out of the question because of her age and fragility. She's on a pain patch right now, which seems to help but the dementia is front-and-center.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 28 July 2014 00:53 (nine years ago) link

BTW, the costs of all this is eye-croggling. Because of all the outbursts, we had to move her to a private room - a change from $5500/month to $6650/month. Pharmacy costs are equally as HFS: $1800/month - mostly from a couple of black box meds. There's some small relief from Medicare and social security. There's an upcoming change in January that will relieve some more, but I don't know what it is - my sister is handling all the medical stuff while I deal with the house. For that matter, I'm unsure if my mother will make it to January.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 28 July 2014 01:00 (nine years ago) link

Oh yeah, I finished moving into the house yesterday.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 28 July 2014 01:01 (nine years ago) link

Didn't expect to be updating again so soon, but the board-and-care is out for the time being. The dementia behavior is completely out of control again. She's now "painting herself in shit" and hollering so loudly at all times that folks on the first floor are calling up to see what's going on. Anyway, it's back to the hospital for now while the doctors again readjust her anti-psychotics and try to level her out.

One of my aunts commented that my mom "thought of herself as an only child who happened to have 4 younger sisters" and commonly threw tantrums. The nursing home manager remarked that as dementia patients regress back to the toddler stage those emotional memories become front-and-center again. Fucking hell.

One resident on the memory care floor has 11 children and all of them are fighting amongst themselves. The conservator wants to quit.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 29 July 2014 02:27 (nine years ago) link

thank you for your contributions to this thread, which as horrid as they are to read give a very lucid insight into something that few people who don't have first-degree relatives with dementia will be particularly acquainted this

Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln (nakhchivan), Tuesday, 29 July 2014 02:39 (nine years ago) link

acquainted *with*

Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln (nakhchivan), Tuesday, 29 July 2014 02:41 (nine years ago) link

Yeah. I mean...damn. DAMN.

ET, seriously, if you need to step away for an evening at some point, you know where I'm at, and you're more than welcome to just come over here and decompress.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 29 July 2014 03:00 (nine years ago) link

I can't even imagine on how families deal with early-onset dementia/Alzheimer's. One of the dementia patients featured in the Theroux documentary is a forty year old woman with a family and a nine year old child. Utterly heartbreaking. I feel like I'm... well, not lucky but maybe dealing with an abbreviated experience? It's not like I'm super-close with my mother, but as nakh. said she's still first-degree and you only have one. I was 22 when my dad died and very young at handling Big Life Issues like that. I'd like to think I'm better at that now.

I can't wait until I no longer need to monopolize the thread, but I'm glad it's here should another ILXor need it.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 29 July 2014 03:40 (nine years ago) link

BTW, TIg Notaro's LIVE may just be the best thing to listen to when you're suddenly navigating through pits of stress and uncertainty:

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 29 July 2014 03:44 (nine years ago) link

saw my 101-yr old grandfather again today -- he said he misses his mother

shits real

johnny crunch, Friday, 1 August 2014 18:23 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...


my wife's mom has been on and off various medications for her alzheimer's and she has also been prone to seizures. she went off one medication that was giving her certain 'digestive issues' and then yesterday had another seizure, pulling down my wife's dad as she fell. she's okay, relatively speaking, and is at home. my wife's dad has a small hip fracture and needs a rod installed to prevent any future complete break.

we drove out there last night to deliver some overnight stuff to my wife, who had gone earlier. my wife's mom is asking to go home or asking where her husband is or needs to (or more accurately thinks she needs to) use the bathroom every ten minutes. my wife's trying to use this time to get rid of any crap lying around the house resulting from her dad's hoarding problem. on my way out the door last night i grabbed about twenty old used tissues lying on the dining table and an old banana.

i did not attend to the pile of paper towel bits: you know how when you tear a paper towel and sometimes there's just a little triangle left to the roll? he doesn't leave it there, he tears it off and saves them in a pile on the kitchen counter for tiny spills. this would be ok if the counter wasn't filled with dozens of other things and also if he ever actually used the scraps.

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Sunday, 17 August 2014 16:52 (nine years ago) link

Elvis did you ever find anything to read about hoarding? I read Stuff a while ago and it's a thoughtful, sensitive, fascinating-but-not-lurid account of hoarding and the psychology of hoarding. (It's popular nonfiction, not an academic text, but the authors are a research psychologist and a clinician with loads of experience.)

heck (silby), Sunday, 17 August 2014 17:21 (nine years ago) link


LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Tuesday, 19 August 2014 19:25 (nine years ago) link

one month passes...

it's not like it was a total surprise, but getting the official dementia diagnosis for an otherwise extremely healthy 73 year old is oh god I know this road and it is such a fucking sad road

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 29 September 2014 23:18 (eight years ago) link

oh quincie. It is.

ljubljana, Tuesday, 30 September 2014 00:43 (eight years ago) link

already I have had suggestions for "looking into coconut oil and a super-low carb diet" I mean this is Alzheimer's, c'mon.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 30 September 2014 01:43 (eight years ago) link

suggestions from well-meaning ppl who don't have a clue, is what I mean

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 30 September 2014 01:44 (eight years ago) link

yeah, the pervasive notion that dementia can be halted or reversed is depressing, because it just reinforces that these helpful ppl have not witnessed the cruel decline in person

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 30 September 2014 04:39 (eight years ago) link

mr veg's dad continues to decline. seeing him slowly fade is the hardest thing i have faced. it's like watching dandelion seeds blow away one at a time

each time there's just a little bit less of him, and a little more fog

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 30 September 2014 04:42 (eight years ago) link

when I was small my mom was POA for her mother, who had non-Alzheimer's senile dementia and must have been a mighty challenge to deal with. It was many years before the phone in her room was taken away and until then my mom would regularly have frustrating phone calls with her that ended in shouting, which was naturally upsetting and confusing to small-me. Thinking about it now as a young adult and my folks on the edge of retirement makes me anxious sometimes. I don't know what they might need in 10 or 20 or 30 years, or if they have advance directives, or anything.

Spirit of Match Game '76 (silby), Tuesday, 30 September 2014 05:37 (eight years ago) link

I highly recommend "5 Wishes" for advance directive planning:

It's actually pretty cheesy in places, but has the advantages of 1) being very straightforward and accessible and 2) recognized and honored as a legal document across most states (so you don't necessarily have to do a state-specific directive) and 3) no lawyer required

The palliative care team at my hospital uses it and it is pretty much the "go to" document for hospitals and hospices. I'm doing one myself.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 30 September 2014 12:21 (eight years ago) link

this is relevant to the discussion, tangentially:

there should maybe be a 'fuck dementia/alzheimer's' thread. it is a terrible, terrifying thing.

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 18:07 (eight years ago) link

The fact that Alzheimer's is a thing that is happening to ppl every day irl is utterly intolerable to me, one hates to scale dissimilar horrors but I abhor it even more than C.

a drug by the name of WORLD WITHOUT END (Jon Lewis), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 20:28 (eight years ago) link

Not to start some sort of suffering Olympics, but Alzheimer's takes the gold for absolute worst fucking disease.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 21:01 (eight years ago) link

like i've said before we're dealing with my wife's mom going through it, she's towards the end of stage 6. she seems to be where glen campbell is at, recognizing people and able to have happy moments, but also on the cusp of going into a care facility. she's had these plateaus that last for months and months, then there's a sudden decline, then another plateau. so much of it is being aware that another decline is inevitable, but knowing just when it will occur is impossible. w/r/t my previous story a few weeks ago, my wife was at her parents' house for a week while her dad was in the hospital and they've had caregivers for most of that time since. it's just devastating stuff, going over there and seeing how bad it is.

LIKE If you are against racism (omar little), Wednesday, 8 October 2014 21:07 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

My mother's 90th birthday was on November 1. The hospice folks (she's on hospice now) brought in a big cake and had a party. She loved it. Her current med combination is working out well and her dementia state has advanced along to whatever counts as Stage Five Acceptance.

Meanwhile, we hit the wall at 18 tons of crap hauled out of the house. There were dishes in the crawlspace, under all the sinks, everywhere... the woman who's handling the estate sale (my life in the the hoarder estate sale voyeur underground deserves another post) has seen all the obsessions: dolls, penguins, radios, but apparently my mom earns the "I've never seen so many dishes before!"award.

The sale is happening this Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday. Here's what's left.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 17 November 2014 06:40 (eight years ago) link

I hope it's to some extent gratifying that after all of this heartache your mom was able to enjoy a birthday party and you've unearthed enough of value from the home to have an extravaganza.

Geoffrey Splenda, the first Baron Splenda (silby), Monday, 17 November 2014 06:56 (eight years ago) link

Best of luck and congrats on all the progress ET.

chemical aioli (Hunt3r), Monday, 17 November 2014 12:08 (eight years ago) link

Good luck with the sale! It's encouraging to hear how much you've accomplished.

Brad C., Monday, 17 November 2014 13:40 (eight years ago) link

I should never click on those things because it's always "Wow, I had that toy airplane! Is that a Snoopy sno-cone maker? Here, let me get my billfold…"

pplains, Monday, 17 November 2014 14:49 (eight years ago) link

Yes, I see a Cathrineholm bowl in there and a lot of the kind of stuff my grandma left to my mother that's now considered sentimental family loot.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Monday, 17 November 2014 14:54 (eight years ago) link

Basically we'll be right over.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Monday, 17 November 2014 14:54 (eight years ago) link

I like knowing that many of those items are going to go on to be much-loved by other folks. I'm glad your mom is feeling better and had a great birthday. You are a great person and I really admire your grace and humor and humanity in dealing with this most difficult of situations. I hope I can be half as good with my dad as things progress.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 17 November 2014 15:22 (eight years ago) link

Sounds like you're getting to a (relatively) good place - really happy to hear

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 17 November 2014 16:43 (eight years ago) link

sending good thoughts your way Elvis

sleeve, Monday, 17 November 2014 17:07 (eight years ago) link

same, i am sincerely in awe of the enormous task you took on and of how gracious and respectful and loving you have been throughout. and i'm glad your mom had a nice birthday.

estela, Monday, 17 November 2014 21:04 (eight years ago) link

ILX gets first dibs on whatever's left from the sale. The only catch is that you have to come here to get it. I take Square.

Dishes and bowls are a hard sell in the current estate sale market. Read as much sociology into this as you want, but it's difficult to liquidate those kinds of family inheritance. Sterling silver is only worth the melt value. Dishes, china, etc. that aren't microwaveable just aren't desirable except for other folks of that generation. OTOH, I've been told that a lot of dish patterns are desirable in China and that it's relatively common for liquidators to buy up all the dishes from a sale, repeat until one container unit is filled, and then ship it off across the Pacific. 2014 economy: go figure.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 02:03 (eight years ago) link

I recognize at least two china patterns. I don't know if it's worth seeing if Replacements Ltd would buy anything.

tokyo rosemary, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 02:19 (eight years ago) link

"Ooh, it's a special family dinner taking place in our house? Liao, make sure we set out the fine California."

pplains, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 02:35 (eight years ago) link

Er, is a joke my granddad would have made, that silly guy.

pplains, Tuesday, 18 November 2014 02:35 (eight years ago) link

three weeks pass...


four hospital trips in two weeks for my father in law, he refuses to cooperate in any way when he's back at home, won't take meds, won't eat, but is of sound mind and lies to everybody so they can't do anything just yet.

L is near Hudson NY on FMLA time (Family Medical Leave Act) and it is slammed w/snow as well, she has been driving him back and forth from the Albany hospitals in hellish road conditions while he yells at her.

her dad doesn't want her there. everybody (family, medical folks) is telling her that it's time to let go.

what is up with these WW2 guys who just fuck with/abuse everybody and treat serious issues like they are jokes, it's like they live inside their own personal mythology.

she's been reading "Being Mortal" and I guess it helps, a little, in the abstract sense.

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:10 (eight years ago) link

I wish I had gone with her now, we didn't think it was gonna turn out this badly when she first left.

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:11 (eight years ago) link

aaand now he's in the ICU

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:31 (eight years ago) link

sometimes people just want to die

I guess

Οὖτις, Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:33 (eight years ago) link

i'm sorry. that sounds really rough.
this thread totally freaks me out but i am trying to steel myself for the future so i read it anyway

vigetable (La Lechera), Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:39 (eight years ago) link

yeah that's what's going on xp

he's been clear with her that he wants to die at home if possible, has signed over power of attorney, no heroic measures, all that good stuff. so at least the paperwork is in order, there's a will and a trust, all that.

I just wish he could ease up on her a bit

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 17:50 (eight years ago) link

Have you talked with hospital's palliative care team? ICU docs can be dicks about not a palliative consult unless you demand it. Hospice is good at helping with family dynamics stuff. You can ask for the hospital social worker for referrals.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 11 December 2014 18:40 (eight years ago) link

I'm so sorry you're both having to deal with this, her up close and you long distance. Being Mortal doesn't address cantankerousness enough or how to deal with people you care for behaving badly toward you. I get reminded of the nasty old racist lady trying to kick her morphine addiction in To Kill a Morningside whenever I hear my MIL let fly. Not that it helps.

Jaq, Thursday, 11 December 2014 18:42 (eight years ago) link

will forward to L, she's the one there right now, thanks xp

thanks Jaq

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 18:43 (eight years ago) link

the VA hospital person dryly described him as "fiercely independent"

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 18:45 (eight years ago) link

her dad doesn't want her there. everybody (family, medical folks) is telling her that it's time to let go.

This is not advice nor bear any reflection on your situation.

But those two sentences describe the very similar situation I watched my dad go through with his mother. He would drive back and forth 300 miles roundtrip to take her to the doctor, to go through her bills, to get her groceries, etc. Sounds very noble except that you have to keep in mind that he has four siblings who also lived in the same city as my grandmother, including a son who lived with her.

He said it was his duty, that he had to, that the other siblings wouldn't or couldn't handle running errands or have the know-how to wrangle a head nurse to get grandma her medication. He was also an overweight diabetic in his late 50s, doing all of this driving through the worst stretch of I-40 in America. Once, he told me on the side, something had happened and his car spun around in a 360 before he stopped in the median.

Sometimes, I'd go over there by myself to visit. Grandma would tell me how she didn't know why my Dad did all that. She'd complain about how angry he'd get at her. She appreciated it, she told me, but it seemed like too much to her at times.

I'm not doing any of that. I love my parents, but no.

pplains, Thursday, 11 December 2014 19:01 (eight years ago) link

thanks pp

I should clarify here that my wife is an RN and works in a hospital, so she is familiar with the systems in general.

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 19:10 (eight years ago) link

and although she does have some of that overachiever/wounded healer stuff going on (by her own admission), I know she wouldn't hang on as long as your dad did in that case.

an interesting side note here is that the family uber-Republicans she argues with on FB have stepped up the most, helped the most, given the best advice, and generally just been awesome and supportive.

if he makes it out of the hospital this time, there is a small army of assorted cousins and uncles who will be checking in on him, they are the ones who are telling her it is OK to let go.

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 19:15 (eight years ago) link

diagnosis is bacterial endocarditis

they think they caught it early enough that antibiotics will take care of it

but their next level is, like, bowel removal and open heart surgery, for an 84-yo guy who has emphysema, is medically/legally "frail" (I did not know this was a thing), and weighs 115 lbs. utter Western medicine head-up-its-ass insanity.

quincie, L says thank you and she is ready to demand palliative care if necessary. if her dad demands the surgery, she may break out the big guns and have a mental health evaluation (which he will almost certainly fail, right now he is also "confused" in the medical sense) so that she can nix the extreme heroic measures.


some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 11 December 2014 23:41 (eight years ago) link

so sorry sleeve, please can you give l. my kindest and best wishes.

estela, Friday, 12 December 2014 07:11 (eight years ago) link

thanks estela

antibiotics appear to have done the trick. from L:

At the hospital waiting to talk to a doctor. He is better and plans are being made for transfer to a rehab place for IV meds and physical therapy! He's agreeing. I have a few more things to tie up but think I will be able to swing a ticket for Wednesday. Much of what may be needed of me could be done by phone and fax...

(she's stayed about ten days longer than her initial plan was for)

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Monday, 15 December 2014 16:44 (eight years ago) link

Phew, sleeve, that's so rough. I hope she has the chance for some self-care when she gets back home.

carl agatha, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:01 (eight years ago) link

I think my mom is showing early signs of dementia but she denies it and won't get a screening. :(

Frobisher, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:11 (eight years ago) link

xp thanx carl.

self-care and pampering are definitely on the agenda :)

this whole situation plays in to a lot of the old Italian patriarchal expectations - that the women of the family drop everything and devote their lives to the men when duty calls. L doesn't play that game and never has, fortunately she only had to argue her case with one relative (a woman). I know in orbit and others have written eloquently about this in ILX before, the expectation of total self-sacrifice.

Frobisher, is there a will, advance medical directives, that sort of stuff? it's a tough subject but having some of that in place definitely makes it easier down the road, speaking from experience.

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Monday, 15 December 2014 17:15 (eight years ago) link

Not to link dump, but I saw this story on NPR about a residential care home that has phased out anti-psychotics for dementia. This approach seems like it has some common ground with certain approaches to child rearing or cat ownership. Like, our kid loves to open a specific desk drawer and pull out the checkbook. Rather than try to stop her (she's one, so it's not like reasoning is an option here), we just took the checks out of the cover, and also put a toy she likes in the drawer, so now she can open it and pull things out until her heart's content. Or giving the cat something acceptable to scratch next to the chair we don't want her to scratch (thank you Jackson Galaxy). Basically adapting the environment to the people living in it instead of adapting the people to the environment.

Anyway, here's the story -

carl agatha, Monday, 15 December 2014 17:23 (eight years ago) link

I saw that story and the harsh truth is that long-term care facilities that are for-profit are not willing to pay for the staff necessary to create individualized therapy plans that are not strictly medical (the one in the story above is non-profit). I worked part-time at a place that wouldn't even pay for an extra nursing aide in the evenings to help get people to bed--even though we were able to show that falls among residents decreased when one extra aide was on shift.

kate78, Monday, 15 December 2014 18:55 (eight years ago) link

Yeah somebody brought that up in the comments. It's monstrous.

carl agatha, Monday, 15 December 2014 18:57 (eight years ago) link

Being rich is nowhere more useful than when it comes to elder care. The place I'd choose for my father is 12 grand a month.

Twelve. Grand. Per. Month.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 15 December 2014 20:07 (eight years ago) link


carl agatha, Monday, 15 December 2014 21:02 (eight years ago) link


difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 15 December 2014 22:11 (eight years ago) link

It's nice but it ain't the Ritz, y'know? Medicare does not cover long term care, and the nicer places don't take Medicaid, which you'd have to get really fucking poor to qualify for anyway.

I am going to manage my own dottage (lol no kids) by moving to Finland and/or Taiwan, where they take good care of old people on the cheap.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 15 December 2014 22:45 (eight years ago) link

Or the Netherlands where I can just smoke a nice joint before being euthanized in a dignified manner.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 15 December 2014 22:45 (eight years ago) link

Holy shit that's insane. TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS? What the fuck is wrong with this country.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 14:00 (eight years ago) link

Or the Netherlands where I can just smoke a nice joint before being euthanized in a dignified manner.

By the time the Baby Boomer cohort goes through old age, I expect someone to create real-world suicide booths.

Miss Anne Thrope (, Tuesday, 16 December 2014 14:11 (eight years ago) link

Wow, those nursing homes are expensive!! I moved in with Dad to watch over him after heart surgery, thankfully between the two of us we (barely) had enough for that.

I guess it is sexist that I'd be expected to drop everything for Dad (now deceased), but I was closest to him and I loved him that much. I try not to be bitter about no one else putting up much of an effort. That's just how I was raised.

Of course I'm still having trouble recovering from that economically. But at least Dad had a real roof over his head in his last years.

Threat Assessment Division (I M Losted), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 22:26 (eight years ago) link

Also when Dad was recovering in the hospital, the doctor called us all in a meeting so we could learn what an artificial heart does, what it's like living with a person who has one.

Thankfully that was a decision we never had to make as the doctor decided he didn't need one. It was terrifying, though, having to sit through the presentation.

Threat Assessment Division (I M Losted), Tuesday, 16 December 2014 23:11 (eight years ago) link

Before my mother switched over to hospice care, her monthly cost was pushing $9000/month once you accounted for the medications and everything else. There's a reason why the Walmarts and Costcos around the retirement clusters in Orange County all heavily stock adult diapers.

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 17 December 2014 06:29 (eight years ago) link

so my dad died last week after more than a year of extreme Parkinson agony. A relief for him, in a way, but man this is tough.
Now I need to figure out what to do with my mom who thinks she's autonomous but really isn't, especially considering her severe alcoholism.
My dad being sick justified the presence of a lot of home care and now that he's gone I don't really know how I can convince my mom to have someone at home who could discreetly watch over her for me.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 19 December 2014 18:46 (eight years ago) link

My condolences Baaderonixx, that's tough.

Don't have a lot of advice to offer, though when my nan became a widow, she too had to 'warm up' to accepting help for quite some time. In her case it was trying to be strong, and not admit incapabilities or weaknesses. It didn't take too long for her to see she actually needed help though. But your mother is probably younger.

In any case, all the best man.

a pleasant little psychedelic detour in the elevator (Amory Blaine), Friday, 19 December 2014 19:08 (eight years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I know this is "aging parents" and not "aging grandparents" but my parents are about to the point of throwing up their hands. I have two grandfathers, 88 and 91 years of age, who are stubborn old men who live alone and refuse to change their ways. My parents check on my mom's dad every week or two, steal his clothes to launder them, make sure there aren't too many mice and that the house is livable (he lives in an old farmhouse).

Apparently some people driving by saw him next to the mailbox down by the road, fallen over, sometime in the last day and helped him to the house but he refused to be taken to the hospital. The neighbors checked on him later, and he'd made it no further than the chair inside the front door and accepted the fact he needed to go seek treatment. He had a bladder infection that apparently led to sepsis, is responding to treatment in the hospital, but apparently might lose some fingers from having been out in the cold. My uncle is apparently who was called first, so my parents aren't even heading out to see him for now. They do more than they could be expected to, and I think having him safely in the hospital, and with my uncle as the first point of contact, is actually an improvement in some ways even if his current condition is bad.

My other grandfather, my dad's dad, is the 91 year old and very much the stubborn obnoxious WW2 veteran type. He fell over in his kitchen the other day and my dad had to drive over to lift him off the floor, since he was stuck there. He's fallen before and he has one of those medic alert bracelets and has seriously had paramedics come just to get him off the floor.

I am emotionally supportive of my parents but there's not a lot I can do other than moral support.

valleys of your mind (mh), Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:02 (eight years ago) link

This is very hard on the people like your parents who see their job as keeping your grandfathers healthy and alive, but as I age further and have watched my parents' generation age and die I could definitely see myself going in this direction, too.

Unless you are a prodigy of longevity, at 89 and 91 the idea of 'health' has lost most of the meaning it had for you earlier in life and its place is now occupied by something wholly nebulous and indeterminate. You scarcely recall what 'health' is any more or how to pursue it. otoh, death has also changed meaning in fundamental ways, and seems like something very close and quotidian, a presence so familiar you could almost draw its face without looking at the paper.

What looks like pure obstinacy, and a kind of fatalism that would be very inappropriate in a younger person, is a somewhat realistic reaction to being so close to the end of life. They know it's a fight they can't win.

earthface, windface and fireface (Aimless), Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:41 (eight years ago) link

My parents have vowed to move into a community-based living situation at a certain age threshold and have been strongly contemplating moves past that. They see it as incredibly self-centered, afaik, and are kind of resigned to letting this play out since they were unable to force many issues earlier in life, partially due to my uncles not really agreeing to having productive talks.

valleys of your mind (mh), Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:46 (eight years ago) link

I guess what I'm saying is that every time I have the idea "I could definitely see myself going in this direction" I shudder and add things on to my living will. This is a really bad direction.

valleys of your mind (mh), Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:47 (eight years ago) link

xp: Yeah, that bridge was crossed a while back when your grandfathers chose to continue to live alone, and didn't put an adequate support structure around themselves to let them die in place without calling on your parents for constant help in their final year(s). Americans don't do death very well.

added: My wife and I know we can't lean on children to bail us out, so we are planning what supports we'll need past age 70 to 75, as best we can.

earthface, windface and fireface (Aimless), Tuesday, 6 January 2015 19:58 (eight years ago) link

I don't see why you can't talk about caring for other elders, such as grandparents, here.

Recently lost my grandma, who was 98. She drove a car until she was 96. Frankly, I was shocked when she passed. She was still walking on her own. Don't smoke and eat a lot of grapefruit.

Whitney Di-Ennial (I M Losted), Wednesday, 7 January 2015 12:08 (eight years ago) link

Hospice folks are the best.

Also, that "death smell" that everyone talks about on is a very real thing.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 9 January 2015 02:18 (eight years ago) link

I guess what I'm saying is that we're in the endgame

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 9 January 2015 02:19 (eight years ago) link

Oh, ET.

Hi there - long time reader, first time caller. My mom is 70. She had emergency surgery yesterday because of a bowel obstruction, which turned out to be NOT CANCER (phew) but rather a huge but exploded benign ovarian cyst made of pus. Apparently she had polycystic ovaries when much, much younger and one just stuck around, growing to the size of a softball until a week ago, when it went BOOM and she started to feel unwell. She's a total stubborn Minnesota Swede don't-bother-the-doctor type, so am relieved she got help and will get better.

camp event (suzy), Friday, 9 January 2015 09:50 (eight years ago) link

Exactly one week ago we got the "you better stick around - don't make any plans" message. The hospice nurse noticed "the smell" (see link upthread) and irrespective of age, gender, nationality, etc. that distinct smell is the early signal that the body is closing up shop. You've probably heard the stories about cats and dogs being present around the dying and that smell what they zero in on. I'd describe it as an odd hybrid of old mushrooms and burnt sugar. Hospice folks are trained to detect it.

I visited my mom on Christmas day and given her overall situation (she's 90) - she was doing pretty good. We opened up cards (she remembered who they were all from), had a conversation, and she could still manage to eat and drink. One week later and you could obviously feel that master fader steadily being lowered. On Monday she managed a "Happy new year!" By Thursday she wasn't noticeably responding at all.

Last night we'd been playing for a couple hours last night when I just stopped, put my guitar down, and turned off my amps. Nothing alarmist, just a "I need to stop" and my gf and I were talking for a few minutes when I said "the phone could ring anytime." No more than twenty seconds later my sister calls: "It's over."

I was in Trader Joe's earlier in the day and impulsively bought a bouquet of sunflowers for the house. I don't really do that and I had no clue that my mom was going to pass a couple hours later, but they're sure brightening the place up.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 11 January 2015 22:44 (eight years ago) link

sorry man.

mookieproof, Sunday, 11 January 2015 22:59 (eight years ago) link

sorry elvis

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 11 January 2015 23:07 (eight years ago) link

My condolences - its been a long road for you.

I checked Snoops , and it is for real (Trayce), Sunday, 11 January 2015 23:14 (eight years ago) link

RIP and wishing you the best

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Sunday, 11 January 2015 23:18 (eight years ago) link

I'm very sorry for your loss Chris. Wishing you the very best.

That photo is wonderful by the way. A treasure.

a pleasant little psychedelic detour in the elevator (Amory Blaine), Sunday, 11 January 2015 23:30 (eight years ago) link

Ive been following but too scared to pipe up. Now's the time - first, my condolences, and sympathies.

My dad just told me he has a serious neurological disease, made me promise not to tell anyone (aside from partner, who I had to negotiate for) and a week after my trip home I'm kinda quietly freaking out. Handling it, but I can tell I'm not feeling right.

I'm glad your mom is at peace, Elvis. I believe in premonitions too, that part was beautiful.

vigetable (La Lechera), Monday, 12 January 2015 00:09 (eight years ago) link

<3 LL, that is so hard

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 12 January 2015 01:16 (eight years ago) link

Not even close to what you all are going through, but the partner of a close older relative of ours was diagnosed with a pretty bad case of prostate cancer. Our side of the family was sworn to secrecy while he waited to tell his side of the family after the holidays were over.

That made for some weird gatherings.

pplains, Monday, 12 January 2015 01:37 (eight years ago) link

i'm sorry for your loss, chris, but also relieved for both you and your mother - the suffering is now hopefully over.

just1n3, Monday, 12 January 2015 01:55 (eight years ago) link

Hugs to you, Elvis, and to you, LL.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 12 January 2015 03:12 (eight years ago) link

I hope you're able to find some peace in her passing, Elvis.

<3 LL!

My maternal grandfather is going to be in the hospital for at least a couple weeks, and my uncle is checking around for a spot at assisted living facilities, which is excellent.

valleys of your mind (mh), Monday, 12 January 2015 15:08 (eight years ago) link

sorry Elvis - went through this exactly one month ago, hope you can stay strong, focus on all the things your mother did and saw and come to the conclusion that it's been a good life. I know that thought helped me realise that to some extent there was nothing to be sad about my dad's passing.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 15 January 2015 13:34 (eight years ago) link

my father-in-law is out of the hospital!

now he gets two weeks in a nursing home for rehab, and hopefully goes back home after that.

some kind of terrible IDM with guitars (sleeve), Thursday, 15 January 2015 15:09 (eight years ago) link

so my dad died last week after more than a year of extreme Parkinson agony. A relief for him, in a way, but man this is tough.
Now I need to figure out what to do with my mom who thinks she's autonomous but really isn't, especially considering her severe alcoholism.
My dad being sick justified the presence of a lot of home care and now that he's gone I don't really know how I can convince my mom to have someone at home who could discreetly watch over her for me.

― licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 19 December 2014 19:46 (4 weeks ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

So eventually I stayed with my mom for a bit more than a month to sort out all the paperwork, inheritance, etc.
I thought that after a month of complete abstinence my mom would manage to stay sober for a bit, but now, barely three days after me leaving, she's back to heavy drinking.
This is really the nighmare scenario since, as I posted a month ago, now ther'e really no-one to watch over her (I live a 4-5 hour drive away). When drinkinh she's prone to falling over at home and in the street, epilepsy, getting robbed, etc.
Pondering what to do - I don't really have space to have her stay with me at present and paying somebody just to watch over her seems a bit crazy and unaffordable.
I've just bought a new flat in which I haven't even moved into yet but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't already re-sell it, use the inheritance money and buy a big suburban house in which my mom could live with me and my wife. Seems a bit crazy to have my mom live with me permanently at this age (me in my thirties and her in her sixties) but I'm at my wit's end really...

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 16 January 2015 10:01 (eight years ago) link

Oh Baad I'm so sorry. That's really my biggest fear - my dad passing before my mom and me not knowing what the hell to do with her. Is there anyone that lives near her that you can enlist to maybe check up on her regularly? Not a carer but a friend or something?

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Friday, 16 January 2015 13:07 (eight years ago) link

thx ENBB - not really, my mom lives in a big condo in the big city but is pretty isolated - her friends are old, frail and scattered. I think the only solution is to have her live with me or a

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 16 January 2015 13:12 (eight years ago) link

... or at least close to me, but I realise that, to some extent, I'm procrastinating in starting this process (ie. sell her house, drive her back with me kicking and screaming) because sub-consciously i'm still hoping/expecting validation from her, that she'd wake up sober one day and say "sure, you're right, I'll come with you". Clearly taht's never gonna happen. Everyone around me is telling me that I'm past the stage where I need worry about her agreeemnt and her comfort and that I should force things through. Pretty difficult to accept though.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 16 January 2015 13:17 (eight years ago) link

Respectfully, rearranging your whole life in order to care for an addict doesn't seem like a good long-term strategy.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Friday, 16 January 2015 13:19 (eight years ago) link

well I can't imagine that said addict will live that long tbh - but you're right, problem though is I don't see any alternatives...
My mom is clearly not fit to live on her own but otoh legally I am in no position to impose anything on her (eg. if I dragged her and put her in a elderly home, she'd escape immediately).
Some people tell me that I should resign myself to accept the situation and let her drink herself to death but, besides the moral aspect, I know that I'd just be in a state of constant panic which would prevent me from living my life all the same
Anyway sorry for hijacking this thread with my freak-outs.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 16 January 2015 13:35 (eight years ago) link

I get it. I mean it wasn't my mom but it was someone I cared about, and I've seen other ppl go through similar.

"besides the moral aspect" -- do you think it's immoral to let someone choose addiction/accept that people sometimes choose addiction?

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Friday, 16 January 2015 13:46 (eight years ago) link

That's very similar to what my parents are going through with my grandfathers. I think, luckily, that my mom's dad is going to end up in an assisted living place after his release from the hospital, which is really what he's needed for years.

I think the addiction part in b's story there is an extenuating circumstance, but it's just another factor that makes someone unable to care for him/herself. If you can't convince someone that it's in their best interest to change their life, you kind of have to wait until their life changes to the extent it's no longer viable. It doesn't mean that you don't want them to have some help or at least compassion, and cutting off all help is really difficult. I think it's a matter of finding the balance where you feel like a decent person without being an enabler.

valleys of your mind (mh), Friday, 16 January 2015 14:53 (eight years ago) link

Also there's something about the end of life that makes me want to throw all the usual things I think are true about addiction/addicts -- extra so when it's a parent. Addiction may be involved but it's just not the primary thing. I totally understand the impulse to house mom under these circumstances.

groundless round (La Lechera), Friday, 16 January 2015 14:57 (eight years ago) link

my main goal atm is getting my parents out of their crumbling house and into a place they are safe and comfortable

groundless round (La Lechera), Friday, 16 January 2015 14:59 (eight years ago) link

do you think it's immoral to let someone choose addiction/accept that people sometimes choose addiction?

Tricky question - not sure where exactly I stand on this on principle, but I get your drift of course.
In the case of aging parents, I still think there is I have some kind of moral responsibility to protect them from themselves (be it from addiction or anything really).
In my mom's specific case, decades of drinking and a pretty horrific accident 4 years ago have significantly affected her intellectual abilities, so I'm not sure I would ever think of her as "choosing" addiction.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 16 January 2015 16:00 (eight years ago) link

People who -choose- addiction can be VERY controlling, even if they are not physically strong.

People suffering from dementia and aging/ illness-related tantrums can also be so manipulative that if you seek therapy for it - as I did - they will tell you to quit feeling guilty and get the hell out. This is what I went through with Dad, but he was so sick I decided to stick with him until he died. My brother and sister bailed on him, though. Can't say I blame them.

SCOTTISH PEOPLE ONLY (I M Losted), Friday, 16 January 2015 18:11 (eight years ago) link

problem though is I don't see any alternatives...

When every choice open to you comes with deeply undesirable consequences, the only thing you can do is make the least bad choice that seems most manageable and get on with it. It sounds like you understand this already.

btw, it is ok to feel wretched about the whole thing. that's just one more lousy piece of the situation you'll have to manage as best you can -- and while it may be tempting to shove those feelings aside as unproductive, my experience has been that it works better to find at least a small slice of brain space and time to acknowledge them on a somewhat regular basis.

good luck. I'm sure you're going to do about as well as anyone could in the circumstances.

Aimless, Friday, 16 January 2015 18:27 (eight years ago) link

tbh - I think my mom would probably be diagnosed with mild alcoholic dementia at this point. I guess I've been denying it for a while because dementia seems to imply "CRAY-ZAY!", but it's clear that her short term memory is shot and complex reasoning, planning or decision-making are all out of reach. I don't know to which extent psychiatric help would be of help

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 19 January 2015 15:01 (eight years ago) link

Wouldn't that be actual physical damage from alcohol? I'm not sure what is done about that. Epithets like "crazy" aren't helpful.

SCOTTISH PEOPLE ONLY (I M Losted), Monday, 19 January 2015 15:16 (eight years ago) link

"dementia" is just a term that means a loss of mental ability, not insanity. psychiatric help is unlikely to restore her mental abilities. even quitting drinking would be more in the nature of slowing the damage rather than reversing it.

Aimless, Monday, 19 January 2015 20:03 (eight years ago) link

An acquaintance of mine drank heavily for twenty years, and now he permanently slurs his words. He can't remember my name half the time, either. It's a waste of faculties that makes me cry.

SCOTTISH PEOPLE ONLY (I M Losted), Monday, 19 January 2015 20:59 (eight years ago) link

three weeks pass...

My maternal grandfather, following his disastrous fall next to his mailbox and hospitalization, is now in a nursing/assisted living facility! We now know he's safe, forced to change clothes on a regular basis, and they bathe him twice per week. My mom had his mail forwarded to her and she can now handle his finances from home, and visit him less regularly, and no longer feels obligated to do his laundry.

Grandfather #2 is still being obnoxious, but my parents already seem like a burden has been lifted.

mh, Monday, 9 February 2015 20:08 (eight years ago) link

That must be a huge relief. How is he adjusting?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 10 February 2015 10:13 (eight years ago) link

Slowly but surely, it sounds like. He enjoys talking to people, so I'm sure he'll grow to like it. I think he's currently telling people about his mean daughter who won't let him go home, but that'll pass.

mh, Tuesday, 10 February 2015 14:43 (eight years ago) link

It seems like bitching about your ungrateful damn kids to the other residents of a senior center would offer good opportunity for bonding through shared misery.

about a dozen duck supporters (carl agatha), Tuesday, 10 February 2015 14:45 (eight years ago) link

Lord knows I would never say the same about my ungrateful damn parents.

pplains, Tuesday, 10 February 2015 15:01 (eight years ago) link

My dad has advancing Alzheimer's and has finally become unmoored enough that his constant agitation and anxiety seem to have disappeared. My mom is so relieved. "He's really so nice and pleasant, he's much more like the person he was when we got married!" Because my dad could be very difficult and hard on her, I'm actually happy for her (along with the soup of other emotions I feel).

men without hat tips (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 10 February 2015 15:57 (eight years ago) link

three months pass...

I'm fairly certain my mom now has dementia. I'm in the process of trying to get my dad to take her to the doc specifically for this but he's reluctant as he doesn't think they can do anything for it. Apparently she sleeps most of the day but when she's up it's like she's far away and often confused. She starts sentences and stops mid-way forgetting what she was going to say and a lot of the time it's mixed up or incoherent anyway. I'm so unbelievably sad over it. While she hasn't been the mother I grew up with in many many years this is something entirely different. I miss my mom and the fact that I'm now near certain I'll never have her back is something I don't know how to process.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 10:11 (eight years ago) link

oh enbb, i'm so sorry, that’s pain beyond words

drash, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 11:34 (eight years ago) link

Aw thank you, Drash. I'm sure I'll figure out how to handle
It but it's tough especially since I'm far away. If it's any indication of my mental state rn I just started crying on the T when I read your tweet because I was touched.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 11:52 (eight years ago) link

very sorry to hear ENBB. This sounds awfully familiar :-/
After denying it through false hopes and what-ifs, I've been grieving over the fact that I'll never have a chat with my "real" mom for a couple of years now.
You'll come to accept it I'm sure but it is indeed a very painful process (after a while it gets even difficult to remember the person when they were healthy, which is yet another kind of sad).

Hang in there, cherish the past but stay invested in your own present and future.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 12:35 (eight years ago) link

I'm your sister in grief, ENBB. I don't know whether it is helpful or not helpful that my dad has a diagnosis (Alzheimer's) and, as fate would have it, I care for hospice patients with AD pretty much every day. There are many heartbreaking ways to lose a loved one, but dementia is a special kind of heartbreak. Sending you as much strength and peace as can be mustered in difficult times :(

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 13:17 (eight years ago) link

ENBB, quincie I'm so sorry you're both dealing with this. Love to you both.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 13:22 (eight years ago) link

Elvis that's an interesting and scary article. I regularly participate in a clinic my firm offers where we help seniors put together powers of attorney for medical and financial concerns and I'm pretty evangelical about getting your POA/medical directive paperwork ducks in a row ASAP, as in once you have kids or when you hit 40, whichever comes first.

from batman to balloon dog (carl agatha), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 13:32 (eight years ago) link

ENBB that sounds incredibly hard.
That article has me sightly worried about my dad. I don't think he's got dementia at all but he is prone to believing everything he reads about finances and it wouldn't take much in his old age to get him to make awful decisions. I can't count the number of (legit but pointless) 'schemes' he's tried to partake in already.

My mum never really talks about finances with him but does work with elderly and dementia patients so I guess it's a conversation worth having.

kinder, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 15:47 (eight years ago) link

visited parents for all of last week. it was bizarre explaining to my dad who his brother is, while at the same time he was sufficiently oriented to know me, my wife, our kids, and what we all had been doing all day. crazy transient memory holes.

more usual was his being able to give addresses and describe the streets in Pittsburgh where each of his granddads had lived in 1944, but not recall where he had lived between 1992 and 2014.

wishy washy hippy variety hour (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 15:55 (eight years ago) link

There is a lot of good advice in that article, which reminded me of a few situations I've seen IRL. A friend of my wife only discovered the extent of her father's dementia when she happened to find out he was paying his mortgage several times a month.

When my father asked me to start helping him manage his finances, my first problem was figuring out where all his assets were and how to get access to those accounts. His memory is erratic now, to say the least, and it was not until I had been shuffling through paper statements for a few weeks that I was able to track down everything.

I had always imagined he kept this information in a few orderly files ... he did, but by the time I saw them, the files were about 15 years out of date.

Brad C., Tuesday, 9 June 2015 16:49 (eight years ago) link

Thanks Quincie and Carl and Kinder and Bad <3

The thing with my mom is that she's on some sedatives and SRRIs and stuff that I think are making everything worse. Even if my dad is right and that a diagnosis wouldn't mean much, maybe it would change what she's being prescribed? I don't know.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 18:01 (eight years ago) link

My dad is her sole caretaker and pretty much waits on her hand and foot and he's a really young and active 71 year old but has no life and I just feel horrible for him. Being so far away makes it worse and I feel guilty that I can't help. I've even wondered if I should move down there but they're the ones who moved to Florida, not me! :(

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 18:02 (eight years ago) link

She definitely needs a neuro appointment and get her meds looked at.

kate78, Tuesday, 9 June 2015 18:15 (eight years ago) link

That's what I said!! :(

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 9 June 2015 18:16 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

my mom turned 72 today, upon which i learned that she's part of an experimental drug trial because she has alzheimer's markers.

she seems remarkably chill about it, after a period of being not chill/not telling me. she also seems to not be totally following the (admittedly complex) series of historical novels that i gave her and she's claimed to have read.

she's already talking about maybe having to move; some years ago she said she wouldn't survive without her garden.

as an only child i always knew this was coming, but that doesn't mean i'm going to be good at it

mookieproof, Saturday, 8 August 2015 02:36 (eight years ago) link

ugh, that is my greatest fear about my parents (mom turns 70 next month). so far the aging parents' maladies have been arthritis, prostate cancer, cataracts, and high blood pressure. I know it's gonna get worse though.

sarahell, Saturday, 8 August 2015 02:43 (eight years ago) link

oh and type 2 diabetes

sarahell, Saturday, 8 August 2015 02:44 (eight years ago) link

Mine will be 76 this year. The tumor in her lung has gotten bigger and she says she doesn't want to treat it. She had a PET scan yesterday to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else. I guess we'll get the results next week and go from there.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Saturday, 8 August 2015 11:44 (eight years ago) link

spent the last two years m/l helping both my parents deal with the decline of theirs which ultimately has caused a Faulknerian dissolution of extended family relationships (such as they were anyway) on my mom's side. dads estranged dad passed and he wasn't invited to the funeral, not sure if his likewise estranged mom is still alive. All the battles over driving and getting help with daily basic tasks converted to a scramble to find a suitable assisted living/hospice for my mom's mom (she won a spot at an exclusive joint because my dad's beloved grandmother passed there in the 80s and they still remembered her).

It brought my immediate family much closer together and put the issue into perspective for when my parents advance in age, but it has been a hard 18 months or so and my heart goes out to you folks

art, Saturday, 8 August 2015 11:57 (eight years ago) link

sorry to hear about everyone's aging parents :(
we have some recently diagnosed issues in my family that i don't feel like typing about but i am pretty into the idea of finding a support group locally where i can talk about it off the record
are there things like that? for only children of aging parents?

La Lechera, Saturday, 8 August 2015 14:10 (eight years ago) link

Thanks, Elvis. The follow-up discussion is even better, with comments and links.

dow, Saturday, 8 August 2015 14:50 (eight years ago) link

my mom turned 72 today, upon which i learned that she's part of an experimental drug trial because she has alzheimer's markers.

heyo your mom and my dad may very well be in the same clinical trial, tho my dad is beyond MCI markers and definitely AD :(

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Saturday, 8 August 2015 15:11 (eight years ago) link

xxpost La Lechera idk if these are in your area but there's a number to call, they may have more info to help u find a group

difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 8 August 2015 16:04 (eight years ago) link

Thank you. Honestly I can't bear to google for it. I'll look into it at some point but srsly there's a huge feeling of betrayal about typing (on or off record) about my parents. I'm more comfortable talking aloud and letting the words float away instead of seeing them.

La Lechera, Saturday, 8 August 2015 16:09 (eight years ago) link

I never got to see my father age. Cancer took him away from my mother and me before he turned sixty, so it was illness that robbed us of him, though in helping take care of him I got my first lessons in caregiving, something that proved invaluable when it came time for me to step up and become my mother's caregiver. I was a sort of caregiver to her beginning as soon as my dad passed away in 2003, but when I really became my mom's caregiver was in the middle of 2006, when I stayed with her in the hospital for the very direct time. From that moment on I was with her at practically every doctor's appiintment, during every hospitalization, I drove her everywhere, made all her meals, and so on. I also balanced that with work and ended up paying someone to be a professional caregiver to her for a couple of hours a day while I was at work, just so she could have some time in that time period when I didn't have to worry about her and she could do stuff she couldn't do by herself, such as go to the bathroom or take a shower. But when she had to go on dialysis it provided one setback for me and when she had to do hemodialysis I had to either work part-time to accommodate two of the three times a week she had dialysis into my schedule (and she really needed someone else there to get her stuff from her bag or readjust her or what have you), but when she went on peritoneal dialysis, after a period of time when I had to be off work so she could get through the all-manual treatment period of that type of dialysis, when we finally got to the "cycler" or machine stage, I could go back to work and only worry about rushing home from work to do the one manual treatment for the day and something called the "exit site care" (where you clean the site where the dialysis catheter is -- it's something that has to be done once a day), so I could hook her up to the dialysis machine in time for me to be able to disconnect her before I went to work. That and a host of appointments every Friday was our life from March of 2014 to May 30 of this year, when she was hospitalized for what ended up being her final time. I lost her on July 2 and have aged considerably on the inside as a result. I feel like I'm a sixty-year-old in a thirtysomething's body, and while I have a wealth of hard-earned caregiver wisdom inside me, I also have a giant hole inside me too and it's been very tough trying to recover from losing the one parent I had in this world. But I am relying on some good friends and am eternally grateful for that, as well as a local amputee support group my mom and I had joined in March 2010, several months after she became a right, below the knee amputee (rbka). In fact, I'm typing this message out while at one of their meetings, because they've welcomed me to be a permanent part of the community even after my mom's passing. I am also blessed to have a wonderful primary care physician who saw me two and a half weeks ago and diagnosed me with major depression as a result of grief, and after a little over two weeks of being on some antidepressants I am finally ready to go back to work. But it's going to take me a very long time to recover from this loss, and I'm not going to try to rush it like I did when my dad passed away, which caused me to be a terrible person to be around for a good long while, which is something some of you will remember from the last time I was here around these parts. I have done a whole lot of growing up since then and am jot the same person I used to be, and I am going to let the grief flow through naturally. And then I'll continue to live my life, because that's what Mom would've wanted from me, and I want to honor her with my life for as long as I live.

So... hello again.

deethelurker, Saturday, 8 August 2015 16:09 (eight years ago) link

Sorry, "very first time", not "very direct time". And sorry for the super long paragraph. I'm typing this while paying attention to the other people's testimonials.

deethelurker, Saturday, 8 August 2015 16:10 (eight years ago) link

LL, you can also call an area hospital that may offer treatment for the diagnosis and ask about support groups. In my (thankfully at this point limited) experience with Advocate Illinois Masonic, for one specific example, they have really good referral services like that. My insurance plan also comes with a nurse you can call for help with various things, so that's another possible avenue. Also, if this is something that hospice may handle, you could call Illinois Hospice and see if they can direct you somewhere.

Also: <3

mookie, sarah, art, dee - much love to you all

carl agatha, Saturday, 8 August 2015 17:30 (eight years ago) link

You're a sweetheart, carl agatha (and I don't even know who you are). Anyway, today I'm back at work for the first time since losing my mom and they have been so accommodating to me. But it feels odd not getting those phone calls I always used to get from Mom or knowing that I don't have a reason to rush home tonight. As stressful as it was being Mom's caregiver, I miss it desperately and I still feel like I need my mom, even the mom with disabilities and plenty of medical issues I had for the last six years. I need to hear her voice again and feel her hugging me.

Ok, going to stop right now because I do not like crying at work. But if anyone needs logistical advice, I can try to help.

deethelurker, Monday, 10 August 2015 21:40 (eight years ago) link

had weekend of aging parent issues. my mother-in-law has been suffering from the beginnings of dementia for a couple of years now. she has still been living alone, and is still herself, but her short-term memory is extremely poor. she's had lots of doctor's appointments, some tests, but we've never been given any sort of diagnosis.

on thurdsay she couldn't stand because she was so dizzy, and was totally confused. her friend took her to the hospital where she was given tests, she has had multiple small strokes (though none recently, we don't have any explanation for her episode on Thursday). anyway her gp has said he thinks that she has vascular dementia. multiple small strokes and other infarcts in her brain, progressively damaging it more and more. she has high cholesterol but she has resisted her family and her gp's recommendations to eat properly (she hardly eats anything, when she does it's usually chocolate). she has high blood pressure and she refuses to attempt to quit smoking (as in still, she waited a couple of days after her bad experience but she's back smoking again).

so worrying about her health is combined, for my wife at least, with a feeling of frustration and anger that she has pursued this really reckless approach towards her health for so long and against her doctor's constant advice. she's gradually, and this may be linked to her condition, grown more apathetic and more isolated in her life, and she seems unable to take her situation seriously, or just to give a damn about her own welfare - while she remains a very generous person who constantly puts effort into trying to help the people close to her.

with a drastic change in her lifestyle she might be able to stem the deterioration, and to remain independent. but I don't think she will make that change, and so I don't think we'll have long before she's no longer with us - either literally or figuratively.

corbyn's gallus (jim in glasgow), Monday, 10 August 2015 21:57 (eight years ago) link

My mother (83 next month) is starting to feel the urgency to sell property and get into assisted living in the next year or two. My sister and I are for it, but I worry about my brother being an obstacle.

rack of lamb of god (WilliamC), Monday, 10 August 2015 22:25 (eight years ago) link

Good for her, imo!

Upright Mammal (mh), Monday, 10 August 2015 23:26 (eight years ago) link

jim in glasgow, you should let your wife know that there are times when her mom's dementia will make it to where she cannot listen to reason or do the right things for herself, and the solution to that is to either have her mom live with y'all and treat her like one of your children or put her in an assisted living facility for the long-term. And, if that still doesn't work, maybe just accept that the dementia is slowly claiming her, because of all the illnesses you have to deal with as a caregiver, that and cancer are by far the most fatal. But your wife shouldn't feel guilty or tie herself in knots over how her mom is acting. That's the disease taking over her mom, not her mom period. That's what my family ultimately had to accept when my maternal grandmother was in the deepest throes of Alzheimer's and making my mom and I cry with her barbs and insults and general nasty behavior. Dad reminded us that this was just the disease taking over Grandma, not my grandma herselff, and for Mom in particular to remember all the good times she had with her mom while growing up as who her real mom was.

deethelurker, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 04:24 (eight years ago) link


difficult-difficult lemon-difficult (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 11 August 2015 04:35 (eight years ago) link

My grandmother is still mentally acute but is losing mobility fast due to arthritis and refuses to use a walker (except at night when she needs to get to the bathroom so there's that), only occasionally and reluctantly uses a cane, and refuses to undergo any kind of conservative therapies like injections or physical therapy that might ease her symptoms and give her a little more mobility. My mom gets so frustrated at this because my grandmother's (in her opinion selfish and irrational) refusal to ameliorate her symptoms makes my mother's life more difficult (they live together and my mom is my grandmother's primary caretaker).

Dee's post about the disease talking is super OTM and a good thing to remember, but also aging parents frustratingly refusing to do things to benefit their own health is also a thing (there are other posts about it in this thread iirc) so jim in glasgow, at least let your wife know that she is not alone in her frustrations.

Also, Dee, I'm so sorry for your loss. Your post about your mom was beautiful and heartbreaking.

(also hi, I'm part of the Chicago ILX crew and have posted since 2004 or so as pullapartgirl, jenny, and now carl agatha, although in the early days I mostly just stuck to the Chicago thread so I don't think we interacted too much. It's nice to meet you.)

carl agatha, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 13:14 (eight years ago) link

My grandmother fell getting out of the shower and refused to call anybody for help even though she was not alone in the house because "nobody wants to see this bitch naked." :(

carl agatha, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 13:15 (eight years ago) link

Also my mom says that when she takes my grandmother shopping, my grandmother refuses to bring her cane or use the little motor scooters at the grocery store and instead uses my mom as a cane. Basically Mom Mom is going to break a hip sooner rather than later and it's very distressing because I don't think she will handle hospitalization/rehab very well.

carl agatha, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 13:18 (eight years ago) link

my mom was like that, refusing to use a cane while her hip deteriorated, until she got a new hip and now she talks about her bionic hip all the time and walks with ease!
from what i remember, it sounds like your mom and your grandma have a really antagonistic relationship and it's affecting your grandma's decisionmaking?
would she listen to you?

La Lechera, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 13:22 (eight years ago) link

It's not like bone-deep antagonism. More like antagonism that has developed over the last couple of years due to proximity. I actually think it's going to get a little easier once my mom retires in October because she won't be so stressed out by work and her long-ass commute. But right now my mom is definitely annoyed by most things my grandmother does, even if they are rational (like not wanting to go out to dinner because her knees hurt. Totally rational, but my grandmother didn't say "I don't want to go because my knees hurt." Instead she said, "I don't want to go because you want to spend more time with Jenny and the baby, and I'll just get in the way." Only later when I went to tell her that she's not in the way did she admit it was pain keeping her in the chair watching TCM).

She'll listen to me a little. I told her the next time she falls naked to call whoever is home right away and have them throw a towel on her. I definitely spent a lot of time during this last visit acting as a translator between the two of them because now they just talk past each other.

carl agatha, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 13:49 (eight years ago) link

yeah that's what i meant, not that they were mortal enemies or w/e
feeling like someone is annoyed at me all the time yet still requiring their assistance would be enough to turn me into a pill too, esp if they're pass-agg annoyed. that smarts. and it's no one's fault it's just not...helping, yknow?

La Lechera, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 13:55 (eight years ago) link

glad your gma listens to you!

La Lechera, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 13:55 (eight years ago) link

like when my dad used to get mad at me when i ordered noodles and butter at a restaurant
i knew he disapproved of my choice (i was picky, i was a little kid) and he made it clear by grumbling and grousing but he didn't SAY anything so he thought he was free and clear. really, he was making me feel extremely embarrassed about wanting/needing to eat noodles and butter.

La Lechera, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 13:59 (eight years ago) link

feeling like someone is annoyed at me all the time yet still requiring their assistance would be enough to turn me into a pill too, esp if they're pass-agg annoyed. that smarts. and it's no one's fault it's just not...helping, yknow?

Oh yeah. Alas mom is not exactly open to suggestion that a different approach might work better. She feels pretty put upon (there's a younger sister who is retired but claims she's too busy to help, which heightens the aggravation) and has always had a bit of pass-agg martyr tendencies anyway.

Really Mom could use some supportive therapy but when I've suggested it she says "Sounds great and when do I have time for that?" Fingers crossed for retirement.

carl agatha, Tuesday, 11 August 2015 14:09 (eight years ago) link

My mom gets the results of her blood tests/PET scan tomorrow. :( I'm scared. I don't have a great feeling about it and knowing she will likely refuse all treatment is hard.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 11 August 2015 15:43 (eight years ago) link

Thank you for letting me know who you are, Carl agatha, and I do remember seeing you around these parts back in the day. You are so very kind and it is wonderful that what I wrote touched you. Any time I think about not having any of my parents around I feel lost and adrift, but it really stings when I think about my mom because we made a team for almost twelve years and we were a package deal, and even when my caregiving demands became more and more stress-inducing (something that was alleviated when Sam's aunt started a wonderful caregiver support group on Facebook that I was welcomed into), it still fit into the routine we had set up for our lives. Anyway, it sounds like your mom is leading the kind of life my mom led in the '90s, when she had to worry about my grandmother who had been rendered stubborn and mean from Alzheimer's as well as working full time, maintaining a separate household, and having me be a teenager. Although I believe my dad and I helped as much as we could and I would hope the same for your mother.

ENBB, I hope that either your suspicions aor that your presumption of your mother's actions post-diagnosis are proven wrong. But whatever happens, try to be there emotionally for her and be a good listener. She will definitely appreciate that regardless of the outcome.

deethelurker, Wednesday, 12 August 2015 21:16 (eight years ago) link

Sorry for all the typos there. Sometimes I don't quite master touch typing on the phone. Anyway. I wish there was a grief support group somewhere online that was relatively easy to join, much like the caregiver one was. The only local grief support groups I can find are for widows and widowers or for children, or for people who've lost a loved one to cancer. As I said before, the amputee support group proved invaluable to my mom and me, so I really believe in the power of support groups and feel like if I could find one to help me in my post-caregiver grief process, I would feel a lot better than I do right now.

Also, I miss bathing my mom. I had to use her shower (which was converted to make it easy for her to transfer onto a shower chair and wheel in the rest of the way) last night because mine got clogged up from three months of not being deep cleaned (it was all I could take just to dash home from the hospital to take a shower, so), so I need to get some drain cleaner, but for now I'm using Mom's shower, and every time I see those walls I remember shampooing and conditioning her hair and scrubbing her body down with a loofah saturated with a special body wash. And even though it took me a good hour to clean her completely because there were so many steps to it and I had to do so much before and after the actual shower itself, and even though at the very end of it all it felt like my arms were going to fall off, I would more than happily do that for twice a week like I had been doing (I would also wipe her down with cleaning wet wipes for the body twice a week) for another decade at least if it meant I could get my mom back.

deethelurker, Wednesday, 12 August 2015 21:30 (eight years ago) link

three weeks pass...

GF's father (mid-80s, highly intelligent but faltering) was just talked out of $800 by a virtual kidnapping scammer. Suspect it's time for everyone to have a "how to talk to your parents about people trying to rip them off" moment... sigh.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 8 September 2015 19:01 (eight years ago) link

he's certainly not alone

my mom volunteered in the consumer protection office for the state attorney general for a few years. a depressing number of cases were about companies or individuals that prey on the elderly :/

μpright mammal (mh), Tuesday, 8 September 2015 19:12 (eight years ago) link

My grandmother almost fell prey to a scam disguised as a Publisher's Clearinghouse award (a letter basically saying we want to give you the award but we need some banking info from you first so please call this number and provide it), despite many such conversations. The worst was she tried to hide it from my parents because she was afraid they would say it was a scam and not let her go through with it! Actually no the worst was she confessed the whole thing to my aunt, who is a smart woman with multiple degrees and a background in science, and who also kept it from my parents because my grandmother asked her to. I can't remember how the truth came out but she was spared any losses and we reported the situation to the AG.

Anyway, I feel you about the frustration of this. Also the serious anger at people who take advantage of old folks.

carl agatha, Tuesday, 8 September 2015 19:19 (eight years ago) link

mine are at or nearing Medicare age and I'm weary being their son. I've been bailing them out financially since I was 20 years old, despite them being able bodied and both employed mostly the entire time. Short story is they're irresponsible with money, live above their means, and are entitled to the point where they buy things because they "deserve" them and say they'll figure it out later. they also managed to ruin my brother's credit for similar reasons, after which he rightfully cut them off.

they just moved back and of course are already being a huge drain on us. my dad had to live with us temporarily for 2.5 months, in which they lived rent-free (as my mom stayed with a friend), were both working, with my dad getting social security on top of that, and still have no money. he filed bankruptcy 7 years ago and then somehow amassed new, crippling debt.

apparently the move sucked them dry and they want to borrow again, as if someone forced them to move here. we've had the talk before of how I can't keep doing this, but naturally when the alternative is my mom not having food I always cave (I blame my father for most of this).

by the time I actually have to legitimately take care of them....I have no idea how I'm going to have the energy to do it.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Sunday, 13 September 2015 14:17 (eight years ago) link

it sucks because it makes me resent them and then I feel guilty for THAT.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Sunday, 13 September 2015 14:20 (eight years ago) link

my grandparents got a call from someone claiming to be their granddaughter, saying she was in jail and needed them to send money to bail her out. Thank god they called my parents first, we figured out it was a scam pretty quick (just had to, uh, call my cousin and confirm that she was indeed not in jail). and apparently my other grandparents had the same scam attempted on them a few years back, but in this case it was someone claiming to be ME calling them up asking for money!

brimstead, Sunday, 13 September 2015 19:47 (eight years ago) link

lol i remember now that my mom actually called the scammers back and told them off. that was pretty awesome.

brimstead, Sunday, 13 September 2015 19:48 (eight years ago) link

my mom just gave me a coupon for $1 off yogurt. she wants me to mail it back to her if i don't use it

mookieproof, Sunday, 13 September 2015 19:59 (eight years ago) link

That's like Peak Mom right there.

carl agatha, Monday, 14 September 2015 00:36 (eight years ago) link

no matter how much it needs to happen, or how right I know I am, it never feels good telling my 62 year old mother, who is fragile and loves with her whole heart, that her and my dad are stressing me out with their insane financial dependence on me for the last fifteen years.

but I finally had to do it tonight, as I'd bottled it up too long. it was easier for me to dish the shit to my father, who has somewhat poisoned our relationship by treating me like a bank, but I feel like equal parts relieved and equal parts shit now that I've had to tell them they're cut off and I need some air.

part of it's also me seeing them and doubly wanting to make sure I don't wind up that way. if I'm that poorly off at retirement age, there will be a carbon monoxide funeral in my future.

oh well...I think deep down I keep seeing the passage of time and worrying about them getting older and frail and that's why I've held back so long.

Hammer Smashed Bagels, Thursday, 24 September 2015 22:28 (seven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Has anyone heard of a disease or allergy or otherwise where the eyes are constantly swollen and teary and the salt eats away at the corneas? This is some bad stuff and folks are having real trouble finding anyone that knows how to treat it or what it is really. They just got back from another appointment and the lab had somehow forgotten to do some bloodwork. They've been seeing people since June.

They said something about the immune system being responsible, that it is attacking the eyes. It is scary stuff he's laying down all day w a cloth over his eyes doing drops every 1hr. Nobody they've seen has any clue.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 9 October 2015 19:31 (seven years ago) link

Sjogren's syndrome? I think that's either where you stop producing tears or the tears produced are not H2O enough?

voodoo rage (suzy), Friday, 9 October 2015 19:58 (seven years ago) link

No this is constant tears.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 9 October 2015 20:02 (seven years ago) link

I will ask them about that tho, thanks.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 9 October 2015 20:03 (seven years ago) link

Sjogrens is not enough tears -- my mother-in-law has it. That sounds scary as hell, Adam.

I might like you better if we Yelped together (Phil D.), Friday, 9 October 2015 20:03 (seven years ago) link

could it be this?

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 9 October 2015 20:26 (seven years ago) link

Maybe. I'll see them tomorrow and maybe find out more.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 10 October 2015 16:47 (seven years ago) link

good luck! it sounds awful, hope you get some answers/cure soon

Flamenco Drop (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 10 October 2015 17:31 (seven years ago) link

one year passes...

not my aging parent but christ it is fucking horrible the way some companies go hard after elderly people. my wife's dad is 86 and he gets calls all day long from people claiming he owes money to the IRS, people telling him there's a virus on his computer and they need access to it, he gets mail from Publisher's Clearing House all the time, or other similar companies where he's won like 2 million bucks* (*just buy this set of tools and you'll be in line for the prize, you might be the lucky one!)

and now I just got off the phone with some fucking skin care company that corralled him into a trial membership for the low low price of $10 for two samples of skin cream, with monthly charges of $200 for both for the subsequent 12 months (or until he stops membership.)

i acted old on the phone, just in case. i think i did a pretty good job and jeez if you think trying to cancel cable is bad, try to cancel this shit. they at first said i couldn't cancel because i was still in the trial period, then they said they would lower the cost by 50%, then finally said i would just have to pay like $50 for the creams i already had and i doddered about and finally told them "ok."

fucking monsters, all of them. he's already throwing $5k a month at long term care for my wife's mom (bc of alzheimer's, bc of course insurance won't cover it.)

nomar, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 21:31 (six years ago) link

I get so upset about this ^^^^ kinda thing. I'm so glad that your FIL has ppl looking out for him to mitigate this stuff but so upset for all of the vulnerable people (not just elders) out there who are very systematically preyed upon and have no safety net if there isn't an attentive and involved loved one. Which, with the most vulnerable, there is often not.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 1 March 2017 23:42 (six years ago) link

I mentioned it upthread, but if your state has a consumer protection office, report this shit. I have no doubt it's one of those things that is getting gutted in many places, but it's often part of a state's attorney general's office and does advocacy for people like your father in law. Giving them a heads-up about new phone scams is useful.

mh 😏, Thursday, 2 March 2017 00:00 (six years ago) link

Bump because I'm probably going to be visiting this thread a lot. My 76-year-old mother drives reasonably well and seems perfectly coherent if you talk to her, but cannot take care of the house--imagine an East Coast center-hall colonial in much the same condition as the pictures above.

Another forum recommended that I talk to the county Adult Protective Services office and seek out a lawyer to talk power of attorney. Does anyone here have any advice on this?

A related issue: my Aunt Donna (sister of my late father) has been living alone. Three weeks ago she collapsed with some sort of seizure. The good news is that she has a circle of friends who found her soon after said collapse and rushed her to the hospital. The doctors still haven't made a diagnosis, but she's made enough of a recovery to call my mother yesterday.

Apparently my aunt's circle of friends has dealt enough with these matters to have power of attorney and related documents prepared in advance. I wish my mother had a circle of friends like that (she has a few long-distance friends; I don't think she has any face-to-face friends). I wish I had a circle of friends like that.

Diana Fire (, Sunday, 5 March 2017 15:08 (six years ago) link

It might be difficult, but I'd suggest talking this over with your mother and persuading her to see a lawyer with you to prepare a will, power of attorney, and related healthcare documents. She might not agree immediately, but give her some time to think about it, keep bringing it up, and perhaps get other family members to encourage her. It's to her benefit as well as yours for her to do this while she can consider and choose the options that work best for her. Once that paperwork is done, it's one less thing for everyone to worry about.

If she's still driving safely and is rational but can't take care of her house any more, a simple option might be hiring someone to come in and do some cleaning. Everyone ages differently and loses competencies at different rates. A chaotic house doesn't necessarily mean that she can't still function independently, but it does signal she's starting to need more help and ought to observed closely in case her capacity declines in other areas (for example, not eating properly, not keeping track of medications, or forgetting or over-paying bills).

My father is 82 and last year his Alzheimer's advanced to the point where he had to move into a memory care facility. By then I was already taking care of his banking, taxes, etc. If I hadn't had power of attorney it would have been much harder to do everything that was needed for his care. According to a lawyer I met with, the alternative to his having granted me power of attorney while he was competent would have been for me to apply for a conservatorship or guardianship, which could have taken months at a time when major decisions needed to be made in a hurry.

It's strange to look back over the last 10 years and realize how completely my relationship with my father changed during that time. I had to set aside some lingering hard feelings and become the more responsible and care-giving person in our relationship. My father also had to acknowledge that his memory problems were severe and that he needed my support. Both of us had to overcome lifelong patterns of fighting with and then withdrawing from each other and instead talk much more openly than we ever had. I'm glad I took the initiative and that we got together on what to do before it was too late.

Brad C., Sunday, 5 March 2017 21:20 (six years ago) link

I went to my mother's house today, where I broached the subject of moving in the near future and letting my sister and I deal with the house. She didn't agree right there, but I think she was listening. I also tried talking about her eating habits (the kitchen can only be described as a "disaster area"), but she got belligerent.

One piece of good news: my mother had been talking about finding an attorney to take my late father's name off the house title. More recently she would mention maybe having a will done at the same time. I volunteered to find a lawyer and make an appointment, and when she agreed, she mentioned "power of attorney" without being prompted. It's possible that Aunt Donna's recent health issues have made it clear that it's better to prepare these things in advance, rather than scramble around after something has happened.

Diana Fire (, Sunday, 5 March 2017 21:33 (six years ago) link

AGING PARENTS are a big chunk of my life both personal (father with Alzheimer's) and professional (hospice social worker). Can't echo more strongly what Brad C. and others have said about getting living will (including naming medical POA) and financial POA. I've had to make DC APS reports on multiple occasions; ime if the person in question has decision-making capacity, APS won't do boo even if the decisions the person is making are clearly not in their best interest. And the DC guardianship process is a cluster easily avoided with medical/financial POA (these don't have to be the same person, lots of families I work with divvy it up). Those documents and living wills can be done without an attorney, let me know if you'd like me to point you to forms available online. Only the financial POA requires notarization (and I'm a notary so holler if you need one!).

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 5 March 2017 23:41 (six years ago) link

Yes please point to online help! My parents have 0 documents prepared and I'm an only child. Their reason for not having anything prepared is that everything will fall to me regardless :-/

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 6 March 2017 00:10 (six years ago) link

Another alternative is Five Wishes, a very plain-language, legalese-free advance directive that is recognized in 40+ states. There is a small cost and it is a little emo for my own personal taste, but it is very approachable and actually a lot more comprehensive than a lot of the state versions.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 6 March 2017 00:18 (six years ago) link

For basic financial POA documents, I just google Durable Power of Attorney + name of the state and find a .gov link. Don't pay money!

Some people use legalzoom or similar online service for after-you're-dead wills, but unless you have a very straightforward situation (which maybe your parents do), a trust and estate lawyer is a good idea. Even if you are an only child, their estate will have to go through probate if they die intestate! AVOID!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 6 March 2017 00:29 (six years ago) link

^^ everything that quincie said

ime if the person in question has decision-making capacity, APS won't do boo even if the decisions the person is making are clearly not in their best interest.

currently we are trying to convince my live-in 85-yr old FIL that it is not in his best interest to move back to New York with no support network or plan, originally he was gonna sell the (empty) house but he has gotten cold feet basically so we are in a holding pattern. hopefully he will realize that he can't fend for himself, but if he insists on going I think we can make sure he gets an apartment ahead of time...

sleeve, Monday, 6 March 2017 00:34 (six years ago) link

and yeah, fortunately my wife has all that POA stuff dialed in, got that done a few years back and boy are we glad.

sleeve, Monday, 6 March 2017 00:35 (six years ago) link

Thanks for the info quincie. What does intestate mean? I'm in total denial about my aging parents.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 6 March 2017 01:22 (six years ago) link

Idk want "go through probate" means either but I can tell it's something to be avoided & has to do with court.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 6 March 2017 01:23 (six years ago) link

Another thing about POA, durable POA for healthcare, etc. -- be sure you keep the originals somewhere safe and secure. I spent about two years searching for the certified original copy of my father's POA; before that I had only photocopies, which probably wouldn't have been accepted if I had tried to make changes to his financial accounts or to sell his real estate.

Knowing where important documents are is especially important if your AGING PARENTS have memory problems because eventually they will not remember which very safe place they put them in.

xp "Intestate" is the condition of not having a valid Last Will and Testament. If you die intestate, the disposition of your property is determined by state law and the judgment of the probate court rather than by the terms of your will. I don't think probate can be avoided for most people's estates. Having a will makes that process a lot smoother. Also see above about certified original copies. My only copy of my father's will is a photocopy, which might or might not be accepted at probate. The terms of his will are so simplistic that the outcome would be much the same either way, but for many families it could make a big difference.

I don't know much about how the probate process works, so I'd appreciate more info about this too.

Brad C., Monday, 6 March 2017 01:40 (six years ago) link

Hi Quincie,

My mother is in Rockville, so I'd be dealing with the Montgomery County APS--do you know how responsive, effective, etc. they are?

A couple of years ago I gave my mother a copy of Five Wishes. Earlier today I found it at the house (uncompleted and insect-stained). Drafting the will and POA based on online templates is probably the best way to start. However, since my mother WANTS to talk to a lawyer about the house title, and seems to be receptive to preparing a POA and a will, I'd like a lawyer to look at the documents. A little preliminary work on Yelp identified two possible firms; does anyone have any better ideas for finding a lawyer?

Diana Fire (, Monday, 6 March 2017 02:12 (six years ago) link

I now work in MoCo, actually! I have not yet had any interaction with MoCo APS, but according to colleagues it's much the same story: person has capacity? Best of luck to you! The MoCo Office of Aging and Disability may be more helpful, but probably not by much.

Again via colleagues I've been given names of two trust&estate attys who seem to be well-liked; I'll e-mail those to you when I'm back in the office.

Idea: everyone on ILX can ship their AGING PARENTS and a buttload of money to me and I'll take care of everything!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 6 March 2017 02:26 (six years ago) link

I'm starting to lowkey freak out about the fact that I live in another country from my (somewhat rapidly) aging parents. Like How TF am I going to deal w this.

illegal economic migration (Tracer Hand), Monday, 6 March 2017 08:56 (six years ago) link

urgh - sorry J. Lu for the situation you're in - this is all terribly familiar.
These last 7 years, I've considered most of the options upthread but my mother has been very hostile and belligerent to any suggestion that she may not be 100% lucid. It is basically impossible to talk about these things with her, she will just clam up and get upset. My solution has been to bring in more and more house-help under somewhat false pretenses - ie a "cleaning lady" coming in every day for a couple of hours. It costs us a fortune but the peace of mind it's brought me in the last couple of years is, as they say, priceless.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 6 March 2017 09:14 (six years ago) link

Tracer I know the feeling. My brother still lives in the usa & even in the same city as them so he'll shoulder the physical burden at least.

It's possible for me to bring them here too if things get very bad.

droit au butt (Euler), Monday, 6 March 2017 09:23 (six years ago) link

I can't imagine that Tracer. Every time I've had the chance to live in another country I've avoided it because of the distance it would put between my parents and me. How long have you lived overseas now?

Brevs Mekis (dandydonweiner), Monday, 6 March 2017 21:26 (six years ago) link

Every so often I see articles talking about (U.S.) citizens who retire in a country outside the U.S., because of cheaper costs of living. I hope to god for the sake of these retirees' next of kin that the retirees prepared their wills and powers of attorney BEFORE the move. Imagine trying to support an aging parent not just over a distance, but with language barriers and possibly a drastically different legal system to complicate things.

(Since the 2016 election, I've thought vaguely about emigrating to Germany. It wouldn't have been imminent anyways, but it sure won't be happening any time soon.)

In the meantime, I've downloaded templates for a will and a power of attorney, and I just spoke to my mother about drafting these documents before we go to a lawyer. She sounded reluctant but resigned.

Diana Fire (, Monday, 6 March 2017 22:59 (six years ago) link

I'm so mad at my sister right now. When we first decided we couldn't let Mom go on in her current way any longer, my sister suggested letting her stay temporarily to the currently vacant condo she owns. So when yesterday I suggested moving Mom there as a halfway house to getting her to move to Leisure World, my sister balked. Her explanation was that it would disrupt Mom's "momentum" towards moving to Leisure World.

I do not doubt that my sister is as busy with work as she says. But Mom seems alarmingly happy to live in a squalid house, spending her days watching TV and petting the cats, and buying more clothes and groceries (which tend to get lost in the clutter). If my mother has any momentum when I'm not around and trying to coax her into doing something, I see no sign of it.

I've still got my mother's cats, and have said that I really don't want to return them until the situation is "resolved." I love cats, but 1) one of them has occasionally pooped on the floor, no matter how frequently I clean the litter box, and 2) my hands and wrists are itching and irritated in a way that make me afraid I'm allergic to cats.

Diana Fire (, Tuesday, 7 March 2017 10:55 (six years ago) link

So my mother has had lung cancer for the past 4 ish years but she stopped treating it about two years ago and is definitely in rapid decline. She also has some form of undiagnosed (my dad doesn't see the point in taking her to see someone for that) dementia which is heartbreaking. My father won't even consider a visiting nurse even though he's at the point of pretty much doing literally everything for her because he thinks having people coming in to help would be betraying her somehow. ?! While I'm not in another country I am still quite far away (they're in FL and I'm in MA) and I'm an only child. Recently her doctor said that he can't say if it'll be next week or in six months but she'd definitely dying. That might be the weirdest part - that limbo. I'm going down there at the end of the month for a couple days and the above info is helpful. I just feel like I need to have a better handle on all of this especially since I'm the only one. My dad's six years younger than my mom (78/72) and much younger in both body and spirit thank god. Still, this shit is so hard.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 7 March 2017 16:24 (six years ago) link

The good news is that now I don't think I'm allergic to my mother's cats. The bad news is that I think one of them has scabies (which would be what's causing the rashes on my hands and wrists). Then at work I just got back a set of massive and poorly documented changes to a document I'm working on.

This is really wicked of me, but I am sorely tempted right now to just return the cats to my mother and let her go her own way, in the hope that something catastrophic will happen. I thought I couldn't hate myself any more.

Diana Fire (, Wednesday, 8 March 2017 15:02 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

The good news: My mother has signed off on a will and medical and legal powers of attorney.
The bad news: I just tried talking to her again about cleaning out the house, only to be brushed off again. These cats are going to be with me for the rest of their lives Y/Y/Y?

Diana Fire (, Thursday, 20 April 2017 00:17 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

Last week, I sat with my dad in a hospice facility in Florida for 8 hours every day for 6 days and watched my mother slowly die. She was completely unresponsive the entire time and we had no idea whether or not she knew we were there. The smell as her body began to shut down was something I will never forget. Nor is sitting on the floor and holding her hands so that I could look in her eyes on the off chance that she could see me or feel my presence as I told her it was OK to go. She must have lost 20 pounds in those six days. The way she looked the finally afternoon when the nursing aides came to turn her over was probably the most frightening thing I've ever seen. We got the call from the nurse that she'd passed about two hours after we left for the night. When we got to her room they'd placed a gold butterfly on the door and a rose in her hands. Hers was the first dead body I've ever seen and she was still warm. That was one week ago and today is my first day back at work. We had a very complicated relationship and she's been ill for a very long time. That said, this is the most intense and surreal experience.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Monday, 12 June 2017 16:57 (six years ago) link

i'm sorry to hear that enbb

i know what you mean by surreal as you describe something similar to what i felt when mine passed

thoughts are with you and your family

i n f i n i t y (∞), Monday, 12 June 2017 17:13 (six years ago) link

Very sorry indeed, ENBB. Sending best in such an upsetting time.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 12 June 2017 17:14 (six years ago) link

I'm so, so sorry ENBB. I watched my dad pass away slowly in hospice; like you, his was the first dead body I had ever seen and I have never been able to characterize the experience as good or bad, just IMMENSE, like being hit with a stray moon or something. Peace to you.

or at night (Jon not Jon), Monday, 12 June 2017 17:26 (six years ago) link

Love and peace, ENBB.

Conic section rebellion 44 (in orbit), Monday, 12 June 2017 17:57 (six years ago) link

i'm so sorry E. we went through some of that with Mr Veg's mom.

I remember going to see her after they'd cut off all treatment. the change was so dramatic, she looked like a ghost almost. but her final hours brought all of us together in a way that we hadnt experienced as a family in a long time... and i felt a closeness with her that was sort of reassuring at the same time as being so sad and strange.

i know it's weird to say but i am glad you had that time with her <3

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 12 June 2017 18:13 (six years ago) link

a minute or so after my dad passed, my aunt (she, my mom and me had been the only ones in the room) said 'he looks like a little baby' (which is not to say that the moment of passing was peaceful harps or anything; it wasn't) and she was otm

or at night (Jon not Jon), Monday, 12 June 2017 18:20 (six years ago) link

Although it might seem like a jarring note in the circumstances, I am glad to hear you were able to spend so many hours and days with your mom as she made the passage from life to death. I am certain it helped her to have you and your dad there so much of the time, and the immediacy and intensity of it will help both you and your dad assimilate and adjust to her departure. That adjustment can take a lot of unfamiliar shapes and you'll probably feel really weird at times, but the time you spent with her will mean a tremendous amount to you as time passes. My condolences.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 12 June 2017 18:35 (six years ago) link

just want to second everything aimless wrote, i witnessed this painful process w/my mom and then my dad years ago and over time those mixed-up memories eventually helped me heal and became not a comfort exactly but a central part of what i'll always hold close about both of them. beaming love and positive energy your way enbb.

busy bee starski (m coleman), Monday, 12 June 2017 18:55 (six years ago) link

i'm so sorry E -- i can't imagine how much more intense it was knowing that you (too) are an only. <3

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 12 June 2017 20:06 (six years ago) link

condolences to you and family.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Monday, 12 June 2017 20:34 (six years ago) link

Sorry E

kinder, Monday, 12 June 2017 20:41 (six years ago) link

very sorry, E. I'm glad she was with her family in her final days. take care of yourself.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 12 June 2017 23:31 (six years ago) link

sorry for your loss, ENBB

the baby grew up to be a secessful kid (unregistered), Monday, 12 June 2017 23:58 (six years ago) link

My condolences, E.

syzygy stardust (suzy), Tuesday, 13 June 2017 07:18 (six years ago) link

Love and thoughts E

May o God help us (darraghmac), Tuesday, 13 June 2017 08:28 (six years ago) link

I rememeber reading about your family predicament over the years ENBB - so similar to my own. My deepest condolences. I hope you can find, in time, some serene closure .

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 13 June 2017 10:50 (six years ago) link

May she rest well , my condolences.

Dean of the University (Latham Green), Tuesday, 13 June 2017 11:24 (six years ago) link

Just realized I never said thank you for all the nice messages. Thank you. <3

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Monday, 26 June 2017 15:37 (six years ago) link

how are you holding up, E?

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 26 June 2017 23:46 (six years ago) link

Hey! I kept meaning to respond. I am . . . OK. Ish. Last week and this weekend were really really hard. The weirdest part though was that I was just sad and unmotivated and teary in a way I've never been. It wasn't this specific missing of my mom or thinking about her death just this overwhelming heaviness and it hits at the weirdest times and it can be so intense. At first I was confused because I've never felt this way before and didn't know how to process it but then I realized that it is grief and that this is normal. That doesn't make it any less hard or shitty but it helps to remind myself of that that and of the fact that I won't feel this way forever.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Wednesday, 5 July 2017 17:55 (six years ago) link

<3 <3
over time it sorta, calcifies? like it becomes a part of you without weighing you down. everyone's different though. it takes a lot of time
bendon hugs help i'm sure :)

Yoni Loves Chocha (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 6 July 2017 03:17 (six years ago) link

I realized that it is grief and that this is normal.

Yes. A thousand times yes.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 6 July 2017 04:43 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

The thing that strikes me the most these days is how it almost doesn't even seem real that any of this happened. I know she's gone but the whole way it all happened made the actual event pretty traumatic and the days after that were such a whirlwind. I feel like I've been a weird daze all summer but lately I've been having these moments where I think "Holy shit, my mom died" but it still feels unreal somehow. I haven't been back to see my dad since I was there in June so maybe that's why - I don't actually notice her absence every day. I feel like I haven't been doing anything except going through the motions of being a person and it's been making me feel bad like I'm not strong enough or something. I know it's only been a few months. Everything has just been so hard for such a long time. I'm tired of it. Also, I don't feel well today so I'm feeling sorry for myself.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Friday, 25 August 2017 17:43 (six years ago) link

it's been making me feel bad like I'm not strong enough or something.

Older cultures than ours understood well how the death of loved ones affected the survivors and they evolved traditions that allowed families to cope with the aftermath. They often prescribed a set of activities that lasted a full year. You're only months into this and more or less afloat and on your own to deal with it. You just experienced one of life's most powerful and disturbing events. It is no wonder your mind still feels disturbed. Just be kind to yourself. Renew that kindness constantly. It's necessary. I wish you sufficient moments of peace to find how to piece this enormous event into your life and make it normal.

In my own case, my 92 year old mother is now in hospice care. I'm back to weekly visits again. Rather than having one terminal problem, all her systems are simply slowing drastically and rather gently fading out. She's not in much pain, but her slow cessation is evident from week to week. She now spends about 22 hours a day in bed. She is losing interest in anything but the intermittent visits from her children. Even then, she only wants to look at me, hold my hand and listen to me talk, although she is mostly blind and deaf now.

I suspect she'll drift along like this, emptying out bit by bit, for five or six more weeks. But this seems like one of the gentler ways to bow out, so I am glad of that.

A is for (Aimless), Friday, 25 August 2017 18:29 (six years ago) link

Thank you, Aimless. Your words are very helpful. I'm sorry to hear about your mom. It's so hard though that does sound gentle which is definitely good.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 29 August 2017 14:43 (six years ago) link

visiting my parents at the jersey shore and my dad had a stroke this morning

i think it could have been much worse? we were there, the ambulance was super fast. but it's still bad

also i apologize to paul ryan for not using the power of the free market to unlock cheaper and better health care options. we were in a rush

mookieproof, Sunday, 10 September 2017 21:24 (six years ago) link

oh no. I'm sorry. I was just listening to a radio show emphasizing that time is of the essence - thank goodness family was around. The wait to figure out what 'bad' is going to actually mean is so hard.

ljubljana, Sunday, 10 September 2017 21:46 (six years ago) link

i'm sorry to hear about your dad! at least you are there for your mom.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Sunday, 10 September 2017 22:29 (six years ago) link

aww mooks <3 and hugs

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 10 September 2017 22:32 (six years ago) link

<3 mookie

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 10 September 2017 22:52 (six years ago) link

Terrible. Sending best for you all.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 10 September 2017 22:54 (six years ago) link

<3 mookie, so sorry this has happened, best wishes to you all

estela, Monday, 11 September 2017 01:34 (six years ago) link

also my belated condolences to enbb. i've always thought you were a very good daughter to both of your parents. i hope you find peace after your enormous loss <3

estela, Monday, 11 September 2017 01:38 (six years ago) link

Sorry about your dad! I'll be thinking of you and your family.

tokyo rosemary, Monday, 11 September 2017 02:45 (six years ago) link

<3 thanks dudes

mookieproof, Monday, 11 September 2017 05:08 (six years ago) link

mooks <3

Week of Wonders (Ross), Monday, 11 September 2017 05:19 (six years ago) link

aging parents is hard. my dad's 69, my mom's 64. Few weeks back I told her she looked just as young as ever, made her day. It's sad when people get old and they start thinking they look "bad" in family pictures, like my Mom recently did. breaks my heart

Week of Wonders (Ross), Monday, 11 September 2017 05:23 (six years ago) link

My dad passed last Monday 9/4. He had had a bad heart for nearly 20 years, really lived years beyond what he should. After going through this, I kinda think he was on point in not having a big funeral or anything.

earlnash, Monday, 11 September 2017 05:33 (six years ago) link

earlnash <3

Week of Wonders (Ross), Monday, 11 September 2017 05:43 (six years ago) link

sorry for your loss, earl

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 11 September 2017 05:47 (six years ago) link

they want him to stay awake because his blood pressure falls when he falls asleep (kinda seems like this could be adjusted for, but i guess not). so he's lying there sort of half dozing and periodically raising his right arm just to show that he can still do it.

it's a lot more willpower than i have, i'm certain

i'm sorry about your dad, earlnash.

mookieproof, Monday, 11 September 2017 07:21 (six years ago) link

Sorry for your loss, Earlnash.

Sending good thoughts, Mookie.

Le Bateau Ivre, Monday, 11 September 2017 07:53 (six years ago) link

Feeling for you Mookie. These periods, of fear and helplessness, can be so hard. Wishing you strength and patience.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 11 September 2017 10:42 (six years ago) link

hope you are all managing as well as possible, mookie. condolences earlnash.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Monday, 11 September 2017 13:18 (six years ago) link

John, I'm so sorry to hear this. I hope he's doing a little better and that you and your mom are doing OK.

also my belated condolences to enbb. i've always thought you were a very good daughter to both of your parents. i hope you find peace after your enormous loss <3

― estela, Sunday, September 10, 2017 9:38 PM (one week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Oh Estela, thank you. This just made me tear up at my desk.

It's been nearly four months now and it is still so strange/hard. My dad landed in Germany this morning to visit my aunt and uncle for two months which I think will be good for him - getting out of the house they shared where he's been alone and being in a new environment and around family and all. Tyring to think of something he and I can do for Christmas together that doesn't involve being at their house without her.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Thursday, 21 September 2017 14:28 (six years ago) link

Good lord this is a hard, harrowing read.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:10 (five years ago) link

i'm not sure i can deal with reading that.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:19 (five years ago) link

I mean, to be blunt, I really did move to the Bay Area in part because I wanted to make sure I'm much nearer my folks in case of emergencies. Reading that makes me very glad their plan is strictly based on staying at their home with long term health coverage as needed, and California isn't Nevada. I still got jumpy.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:30 (five years ago) link

I'll have to, later.

My mom told me the other day that she's kind of anxious waiting for the corn harvest season. My grandfather, before he moved to an assisted living facility (and started incurring all kinds of medical bills) was living off of money from tenant farming. He's too old to do work, so someone farms land he owns and he gets a share of the (hopeful) profits. As it is, she's mortgaged about 2/3 of the land to pay for his bills, and if the income doesn't cut it, will have to mortgage the last third. I don't know that selling the land would let them get that much more money.

mh, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:33 (five years ago) link

So the money management part is relatable, but oh boy, the idea of her profiting off of being custodian of his finances sure isn't/

mh, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:34 (five years ago) link

Oh my God. I read the whole thing and I want to throw up. Those people are pure evil.

maura, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:44 (five years ago) link

As a court-appointed guardian for my daughter, that article was appalling. The worst thing about that NYer article is that the court itself was so spectacularly irresponsible. It did not make any attempt at an independent assessment of the couple and relied on extremely flimsy evidence to declare their incompetence, without even notifying the couple of the proceedings against them. That defines a legal process which begs to be abused.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:47 (five years ago) link

I was just now searching to see what the status of Parks and her immediate accomplices are -- I can't determine if the trial itself is ongoing.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:49 (five years ago) link

And yeah that's a different kind of evil but I'm content to put him right up there with that Pennsylvania jurist who got his for the scheme sending kids to prison. So this guy being shunted over TO kids' court is not so good.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:50 (five years ago) link

ok, I assumed this was about children taking advantage of guardianship, but the person this is about is completely horrible and I'm furious

mh, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 18:51 (five years ago) link

that's horrific, and heartbreaking

kinder, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 19:58 (five years ago) link

I have thread-appropriate tidings but I’ll wait til that article has been fully bruited

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 20:35 (five years ago) link

Amazing story

jmm, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 21:20 (five years ago) link

Some of the courtroom scenes described in the article are on Youtube:

jmm, Tuesday, 3 October 2017 21:53 (five years ago) link

no way am i reading about this

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 3 October 2017 23:26 (five years ago) link

One part I'm unclear on is just what the commissioner was getting out of the scheme. I don't think he directly benefitted from funnelling people into guardianship. My guess is that the same private guardians were a constant presence in his courtroom, whereas there was a continuous stream of wards and family members whom he never had to see again and who were much less practiced in talking in front of a judge. So he sympathized with the guardians. That and contempt for elderly people.

jmm, Wednesday, 4 October 2017 14:40 (five years ago) link

Sorry to detract from the article under discussion. But it’s time for one of my characteristic oversharings.

My wife’s dad had a massive heart attack over a week ago (last Monday night) and has been in ICU at Beth Israel Deaconess in Boston since then. So have we - my wife and I and her sister and her sisters longtime bf - except for going to my cousin’s house to pass out at night.

Apparently this was an extraordinarily severe cardiac arrest - the director of cardiac here said it’s the worst one he’s seen in twenty years. Father in law is 80 and as long as I have known him he has literally worked out at the gym every single day. If he wasn’t so fit he would not even have survived this heart attack.

He’s basically been on life support (for three systems: impella pump for heart, continuous dialysis for kidneys, ventilator for breathing) for nine days, except for part of Wednesday when they thought he could start breathing on his own, which he did for awhile but then he started struggling to breathe and the tube had to go back in. Except for that window last Wednesday he had been sedated to the extent that he has the aspect of someone asleep, except that occasionally his eyelids part briefly. He hears what we say a lot of the time. When my wife or her sis talk to him, his blood pressure improves: you can watch it on the screen. He sometimes answers yes or no questions via hand squeezes.

Incredible thing is, Monday and Tuesday there were some signs of his heart improving, starting to heal itself. The odds were very much against this. They’ve said a large portion of his left ventricle was ‘destroyed’.

He could be in this ICU for months inching his way back to autonomy, and months more of a regular ward/rehab type thing. We kind of need to live here for awhile. The NYC friends are being incredible about looking after the dog and birds and my job is playing ball with me so far but I’m scared some of these people will lose patience, especially scared that my cousin will tire of having us in her guest room and of us having to find another free haven in this ridiculously expensive city (we can’t stay at her dad’s house. Its legit not habitable. Long story.)

Her dad was a popular guy around here! Apparently (older) people all around Boston are talking about him being in here fighting for his life.

Monday there was a 17 year old girl in one of the family hangout areas who had just found out her dad had a cerebral hemorrhage and was not gonna make it. She was such a cool kid. Gangly nerd with a nasa t-shirt and a flannel, who wants to be an environmental engineer. It was AWFUL. I held it together until she went back with her mom to her dad’s room and then I cried and cried. This morning I saw that someone different is in that girl’s dad’s room.

Her dad’s status as the sickest guy in the whole hospital, which happens to be one of the world’s best, has clearly energized the cardiac team... I think for underdog-rooting reasons and professional challenge reasons they are incredibly determined to save him.

This morning when we were here for rounds there were two things. One: director of cardiac now says his heart is ‘livable’. Yes part of it is destroyed, but there’s enough there to power him. Two: the infection they started detecting yesterday is worse now, per his white blood cell levels, and is now an emergency.

Wife and her sister fight really badly. When their mom was dying of cancer three years ago, the fighting was almost as traumatic as the situation itself. They have kept it decent these nine days but today they went at it hard. Now there’s talk of shifts so they don’t have to ever see each other. It’s partly because of that relationship that I can’t go back to nyc and leave her here on her own. Her sister drives and she doesn’t. When it’s just the two of them that leads to SIL having the ‘power’ and then really bad shit goes down.

Primarily, jeez this guy who has clawed his way back from a world-record cardiac arrest surely can’t die from an infection? NB he and I aren’t friends. He thinks I’m a schlub who doesn’t make enough money for his daughter and I think he’s a fucking asshole who ruined people’s lives. But I want him to LIVE please.

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 4 October 2017 15:33 (five years ago) link

man that's rough, sending you good vibes.

infections are a huge risk with heart surgeries (my wife is an RN cardiac specialist). she was just telling me how some patient has like 15 teeth pulled, that happens a lot when people with bad teeth get surgeries cuz of infection risks. so yeah, it is probably the #1 post-op concern.

sleeve, Wednesday, 4 October 2017 15:35 (five years ago) link

Yeah he didn’t actually have any surgery other than immediate insertion of a stent. His heart was too fucked up for surgery. They think the infection probably originated with the extended time he has been intubated.

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 4 October 2017 15:43 (five years ago) link

Wishing you all the best man, that's a terrible situation. Your description of the sisters fighting... Awful esp in that situation. I've been in a similar situation twice before, going to the hospital every day for months. The odd things you cling to (staff that are good people, others in the waiting room)...

Again, all the very best.

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 4 October 2017 16:00 (five years ago) link

If only this were happening in the city where we live there’d be so many additional stress factors removed (Duh)

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 4 October 2017 16:05 (five years ago) link

Gosh, horrible news. Best indeed to you for sure.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 4 October 2017 16:06 (five years ago) link

JnJ, it sounds to me like you will be absolutely critical support for your wife as she deals with this and the enormous stress it will put on her family. I hope that your father-in-law's condition soon settles into moving in one clear direction, so everyone involved can begin to prepare for one relatively predictable outcome. Nothing could be more stressful than a series of crises, complications, reverses, with hopes raised and dashed. Modern medicine has a way of prolonging this shit indefinitely, in a way that is not always helpful to the patient or the family. Good luck.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 4 October 2017 19:17 (five years ago) link

good luck jon -- don't forget about your needs in the process
they are no less important than those of well-liked trooper cardiac patients or their families
like if you need to go back to work in order to support yourselves longterm, that's as valuable as being sibling intermediary/chauffeur
y'all are in my thoughts!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 October 2017 03:53 (five years ago) link


this was an unexpected turn of events. He was improving so much he was about to 'graduate' off the external heart impeller today. But then this afternoon he suddenly went into "v-fib", but they shocked him and he was fine again. And then about an hour and a half ago he coded again for the same reason. And then again about an hour ago and they couldn't revive him.

This is going to utterly destroy my wife and her sister. Things REALLY looked good before this afternoon.

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 7 October 2017 00:30 (five years ago) link

so sorry to hear this jon, sending love

niels, Saturday, 7 October 2017 00:33 (five years ago) link

Indeed -- best for you all on the road ahead.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 7 October 2017 00:54 (five years ago) link

oh man, sorry. good luck with everything <3

mookieproof, Saturday, 7 October 2017 01:13 (five years ago) link

sorry to hear this, also sort of glad it wasn't protracted or agonizing. good luck -- "best for you all on the road ahead" otm -- esp since it applies to the living.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 7 October 2017 04:21 (five years ago) link

I'm really hoping that his circle of friends around here will help us with the funeral planning - he has no actual family here and it's just way too fucking much. Also the legal situation is a mystery and a mess. Unpaid bills, things put up as collateral against legal costs, probably no will etc etc etc

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 7 October 2017 16:08 (five years ago) link

Good lord, that all sounds like nightmare fuel waiting to happen.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 7 October 2017 16:30 (five years ago) link

It sounds like the estate will probably have to bear the cost of some legal assistance to help you sort it all out. if other potential heirs (family members) object to this expense (it isn't cheap), ask them who it is they think will be doing all that work. the best you can do right now it take each day's problems as they arise and try to stay balanced and grounded. good luck.

A is for (Aimless), Saturday, 7 October 2017 17:43 (five years ago) link

One of his inner circle is a prominent Boston lawyer so I think that'll help. But yeah it's gonna be hard

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 7 October 2017 17:58 (five years ago) link

Very sad, Jon. I'm sorry.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 8 October 2017 17:39 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

so my dad killed himself thursday afternoon

mookieproof, Sunday, 26 November 2017 01:45 (five years ago) link

so sorry to hear that mookie <3

In a slipshod style (Ross), Sunday, 26 November 2017 01:47 (five years ago) link

Ugh. So sorry. How old was he? Had he been depressed? Maybe this stuff is already upthread.

Modern Zounds in Undiscovered Country (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 26 November 2017 01:50 (five years ago) link

oh no mookie

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 26 November 2017 01:50 (five years ago) link

sorry for your loss

calstars, Sunday, 26 November 2017 01:53 (five years ago) link

Good lord. Deepest condolences, sir.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:09 (five years ago) link

he had a (easy for me to say, but relatively mild) stroke in september. then pneumonia four weeks ago, which involved a week with a breathing tube down his throat. he'd just gotten out of the rehab hospital on wednesday. the pneumonia had pretty much wiped out whatever gains he'd made since the stroke.

i mean, i understand. he was 81; it's not like he had a bright future ahead even if he regained the ability to drive/ride his bike/whatever.

but he shot himself in the fucking eye in my mom's basement while she was upstairs. so she found him gushing blood all over the floor, had to call 911, had to tell the EMTs to let him die, had to deal with the cops' initial suspicion that she'd shot him, and held on to the idea for a full day that it might somehow have been an accident.

i can't sleep because i keep thinking about her voice when she called me.

i mean he was a great guy and i love(d) him and i know it's textbook to get pissed off but that's just so fucking wrong

tbf he always hated holidays; i guess he got his revenge on thanksgiving

mookieproof, Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:16 (five years ago) link

Sorry, man. <3 to you and your mom

Modern Zounds in Undiscovered Country (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:20 (five years ago) link

i’m so sorry mookie, that is awful. <3

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:21 (five years ago) link

Oh mookie, I’m sorry.

El Tomboto, Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:24 (five years ago) link

thx guys. guess i got through denial pretty quickly


mookieproof, Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:32 (five years ago) link

jeez mook, so sorry to hear this. <3 back to you. good luck to you and your mom.

rb (soda), Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:37 (five years ago) link

love to you, mookie. I'm so sorry to read this.

Susan Stranglehands (jed_), Sunday, 26 November 2017 02:44 (five years ago) link

Really sorry to hear this, mookie

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 26 November 2017 04:55 (five years ago) link

Sorry to hear about all of this. Death is not easy in any form.

earlnash, Sunday, 26 November 2017 05:02 (five years ago) link

jesus, sorry bud. i'll be thinking of you and your mom.

call all destroyer, Sunday, 26 November 2017 05:17 (five years ago) link

I'm very sorry Mookie, that is dreadful. Thinking of you and your mom.

Le Bateau Ivre, Sunday, 26 November 2017 11:41 (five years ago) link

I am so sorry, Mookie, thinking of you and your family.

FKA (doo dah), Sunday, 26 November 2017 13:30 (five years ago) link

really sorry to hear that - i hope that you and your family can manage to cope.

Bein' Sean Bean (LocalGarda), Sunday, 26 November 2017 13:33 (five years ago) link

Damn, sorry Mookie.

brownie, Sunday, 26 November 2017 14:27 (five years ago) link

Sorry mooks

i n f i n i t y (∞), Sunday, 26 November 2017 14:35 (five years ago) link

i emailed you but am bumping this thread again just to say how sorry i am that you and your mom are going through this. i woke up thinking about your mom.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Sunday, 26 November 2017 15:22 (five years ago) link

I don’t even know what to say. I’m so sorry, mookie, and have been thinking about you and your mom <3

mh, Sunday, 26 November 2017 20:30 (five years ago) link

so sorry mookie<3

estela, Sunday, 26 November 2017 22:14 (five years ago) link

Wow so sorry to hear about this.

Randall Jarrell (dandydonweiner), Sunday, 26 November 2017 22:44 (five years ago) link

<3 you, mookie

Conic section rebellion 44 (in orbit), Sunday, 26 November 2017 22:57 (five years ago) link

Mookie I can't believe you had the wherewithal to post an anti-Blackhawks link for me since this happened. Take care of yourself and your family; my deepest sympathies.

I want to change my display name (dan m), Monday, 27 November 2017 00:39 (five years ago) link

Sorry to hear this, Mookie

The Harsh Tutelage of Michael McDonald (Raymond Cummings), Monday, 27 November 2017 00:53 (five years ago) link

I'm also lost for words. All my love though <3

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Monday, 27 November 2017 00:55 (five years ago) link

So sorry to hear, mookie.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Monday, 27 November 2017 00:56 (five years ago) link

I'm really sorry you and your mom are going through this, mookie.

WilliamC, Monday, 27 November 2017 01:41 (five years ago) link

Awful stuff, mookie. I'm so sorry.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 27 November 2017 01:42 (five years ago) link

This is just awful. I’m so sorry for you and your mom, mookie.

harbinger of failure (Jon not Jon), Monday, 27 November 2017 03:53 (five years ago) link

Mookie, I have (almost) no words either, apart from condolences to you and your mother at what must be a very confusing and sad time.

kim jong deal (suzy), Monday, 27 November 2017 08:59 (five years ago) link

thanks ilxors <3 <3 <3

mookieproof, Monday, 27 November 2017 15:07 (five years ago) link

thinking of you mookie
prob don’t need to say it but obv feel free to let off steam/stress here as the days go on
i know the post-death arrangements & stuff can be p stressful

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 27 November 2017 22:57 (five years ago) link

jeez, sorry man

Roberto Spiralli, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 03:14 (five years ago) link

it probably doesn't mean much but s sorry for you and your mom - truly tragic. I can only second advice upthread to try to let off steam and get some fresh air out of the house, as much as the situation allows it.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 17:03 (five years ago) link

yeah i really just want to stop thinking about it, but that doesn't seem to be an option

mookieproof, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 17:38 (five years ago) link

you're carrying about as heavy a load as anyone could stagger under right now. just know it's going to take you a long time to process all the thoughts and feelings from this. and you don't always have to be the 'strong one'.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 18:58 (five years ago) link

geez no kidding -- and it really does help alleviate some of the persistent thoughts to talk about it.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 19:08 (five years ago) link


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 19:59 (five years ago) link

mookie, I'm still thinking of you and your mom. LL's thought is one of the things I was thrashing around trying to say - she has pinpointed the reason.

ljubljana, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 20:33 (five years ago) link

having been there, I can only say what I hope I or somebody said at the time: squint at how desperate he must have been to do that, whether it was a sudden impulse, reaction, decision, or however long he'd thought about it--how desperate, incl. knowing on some level how he would leave y'all to deal with the consequences---but now he's beyond his desperation and misery.

dow, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 05:01 (five years ago) link

But if you're to some degree angry, I don't blame you at all.

dow, Wednesday, 29 November 2017 05:16 (five years ago) link

ugh... so sorry mookie.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 30 November 2017 02:07 (five years ago) link

Just saw this, mook. How awful. I'm very sorry for you and your mom.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 30 November 2017 02:12 (five years ago) link

Same here, hang in there.

dow, Thursday, 30 November 2017 15:42 (five years ago) link


kim jong deal (suzy), Wednesday, 6 December 2017 19:02 (five years ago) link

really lovely obit; I guy I would definitely kiw

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 8 December 2017 01:45 (five years ago) link

lovely indeed, thanks for letting us read it.

dow, Friday, 8 December 2017 04:22 (five years ago) link


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 8 December 2017 05:02 (five years ago) link

Saddest thread. Sorry Mookie.

albvivertine, Friday, 8 December 2017 05:55 (five years ago) link

Gotta vent.

So just went for a quick visit to my aging parents (met my mum in central London to help her with food shopping ahead of xmas) and more importantly to see my father, who I knew had been ill with what sounded like - in phone conversations - something viral (nausea, some vomitting), eating a bit but not much and living on water and tea. The doctors haven't been to ascertain exactly what it is (only a blood test so far) with a "there is nothing wrong" from it.

I knew he had lost about weight but I was mildly startled. I think its about 10 pounds off, legs are thinner. He can walk but may need a walking stick at this rate.

He is having an X-ray on Thursday and an endoscopy on the 5th Jan (that's three weeks away) then talking to a consultant who is going to take a view on it.

This all started after they came back from a summer in India so I wonder if he picked something up that will not shake off. If he is weaker and with this cold weather too...I have to say as I saw him later on the phone (with family who are calling even more to find out how he is) I just...pictured myself reading an eulogy at his funeral. Totally caught me.

I just hope it isn't the last xmas.

I HATE that this is three fucking weeks away I just want it done NOW. We were discussing a private option but he doesn't think its that far away blah. I dunno, hands are tied praying the bad thing doesn't happen otherwise its damage limitation in A&E. Fuck.

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 19 December 2017 21:21 (five years ago) link

My mom has rallied a bit since my last bulletin to this thread. She'll certainly last through Christmas, and probably has months more to run if she doesn't get ill. But she's obviously done engaging with life in any meaningful way.

She doesn't recall anything other than the deep past and has no interest in that either. I visited her weekly up until mid November and she greatly enjoyed listening to me, but her participation was limited to a few words here and there. She no longer has an opinion on anything other than how pleasant it is to see her family. She's very tranquil and that's a good thing.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 19 December 2017 21:59 (five years ago) link

My mum was rushed to hospital on Saturday and had surgery yesterday: she'd been unwell for weeks and convinced herself she had stomach cancer. Actually just a blocked bowl (just!) and double hernia (just!).

Visited her yesterday and she's doing pretty well. Should come home today.

Hey Bob (Scik Mouthy), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 07:55 (five years ago) link

I had planned for a month for my mom to take the train today and come to my house for Xmas. Opportunity for her to see her granddaughter and meet for the first time her 3-months old grandson. But in classic depression/bipolar behavior, she bailed out two hours before the train departure (“what am I gonna do at your place?”). So gutted

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 10:23 (five years ago) link

Good thoughts going yr way, xyzzzz - horrible to have that consultation hanging over Christmas.

Akdov Telmig (Ward Fowler), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 10:59 (five years ago) link

Thanks Ward.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 20 December 2017 11:46 (five years ago) link

best wishes for yr mum Scik <3

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 20 December 2017 17:50 (five years ago) link

Solidarity with Scik and everyone who's in this thread.

Obit lovely. Would have loved to have talked science with him.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 25 December 2017 06:13 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

On Friday, in –10F weather, my mom called me to say that my dad had a stroke, but she'd decided to let him sleep and instead of calling an ambulance. My wife and I drove an hour in our subcompact auto at the height of the blizzard, w/ 50 mph winds to find: there had been no stroke. Dad had a virus. Mom was deep in denial about dad's still-undiagnosed Parkinsonianism, and claimed the symptoms (inability to dress himself, trouble eating, impaired walking, etc.) were recent and resulted from a stroke, and had appeared only in the last two days only. But... they're years old. FWIW, Dad also denies the symptoms. He's fine. However, dad's capable of covering up his infirmities (so he thinks) and my mom won't challenge him because she doesn't want to have to deal w/ him. Meanwhile, I learned my mom did *not* try to help my dad when he fell on the ground a few days ago (and she is physically a LOT more capable than him), and only helped him get dressed when he begged for it. I... don't know what to do about them.

I'm not ready to say goodbye to my parents, but I think that even if they stick around bodily my time with their minds is ... dwindling.

rb (soda), Monday, 8 January 2018 23:20 (five years ago) link

i'm very sorry to hear all that. wishing you strength.

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 04:59 (five years ago) link


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 06:28 (five years ago) link


we officially have "caregiver fatigue" :(

father-in-law's condition is deteriorating, we started having home care people come a few times a week for various things but I'm not sure how long we can keep him living with us at this rate. he got nauseous last night and my wife had left her phone downstairs, he called her sixteen times rather than make any noise or knock on a door. he tells different providers different things, fired one nurse without telling us, and is disturbingly focused on his new tiny diminishing 1-time scrip of oxy.

sleeve, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 15:47 (five years ago) link

oh dear
sympathies to everyone

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 15:54 (five years ago) link

I'm so sorry everyone. This is so tough - all of it.

I spent the holidays with my dad, the first after my mom's death. They were OK and better than I feared overall but still hard. I'm still processing her passing and am both angry and sad now for a lot of different reasons too complicated to go into though I've spoken about them here and elsewhere on ILX before. Weird things happen and sometimes it just hits me like the other day when I was driving and for some reason I remembered the way her body looked when we went back to the hospice after getting the call that she died and I just started sobbing.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 16:36 (five years ago) link

My dad seems to be doing OK which is nice but I do worry about his health deteriorating and him being alone.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 16:37 (five years ago) link

R - that sounds really really tough and I'm sorry you're going through it. I don't have any advice to give as I also struggled with not entirely dissimilar situations and after a while just stopped trying to intervene because I realized that in my parents case they were going to do what they wanted regardless.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 16:38 (five years ago) link

mother visited recently and i had the first moment of NOT IMMORTAL and have decided i'm going to be super nice to her from now on

Chocolate-covered gummy bears? Not ruling those lil' guys out. (ulysses), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 04:56 (five years ago) link

rb - I went through very similar situation, with my mom refusing to acknowledge the effects of parkinson on my dad (saying he was using the illness to justify his laziness...). If you father's not yet medicated, bear in mind that pills can really slow down the progress of the disease. I empathise with spouses who need to downplay/deny or detach themselves from the domestic horror of neurodegenerative diseases but if possible in any way you should convince them to get nurses and outside help asap. I only wish I'd pushed for this earlier with my dad (it ended up - predictably - wrecking my mom)

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 10 January 2018 14:43 (five years ago) link

To continue my previous post from around xmas results have now come - we are onto biopsy for "complcations in the pancreas and kidney" so that's that. Its in 1-2 weeks, results would be a week after so we'll know, at most, by early Feb.

My father sounds weak and diminished, mother was crying on the phone (not something you forget when you hear it), younger brother is in a panic and upset leaving me with having to repress whatever it is I'm feeling. In some ways that's fine, for now. Fighting words around being positive are thrown in...I nod away but keep thinking back to that moment when I saw him on the phone...the gut instinct was hard to shake then. I'll keep quiet on it, post it here.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 12 January 2018 16:34 (five years ago) link

mother was crying on the phone (not something you forget when you hear it)

my heart now drops whenever i see i have a voicemail message

<3 best to you xyzzzz

mookieproof, Friday, 12 January 2018 16:39 (five years ago) link

thinking of you, julio

mark s, Friday, 12 January 2018 16:57 (five years ago) link

Thanks all.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 12 January 2018 22:15 (five years ago) link

my mom has a lot of opinions about traffic patterns

mookieproof, Friday, 19 January 2018 22:32 (five years ago) link

So its cancer of the liver however it seems to be a few spots of it (its apparently a rare form of it), it is curable and treatment will start soon. No need for surgery, just injections. Talking to a specialist next week.

Not at all over. This has made me face things, not least the ongoing sadness that blocks your insides (even more so than usual).

xyzzzz__, Monday, 29 January 2018 20:20 (five years ago) link

Sending best indeed. A very good friend lost her dad a couple of years ago and her mom is starting to fail mentally; based on her notes to me, the tangle of issues involved with her siblings on what to do has been awful. Makes me grateful for where I am so far, but I wonder what the future will hold.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 29 January 2018 20:48 (five years ago) link

thinking of you julio: the liver is an organ it's hard to do without but also one with unusual capacity to regenerate so best of luck to yr dad and yr family x

mark s, Monday, 29 January 2018 21:31 (five years ago) link

Thanks, appreciate the message

xyzzzz__, Monday, 29 January 2018 21:41 (five years ago) link

So...the doctors looked at the results again: my father has late stage cancer (and its a rare form, whose name I can't recall, around 2% of all cancers) (actually in a bit of the pancreas and the small intestines). It will be determined next week but he might be too weak for chemo too - they will try to strenghten him but if he cannot go through chemo then that gives him a few months. With a successful chemo its 2-5 years. Its devastating, he never had much of a retirement.

Had a deep conversation with my mother today and her strength through all of this is something else. The situation might have not been there for me to see it, but I was blind to it too - she is incredible. Its my mission to make sure she will be cared for, and I want to deepen our relationship too.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 10 February 2018 23:38 (five years ago) link

Strength and love to you all, sir.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 11 February 2018 00:26 (five years ago) link


mookieproof, Sunday, 11 February 2018 00:31 (five years ago) link

Best to you and your family xyz

papa poutine (∞), Sunday, 11 February 2018 00:37 (five years ago) link

i am so sorry

estela, Sunday, 11 February 2018 02:40 (five years ago) link

sorry to hear this, dude: best wishes and good luck and let me know if there's anything i can do IRL (including talking obv)

mark s, Sunday, 11 February 2018 10:37 (five years ago) link

sounds like you've got some good perspective. thinking of you, j

ogmor, Sunday, 11 February 2018 10:44 (five years ago) link

Thanks all!

(and Mark thank you for such a kind offer I will let you know)

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 11 February 2018 20:05 (five years ago) link

My mother, 85 y.o., has been in hospital for two months now. It is only in the last week or so that we've had the distressing experience of her not recognising us -- NB this is not dementia, but rather the effects of a urinary tract infection she contracted *in* hospital, which apparently causes severe delirium which can last for a couple of weeks after the infection itself has gone away. She is hardly eating and is being fed intravenously off and on, time before last I visited (Thursday) she drank some vitamin enriched milkshake from a sippy cup, but on Saturday wouldn't even accept water.

Track back to when she was admitted, just before Christmas...we'd just flown out to the in-laws in Poland, we receive the news via SMS from my sister -- the carer who normally turns up to get her out of bed found she hadn't gone to bed but had fallen asleep in an armchair (second time this had happened). She was admitted with low oxygen levels and a chest infection. On New Year's Eve she was transferred to a different hospital for rehabilitation because although the initial problems had cleared up, while she'd been there her walking had really deteriorated to the extent that she could no longer walk unaided. Little or no progress was made in the rehab unit -- the deterioration in mobility was, it appeared, something of a mystery to the medics insofar as they couldn't even work out if it had a physical or psychological cause. Then the infection happened leading to her being transferred *back* and...we are where we are.

Grandpont Genie, Monday, 12 February 2018 15:12 (five years ago) link

Yes, urine infections can cause the oldsters to go gaga, we had to get an emergency doctor out for my mother when I was last visiting because she fell asleep and woke up on another planet - the doctor gave her some antibiotics and she was back to (what these days passes for) normal the next morning.

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Monday, 12 February 2018 15:17 (five years ago) link

There was one amusing incident, after the emergency doctor had asked my mum the standard questions they ask to test for dementia - what month it is, what's your address etc. - which, despite her urinary infection addled state, she somehow had managed to pull herself together to answer, the doctor asked what medication she took and mum went into the kitchen brought a box of pills through and said, "I take one of these a week before breakfast".

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Monday, 12 February 2018 15:26 (five years ago) link

My mother-in-law has also had the weirdness as a result of a UTI, she thought the doctors were trying to kill her, set fire to her, throw her out a window, poison her food, etc. Cleared up after a dose of antibiotics (which took ages to persuade her to take since she thought they were poison)

ailsa, Monday, 12 February 2018 15:58 (five years ago) link

I'm sure this is connected to oldsters' aversion to drinking water.

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Monday, 12 February 2018 16:09 (five years ago) link

a little?

my grandfather, who passed away a few months back, was in an assisted living place for a few years and ended up having a UTI that progressed to sepsis, leading to a brief hospital visit, multiple times. I think some people are more prone to it than others, but sepsis is one of the main causes of death for the elderly. your body just doesn't work that well.

mh, Monday, 12 February 2018 16:12 (five years ago) link

*takes notes on UTI-insanity connection*

having the 86 y.o. father in law is working out OK these days, really. no crises to report, thankfully.

sleeve, Monday, 12 February 2018 16:13 (five years ago) link

Tonight I saw a doctor who told me that the UTI insanity can last 6 months.... :-(

Grandpont Genie, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 22:09 (five years ago) link

My mom passed away on Monday afternoon, slowly and (one hopes) without too much pain or distress, at the age of 92. My last visit with her was six days earlier and even then she was nearly silent, eyes closed, spending her final reserves of energy. I held her hand for two hours, moistened her mouth a few times, sat and thought intensively about her, mostly silently, because I knew that if I spoke aloud it would only agitate and exhaust her because she could not hear well enough to understand my words.

It was difficult to see her in that state, knowing she was so very near death, but creeping toward it at a snail's pace, not yet released from the struggle. otoh, it felt wonderful to be there and share my love with her one more time, knowing it might be the last opportunity and pouring my heart into it.

Now she is released from her thoroughly worn out and used up body. It helps to know that the work of her spirit is still doing its good work in the world, through her many gifts of that spirit given to others, including me. Those gifts feel tremendously alive still.

Today my sister has assigned me to write her obituary. Since she outlived almost all her contemporaries, so that it will be possible to contact personally everyone who matters, we've agreed that I may keep it relatively brief.

A is for (Aimless), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:31 (five years ago) link


mookieproof, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:39 (five years ago) link

I'm sorry for your loss, Aimless. From the warm and eloquent way you write about her departure I can only conclude you'd be perfect to write a loving obituary. Sending good thoughts.

(the 'thoroughly worn out and used up body' part rings awfully familiar... I fear I will have to use those words sooner rather than later for my own mother..)

Le Bateau Ivre, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:43 (five years ago) link

love to you Aimless. Your post is crushingly beautiful.

Lockhorn. Lockhorn breed-uh (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:48 (five years ago) link

Best to you sir. A hard burden, but she is free of hers.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:57 (five years ago) link

RIP aimless's mom -- she was clearly loved <3

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:59 (five years ago) link

sorry to hear that, Aimless

omar little, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 20:45 (five years ago) link

my wife's dad has become pretty paranoid these days. he's 87 and believes people are stealing from him. He thought the gardener stole his new trash bin, which we're not even sure existed in the first place. So he insisted my wife fire his gardener (she's handling all the details in his life as best she can, in between having a full-time job and being a mom), and the gardener (apparently a very decent man) was quite mystified.

in a more alarming way, my brother's wife's stepdad is similarly losing it. he's in assisted living now and they were visiting him recently bc they were going to take him somewhere, and he got into an argument with them and with the facility over which wheelchair he could take with. when they wouldn't allow him to take the one he wanted (not sure the reason, it may have been a good one) he called the police. they apparently showed up and were less than amused. he called the police a second time about it later, much to their increased annoyance.

he's dealing with some form of dementia and once he was diagnosed his wife filed for divorce, at the behest of her children. he's also *their* stepdad, he married three women that all had children by previous marriages but he has no children of his own. my brother's wife is the only stepchild willing to help and the other stepchildren keep asking her why she isn't doing more to help, when she's the only one helping.

omar little, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 20:55 (five years ago) link

<3 to Aimless. My parents had to write obituaries for their own fathers last year and while difficult, it also was a time for reflection

mh, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 21:09 (five years ago) link

I'm sorry for your loss, Aimless. She was a fortunate woman to be loved so well.

Brad C., Wednesday, 21 February 2018 21:15 (five years ago) link

So sorry, Aimless. Much love to your mom. I'm agnostic and the idea of 'energy' or 'spirit' manifest through work and influence is the only one that holds something like religious sway over me. Yr. words captured that idea eloquently. My thoughts are with you.

In other news, my dad's doctor FINALLY diagnosed him with Parkinson's. This is the doctor who told me he *didn't* suspect Parkinson's three years ago, when I sent my dad to be evaluated for tremors, left-side weakness, hallucinations, and motor issues. He also told me last September that my father was just 'soft-spoken' and 'a good guy' and didn't have Parkinson's. Today, he announced my father had pretty severe Parkinson's and would be in a wheelchair maybe pretty soon. My dad is at Stage 3 of the progression. FFS.

I've suspected almost to a certainty my dad has Parkinson's since at least 2016, but my mom/dad have been deep in denial about it, since they didn't have the diagnosis. Now they're both really sad, and I just can't help but think ... what if they had accepted help earlier? How many more family times and good things could we have done together?

rb (soda), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 23:33 (five years ago) link

Very sorry to hear about your loss, Aimless.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 10:04 (five years ago) link

all the best aimless and everyone else on the thread <3 <3

mark s, Thursday, 22 February 2018 10:07 (five years ago) link

sorry for your loss, aimless. i’ve always liked the sound of your mom. <3 to you.

estela, Thursday, 22 February 2018 11:42 (five years ago) link

Best wishes to you Aimless. I really admire the bravery it takes to handle something so difficult with such clear-eyed love

ogmor, Thursday, 22 February 2018 12:47 (five years ago) link

Thoughts with you aimless

Planck Blather (darraghmac), Thursday, 22 February 2018 13:22 (five years ago) link

soda my dad has it too
idk what stage he is because my parents don't talk with me about this stuff. sometimes, every now and then, i am able to talk with him on the phone and he sounds like his old self again, i can hear the old him i remember.
sorry to hear about your dad :(

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 22 February 2018 13:45 (five years ago) link

my experience of a dad with parkinsons -- recognised very early in his case (at 36) -- is that once it's properly medicated, it's very cyclic: there's good period and bad periods, physically and mentally

mark s, Thursday, 22 February 2018 13:49 (five years ago) link

Dad was in hospital for a few days as he was quite weak. Now he is back home with carers coming twice a day however talking to my mother it seems like my father can't easily get him out of bed first thing in the morning and the effort to lift him is causing her back pains. It's distressing as both my brother & I are working (and in my case I haven't lived there for years) so can't help apart from weekends. I'll be there seeing if there is a way he can work to lift himself.

Doctors say he is strong enough and indeed once he's up he does walk with the accessories, its just getting up in the first place. He is eating more so hopefully he can get his strength back, otherwise I am afraid as to what this could to my mother's physical health.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 14:53 (five years ago) link

*himself out of bed..

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 14:56 (five years ago) link

There is also tension in terms of my mother wanting him to eat/exercise more than he can and perhaps my father doing less because my mother is there to do it for him.

I really hope her (almost certainly) final memories of him don't 'break' something in her.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 15:54 (five years ago) link

my parents have a similar dynamic -- it's tough but i figure that is their business and they are adults. (i am an only child and don't feel that my parents' relationship dynamic is really my business)
can't catastrophize too much either -- sorry to hear you are having rough times :(

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 22 February 2018 15:57 (five years ago) link

Yes part of me wants to say 'they will figure it out' and my mother isn't crying for help right now but she's frustrated and venting. Just want to think on what I could do. Unfortunately I can't resign my job and help out...I probably need to look at the care, this is a field I am only getting acquainted with now.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:26 (five years ago) link

there's various gadgetry -- railings and boosters and such -- that might help with the getting out of bed?

anyway, best to you and them

mookieproof, Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:30 (five years ago) link

Will look at that thanks.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:51 (five years ago) link


Moo Vaughn, Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:59 (five years ago) link

Aimless that was a beautiful post. Love to you. <3

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Friday, 23 February 2018 16:51 (five years ago) link

two weeks pass...

My father passed away on Tuesday. There was no real fight with this cancer, but he told me he was not scared of dying a week ago. Nevertheless I held his warm hand and placed my palms on his forehand for much of his last day. I kissed him goodnight once he breathed for the last time.

I have been with my mother for the past few days. My younger brother too. We all grieve at different rates - I started accepting the way this was going at xmas - but my brother didn't and is taking it a lot harder (I think my mother is being stronger for him). At the moment I am present, watching and listening and saying as little as possible. I promised my father I would look after them, but I wonder how that will work itself out as the months draw on.

The funeral is in five weeks (apparently too many people die at this time of year, if he had passed away in summer they would have been able to have the ceremony in a week).

I want to thank everyone on this thread for their kind words throughout this time.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:14 (five years ago) link

my condolences to you

Algerian Goalkeeper (Odysseus), Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:17 (five years ago) link


mookieproof, Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:21 (five years ago) link

Best indeed.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:40 (five years ago) link

my love to you, j. it sounds like you have been strong and present in the best sense and I'm sure that's helped everyone. treat yourself gently x

ogmor, Sunday, 11 March 2018 00:03 (five years ago) link

xo, deepest sympathies to you

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 11 March 2018 00:16 (five years ago) link

five months pass...

my mom's new thing is parking at a store, shopping, and returning to find that her car has rolled across the lot into a curb or another car because she left it (a manual) in neutral without applying the parking brake

i don't even know how this is possible -- did it not move when she got out of the car? -- but she's done it twice (that i'm aware of) in the last four months

mookieproof, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 01:49 (five years ago) link


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 29 August 2018 03:38 (five years ago) link

Visiting my mother: more regularly, now decreasing it a bit. Call her everyday. Stayed over Sat; Sat eve-Sunday mornings seem the hardest time, and we've had the first batch of birthdays without my father. Thankfully I'd stopped giving a shit about birthdays but he always wrote me a nice card so there's an absence there, one which is felt in a diff way.

My aunt (on my dad's side) called and talked to me for nearly two hours on my birthday and I was bitter (not that I need an excuse) about becoming this go to person to my wider family they can load their fucking grief (her husband can provide, that's about it).

I'll have to dig in, which is unlike me. Confident I won't break but I'm feeling my way into this. There's no manual and I wouldn't read one anyway so..

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 11:23 (five years ago) link

Just reading this news, J. All the best to you. Think about doing something for yourself for a week or so. Have a late summer break somewhere, if you can. Or just do something that's not putting the family first for a short time.

Britain's Sexiest Cow (jed_), Wednesday, 29 August 2018 11:29 (five years ago) link

Thanks. I had a break in early July (I booked it months ago and my mother insisted I'd go instead of cancelling and spending more time w/her). It was nice, but now its more digging in...I am doing a lot more yoga, and I think it is keeping me afloat (as much as ppl round these parts, my housemate's kindness and my reading)

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 11:41 (five years ago) link

Likewise have only just seen your post from a few months ago, xyzzz - belated condolences and good wishes for the here and now. Nothing is easy.

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 12:08 (five years ago) link

<3 to you and the family, j

mook, does yr mom have a friend nearby who can take her shopping if it's necessary?

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 29 August 2018 13:58 (five years ago) link

My Mom’s 90th on Tuesday. About to head to Minnesota for it. I moan about a lot of things as you all know but constantly thank the local deities that her health issues are all second tier ones.

cheese is the teacher, ham is the preacher (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 29 August 2018 15:07 (five years ago) link

Congrats to yr mom, Jon

Father-in-law (who is 86) finally moved out of our house, where he has been living (unplanned) for the last two years (not the deal we agreed on). Everyone is happy and relieved. He has his own little apartment in HUD housing now, probably 10-15 minutes away from us on his scooter.

sleeve, Wednesday, 29 August 2018 15:11 (five years ago) link

My dad (74, poorly managed Parkinson’s) and my mom (73, some kind of dementia) are staying in separate un—air-conditioned houses despite the 90+ degree heat. They have a main residence and seperate beach hut an hour away and they’re each in one, and they check in every night by phone. BUT my dad has missed two doctor’s appointments this week and my mom is unconcerned, and giggles about it. She does not want to go check on him because “he’s cranky” and she selfishly doesn’t want to reschedule her tennis group or get a sub when she paid for court time ($16). But she’s not lucid either, and I can’t be too hard on her for that.

Meanwhile, my aunt met her for dinner the other night and told me that my mom bought a $19 lobster roll and a $2 iced tea, plopped a $20 bill in the middle of the table during dessert and walked out mid-sentence to go strolling on the beach “because she doesn’t feel right without doing that once a day.”

In the spring I set them up with an attorney to do medical directive, HIPPA stuff, etc., but they ghosted the attorney and now they’ve forgotten about it. Now they can’t sign documents in sound mind, and they’re too avoidant to follow-through when provided with remindersz

My sister lives near my parents, but she’s trying to convince them to give her one of the houses and provide free babysitting, so even though she wants to help she’ll constantly minimize their behaviors so that she doesn’t feel guilty about exploiting them.

I don’t know what to do, and as much as I love them there are days in which I think of giving up and never taking to any of them again. I want help, but I don’t think there is such a thing... when the principles seem determined to messily screw up theirs remaining years.

rb (soda), Thursday, 30 August 2018 00:52 (five years ago) link

They won’t talk to me about finances, doctors, plans, mobility issues, modifications to the house (they hand-shovel a 400 foot driveway on a steep grade, and they don’t have railings by their front door) and they both get mad at me if I bring such issues to to attention, saying “we’ll deal with them when we’re ready.”

If I try to deal with these things on my own (e.g. installing grab bars for bathroom), I’ll find them missing on the next trip.

rb (soda), Thursday, 30 August 2018 00:57 (five years ago) link

can empathize, I had some of these same issues with my parents. don't give up, now that I'm older myself I think the only important thing is staying engaged

Dan S, Thursday, 30 August 2018 01:05 (five years ago) link

Thanks. I’m just venting, I guess. Every time the phone rings I’ve just got this crazy moment of anxiety before the number comes up, when I think it’s going to be That Call.

rb (soda), Thursday, 30 August 2018 01:26 (five years ago) link

Been through a very similar situation - totally relate about phone anxiety. Things only got "better" when my mother's dementia got worse and I somehow managed to impose caretakers on her. Staying engaged seems indeed the right thing to do - there will come a time when you will get a chance to take some control.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 30 August 2018 07:58 (five years ago) link

seven months pass...

My father died from Alzheimer's early this morning. He was 76. More sudden than we anticipated but not unexpected. My mother cared for him at home until very recently.

Back when he could reflect and speak, he'd respond to questions about his diagnosis with: "it doesn't hurt."

But it did, and it does. Fuck you, Alzheimer's.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 7 April 2019 14:07 (four years ago) link

I’m so sorry, Quincie. <3

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Sunday, 7 April 2019 14:28 (four years ago) link

fuck, that's awful, and I know Alzheimer's takes so much away for so long before the end comes. I hope it's a release from that, and that you will remember who he was. I'm really sorry.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Sunday, 7 April 2019 14:30 (four years ago) link

I'm sorry, quincie.

tokyo rosemary, Sunday, 7 April 2019 14:59 (four years ago) link

Deepest condolences.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 7 April 2019 15:36 (four years ago) link

sorry quincie <3

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 7 April 2019 15:37 (four years ago) link

<3 quincie

Yerac, Sunday, 7 April 2019 16:02 (four years ago) link

Hugs Quincie. ❤️❤️❤️

nathom, Sunday, 7 April 2019 17:08 (four years ago) link

I send my condolence, too. Alzheimer's makes one's grief and sense of loss so drawn out and equivocal that it can be hard to know how to approach it.

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 7 April 2019 17:16 (four years ago) link

Sorry, Quincie. It’s a beast.

rb (soda), Sunday, 7 April 2019 17:25 (four years ago) link

Very sorry to hear Quincie.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 7 April 2019 17:28 (four years ago) link

i’m so sorry, quincie, it’s such a loss

estela, Sunday, 7 April 2019 17:51 (four years ago) link

Thanks, it is comforting to here from my ilx crew. My father was an interesting and unusual man who was quite admired and nationally recognized in his field, despite being an odd bird who didn’t practice the self-promotion that most people at his level relied on. His was success was pure talent and results; god knows he was not a particularly personable guy. Alzheimers gave me an opportunity to have a different sort of relationship with him than I had growing up. The whole experience has been difficult, yes, but also quite meaningful. Deeply touching, really.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 7 April 2019 17:52 (four years ago) link

quincie, take exceptionally good care of yourself. Feel free to mourn this terrible loss for as long as you wish and don't listen to anyone who wants to put a time limit on it. This is one of the most devastating losses you will ever have to deal with and you feel whatever emotions come to you. You're never going to look at April 7 the same way again. If you need the help of a therapist to help you get through the grief process (and it is a process), GO. If you want to go the self-help option, I can't recommend How to Survive the Loss of a Parent by Lois Akner enough. Whatever it takes, whatever option(s) you take. Grief is a very individual process, but remember to be good to yourself and mourn for as long as you wish. If you need to vent, I'm here; I trained as a grief education class facilitator and went through grief therapy myself.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:03 (four years ago) link

I'd also like to extend the offer to any other ILXors who've either just experienced a major loss or who are struggling with one, who would like some support. It sounds weird to say this but I kinda feel like grief is one of the things I'm good at, in the sense that I can offer emotional support to people going through the grief process. Let me tell you, for one thing: it's never a straight trajectory. Those oft-quoted "stages of grief"? Total lie. Don't feel that you have to follow said stages the way they're laid out because that never happens. Like I said, grief is a very individual process and you're going to follow your own path through the pain. Also, it's something you get "through", not get "over", because you never "get over" the grief.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:10 (four years ago) link

Thank you dee, I needed that. I’m a geriatric social worker, formerly a hospice social worker and bereavement counselor—so this all feel familiar, but not *my* people familiar. Different story when it is your own family.

My partner’s parents are a decade older than my parents and are still trucking along without much in the way of problems. Aging parents is some mysterious stuff.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 7 April 2019 18:11 (four years ago) link

I'm sorry for your loss, quincie. With Alzheimer's grief hits us hard even before our loved ones are gone. Perhaps that can make the subsequent phases of grief a little easier? I hope so, anyway. Love and strength to all the children of aging parents.

Brad C., Sunday, 7 April 2019 19:13 (four years ago) link

Deep condolences and hopes for strength in a difficult time.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Monday, 8 April 2019 17:27 (four years ago) link

so sorry quincie...take care

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 14:23 (four years ago) link

sorry to hear this quincie! take care <3
i am terrified of the contents of this thread and generally avoid it but wanted to share my condolences

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 14:43 (four years ago) link

I'm so sorry quincie.

ljubljana, Tuesday, 9 April 2019 17:29 (four years ago) link

Thank you dee, I needed that. I’m a geriatric social worker, formerly a hospice social worker and bereavement counselor—so this all feel familiar, but not *my* people familiar. Different story when it is your own family.

My partner’s parents are a decade older than my parents and are still trucking along without much in the way of problems. Aging parents is some mysterious stuff.

Thank you for that. You would absolutely know more than me in a professional capacity, but everything I've learned is from personal experience (and getting through said personal experience). BTW, thank you for having been a hospice worker; those places are amazing and the one my dad was in really strove to foster a nurturing environment for my family and me.

Having read more into the thread, I'd almost forgotten I'd posted on here before. Thank goodness I didn't repeat my story here! Also, for all of you who are fellow only children, you never know how much it would have helped (if at all) to have had any siblings when it comes to being a parental caregiver. I've heard stories where families with many siblings left all the care up to one sibling, or there were many differing opinions about how to care for a parent that caused bad blood amongst the siblings and a total lack of care on the behalf of the ailing parent. For awhile there I wished I'd had siblings who would pitch in to help out with my parents, but now I'm glad everything was left to me because I knew I was providing the absolute best care I could and I didn't have any siblings to provide additional drama or strife when things got especially rough. And I want to thank Jenny once again for all her kind sentiments. I've come through the other side and am lots better, and it was because of seeking therapy for my grief that I finally got help for some undiagnosed/untreated mental illnesses, so my mom's death was a blessing in disguise.

Another thing I hesitate to admit is that when my mom died, it was freeing in an awkward, weird way. Like, having to devote so much of my life to caring for her prevented me from doing things for myself, but after she died I was able to do some traveling and concert-going, things I'd been denied throughout the vast majority of my twenties and early - mid thirties. Also, before she died I would have never dreamed of doing some of the things I do on a regular basis, e.g. drive on the highway as much as possible (she only ever wanted me to drive the side streets), and I can enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage without her reacting as though I've made the decision to become an alcoholic. I feel like this is this great unspoken thing because it sounds like my life has improved as a result of losing my parents, but... in a way, it has.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 19:18 (four years ago) link

That is a good thing to say, and as a parent I would want my kids to feel released if they were so selfless as to care for me as I declined. If it's not too glib, job done, enjoy knowing that you did your best.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Tuesday, 9 April 2019 20:15 (four years ago) link

Quincie - I'm so sorry. Love to you.

It'll be two months in June since my mom died and I honestly don't know that I've really processed it. Her actual death was pretty traumatic and the 10 years proceeding it were horrific. I had some sort of breakdown lite last summer probably triggered in part by all this. I am sure I will process it all eventually but for now it's almost too heavy for me to really start doing so. My dad has a new ladyfriend who is completely terrible and hardly talks to me anymore so that's pretty weird and a whole other thing I don't know how to handle.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 09:04 (four years ago) link

sorry to hear this quincie, look after you and yours

fremme nette his simplicitte (darraghmac), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 10:07 (four years ago) link

e <3

life should come with better manuals

fremme nette his simplicitte (darraghmac), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 10:07 (four years ago) link

Wishing lots of strength to you Quincie. I've been through pretty similar circumstances and can totally relate to Dee's strange sense of relief. After losing my dad to a neuro-degenerative illness, I've been dealing for the last few years with my mom's long and painful cognitive decline. In both cases, the hardest part has been to remember my parents as their old lucid selves, and not let the sick years overshadow my perception of them.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 10 April 2019 14:57 (four years ago) link

That is a good thing to say, and as a parent I would want my kids to feel released if they were so selfless as to care for me as I declined. If it's not too glib, job done, enjoy knowing that you did your best.

Thank you ever so, MatthewK. I feel like that's a great unspoken thing amongst those of us who have lost a parent after being their primary caregiver because it seems so self-centered and uncouth, but... it's the truth.

It'll be two months in June since my mom died and I honestly don't know that I've really processed it. Her actual death was pretty traumatic and the 10 years proceeding it were horrific. I had some sort of breakdown lite last summer probably triggered in part by all this. I am sure I will process it all eventually but for now it's almost too heavy for me to really start doing so. My dad has a new ladyfriend who is completely terrible and hardly talks to me anymore so that's pretty weird and a whole other thing I don't know how to handle.

Two years is hardly enough time to get through the grief process, ENBB. The grief's still fresh, even if you had "ten 10 years proceeding it". It's going to complicate matters greatly that your father "has a new ladyfriend who is completely terrible", because it creates a wedge between you two when you need each other the most. Even though I pushed my mom to try to find a gentleman friend of her own a handful of years after my dad died, she never expressed any interest in that (she would say, "why would I want to raise another one?") and that actually helped us develop a closer relationship with each other, because we were on each other's side and were all each of us had in the world. It was very "you and me against the world" and that created a kinship that made the twelve years we spent together after Dad's death all the sweeter. I hope you can seek therapy and have some awesome friends to lean on for emotional support, and that your father eventually wakes up to reality, but as my therapist pointed out, you have to be ok with not having control over the actions of others. I'm sorry your situation's the way it is.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Thursday, 11 April 2019 18:59 (four years ago) link

My father in law is sadly on his deathbed tonight. He has suffered from dementia for the past 5 years & been in a care facility these past 4 yrs. He had hip surgery last month but has also struggled with near constant UTI infections. he ended up in the ER with extreme sepsis & this afternoon they took him off life support, he’s now on oxygen & morphine to keep him comfortable. We all knew it was coming but it still destroys your heart to watch it.

A native Hawaian, college footballer for the UoP Tigers, geologist, jazz lover. This man was my surrogate dad when I moved to the US, between him & my mother in law i don’t think I would have weathered being so far from home. My first christmas in the US he gave me card containing a check for roundtrip airfare to Aus, with a note that says “if you were my daughter I would want you to come home as often as possible” (not even my mother in law knew that he planned it) Knocked me for a loop. Truly, no hyperbole, The most kind, loving, generous man I have ever known.

It seems like he is going to hang on for anothr day or so, but these next 48 hours are almost certainly to be our last with him.

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 13 April 2019 06:17 (four years ago) link

Imagine leaving this life so well remembered, what a gift. Hope you have good support VG.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Saturday, 13 April 2019 06:36 (four years ago) link

My sincerest condolences to you, your husband, and your husband's family, VegemiteGrrrl.

The Colour of Spring (deethelurker), Saturday, 13 April 2019 15:24 (four years ago) link

Damn, VG, it's hard to say goodbye to wonderful people you love and care about. But it sounds like his race is run and it is time to cheer and love him to the finish line. Your story about him made me smile. Remember, that smile won't end when he does.

A is for (Aimless), Saturday, 13 April 2019 17:47 (four years ago) link

i’m so sorry, vg. he sounds like a wonderful person (and father in law) and i’m sure you were a great joy and a gift to him as well. kia kaha<3

estela, Saturday, 13 April 2019 23:06 (four years ago) link

vg <3

fremme nette his simplicitte (darraghmac), Saturday, 13 April 2019 23:12 (four years ago) link

thanks everyone.

he is still barely holding on. there is talk of moving him back to his care facility to see out what remains of his hospice care. we shall see, i suppose.

he has been visited in the hospital here by a few of the facility caregivers which is very touching - gives truth to my feeling that anyone who has spent any time with him could not help but love him, at any stage of his life. and i love that my husband gets to see how loved his father is, by people who are strangers to us personally.

so we sit, humbled, waiting, with equal measures of love & sadness in our hearts.

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 14 April 2019 00:15 (four years ago) link

beautiful words, very inspiring. thank you and sending good vibes.

Emperor Tonetta Ketchup (sleeve), Sunday, 14 April 2019 00:19 (four years ago) link

I loved reading about you father in law, VG, and wish for him a peaceful and comfortable journey.

My father’s funeral was today. Nice to see so many people with such kind things to say about him.

My parents would have been married 50 years in July.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 14 April 2019 05:27 (four years ago) link

<3 quincie

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 14 April 2019 06:50 (four years ago) link

I lost a parent late last year, i expect to lose the other this year or in 2020, and i lost a sibling last year as well
i haven't really processed my losses yet, i have too much going on in my family and career to truly step back
but i pray for you to navigate whatever you need to get by

velko, Sunday, 14 April 2019 07:17 (four years ago) link

Father in law passed this morning.

His cremated ashes will join my mother in law’s ashes & the ashes of their beloved pitbull Sam, and at some point they will be scattered together in Hawaii. <3 And we will arrange a memorial for all of the extended family to say their goodbyes - he wasn’t really a church guy.

It’s raining today & when I saw the grey sky this morning I just had a feeling it would be today.

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 15 April 2019 19:30 (four years ago) link

hugs vg, he sounds like an awesome guy

arli$$ and bible black (bizarro gazzara), Monday, 15 April 2019 19:41 (four years ago) link

thx -he really was

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 15 April 2019 19:42 (four years ago) link

Best indeed -- and what a lovely way to remember them all.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 15 April 2019 20:12 (four years ago) link

Love, vg

There's more Italy than necessary. (in orbit), Monday, 15 April 2019 21:03 (four years ago) link

love vg

fremme nette his simplicitte (darraghmac), Monday, 15 April 2019 21:13 (four years ago) link

Hugs and sympathy, VG

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 April 2019 00:04 (four years ago) link

so sorry vg. your remembrance here is touching.

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 00:28 (four years ago) link

very sorry VG.... take care

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 16 April 2019 04:07 (four years ago) link

My mother passed away on 30th March. We had just transferred her to a care home here in Oxford from one in north London close to where she had lived: we thought she'd be happier down here and of course we could visit her more regularly. Sadly she was only in the new home a day and a half.

Cause of death was listed as "bronchopneumonia" although several people have hinted that this is what they put when they aren't sure of the real cause.

The funeral is today.

Grandpont Genie, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 07:59 (four years ago) link

Sorry for your loss, gg

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 08:54 (four years ago) link

Thank you, ― xyzzzz__

Grandpont Genie, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 08:59 (four years ago) link

Very sorry to hear.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 April 2019 11:32 (four years ago) link

Sorry for your loss VG <3

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 16 April 2019 16:35 (four years ago) link

I think this is wonderful:

Barthes quotes Proust’s letter to Georges de Lauris after his mother’s death: “Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”

— Maja Lukić (@majalukic113) April 17, 2019

xyzzzz__, Monday, 22 April 2019 20:56 (four years ago) link

This interview posted on the Rapture thread in which the lead singer's gets quite deep into growing up with suicidal / neglectful parents, dealing with codependency and eventually getting through it, could maybe also be of interest to people here:

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 1 May 2019 18:54 (four years ago) link

four weeks pass...

I’m in Minnesota. I flew in this afternoon after my aunt let me know that my mom has been in such abdominal discomfort that she has not eaten in several days. She was waffling about hitting the senior alert button (she is 90 and lives independently and I mean *independently*).

I basically flew here to force her to call the medics. She acceded.

We have been in the ER less than two hours and they already know the issue - she had a stomach ulcer which sometime in the last few days has ruptured. They are taking her straight into surgery.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 30 May 2019 01:52 (four years ago) link

Ugh, sorry to hear. Good work on following yr otm instincts and getting up there to intervene!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 30 May 2019 01:57 (four years ago) link

<3 jon

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Thursday, 30 May 2019 02:13 (four years ago) link

Just as a cautionary note. Surgical anesthesia in the very elderly can lead to a prolonged period of hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion afterward. This happened to my mom at 92 and to my wife's aunt also. Neither fully recovered their mental abilities before they died. If it doesn't happen to your mom, be very glad.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 30 May 2019 02:20 (four years ago) link

Quincie otm about otm instincts. Take care of you while the docs take care of her <3
Compose a symphony while u wait?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 30 May 2019 02:23 (four years ago) link

Ok so this is now too eventful and hard to explain so I am gonna copy and paste what I just emailed to the family:

Plot twist! We were taken to the pre-op area and the surgeon came to talk to us. After seeing mom in person, she re-examined the scans in detail as she was perplexed that someone with that internal situation could present so functionally and be able to get out of bed etc.

She said this is an unusual case where the scans plus her personal state indicate that the perforation has begun to be “walled off” or self-sealed by her body.

She recommended that we prove this out by keeping her in the hospital for a few days on no food (IV fluids obviously), then doing a contrast scan on Friday or so; if there is an actual perforation at that point the contrast will be visible outside her stomach. If not then we can conclude that her body is indeed healing it.

The other option is to do the surgery tonight and verify first hand the open or contained status of the perforation. At the age of 90 an abdominal incision a few inches long is a serious matter. So mom and I both agreed the no-food period followed by contrast scan was the right choice and the surgeon feels positive about it too.

And actually, just now the pre-op nurse was talking to me about how glad she is they don’t have to operate tonight and basically said exactly what Aimless just said about anesthesia - which I hadn’t even been thinking about, I was just worried about incision and infection and recovery etc.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Thursday, 30 May 2019 03:00 (four years ago) link

good luck to you and all of yours, Jon

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Thursday, 30 May 2019 04:36 (four years ago) link

Sorry to hear all this jon; hope it's cleared up soon and that your family gets back on track

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Thursday, 30 May 2019 06:09 (four years ago) link

Excellent - I can only second Aimless' point - I've seen this happens to both my parents who lost 50% of their mental acuity after anesthesia/artificial coma. In my dad's case, anesthesia (for a minor thing) sent his hitherto slow neuro-degenerative disease speeding down towards complete senility.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 3 June 2019 10:29 (four years ago) link

Yeah my mom hallucinated smoking nurses and spiders in her room after one of many surgeries.

She died two years ago on Thursday and I still feel shellshocked. Tbh it was a pretty traumatic experience (as were the previous 10 years) but it just all still feels so weird and unreal.

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Monday, 3 June 2019 10:51 (four years ago) link

Sorry to hear ENBB that. My dad died 4 years ago and, i'm kinda sad to admit this, but it didn't really affect me one way or another. I think the last 10 years of his life, and the decline into cognitive oblivion throughout, progressively detached me from him. His last two years he was as good as gone to me. And I'm seeing the same thing happen with my mom these days. They always say, keep the good memories of when they were healthy, but it's proving hard. Also, as far as my mother is concerned, her "difficult" ageing (and some therapy) has opened my eyes on the nature of our relationship (which I'd previously idealized to some extent).

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 3 June 2019 11:06 (four years ago) link

The course chosen by that surgeon has been borne out as wise, my mom is gradually getting better and the perforated ulcer has stayed shut. There was a very fucking terrifying moment Friday morning where she had a “vasovagal” response while on the toilet and passed out - the nurse and her were in the bathroom and I heard the nurse saying her name repeatedly to no response and then about 8 staff rushed in with a crash cart and everything and I was just like well this is it... but then it was fine, they were all like oh a vasovagal, nbd. Her bp had dropped to 60/40. That kind of thing did not happen again.

She will maybe get discharged Wednesday and I have heard two versions - discharge to a transitional care place for a couple of weeks of rehab, or discharge to her condo under family supervision (i.e. me).

It feels like we are turning that corner to independent living no longer being so feasible. I am at a loss how to make such decisions. Have talked to the social worker a bit.

Realizing that I have leaned heavily on her two younger sisters (age 88 and 86) to keep tabs on her and help get to appointments etc but now they are too old themselves to really do that role anymore.

Could be the end of the NYC phase of my life. Which will be especially hard on my wife if so. She loves Minnesota and my mom, but she doesn’t drive and has a large network of nyc friends and contacts to lose.

valet doberman (Jon not Jon), Monday, 3 June 2019 18:40 (four years ago) link

I am at a loss how to make such decisions. Have talked to the social worker a bit.

That's abig transition, if you are the close relative most able and willing to fill this role. Talk to your mom about it. Mention getting a power of attorney and see if she is comfortable with that. Also, ask about becoming her health care representative, so you could make medical care decisions on her behalf.

All this stuff does mean getting much more intimately involved in her life. It would a burden of new responsibilities, but can also be a renewal and deepening of your relationship with her that you'll come to appreciate and ultimately be grateful for.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 3 June 2019 19:10 (four years ago) link

That sounds very difficult to navigate. Could be a whole new phase of your life though, who knows?! Keep breathing!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 3 June 2019 20:48 (four years ago) link

gl jon

godfellaz (darraghmac), Monday, 3 June 2019 21:16 (four years ago) link

Jon, let me give you a recommendation for your mom: A PACEMAKER. My late mom was diagnosed with a vasovagal response about eight years before she died, while recovering from a standard procedure (but the symptoms were present for a few years prior). It landed her in the ICU ward at first, but thankfully this cardiovascular specialist was on hand to observe her vitals and diagnosed her with said response. He told me (i.e. the caregiver in charge) the best thing they could do for her was implant a pacemaker into her so her heart rate would never dip below a certain level. It did her a world of good and she never had another dangerous dizzy spell for as long as she lived. Sure, you may need to help your mom out for awhile after the surgery but perhaps that will keep her able to live independently for a few more years.

Dee the (Summer-Hating) Lurker (deethelurker), Tuesday, 4 June 2019 21:58 (four years ago) link

My mother, who refuses to connect her phone to the internet I pay for at her house, or use the tablet that my sisters bought her, managed to send a txt message to my email address, from the other side of the world asking what Netflix is, because the physical newspaper keeps running stories about Tales Of The City on Netflix

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Wednesday, 12 June 2019 23:43 (four years ago) link

my mother has an email account with her isp, a gmail account, and an email account associated with her iphone. she steadfastly refuses to acknowledge even having the latter and does not check its inbox, despite sending most of her emails to me from it

she also gets like 100 emails a day to each address -- some of them are (health/food) newsletters, some are Special Offers from stores, and quite a lot are from random democratic candidates around the country asking for money

the internet has made her life actively worse. mama sic otm

mookieproof, Thursday, 13 June 2019 02:56 (four years ago) link

tbf I gave her a laptop six years ago and within 13 months she managed to get enough spam which she clicked on that the whole computer was fucked & had to be trashed

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Thursday, 13 June 2019 03:54 (four years ago) link

The most technologically advanced my mom ever got was being able to work a DVR and play computer Solitaire, so y'all's parents are way ahead, though sic, had I managed to get my mom computer literate enough to work with e-mail I suspect I'd have had a similar story to yours. Oh well, I figure that as far as my parents (and others in their generation like them) went, they didn't even get TVs in their households until they entered high school and spent well over half their working lives without a computerized workplace, so it was impressive enough that Mom knew how to operate a DVR.

Dee the (Summer-Hating) Lurker (deethelurker), Thursday, 13 June 2019 19:48 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

My mother's been dealing with bowel and sudden-diarrhea problems on and off for years, and it's been especially bad for the past few weeks. Today I went with her to one of her checkups and she was telling the LNP about it -- "I've been taking Metamucil like Dr. _________ told me to but it's just getting worse and worse..."
LNP and I look at each other. Me: "Metamucil? Not Imodium?"
Mom: "Metamucil...?"
"Mom, you've been treating your diarrhea with a laxative. You're probably causing your diarrhea."
Mom looks at LNP, who nods.
"Ohhhhh, lorrrrrd..."

We have to get her into assisted living, but she's just able enough and very much independent enough to keep putting it off. But stuff like this is getting more common.

Manfred Hemming-Hawing (WmC), Friday, 5 July 2019 20:07 (four years ago) link

four months pass...

Has anyone here ever asked the police to do a welfare check on a relative? My mother's not answering her phone.

Anne Hedonia (, Saturday, 23 November 2019 23:40 (three years ago) link

Happens all the time, don’t hesitate if you are concerned and don’t have another contact (neighbor, etc.) to do it.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 24 November 2019 02:12 (three years ago) link

My sister wound up going out there. Fortunately she was okay, but we're still at an uncomfortable impasse. My sister "jokes" about burning the house down.

Anne Hedonia (, Sunday, 24 November 2019 03:23 (three years ago) link

My Dad has a malignant tumor in his colon - was only discovered last month after he began getting odd fevers and developing anemia. He turned 80 two weeks ago and, until a few months ago, was walking miles every day. He's been a healthy guy most of his life til now. We find out Wednesday next week what stage cancer he's in and my two younger sisters in the US ( Dad is in Colombia and I'm in Netherlands) sent me a Whatsapp message last night while I was asleep stating they'd decided it was best I be there beside him in case he needs to go into immediate surgery next week. Both sisters have families, I'm single with no kids so it's easiest for me to head over. Am going to pack up what I'll need for a couple of months at least and prepare to fly over to be with him. Crazy week.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 6 December 2019 09:26 (three years ago) link

Good luck man.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 6 December 2019 10:16 (three years ago) link

Thank you. Hoping the best for my old man.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 6 December 2019 10:58 (three years ago) link

That's rough, Capitane. Best of luck.

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 6 December 2019 11:12 (three years ago) link

Sorry to hear. It’s really great that you are traveling so far to be with him.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 6 December 2019 13:16 (three years ago) link

Wishing you a lot of strength. Like Quincie said, it's a small silver lining that you are in a position to head over for him.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Friday, 6 December 2019 15:00 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

yesterday, at the drugstore, my mom couldn’t find her car keys, setting off a five-minute scramble until they were found in ‘a pocket she never uses’

going back out later, she had to use a backup set of car keys because she couldn’t find the main set

this morning at the chiropractor she locked the keys in the car and may or may not return home before i have to go to the airport

mookieproof, Monday, 30 December 2019 15:22 (three years ago) link

update: the keys were not in the car but in her pocket all along

mookieproof, Monday, 30 December 2019 15:37 (three years ago) link

Alex, I'd like "Where are my keys?" for $200.

A is for (Aimless), Monday, 30 December 2019 18:37 (three years ago) link

I have so many confusing thoughts about watching my parents get older but most of them center around knowing that it's happening to me, too. And that's even without considering their various maladies and how it points to my own fallibilities.

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Monday, 30 December 2019 22:33 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

I don't really know how to say this, or where, but I'm overcome with emotion right now. I was gonna post something on Facebook but it didn't feel appropriate at all. And also it doesn't really belong on any other thread.

In my family I have two relatives with whom I had a deep connection. One of them, my godmother/great-aunt, passed in 2017. The other is a cousin who is in her late 70s. She was diagnosed with late-stage ALS a couple years ago, around the same time that her partner was diagnosed with cancer.

Her partner is now on his last days, he is in hospice with two-months to live. My cousin, however, was facing another year of slow deterioration as a result of her ALS. Already she has extreme difficulty speaking or doing anything.

I was just informed this morning that my cousin has been approved for physician-assisted suicide. Her life will end this coming week. This only became legal in Canada in 2016. I was e-mailing her and I was feeling so, so overwhelmed with happiness and gratefulness. I am so happy that she has been able to choose how she wishes to die, I am so happy that I'm able to be in touch with her and see her before she does, I am just... feeling really grateful that this mechanism exists.

Montegays and Capulez (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 1 February 2020 23:13 (three years ago) link

Much love to you and to your cousin, fgti. When Jerry Brown signed the law allowing for that in California, I appreciated his public statement: "In the end, I was left to reflect on what I would want in the face of my own death. I do not know what I would do if I were dying in prolonged and excruciating pain. I am certain, however, that it would be a comfort to be able to consider the options afforded by this bill. And I wouldn't deny that right to others." That seems very right to me.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 1 February 2020 23:19 (three years ago) link

Well put, Jerry Brown! I mean, it's kind of amazing right now. She picked out her coffin herself, she's telling us all what she wants to have done at her funeral (and subsequent joint remembrance once her partner passes). I, like, don't feel really much grief at all right now, this is such a dignified thing. I feel sad that she got sick but happy that she has the opportunity to go out with dignity and with all of us being able to tell her how much we love her and how much she means to us.

Montegays and Capulez (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 1 February 2020 23:26 (three years ago) link

The last time we hung out (outside of like family Christmas/Thanksgiving) we ate oysters and drank champagne at a place in Toronto and she got tipsy and said "I'm going to the ladies' room. When I come back, I'm gonna be YOUNGER. And RICHER." Ugh she is the best

Montegays and Capulez (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 1 February 2020 23:27 (three years ago) link

She ran a geriatric-care company that provided in-home nursing services so she is very-well acquainted with the progress of ALS on the body and ya idk, I'm feeling so sad and happy at the same time, it's an interesting feeling

Montegays and Capulez (flamboyant goon tie included), Saturday, 1 February 2020 23:29 (three years ago) link

Ah fgti I just read this after watching The Good Place finale and the ILX thread on it. So I'm thinking good things about all this although I know it will be so hard in lots of ways.
I hope that doesn't sound demeaning - the show ended on, basically, situations where you choose your own exit.

kinder, Sunday, 2 February 2020 00:36 (three years ago) link

Ya she died yesterday. She sent me a nice e-mail on Wednesday! She thanked me for agreeing to play violin at her funeral on Monday, and I sent her a recording of what I'm going to play (with bf accompanying on piano, tho it'll be an organ at the funeral home). She said "I always thought we were both really 'out there' and so I was glad to have company".

Andrew Lloyd Webbersplainer (flamboyant goon tie included), Friday, 7 February 2020 14:21 (three years ago) link

I'm sorry for your loss, Fgti. But it's a loving way to choose your end, and to do it surrounded by such love and warmth. Glad your special relationship with her was acknowledged at the very end. That's something to treasure. Good luck Monday <3

Le Bateau Ivre, Friday, 7 February 2020 14:25 (three years ago) link

xpost Gosh what a lovely, lovely sentiment. And it's so true, knowing there's someone else who gets you.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 7 February 2020 15:00 (three years ago) link

oh wow <3

mookieproof, Friday, 7 February 2020 16:22 (three years ago) link

that’s really beautiful. sorry for yr loss fgti

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 8 February 2020 16:56 (three years ago) link

two weeks pass...

An update on my Dad: He had successful surgery earlier this month to remove a cancerous growth on his colon. Fortunately it hadn't metastasized. He went in for a follow up appointment two days ago and was told no other signs of cancer are present. He will have a Q scan (?) in a few months (his choice) but right now he's just getting back to enjoying his life: spending time with his wife and siblings, walks in the neighborhood, seeing old friends and afternoon stops at the local café.

Thanks for all your good thoughts, everyone. It means a lot.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 15:30 (three years ago) link

Have to add that my love for my parents - my Mom lives in Colombia as well - was never more present to me, at least in my adult life, than in these past couple of months. I can kick myself for giving them so much grief in the past.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 26 February 2020 15:33 (three years ago) link

My father passed away a few days ago, six years after he moved to Athens so we could care for him. He had severe Alzheimer's. He was doing fairly well in a memory care facility until the end of January, when he had emergency surgery for deep vein thrombosis in both legs. The surgery was effective, but the work of healing was beyond his 85-year-old body, and when he left the hospital he went into hospice at a nursing home. I'm grateful he didn't linger longer than he did.

Rereading my previous posts in this thread, I'm struck by how long my life was shaped by his caregiving needs and how strange it feels to be released from that constant vigilance.

Discussions upthread about getting power of attorney, locating original copies of important documents, and intervening to help with financial management all look extremely OTM as I'm beginning the process of settling his estate. If your aging parent is starting to show signs of dementia, do everyone a favor and get ahead of those problems while your parent can still contribute to solutions.

Brad C., Saturday, 7 March 2020 14:44 (three years ago) link

My condolences and love to you and yours, Brad C.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 8 March 2020 00:44 (three years ago) link

best wishes

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Sunday, 8 March 2020 05:19 (three years ago) link

Sincere condolences to you Brad.
I went through pretty much the same experience caring for my dad who had a specific brain-damaging type of Parkinson. He was OK-ish until we had to get him operated and he deterioated pretty quichly after that. Strange sense of relief once he passed but that was short lived since I then realised I now had to deal with my aging and deranged mother being on her own. Anyway, all advices regarding power of attorney are OTM. I guess things vary across countries, but one of the best advices I got was to get, while my mother was still lucid enough, a general power of attorney and a prior designation of guardianship.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 9 March 2020 10:54 (three years ago) link

Sorry to hear about your father, Brad. I’m going through exactly what you’re describing now — trying to get documents and PoA in place. One parent has dementia, the other has Parkinson’s. It would be easiest if my dad didn’t have spurts of manly independence in which he’ll undermine the work I’m trying to do with him.

rb (soda), Monday, 9 March 2020 12:41 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

The place my mom lives (assisted living/skilled nursing/memory care - she is at a lower level of assisted living but memory issues getting obviously worse) just emailed that they have had their first resident death from covid-19, and 1/2 the skilled nursing residents have tested positive. And mom keeps "sneaking out to check her mail". She's half the country away and we have a fraught relationship but very worrying.

Jaq, Sunday, 12 April 2020 21:04 (three years ago) link

That's terrible, Jaq. Not least of which is your inability to intervene in any meaningful way. Here's hoping the people on site are able to form and follow the best possible plan and your mom escapes the danger.

A is for (Aimless), Sunday, 12 April 2020 21:08 (three years ago) link

My parents are only an hour away, and although I’m Instacarting all their groceries for them nearly every two days, they are going to the supermarket on the alternate days for

- that soup we like
- cottage cheese with pineapple
- to see if they have the other kind of deli turkey
- some better tuna fish than the one you bought us

rb (soda), Sunday, 12 April 2020 21:35 (three years ago) link

my sister brought groceroes for my parents & later that day dad went out for the newspaper & came home with two more bags of groceries

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 13 April 2020 02:13 (three years ago) link

I swear if I ever get another text / email about whether my folks should worry about running out of iCloud storage, caused by Apple default "back up everything including the backups to iCloud", I am going down to Cupertino with a very large axe.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Monday, 13 April 2020 02:47 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

my mom had a knee replacement on tuesday, after a three-week coronavirus delay.

she had the other knee replaced eight years ago and was in the hospital for two or three nights. they've made some advances since then, so the initial plan was for her to spend one night, and if all went well send her home the next day.

somehow over the weekend, no doubt because she wasn't paying attention, she got the idea that she'd be in the hospital for a week. (?!?!) and my dad isn't there to take care of things anymore. she didn't bother cleaning up her hording-mess house, making it unsafe for her to be at home either way. nevertheless, home she went yesterday afternoon.

this morning i woke up to several voicemails from various therapy/home healthcare people who were unable to reach her at home. no answer on her home phone, which isn't surprising; also no answer on her cellphone. did she turn it off? did she not charge it? has she fallen and can't get up? who knows

i am 500 miles away but persuade one of the nurse people to go to her house; later i get a call from the nurse saying my mom is at home and everything's okay.

four hours later the nurse calls me back saying my mom's back at the hospital; in the nurse's judgment, the state of my mom's mobility and the state of her house made it unsafe for her to be there. the nurse has had a fight with the physical therapist who then showed up -- both groups talked to their superiors, no one got authorization to do anything, and the nurse decided to call an ambulance.

so now my mom's back at the hospital, in the emergency room. she finally called me an hour ago. she's exhausted and has no idea what's going on. indeed, nothing may be going on because no one appears to have made any plans. she's paid a shitload of money for this escalating care-at-home program but i can't tell what they're actually doing here.

this is pretty frustrating!

mookieproof, Thursday, 7 May 2020 21:41 (three years ago) link

mookie I help ppl navigate stuff like this ^^^ for a living so feel free to hit me up.

unlikely she will be admitted into hospital. possibly a shot at a rehab stay.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 7 May 2020 22:25 (three years ago) link

two months pass...

moving this off the Covid 19 thread, but:

My parents are fascinating in the age of Covid. Dismissing / minimizing the pandemic is a point of pride for them, even though they're clearly terrified of it (when they remember it exists).

They are old New England Quakers, and emotionally/physically closed off in the Robert Frost mode They do not have friends. They do not have a TV, and probably can't get on the internet Their parents all stayed healthy until their 90s, or dropped off suddenly due to rapid illness, and so my mom/dad have no idea what normal aging looks like. Each ailment and infirmity is Just An Unbearable Tragedy to them, and perpetually unexpected. My dad bought five new cell phones last year 'because all the earpieces are too quiet.' Each time, I pointed out that the phone was fine and he couldn't hear well any more. I kept suggesting the audiologist. After returning phone number six, dad became really teary/upset and said he wondered if there was something wrong with his ears. One night he undertook an exploration with a q-tip that required an urgent care visit and antibiotics, and ... then had a very teary breakdown about how Awful Old Age Is, and Out of Nowhere He's Deaf. (He's not deaf. He's got age-related hearing loss, and he doesn't like most of what people around him say, so he ignores it).

So what's a coronavirus to them?

rb (soda), Wednesday, 22 July 2020 18:24 (three years ago) link

I think I'm finally ready to bite the bullet and coerce my mom into moving into a retirement home. Worse period ever to do this, I know, but she's been in and out of ERs for the last 6 months because she's basically unfit to live on her own (although she has someone coming most days to check in on her). Now, given how lost she is mentally, I figure I could somehow lie to her and pretend I'm stationing her into a "hotel" for a while, while i look for a new house for her. A bit shitty but oh well

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Thursday, 30 July 2020 17:26 (three years ago) link

My dad bought five new cell phones last year 'because all the earpieces are too quiet.'

My mum went through God knows how many phones she couldn't hear - not cell phones, she never worked out how to use them.

Sonny Shamrock (Tom D.), Thursday, 30 July 2020 18:17 (three years ago) link

Having now seen many people age and die, there is generally a goodly lag time between losing an ability and starting to see oneself as someone who has lost that ability. I expect I will not be much different. Like most old people, I'll complain that nothing is as good as it used to be and then blame externalities for it.

the unappreciated charisma of cows (Aimless), Thursday, 30 July 2020 19:03 (three years ago) link

Is it true of most old people? I don't know. When my hairline started to go, I didn't attempt a comb-over. I shaved it, and cut it short, and said 'well, hell, that was the part of my life where I had hair. I enjoyed it.' i think it has to do with attitude and comfort with change and, inevitably, death... i'm pretty cool with it.

rb (soda), Thursday, 30 July 2020 19:24 (three years ago) link

Currently, nothing is as good as it used to be, so make hay.

Steppin' RZA (sic), Thursday, 30 July 2020 19:34 (three years ago) link

three weeks pass...

I have been redo-ing my will and trust, worried about covid-19. I have been thinking about my parents, who are both now dead, and about who I want as my heirs and about my eventual death and burial

My parents were so much older than me that they almost felt like grandparents. When I graduated from catholic grade school they wouldn’t allow me go to the catholic high school I so wanted to attend to be with my best friend, but insisted that I attend the local public high school instead. I guess in retrospect that was a good decision.

Dan S, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 01:15 (three years ago) link

Although all of my other siblings went to a local state university I selfishly demanded that they allow me to attend the college of my choice despite the financial burden it was for them. They acquiesced. I know how much of a sacrifice they made to allow me to do it

Dan S, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 01:22 (three years ago) link

My parents had big dreams for me but they never pushed me, they just showed their love and were happy for my accomplishments. When I think about that I am so forever grateful.

Dan S, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 01:23 (three years ago) link

My mother died of Alzheimers after 10 years of decline. She was mute for most of the last several years of her life. When she died it was hard for me not to visualize her as an Alzheimers patient.

In the years since though that has faded away and I have come to remember her as she was, the person I loved the most in my life

Dan S, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 02:00 (three years ago) link

Same. Although she is still alive and we have fallen out and probably won't be alive for long, which is a problem.

Thanks for those posts. Say as much as you want to. I don't know what to say or ask yet. All the best, Dan.

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Wednesday, 26 August 2020 02:20 (three years ago) link

I had big issues with my mother over my being gay and she being a hardcore catholic, but recommend that everyone reconciles with their mother before she dies

Dan S, Wednesday, 26 August 2020 02:35 (three years ago) link

three months pass...

RIP Dad. My father had a massive heart attack Saturday at 90. He was mentally sharp to the end, using Venmo, ordering groceries for he and Mom online, following jazz and other music ( and discussing it with me as well as sometimes reminiscing about his days in NYC jazz clubs in the late 49s and 50s plus his days working in his dad’s NYC deli). He was very happy to see Biden win, and donated to various causes like HIAS ( who helped his Dad immigrate to America). He also helped my Mom. I miss him so

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 November 2020 11:32 (two years ago) link

I’m so sorry curmudgeon.

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Friday, 27 November 2020 11:42 (two years ago) link

I'm sorry for your loss, Curm. The obituary reads like he had a fully lived life, something to be very proud of.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 27 November 2020 11:44 (two years ago) link

So sorry to hear that, my friend, my condolences. Sounds like your dad was a great guy, I loved reading about him (I am assuming you wrote that.)

Robert Gotopieces (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 27 November 2020 11:51 (two years ago) link

Love to you and yours, curmudgeon!

healthy cocaine off perfect butts (the table is the table), Friday, 27 November 2020 12:18 (two years ago) link

Adding to the best wishes and sympathy for all. Clearly a remarkable man.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 27 November 2020 13:41 (two years ago) link

Thanks for the kind words. I wrote the obituary with some help from my mom, plus my siblings and our respective spouses.

curmudgeon, Friday, 27 November 2020 14:03 (two years ago) link

I'm sorry for your loss, curmudgeon.

Brad C., Friday, 27 November 2020 16:41 (two years ago) link

May his memory be for a blessing

is right unfortunately (silby), Friday, 27 November 2020 16:51 (two years ago) link

Amen to all of that!

dow, Friday, 27 November 2020 17:03 (two years ago) link

My sincere condolences, curmudgeon.

pomenitul, Friday, 27 November 2020 20:40 (two years ago) link

Sorry to hear, curmudgeon.

a certain derecho (brownie), Friday, 27 November 2020 22:24 (two years ago) link

Best wishes for you and your family, curmudgeon

Lover of Nixon (or LON for short) (Neanderthal), Friday, 27 November 2020 22:40 (two years ago) link

I have sympathy for you. I hope you will be OK.

Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Saturday, 28 November 2020 02:54 (two years ago) link

very sorry man. it's rough as hell

mookieproof, Saturday, 28 November 2020 02:57 (two years ago) link

very sorry curmudgeon. it's a lovely obit. sounds like it would have been great to chat w/your dad about music or basketball or any number of topics.

call all destroyer, Saturday, 28 November 2020 03:22 (two years ago) link

Love to you, curmudgeon. Your father sounds like my kinda guy x

Gerneten-flüken cake (jed_), Saturday, 28 November 2020 03:40 (two years ago) link

Thanks to all of you for the kind words

curmudgeon, Saturday, 28 November 2020 05:35 (two years ago) link

so sorry curmudgeon, thinking of you and yours x

boxedjoy, Saturday, 28 November 2020 08:34 (two years ago) link

My deepest condolences. Sending love and strength. He sounds like a wonderful Dad.

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 28 November 2020 10:03 (two years ago) link

Sorry for your loss, curmudgeon

Clean-up on ILX (onimo), Saturday, 28 November 2020 10:07 (two years ago) link

my condolences, curmudgeon. sending you strength to cope with your loss.

Running up that hill but fleeting (a deal with Gop) (breastcrawl), Saturday, 28 November 2020 14:47 (two years ago) link

So sorry, curm

kinder, Saturday, 28 November 2020 18:30 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

how can you tell how serious an ailment is when the person ailing can barely speak?

Dad fell the other day (as I mentioned in the other thread), and we finally have a wheelchair due this week. since then, yesterday, he has vaguely complained of pain around the sternum, but when asked has said it's not 'chest pain'. originally he said "2" when we asked on scale of 1-10, but last night seemed to be worse. might be related to fall - I've had muscle strains in that area before.

he has a PCP appointment next week anyway, but mom and I are thinking of taking him to another doc a few days earlier if it doesn't get better. we're wary of running to the ER every time he has anything wrong. could also be related to the hernia, perhaps?

we've tried framing questions he can reply "yes or no" to to get an idea of pain severity but the problem is that's us framing it and he also lies sometimes.

live-in nurse has to be around the corner, well obv not 'live-in' due to COVID, more like 24-hour nurse services.

i'm just mentally drained - I feel like any time I leave the house to do anything I'm always worried about what happens when I'm gone. I know i'm just one person and that's foolish but given this last year I'm superstitious as hell. every time I leave town I usually tell my brother and/or my best friend in case they can be 'on call' if something happens, though both have their own lives too.

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Monday, 4 January 2021 15:29 (two years ago) link

My very elderly parents (93 & 83) in England have just been booked for their first Covid vaccine dose on Saturday.

Ward Fowler, Monday, 4 January 2021 15:32 (two years ago) link

that's fantastic! glad to hear that.

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Monday, 4 January 2021 15:34 (two years ago) link

Thanks Neanderthal, and best of luck with your father.

Ward Fowler, Monday, 4 January 2021 15:35 (two years ago) link

Hope it goes well, Ward and Neanderthal.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 4 January 2021 15:41 (two years ago) link

Mom back in hospital for the second time in less than a month due to what is now being called a Klebsiella pneumoniae infection in her urinary tract.

She's immunocompromised, has a permanent ileostomy, probably drinks too much, and only takes baths rather than showers. Perfect storm... More worried about her being in hospital than getting over this infection, tbh.

"Bi" Dong A Ban He Try (the table is the table), Monday, 4 January 2021 16:23 (two years ago) link

how can you tell how serious an ailment is when the person ailing can barely speak?

^ This is the story of half of my life. All you can do is try. For pain, the best non-verbal clues are facial expressions and reflex actions. They don't lie.

Respectfully Yours, (Aimless), Monday, 4 January 2021 19:08 (two years ago) link

Yea he winced last night as dead giveaway.

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Monday, 4 January 2021 19:45 (two years ago) link

how can you tell how serious an ailment is when the person ailing can barely speak?

In hospice we used PAINAD:

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 4 January 2021 20:56 (two years ago) link


Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Monday, 4 January 2021 20:57 (two years ago) link

^this turned out to be nothing. thanks again for link.

kinda feel like we're at a crossroads. my mother has plantar fasciitis in her foot that isn't improving, and a bad neck and back. I have a worsening back, though mine's better than my mother's. lifting dad from a sitting position if needed is easy, but the last time he fell, I hurt my back lifting him and it didn't feel well for days (it's back to normal now).

i'm not good w/ wet nurse type functions, but can help him onto and off of the toilet, and do just about everything else. but she doesn't let me - half the time I start doing things like helping my dad up, she tries to join and I have to shoo her away - "LET ME DO THIS!". not just because i don't want her hurting herself, but because it's a lot harder for me to help dad up if someone else is trying to grab hold of him as well.

we have Home Health Care coming starting again tomorrow, though I'm not sure what for (bathing? physical therapy?), and apparently we're looking into additional support, but I'm not sure what. but I don't know how long we can try to do it without more frequent nurse support or....assisted living. which is both expensive and also not something we want to do with our beloved paps.

one of you told me to take time for myself in another thread. Lord I'm tryyying. occasionally succeeding. but I just feel guilty any time I'm doing anything as simple as sitting on the couch watching tv.

people always ask where my brother is in all this, well, I've been lenient with him because a) he lives with his girlfriend, and b) works full-time and is about 20+ miles away, and c) works at a theme park so until they're fully vaxxed, kind of a risk. beginning to think I am going to ask him to try and show up once a week. the problem is....he gets mom stressed out, he tries to help but ultimately seems to want more to tell her how to do things rather than trying to help offer support with what she's alraedy doing. so I'd have to set ground rules because him getting her upset is a deal breaker. he doesn't do it on purpose, he's just....the type of needly person that sometimes frustrates his folks.

idk - I'm not MEGA stressed out about it or anything , just trying to think aloud.

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 17:33 (two years ago) link

sorry to hear. I think now is the time to be looking at your options though because I've known so many people struggle doing it themselves for far too long. Your brother should be contributing to this process too imo - if you start off with you researching and making all the decisions he'll carry on leaving it up to you I suspect.

kinder, Wednesday, 13 January 2021 19:05 (two years ago) link

yeah plus honestly he's just like that in general. i'm gonna talk to him this week and see what we maybe can work out.

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 13 January 2021 19:17 (two years ago) link

we're getting some temporary help in the form of physical, speech, and occupational therapists coming by the house, as well as a nurse to come help bathe dad.

his vitals still are just fine. his oxygen's great, blood pressure is the lowest in the entire family. he also still laughs at dirty jokes.

looked at cost of assisted living. holy fuck....i do well but not well enough to afford that. so this bandaid solution will do for a while.

still, glad to have this help for my mother!

Looking for Cape Penis house (Neanderthal), Monday, 18 January 2021 17:19 (two years ago) link

Not really the right thread I know, but does anyone know the likely prognosis for a 72-year-old female who might test positive for Covid? It's not great, is it?

kinder, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 16:54 (two years ago) link

it depends on a lot of factors, but somebody over 70 getting it isn't inherently a death sentence (though it's definitely a much higher risk than someone younger). My close friend's father, who isn't quite that age but is *close* had it and recovered.

I can't seem to find it anymore but I seem to recall the mortality rate for people in the above 70 age range being something like 10-15%, which is high and not good, but does show that the majority still 'survive'. obviously a narrow way of looking at it, as a larger portion get hospitalized and might have long-term effects. but it does mean there's some hope.

it's a shitty thing to have to worry about and I hope that this person does not have COVID :(

if Spaghetti-Os had whammy bars (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 26 January 2021 18:00 (two years ago) link

Thank you Neanderthal. I'm attempting to not worry until I need to worry!

kinder, Tuesday, 26 January 2021 18:59 (two years ago) link

My stepmom, who lives in AZ and who I haven't been worrying about because she's younger (72) and active (teaches aerobics at her community center), had some kind of accident that ended up with two broken wrists this week. My half-brother also told us she has undergone a very rapid cognitive decline, so during her recovery there will be evaluation for WTF is going on there.

Jaq, Friday, 5 February 2021 18:22 (two years ago) link

Hi Neanderthal, Home Health Care can be great; I was surprised at the options, and your father's Medicare Advantage or MediGap etc. may also help w hiring one part-time person w training, like even a "sitter," designated as such by nursing agency, turned out to be experienced as hell, and even a crucial source of incremental help, a couple of times, though also young enough to sit up all night, allowing me and my sis some much-needed sleep--even if you have to pay out-of-pocket for such a person, would so be worth it, for yourself and your Dad (can think better w more sleep duhhhh). This was just 2-3 times a week at most, but even one night a week made a difference. Something to to think about even if your brother does clean up his act a bit.

dow, Friday, 5 February 2021 19:28 (two years ago) link

And of course that's more affordable than Assisted Living.

dow, Friday, 5 February 2021 19:30 (two years ago) link

thanks dow. i've started to look into some of these options, just to give my mother a break. I'm handling the extra load fine but I'm realizing it's starting to wear me down a bit so it'll help us all out.

good news is we have some Home Health coming over for speech, physical therapy, and bathing. last time, they ended the benefits rather quick. this time we're going to fight to keep them coming longer.

you aren't kidding about Assited Living. I shit when I saw the costs.

he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Friday, 5 February 2021 20:29 (two years ago) link

in-home care can be a huge help if you can swing it! my father inlaw had a helper i think they got through his medicaid somehow
she was amazing.

my fil was first-generation native Hawaiian, and the helper they hired for him was a middle-aged Tongan woman. Because his memory had regressed so much, seeing another brown person put him back in happy childhood memories & he responded so well to her, and she was so good with him, making sure he ate & was clean (and she was huge & could lift him which was awesome).

she took care of him until he really started deteriorating & needed fulltime care.

But it was a major source of relief for my inlaws, that they could interact with him on their own terms, without the exhausting heavylift of bathing or bathrooming and all that goes with the carer-side of dementia . being able to remove *that* part of the emotional/physical stress was huge. puts such a huge strain on the household, and alleviating it can make a huge difference in your day to day coping/interactions

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 5 February 2021 21:45 (two years ago) link

i think mom applied for Medicaid on dad's behalf and they didn't approve it cos of Florida's stingy standards or somethin but I am gonna get on her to do it again.

Dad fell again shortly after I posted earlier. probably the least severe of all of them, he went down softly on the floor up against the couch, but it's just exhausting thinking if one of us leaves the room for a minute (which is legitimately what happened) he might lose balance. i had no trouble getting him up (I'm getting swole now thanks to this), but i realize i'm tired as fuck at the moment.

and i also know deep down that my bro will never give much more than he is doing now because he just can't. he freezes because he freaks at seeing his parents being vulnerable. eventually the come to jesus talk is gonna have to come because well, fine, but, I cna't do it all myself.

but if dad gets on Medicaid and we can afford more help to give us a'll be a relief.

It's ok tho. i'm still here, i just gotta....find my pockets. this is such a reversal from the nomadic "hey let's book a flight to Chicago this weekend, I'mbored" lifestyle I was living not that long ago. but that could never have endured much longer anyway.

he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Saturday, 6 February 2021 04:06 (two years ago) link

some days I step in and take over with helping dad cos mom just gets impatient and yells at him. that going to make a stroke patient suddenly do what you want? lol

but she's also mentally exhausted from the last two or three years so I cut her some slack.

he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 03:20 (two years ago) link

apparently we have a meeting to see what we qualify for ongoing....had home therapy again for the last two months and it's gone well.

he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 03:20 (two years ago) link

we had a room in a hotel for my dad's birthday with a handicapped bathroom. dad still managed to fall...on top of my mother.

both are ok.

we're looking into adult day care, Medicare will barely help with shit, already want to discharge him for his physical therapy. they hear he falls and it's like "cool, heard of a wheelchair"....we have a shitty one, because the insurance company and provider were bickering, but the one we have works ok. but the bathroom is so damn small as we didn't look at it before we moved the wheelchair doesn't fit and he has to use his case the rest of the way to it. though honestly he's always been fine doing that.

ran out to Walgreens at midnight to get bandages and neosporin and of course somehow at 11 pm the 2 lines were long as the cashiers were moving slow as shit, I was gone for 20 minutes and i only went across the street.

I actively hate my life now. but my brother now has like few free nights a week due to a new acting gig so yeah good luck getting more help from him. i showed him how to take dad to the bathroom yesterday and you'd have thought he was going through the Ludivico technique.

wanna get through one week without sobbing into my hands

if you meh them, shut up (Neanderthal), Thursday, 18 February 2021 05:01 (two years ago) link

Sorry you're having to deal with this by yourself, Neanderthal.

The return of our beloved potatoes (the table is the table), Thursday, 18 February 2021 16:39 (two years ago) link

i'm a wee better this morning as my bro showed up and is helping again and a few of my friends were able to calm me down. that's my mother and I really need is relief.

thinking about paying for occasional private home health care but gotta price search and figure out when would be best. adult day care seems like reality.

he's 73 today. here's to many more.

if you meh them, shut up (Neanderthal), Thursday, 18 February 2021 16:40 (two years ago) link

def pursue medicaid; its not cheap but worth it, likely, if you can get the resources together to have an elder care lawyer do the application for you if they assess he can qualify

my mom has been on medicaid for a few years now, she is 70 -- shes in an "independent" living facility (similar to assisted living) which has been working out p good but she fell 3 days ago going to the bathroom at 2am and fractured her hip. she had 3 screws put in yesterday. i visited her in the hospital today (only the second time i have physically seen her since march 2020), she really battles a lot of anxiety and depression that interplay w her physical issues in a bad way but i am somewhat hopeful the rehab process could be good for her

johnny crunch, Thursday, 18 February 2021 17:38 (two years ago) link

Hey Neanderthal does your ilx webmail work?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 February 2021 03:36 (two years ago) link

hi quincie - it does!

if you meh them, shut up (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 February 2021 23:36 (two years ago) link

Mother-in-law had a stroke two weeks ago and my wife flew out to Savannah to help and get a sense of her condition. Turns out she is more or less okay. Doc says she doesn’t need someone with her constantly, in fact MIL seemed happy when wife left. She appreciated that she came out in the middle of a pandemic, liked the company, but i’m sure she was tired of someone monitoring her life. We live in Houston, so wife totally missed out on the snowy apocalypse.

Now wife is musing about us moving to Savannah to help her mom. Our kids are happy here and are in good schools. We have friends and work with benefits here. Her mom doesn’t need constant help. And when her mom does need help, I say she should come to us instead of us uprooting our lives. But she maintains that she will never move here, and I say that is her choice. I really don’t want to make the kids move and I REALLY don’t want to live in Savannah.

Cow_Art, Saturday, 20 February 2021 19:16 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Mum diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Where do we go from here, I wonder.

assert (MatthewK), Monday, 8 March 2021 19:53 (two years ago) link

Sorry to hear, MatthewK. Fwiw, I've known a few people with Parkinson's, and many have lived fulfilling if sometimes difficult lives as things have progressed. May it be so for your mum, too.

it's like edging for your mind (the table is the table), Monday, 8 March 2021 20:55 (two years ago) link

Thank you, that’s my hope too. She’s intellectually very active so I’m hoping that will be unaffected at least.

assert (MatthewK), Monday, 8 March 2021 21:03 (two years ago) link

Both my mom (82) and my stepmom (72) were diagnosed with dementia last week. Stepmom is level 4 on FAST, mom is closer to level 5. So many family text threads going.

Jaq, Tuesday, 9 March 2021 18:35 (two years ago) link

That's really rough, Jaq. Best to you all.

A Scampo Darkly (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 9 March 2021 18:48 (two years ago) link

That’s very hard Jaq, I’m sorry.
The place I work has a free online course about dementia which explains what happens and how people and families are affected, it might be worth recommending to family. You can search up Wicking Understanding Dementia MOOC.

assert (MatthewK), Tuesday, 9 March 2021 19:20 (two years ago) link

Thank you both! MatthewK, I will look that up - much appreciated. Mom is currently in skilled nursing for a bit due to an extreme hypertensive episode that probably made the memory loss much worse. Stepmom is back in her house, with home health visits and no car keys while everyone rallies to try to figure this all out.

Jaq, Tuesday, 9 March 2021 23:32 (two years ago) link

very sorry to hear Matt K and Jaq

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 15 March 2021 22:14 (two years ago) link

bumped this bc just saw my own 72-year-old parents for the first time in a long time and, you know, they are old. I was just sort of wondering what I should be doing to prepare for the fact that they are old. They have some retirement savings but not really enough, and a ton of equity in their house that they are relying on but no particular plan to sell it -- admittedly they are in an area that has appreciated a lot and is probably unlikely to crash due to schools and amenities, but I still worry about them relying on that. Like what happens if 2 years from now there is a market crash and their health deterioriates at the same time, necessitating some kind of home health aide or move to a home. Do I need to be preparing financially to help them if I have to? Get the guest room ready? Anything I can/should be doing to prepare?

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Monday, 15 March 2021 22:16 (two years ago) link

have you asked them what they want

Canon in Deez (silby), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 00:24 (two years ago) link

Ask them what they want and diplomatically try to address what financial planning they have done for the future ? Determine if they would want planning advice from you, or websites, or paid financial planners ( if $ is available to pay for the latter)?

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 01:58 (two years ago) link

Yeah, even gently asking never hurts. I'm very fortunate that my parents' situation is ridiculous stable all around especially for their age, and they remain very active, but further knowing their specific health-care plans and directives and general financial overview has meant even less worry.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 03:03 (two years ago) link

looks like my dad might qualify for Medicaid after all. working on subbing an application so he can get a waiver in FL to use for home/adult day care. the application for Florida is terrible, teh questions are written stupidly, and the site is buggy, but I figure submitting it gets us through the door at least.

Red Nerussi (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 16:48 (two years ago) link

Like what happens if 2 years from now there is a market crash and their health deteriorates at the same time, necessitating some kind of home health aide or move to a home.

My parents have spent the last 2-3 years working on this house to prepare to sell it for as much $ as possible in order to "retire" (they're already retired but haven't noticeably slowed down) to a house that won't need any upkeep where they can live on one floor if nec. It has been an enormous job for them to deal with all the details--if your parents are prepared to tackle it on their own, it will save you ONE MILLION HOURS of stress. Plus,'s their life & choice, if they're still mentally astute?

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 17:53 (two years ago) link

But yeah they talked about doing it now specifically because they're still capable, and they want real estate & finances resolved before a health crisis forces them to do it in a rush & maybe not get the best outcomes.

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 17:55 (two years ago) link

and it's helpful if they can use the house to fund their future lifestyle. my parents lost their house due to foreclosure in 2008, and have rented ever since. one of my mother's doctors started getting on her, "you need to start settling affairs, putting money aside for assisting living. sell your house when you need to." my mom said "wtf are you talking about, we don't own a house....we can't afford assisted living". doctor just assumed everybody has assets at their disposal.

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 18:18 (two years ago) link

My god memory care is expensive. $4k-$8k/month depending on the level needed (in the Indianapolis area) not including meds/supplies.

Jaq, Tuesday, 16 March 2021 20:28 (two years ago) link

yeah I feel like parents have not completely thought it through, but it's hard to say. They do purportedly have a financial planner but IDK who that is or how much they talk to them. They of course say they never want to be in a home and that they don't expect to move in with us. They also have an attitude of "we're prepared to sell our house if/when we need to." And they do have some ideas about places they could afford an apartment and would want to live. But again, like what if it happens to be a bad time to sell when they need to? And are they thinking about the full cost of a home health aide or other care? I assume Medicare provides for that at least to some extent, but IDK. They're in better shape than a lot of Americans so I don't want to freak out over it, but they don't have the "recommended" amounts for retirement savings either, especially if you exclude the home equity (which is the bulk of their "savings").

OTOH I feel like my conversations with them about this repeatedly dead end at some point, and I may just have to cross the bridge when I come to it.

longtime caller, first time listener (man alive), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 21:01 (two years ago) link

I assume Medicare provides for that at least to some extent, but IDK.

they do, but boy will they try to give you as little as possible. when my dad first left the hospital, they sent an occupational therapist, speech, and physical therapist for about a month, as well as a nurse to bathe my dad, but they sometimes no-showed or cancelled late, and didn't come anywhere near enough. and they discharged all of them after a month, and my dad's disabled! they believe in 'train the trainer' approach, or at least did for us.

important to just stay on them/demand things - this year we realized dad was deteriorating and asked them to come back out and resumed a lot of the therapies that were discharged prematurely last year.

if they qualify for Medicaid, then there's more options - in my state at least, you can get vouchers for in-home care/adult day-care/assisted living which cover most of the cost.

hopefully of course none of that is necessary for them, or at least not for a while.

quincie will probably have more helpful hints on this (and thank you again btw quincie for what you sent me - we're using a lot of this information)

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 21:40 (two years ago) link

side note, my mom yelling at my father who had a stroke and clearly CAN'T do things the way he used to really frustrates me and I can tell he does better with me than her. having to keep asking her not to do it but she can't help herself.

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 21:41 (two years ago) link

as I typed that, she said "you don't give a shit" to him. :/

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 21:42 (two years ago) link

that sucks so much for all three of you

armoured van, Holden (sic), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 21:44 (two years ago) link

xp :/

armoured van, Holden (sic), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 21:44 (two years ago) link

OTOH I feel like my conversations with them about this repeatedly dead end at some point

would they be amenable to setting up a session purely to talk about this? like it or not, it's going to come up at some point and if they understand it's causing you worry if you haven't thoroughly talked through, would that make them more agreeable to actually finishing the discussion?

it's good that you're already thinking about it!

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 March 2021 22:06 (two years ago) link

I do aging parents for a living, specifically helping adult children with aging parents, at the moment I am in transit to other coast to get my FIL out of ICU to inpatient hospice, will be back to thread and happy to share tips once shit is settled with FIL. There is a reason there are jobs like mine, stuff ain’t obvious.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:11 (two years ago) link

best of luck with your FIL, quincie...and thank you again!

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:24 (two years ago) link

Ugh, Neanderthal, that sounds really hard. sending good feeling.

it's like edging for your mind (the table is the table), Wednesday, 17 March 2021 17:34 (two years ago) link

thinking about even 2 more months of this is enough for me to pull my hair out. even when COVID's over, I'm going to be afraid to go two inches from the house for ten minutes.

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Thursday, 18 March 2021 01:07 (two years ago) link

btw, I'm monopolizing this thread and I know it and I"m sorry so I'm unbookmarking for a bit because at this point it's what it is and I would rather let you all talk about your shit. i'm gonna keep working on the Medicaid application (yay the site is down for maintenance tonight!)

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Thursday, 18 March 2021 01:08 (two years ago) link

<3 to all caretakers

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Thursday, 18 March 2021 01:09 (two years ago) link

Welp down another aging parent.

Pleased with myself for aggressive advocacy to get FIL out of ICU to have peaceful, comfortable death in hospice.

Another advantage of hospice is that now my MIL will have regular follow up for bereavement support vs nothin' from hospital.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 March 2021 15:22 (two years ago) link

Oh quince. I'm sorry. Good looking out on the advocacy. <3

Ima Gardener (in orbit), Friday, 19 March 2021 15:23 (two years ago) link

Thanks IO, he was 90 and perfectly happy to move on, absolutely hated hospitals so getting him out was a win.

Neanderthal (and anyone else), send me your zip and I can get you connected with free "help" (quality of said help varies tremendously) with Medicaid application.

Maybe I should offer a Zoom on Aging Parents 101? Anyway I have long thought about starting an ILX Pro Bono thread where people can offer up skillz, happy to contribute my strange little set.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 March 2021 15:25 (two years ago) link

I'm so sorry, quincie, but glad that you were able to get him out of the hospital and into a nice hospice unit.

my zip is 32792, and you can send to the email from earlier. thanks! I subbed an app but I guarantee they're going to have a bazillion follow-up questions and that I'll probably have to redo it.

plus side - i learned about every toilet adjustment/pee splash guard known to man today. i don't mind dad peeing on the floor so much, I mind mom screaming when he does it. I found 3 products that should help as I've spotted the 'problem'.

lol @ me being handy-man adjacent now.

"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 March 2021 18:46 (two years ago) link

i think a zoom 101 would be extremely useful & possibly help with the loneliness of dealing with aging parents esp for only children

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 19 March 2021 19:15 (two years ago) link


"Salvation Army FUCK!" (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 March 2021 19:17 (two years ago) link

Oh yes I work with lots of onlys—that’s a special category for sure!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 March 2021 20:32 (two years ago) link

I would take that course, quincie.

also, sorry to hear, though glad he was able to come to rest in a more comfortable place.

it's like edging for your mind (the table is the table), Friday, 19 March 2021 21:14 (two years ago) link

esp for only children

*raises a paw*

covidsbundlertanze op. 6 (Jon not Jon), Saturday, 20 March 2021 16:59 (two years ago) link

Any advice on helping an elderly parent (in Montgomery County, MD) get an appointment for a COVID vaccination? My mother refuses to get Internet access. According to her the phone system for registration is useless and keeps referring callers to the web site. (When I did my preregistration in DC I had to enter a lot of personal information, and would prefer not to have to do this for my mother.)

If the stories I hear about Maryland are true, appointment slots drop at midnight and/or 6am, and if you don't grab one right then, you're SOL.

Infanta Terrible (, Thursday, 25 March 2021 13:22 (two years ago) link

Does the county she lives in have an an Office for the Aging or something similar? Mine does and had a phone number to call for older people who had no internet access and needed help getting the vaccine.

Notes on Scampo (tokyo rosemary), Thursday, 25 March 2021 14:18 (two years ago) link

Montgomery County Area Agency on Aging Information & Referral Helpline: 240-777-3000

^^^usually pretty helpful

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 25 March 2021 15:41 (two years ago) link

This website is laughably designed, but I use it all the time to find Area Agencies on Aging. The Older Americans Act designates one for every area of the country:

Good to try, but the agencies vary widely in quantity and quality of the services they do or do not offer :(

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 25 March 2021 15:44 (two years ago) link

My parents are not computer people and I used websites to see where vaccines were being delivered and got them on lots of waiting lists. Eventually one panned out. I put their phone numbers but my email address. This is in Texas, so things might be different where you are. I put them on about ten different lists at pharmacies and clinics.

Cow_Art, Thursday, 25 March 2021 17:30 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

So, I've posted elsewhere about my mom (age 69) and her recent diagnosis with brain cancer. She's at my sister's in Philly during the week getting her third of six weeks of 5x/week chemo and radiation, home on the weekends.

My dad (age 69) had prostate surgery Thursday and was supposed to be out the same day but got a pulmonary embolism and he is still in the hospital (and likely another week) with complications.

My wife and I are working remotely from their place over DSL internet, supposed to be caring for my Dad post-surgery, but right now caring for their 4 aging cats.

I was freaking out yesterday when I got bit by a tick and shit got intense with my dad. I think they now have treatment plan straightened out. But man the last 24 hours have been nuts.

guillotines aren't just for royalty anymore (PBKR), Tuesday, 13 April 2021 23:01 (two years ago) link

Yikes. Sending absolute best. My dad had prostate surgery years back -- thankfully nowhere near as fraught a situation as your dad has but it still was a bit uneasy to go through. This, this is a whole other level I can't pretend to have faced.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 13 April 2021 23:17 (two years ago) link

Thank you, Ned. My parents are only 21 years older than me, have always seemed young, and were both in generally good health for their age. This has been an adjustment.

guillotines aren't just for royalty anymore (PBKR), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 00:39 (two years ago) link

All the best to you and your folks PKBR, and to their respective care teams. I hope the next few weeks are easier all around.

My mom had to move directly to memory care in a different facility from where she had been living with very little notice. Fortunately my brother and sister were able to handle everything and it went fairly smoothly. It's evident now Mom is much further along in memory loss than any of us realized. She remembers nothing of her living situations from the past 6 years, isn't recognizing her collection of DVDs or figure out her TV, can't remember that she has been socializing with people every day. Speech and physical therapy are starting soon.

Step-mom is not wanting to consider not living in her house, is sure it's just a little memory glitch that caused her two broken wrists, is rampant on Facebook with random out of character sentimental memes and jigsaw puzzle apps. But cheerful and okay with not driving.

Jaq, Wednesday, 14 April 2021 03:58 (two years ago) link

Mum doing pretty well with her L-dopa treatment, super happy with the specialist she is seeing for her Parkinsons

assert (MatthewK), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 04:13 (two years ago) link

Thanks, Jaq. Best to you and your family dealing with your mom and step-mom's issues.

Wishing all ilxors strength and wisdom for the years ahead.

guillotines aren't just for royalty anymore (PBKR), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 12:10 (two years ago) link

My sentiments exactly

it's like edging for your mind (the table is the table), Wednesday, 14 April 2021 23:14 (two years ago) link

things settling down on this front. oh, shit still hits the fan, but we're learning not to treat each instance like a big scary disaster.

i was not home last night, and dad tripped (his cane collided with something) and hit his head, and went to the ER. he's ok.

Medicaid application is underway, we've submitted everything they need, but the wait list is fairly long. we have an interview at the Center for Aging so we can get a waiver form in a few weeks.

P-Zunit (Neanderthal), Sunday, 18 April 2021 20:46 (two years ago) link

Good luck, Neanderthal. I'm almost two weeks into being at my parents and probably two weeks more to go and I'm going a little nutty. You are not just a good poster, but a good son.

Dad came home this afternoon after 10 days in the hospital. He had never been overnight in a hospital. He hugged me and broke down sobbing when he walked in the house!

i bought biden some thin mints with my stimmy (PBKR), Sunday, 18 April 2021 23:00 (two years ago) link


terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 19 April 2021 00:35 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

somehow the main thing my mom knows about my life is that i need to renew my driver's license (not a pressing matter, as i don't own a car or otherwise drive)

in the last three months she has emailed me easily 20 times -- once three times in a single evening -- about how i need to get a 'REAL ID' as opposed to a regular license. twice she's mailed me physical clippings out of the newspaper about it. every time we speak on the phone it comes up at least twice, at which point i mention that she's brought it up now dozens of times. 'really?'

i guess it's better than hounding me about getting a job, but it's fucking unsettling

(also she is unknowingly sending all her emails out on her iPhone, through an icloud account she is unaware that she has and never checks, and wonders why people don't respond, but that's another story)

i'm going there next week and can probably fix a few things, but not everything

mookieproof, Thursday, 3 June 2021 23:27 (two years ago) link

Good luck, mookie. Just try to enjoy the time you have to the extent that is an option.

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Thursday, 3 June 2021 23:43 (two years ago) link

well, the larger issue is that i'm a shitty child/person and simply don't want to deal with it

mookieproof, Friday, 4 June 2021 01:29 (two years ago) link

Obv I don't know the details, but not wanting to deal is a pretty normal reaction and doesn't make you a shitty person.

Just tell her you got the new license and it is a real id?

Vin Jawn (PBKR), Friday, 4 June 2021 01:41 (two years ago) link

my mother got bit by my brother's girlfriend's dogs today on her arm. her luck has just been terrible.

in addition to feeling bad for her run of luck, the recurring fear I've had of mom being knocked out of commission due to an injury or something and leaving me the sole caretaker of BOTH of them ran through my head and freaked me out. granted, it's obviously not going to happen due to dog bites, but I'm realizing how precarious a sitch is with my brother basically only helping when I ask him.

Feta Van Cheese (Neanderthal), Friday, 4 June 2021 20:50 (two years ago) link

can you ask more regularly to make it more part of his routine to help? Might be more work short term but helpful longer term?

assert (matttkkkk), Friday, 4 June 2021 23:18 (two years ago) link

I'm gonna have to honestly. But he's working 72 hours next week :/

Feta Van Cheese (Neanderthal), Friday, 4 June 2021 23:36 (two years ago) link

and I hurt my back yesterday. both my mother and I try to spare each other work with nobody wanting to cede lol. but my back is in much better shape than her hands after a dog bite. (she's ok - no stitches, antibiotics, rest)

Feta Van Cheese (Neanderthal), Saturday, 5 June 2021 13:50 (two years ago) link

one month passes...

will be in a permanent state of heightened anxiety until we ever get approved for Medicaid and get waivers for home health services.

ironically, not because things keep happening, but because things have been quiet lately and there've been a few fall "close calls".

mom told me she's depressed. didn't have the heart to tell her that I am too, as she'd feel responsible (but of course that's ridiculous). both of us keep trying to take care of the other's emotional wellbeing.

not up to Aerosmith standards (Neanderthal), Monday, 12 July 2021 20:32 (two years ago) link

Hang in there Neanderthal.

Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu Rob Thomas (PBKR), Monday, 12 July 2021 22:31 (two years ago) link

After 2 months of no incidents, he fell. Mom didn't let me know she was back with him from daycare so I wasn't outside to help. Going to ER

It's been only a year of this and I have little left. The psychological impact of this has me just ready to abandon any optimism I had left. Zero end in sight.

making splashes at Dan Flashes (Neanderthal), Friday, 16 July 2021 20:37 (two years ago) link

Just wanted to share this story, and it kinda fits here since Mom is 72, though she's totally independent and requires nothin' from nobody.

So the other day I'm on the phone with her and she says "By the way, tomorrow is [AUNT]'s birthday" and we continue with our conversation.

Here's the thing: [AUNT] is a TWIN.

Mom is ICE COLD when she wants to be.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 00:52 (two years ago) link

Hahaha amazing.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 00:55 (two years ago) link

Your mother's twin or another sibling?

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 01:44 (two years ago) link

Another sibling. Mom was the second born, the twins came after her, then two more sisters she's also not talking to.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 02:06 (two years ago) link

I liked it better as Mom being passive-aggressive about her own birthday.

Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu Rob Thomas (PBKR), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 02:09 (two years ago) link

love it

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 02:11 (two years ago) link

PBKR's interpretation was what I thought at first.

Halfway there but for you, Wednesday, 21 July 2021 02:12 (two years ago) link

Seemed more Mom-like.

Carlos Santana & Mahavishnu Rob Thomas (PBKR), Wednesday, 21 July 2021 02:15 (two years ago) link

The 'real' is colder though

Mark G, Thursday, 22 July 2021 15:27 (two years ago) link

Ahhhh... Nothing says summer break like spending the day picking up dried up cat vomit in my mother's squalid apartment.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Tuesday, 27 July 2021 08:59 (two years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Sitting here watching Gunsmoke w/ my aged p’s because their helper had heart palpitations/panic attack (because of Henri?) and left to go to her doctor in the city and the rest of my generation just was exposed to COVID.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 00:10 (two years ago) link

Just think; it could be the Waltons.

Captain Beefart (PBKR), Sunday, 22 August 2021 00:28 (two years ago) link

Gunsmoke rules

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 22 August 2021 00:34 (two years ago) link

I think they show The Waltons on this channel too! Thought I saw a profile of Grandpa Walton on the website.

Yes, never really watched whist growing up but Gunsmoke is in fact pretty good.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 00:36 (two years ago) link

The Virginian is better, and so are The Big Valley and The High Chaparral, sorry to be a dick

Josefa, Sunday, 22 August 2021 00:56 (two years ago) link

No worries.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 01:18 (two years ago) link

Feel like we should have a thread called itt we ask Josefa about old tv shows and NYC restaurants

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 01:19 (two years ago) link

oh man the waltons was on in the clinic when i got my second vaxx and it was brutal. i'd never seen it before!

mookieproof, Sunday, 22 August 2021 01:29 (two years ago) link

That would actually make me feel special. I would take the responsibility seriously.

Btw what with the pandemic and everything it feels like every NYC restaurant is an old NYC restaurant now. The system crashed in March 2020 and we’re trying to reset it still.

Josefa, Sunday, 22 August 2021 01:30 (two years ago) link

It was Gunsmoke reruns and The Waltons all over our TV in the late 70s.

Captain Beefart (PBKR), Sunday, 22 August 2021 02:04 (two years ago) link

we got METV years ago before we stopped dping cable & i watched at least 5 seasons worth of gunsmoke

surprsingly, the last season color eps, which seemed super weird, are some of the best!

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 22 August 2021 02:19 (two years ago) link

I only acknowledge the radio version.

Clara Lemlich stan account (silby), Sunday, 22 August 2021 02:52 (two years ago) link

There's an early-ish color Gunsmoke where the Doc has to quarantine a sick rich dude & his entourage on a train and anyone living the past two years knows how that turns out.

“Heroin” (ft. Bobby Gillespie) (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 22 August 2021 03:06 (two years ago) link

Miss Kitty refuses to take the smallpox vaccine?

Captain Beefart (PBKR), Sunday, 22 August 2021 11:26 (two years ago) link


Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 12:50 (two years ago) link

Sorry, I actually meant that, but the allcaps probably made it seem sarcastic. The intranetz, how do they work?

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 12:53 (two years ago) link

Festus won't wear a face mask.

But seriously, the rich guy doesn't want to quarantine and tries to bargain his way out because he's got business in another town that just has to be settled, but soon he's too sick to do anything. One of his bodyguards tries to escape but gets killed by some townies who-lacking Doc's compassion-don't want no sick people in Dodge. They form a rebellion, knock out Marshall Dillion, and set the train on fire, getting a number of themselves killed in the process. Doc, the rich guy, and his pregnant trophy wife manage to escape.

The ep is called "Death Train" and it's from season 13 in '67.

“Heroin” (ft. Bobby Gillespie) (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 22 August 2021 13:23 (two years ago) link


Captain Beefart (PBKR), Sunday, 22 August 2021 13:37 (two years ago) link

…and today we’re back to earlier in the day viewing, Little House on the Prairie.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 18:35 (two years ago) link

Well, at least you will have The Price is Right to look forward to tomorrow.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Sunday, 22 August 2021 18:40 (two years ago) link

Michael Landon had one of those punchable faces.

it is to laugh, like so, ha! (Aimless), Sunday, 22 August 2021 18:40 (two years ago) link

Lol, quincie.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 18:44 (two years ago) link

lessons i learned rewatching little house

- paw is legit terrible farmer
- mary is a pain in the fucking ass
- that song mr edwards sings all the time is super annoying
- there is waaaay more jesus in that show than i remembered from watching as a kid

i still kinda like the show though, all that being said. i love the opening credits where baby carrie trips & falls down the hill

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 22 August 2021 18:51 (two years ago) link

There is waaaay more Jesus in the show than in the books.

In college, one of the girls in my first year studies group (Melora, later the star of the film LAMBADA) had been one of the random school kids in Little House with lines here and there, and one week her friend Matt came to visit and sat in our seminar. Several other students made the faux pas of calling him ‘Albert’. Melora just looked like she wanted to kill them.

the thin blue lying (suzy), Sunday, 22 August 2021 19:12 (two years ago) link


terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 22 August 2021 19:20 (two years ago) link


Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 22 August 2021 19:24 (two years ago) link

Now onto The Hallmark Channel. Chesapeake Shores.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 August 2021 00:15 (two years ago) link

Warming up to the teasers for Sweet Pecan Summer.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 August 2021 00:16 (two years ago) link

This stuff is easy to make fun of but seems to fill some of the void left by most regular movies being about superheroes and such.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 August 2021 00:41 (two years ago) link

Treat Williams and the actress playing one of his daughters are now singing a tuneful version of “Tura Lura Lura,” although maybe not as good as the one in The Last Waltz.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 August 2021 00:46 (two years ago) link

Treat Williams possibly not a Covidiot tho.

“Heroin” (ft. Bobby Gillespie) (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 23 August 2021 00:51 (two years ago) link


These are like the non-auteur versions of that recipient of a noted Morbius zinger, They All Laughed.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 August 2021 00:52 (two years ago) link

Will refrain from live-blogging Todaytoday.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 August 2021 14:58 (two years ago) link

Don’t hold out on us man

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 23 August 2021 18:41 (two years ago) link

Can’t go there right now

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 August 2021 20:01 (two years ago) link

Starting to lose it after a very short period of time, don’t know how Neanderthal does it.

Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 23 August 2021 20:10 (two years ago) link

Not trying to be weird or brag or anything, but truly happy that my early 70s parents don't watch TV or know anything about the internet.

heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table), Monday, 23 August 2021 22:02 (two years ago) link

I wish you the best ET, I empathize with your situation, and I recommend a book called Stuff by Steketee/Frost. It was very compassionately written and totally not stupid. It changed my relationship with my mom after she read it.

― mambo jumbo (La Lechera), Saturday, January 4, 2014 10:14 PM (seven years ago) bookmarkflaglink

The Steketee/Frost book is great. Recommend it to anyone dealing with this.

― Elvis Telecom, Saturday, January 4, 2014
Thanks yall! (also to quincie, actual student of Prof. Stetekee). Just started reading it. Elvis, I seem to recall that somewhere you recommended a particular kind of shredder---crossbolt?

dow, Monday, 23 August 2021 23:32 (two years ago) link

Starting to lose it after a very short period of time, don’t know how Neanderthal does it.

― Hitsville Ukase (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, August 23, 2021 4:10 PM bookmarkflaglink

shit, I lose my mind all the time. gotta make sure to carve out the time for yourself every so often <3

Duke Detain (Neanderthal), Monday, 30 August 2021 00:35 (two years ago) link

good news:

*we got a new walker for dad, and he walks better with it
*we rearranged the furniture in the house, and he's moving better as it's a straighter shot from his chair to bathroom
*we got a portable ramp for dad outside, and that's nullified the risk outdoors, where he had his last fall
*we've had temporary physical therapy prescribed for him again which is helping
*mom is going back to work part-time doing a relatively low risk, low intensity job, and that will help

bad news:

*I'm hemorrhaging money, despite making 70k a year. that seems impossible, but we are. It is costing me wayyyy more to live here than it did last year as the rent is more expensive, mom spends a lot on groceries for us and stuff for dad like diapers, adult day care visits REALLY adds up and I split it with her/my bro. I'm going to have to approach the conversation about their cell phone bills, which I've paid now for about 6 years, and maybe taking their phones and finding their own plans, since they barely use their phones anyway. It's like over $100 a month, and adds up. yes, some of it is me being lazy and spending too much on food, but....there's definitely more expenditure than I expected.

*(don't get me wrong, I still have plenty of savings, but I can't lose money at this rate, esp if I'm finding it difficult to rebuild my savings)

*I'm having to renew this lease for another year. mom can't do it on her own. unfortunately, the idea I had of conning my brother to move in with us couldn't materialize (even though he needed a place to live) as we were closing in on our 60 day cancellation period, and it is way too risky to have us opt out of our lease with nowhere lined up to go. the thought of doing this another year is....ugh. hopefully we get the HSBC Waiver approved next year.

all in all, things are going better-ish lately, but my life feels very *on hold*. mom keeps trying to encourage me to date, but between pandemic and LOL this living arrangement, how even could I? fortunately I have zero desire to do it right now.

but...i am carving out pockets of time for me, so at least there's that.

Duke Detain (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 1 September 2021 02:39 (two years ago) link

my mother is just so brutal to my dad these days it's taking me everything not to scream at her.

I have held off because she has a lot of physical pain but the poor guy shuts down around her because she does nothing but yell at him and say he isn't trying.

but it's kind of poetic, dad screamed at mom all the time growing up, now they've reversed roles. cute.

I still have an anxious reaction like I did as a kid when it happens too. regress to my teens.

Duke Detain (Neanderthal), Saturday, 4 September 2021 02:17 (two years ago) link

Just started reading it. Elvis, I seem to recall that somewhere you recommended a particular kind of shredder---crossbolt?

Crosscut. If you have a LOT of shredding (boxes and boxes worth), it might be worthwhile to contact a third-party shredding service. My local box & ship store has one and I'd probably take stuff there rather than kill another shredder with the volume.

Elvis Telecom, Friday, 10 September 2021 00:38 (two years ago) link

hope the karma bank is paying triple interest to neando

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Friday, 10 September 2021 04:48 (two years ago) link

This is kind of small potatoes, but my parents, who are reasonably well-informed, are about as eager to "return to normal" as people can get. They're going to an art show at a small-ish gallery tomorrow, and I said I'd meet up with them beforehand for brunch, outdoors. My mom made a reservation...for indoors. I had to call and explain to her that I won't be eating indoors anytime soon, and that she and my dad probably shouldn't either, and she seemed a little shocked by my insistence.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 10 September 2021 17:22 (two years ago) link

xxpost Thanks, Elvis! Hadn't thought of third-party, hope they have crosscut, which might be more secure, if it really shreds, not just separates into those easily matched segments.
Neanderthal, maybe check Consumer Cellular for cheapo rates, and highly rated (by Consumer Reports readers' surveys etc etc) service. Their main competitor is Lively, with Jitterbug etc., dunno how that is.

dow, Friday, 10 September 2021 17:49 (two years ago) link

not a bad idea

also my dad doesn't use his phone and destroyed it yesterday so I think i'm just taking him off altogether. mom basically takes his calls for him on hers.

Duke Detain (Neanderthal), Friday, 10 September 2021 18:15 (two years ago) link

every day, mom continues to express disbelief that a stroke victim with bad arthritis in his knees sometimes can't move the way she wants him to.

yelled at him and said she wouldn't take care of him anymore if he didn't start listening to her (this was a week or so ago). i started bawling and hugging my dad tight because he had a reaction to it like it stung.

I started taking on extra things like driving dad to daycare on occasion to help out, and mom promised to try and be more mindful of the things she says.

all very tiring. i'm good cop, he does better with me.

you had me at "giallo" (Neanderthal), Thursday, 16 September 2021 20:35 (two years ago) link

I can't remember whether you've talked about this before, Neanderthal, but I wonder how much of her anger and vitriol at him is her fear of mortality (both his and hers), her own declining health, etc? I guess I don't really know what their relationship was like before, and you don't have to go into that, but it seems really likely that she's lashing out because she's absolutely terrified. It doesn't justify it, of course, but it could explain it.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Thursday, 16 September 2021 22:18 (two years ago) link

I'm sure that plays into it a bit. she's not in perfect health herself. there's a lot at play and I don't think she's worked it all out.

a therapist might help, idk the last time she saw one

you had me at "giallo" (Neanderthal), Thursday, 16 September 2021 22:20 (two years ago) link

someone took/stole my dad's portable wheelchair ramp off of our doorstep today.

i'm just at my wit's end with assholes right now.

you had me at "giallo" (Neanderthal), Saturday, 18 September 2021 00:39 (two years ago) link

Wishing you some hours or days of respite, neanderthal. You're a damn good good cop, but everyone needs time for themselves.

it is to laugh, like so, ha! (Aimless), Saturday, 18 September 2021 00:53 (two years ago) link

might go for a late night drive along the beachline tonight and jsut blast tunes.

you had me at "giallo" (Neanderthal), Saturday, 18 September 2021 01:00 (two years ago) link

Damn, that is dirty. Best to you, Neanderthal. Hope you can catch some breaks soon.

Taliban! (PBKR), Saturday, 18 September 2021 02:00 (two years ago) link


bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Saturday, 18 September 2021 04:28 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

had a positive moment of clarity today. dad fell again today, but not seriously. the frustration was more that it happened during one of my classes and I was freaked out cos he was not in a position I could quickly get him up.

but I didn't let it overwhelm me today, I quickly sent my class to break, got it covered, and managed to get him to a temporary sitting position and heaved him the fuck up.

i felt proud of myself that i'm able to actually serve this role because I don't think I could have done this pre-anxiety medication. yes...i have bad days. but i'm standing. and once upon a time, this would have driven me into committing myself. but it's not doing that.

im going to be ok.

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, 7 October 2021 19:21 (one year ago) link

also managed to return to class before break ended lol. my boss's boss suggested I take a few mins before jumping back in and took over temporarily.

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, 7 October 2021 19:26 (one year ago) link

he fell and hit his head today, little cut on his forehead. *sigh*. there goes my Saturday. hoping he is ok.

mom left him alone standing with his walker for 2 seconds, and inexplicably, he was on the floor way in front of his walker. no idea how that happened.

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Saturday, 16 October 2021 13:40 (one year ago) link

Dang sorry. You took him to Bond right? How'd he like that?

maf you one two (maffew12), Saturday, 16 October 2021 14:20 (one year ago) link

he had a great time. we all did! want to take him to Halloween Kills now.

getting ready to go to ER.

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Saturday, 16 October 2021 14:27 (one year ago) link

He's still there though mostly out of precaution. ER thinks his meds slowed his heart and made him dizzy and took him off said meds.

He is apparently going to a short term rehab facility. I feel guilty because I don't just find this good news because it's for the best for his health and mobility, but because (especially) Mom and I need a break. They can do the things we've had to for the last year temporarily.

Hoping I can visit him as I miss him already

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Sunday, 17 October 2021 20:46 (one year ago) link

Sometimes it's for the best for him and you and there is nothing wrong with feeling that.

Hannibal Lecture (PBKR), Sunday, 17 October 2021 21:18 (one year ago) link

thanks <3

going to see him after dinner later. going to tell him Marx Brothers jokes until he laughs and mom rolls her eyes and storms out

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Sunday, 17 October 2021 21:21 (one year ago) link

Wait was he admitted to the hospital? Medicare doesn’t pay for rehab unless there was a hospital admission for at least 3 nights?

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 18 October 2021 02:13 (one year ago) link

Oh wait that is waived during COVID apparently

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 18 October 2021 02:16 (one year ago) link

He was admitted yes. Tomorrow will be his third day.

They changed one of his medications as they think it was slowing his heart. I'll know more tomorrow... I'm gonna work out of his room

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Monday, 18 October 2021 02:29 (one year ago) link

^^^for finding a skilled rehab with decent quality ratings. The social worker/discharge planner may try to railroad you into a particular facility, but you have the right to choose.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 18 October 2021 03:00 (one year ago) link

thanks quincie. we took this under advisement, looks like they found ag ood facility for him. they just have to clear a UTI first to send him there.

I've worked out of the hospital and spent time with him this week, he's in good spirits. mom has been too, probably because the hospital is taking care of him and not her for once.

I got a massage last night. holy gooood did I need that.

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 October 2021 16:51 (one year ago) link

*a good, not an odd facility, though my dad arguably does need to go to one of those too given his terrible jokes

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 October 2021 16:52 (one year ago) link

inexplicably was given a 2k performance award at work today. it doesn't pay out until March (almost like a 'bonus'), and I have to stay employed through then to get it, but....very shocked (in a good way). which makes me feel bad for my recent grousing (which wasn't about my department as much as the company), honestly I am very grateful for it and this will shut me up for a long time no matter how shitty things get.

as I am spending a lot more living with my folks and taking care of dad and also I have a big tax bill coming up for a 401k withdrawal and this will help mitigate that a lot.

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 19 October 2021 22:17 (one year ago) link

Thanks quincie, rat on neanderthal!

dow, Tuesday, 19 October 2021 23:52 (one year ago) link

Well deserved I am sure Neander, glad you had a bright spot this week!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Wednesday, 20 October 2021 02:14 (one year ago) link

ok so UTI seems to be dealt with but haven't sent him to rehab center yet because they did a CT scan of his pelvis to see why he was retaining urine and found a huge mass of dookie up in there, he was apparenlty majorly constipated (which mom suspected for a while, but he would never be honest/couldn't tell us due to his condition).

they think this is why he's retaining urine AND why his heart rate is up, they've been enemaing him all day.

I guess this is the last step before he comes home. I didn't get to see him today as mom told me the smell would make me sick, so that was disappointing, but I'll see him tomorrow.

brother hasn't seen him once. he's busy, I know, but he also does this thing when he becomes afraid to visit dad in the hospital, so I'm gonna have to be a hardass on him soon if he can't make 20 minutes.

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, 21 October 2021 20:36 (one year ago) link

he's ugh. still retaining urine after enema, heart rate is still high, so they think his medication that helps lower his blood pressure/heart rate caused his fall, but without it, his heart rate goes up a lot.

it's not like he's in danger or anything but we keep spinning wheels, while meanwhile he has a room available at rehab center that I'm sure won't be held forever.

and then one of my friends last night lays on me a guilt trip that I should be doing more to help my mother escalate things with the doctor (i.e. why haven't we talked to the urologist yet, we always seem to miss them). that didn't help, because now I think I'm doing too little but I'm here this morning and have been calling the nurse and trying to do things so mom doesn't have to come in and can work. but I also was here a lot this week despite working full time (I spent 16 hours of my work week working from here, only went home when I had classes to teach, and the one day where mom said not to come as he was getting an enema).

oh and btw this is a Jesus hospital :/

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Saturday, 23 October 2021 14:58 (one year ago) link

being discharged as we speak! to go to his rehab facility. excellent!

mom and I have had a good system of being present, which has been needed because his doctors seem to be the lead character in Memento and continually ask questions they've asked 30 times already or forget he can't talk and act puzzled when he doesn't launch into a monologue on command.

managed to work out of his hospital room while my friend had a meltdown and called me in mid-panic attack at the same time.

the utility infielder of theatre (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 26 October 2021 21:41 (one year ago) link

that sounds extremely stressful Neanderthal but getting out of hospital sounds like a real positive step, happy for you!

Tracer Hand, Tuesday, 26 October 2021 21:48 (one year ago) link

major positive step. one step closer to getting him back home! and getting strength back.

the utility infielder of theatre (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 26 October 2021 21:49 (one year ago) link

glad to hear he's out of hospital, Neanderthal.

I'm a sovereign jizz citizen (the table is the table), Thursday, 28 October 2021 21:26 (one year ago) link

thanks tabes! I visited him yesterday in the rehab facility. it's a little....well...chaotic, but he was watching TV (as usual) and apparently walking fine. looking forward to him being home soon, though it has given us a bit of a break as well and let professionals take care of him to an extent that exceeds our capability for the time being. but his chair is lonely so I want to see him sitting in it soon. thinking a week or two and he'll be back.

the utility infielder of theatre (Neanderthal), Thursday, 28 October 2021 21:39 (one year ago) link


dow, Thursday, 28 October 2021 21:44 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Dad comes home Monday!

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Saturday, 13 November 2021 20:45 (one year ago) link

he's home!

only bad thing - they sent home someone else's meds with him (in addition to his own). that's...pretty startling.

who do I report that to?

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:53 (one year ago) link

(I mean, we're calling the facility to alert them so they can pick up the meds, but I'm worried that they might do this again and want this addressed beyond just telling them)

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 15 November 2021 17:53 (one year ago) link

Director of Nursing at the facility

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Monday, 15 November 2021 19:10 (one year ago) link

Thank you!

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Monday, 15 November 2021 19:21 (one year ago) link

Done btw

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:00 (one year ago) link

Dad fell this morning. Home less than 24 hours.

He's ok but...ugh

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:00 (one year ago) link

The fall cycle really sucks. I’m sorry :(

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 15:16 (one year ago) link

on the plus side, we hadn't yet tried the gait belt, which should make a big diff (we hadn't been using one previously. the shit I don't know, loooord...)

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:51 (one year ago) link

how easy is it to get a doctor's prescription for a hospital bed?

I'm tempted to offer to give them my bed as it's lower.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 17:54 (one year ago) link

The script is easy; it’s getting Medicate to pay for it that is virtually impossible unless he is bed bound, requires head elevated a minimum of 30 degrees, and has pressure sores.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:09 (one year ago) link


mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:09 (one year ago) link

Tho to be fair you live in the capital of Medicare fraud, so maybe your chances are better than average

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:11 (one year ago) link

lol. i think a better idea is for me to offer my bed to them, as it's lower. theirs is a bit high and it's on a box spring which isn't the type that they recommend removing. mine is much lower and it's a shorter walk to my bedroom.

mom is thinking about it. my bed's new and comfy and built for 2.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:15 (one year ago) link

Do you have home PT/OT coming? This is the perfect sort of thing for them to advise on

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:35 (one year ago) link

both - in the past the OT talked about their concerns re: the bed height but their suggestio nwas "take out the box spring" which we can't cos it's not the wrong type of bed to do that. but we never gave the idea of switching beds.

waiting to hear from them when they're coming, one of them was supposed to be here today.

good idea for asking them!

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 16 November 2021 18:40 (one year ago) link

another day, another fall. more like a slip this time, out of bed.

this is just ridiculous. I had to go to a follow-up appointment for my vaccine study, I was only gone 90 minutes. what, I can't even leave the house now without this happening?

mom doesn't seem to be able to keep him steady, and didn't use the gait belt this morning (why have it if we don't use it?).

he's complaining of dizziness. so when the therapist comes today we're going to have to talk to her and figure out what to do.

we can't live like this. and dad says his knee hurts now.

we're getting a new industrial wheelchair, I've suggested to mom using the old one we have in the house until then. she doesn't seem to want to as she thinks he'll get used to it and never walk again but honestly what's the alternative?

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 15:07 (one year ago) link

I feel for you, Neanderthal. I've seen your situation in my own family, where new problems emerge faster than you can address them, and the latest solutions that you so arduously put in place are outmoded almost as soon as you've: a) bought the equipment or b) changed the meds or c) hired the home aide or d)... whatever it was that was supposed to 'fix it'. You get on a treadmill of minor crises that seems to be accelerating. At some point you can strike the word 'minor'.

All I can say is you're being a fabulous caregiver and if there's any way you can shuffle some of your burden onto family, friends or neighbors, it's worth thinking about. You aren't superman and trying to be will eventually imperil your ability to do be of any help at all. Don't break yourself!

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 20:12 (one year ago) link

really I need my brother to step up and I've treated him with kid gloves on the subject and I have to be blunt. we've had a good relationship for years and I guess part of me is afraid of splintering that but he's basically living his life unimpeded while the rest of his family is making sacrifices. I don't believe everybody is inherently capable of this type of support but if dude gave up even like 10% of his social engagements it'd be a bigger help and he just won't. yeah, he's busy, but I had to turn things down outright.

*venting*. I've always been an introvert and I grew more extrovert tendencies after I got on Effexor, which made me a more social animal ,but that side of me is almost gone now. I'm too exhausted to deal with other people.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 20:16 (one year ago) link

that's a really nice post Aimless and as it happens I totally agree with it. I really feel for your situation too Neanderthal. I love very far from my folks but this sort of thing is going to start happening soon and my sis does not have a great track record with helping out on this sort of thing. So I have some thinking to do.

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 23:15 (one year ago) link

Agree ty for that post Aimless

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 23:19 (one year ago) link

ty, but this isn't about me. I'm an orphan now.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Wednesday, 17 November 2021 23:39 (one year ago) link

Money does not solve all of the aging parents problems, but damn it sure helps with options. In the absence of anything resembling a care system i.e. the USofA

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 18 November 2021 00:08 (one year ago) link

Like, my dad had 10 years of decline before dying from Alzheimer’s, but my family situation was completely different because $$$

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Thursday, 18 November 2021 00:10 (one year ago) link

Ne, maybe ask Home Health about bedrails? I ordered a couple of set, w/o dealing w HH or Medicare, because couldn't wait---but, after merely rolling a little too far sometimes in her sleep, or slipping, as you mentioned, then (don't know if your father ever gets this restless, but neither did she before this) my mother went in hospital and tried to climb over those professional rails at least a couple times, ditto hospital bed during home hospice---the ones i ordered were never used, but very popular, with mostly good customer reviews:
And these, the regular size:
There are others, of course.

dow, Thursday, 18 November 2021 01:34 (one year ago) link

thanks dow.

fortunately, there are still house calls made! apparently....our skilled nursing gave us a brochure for at-home health care for minor issues and we used it today, and thank god. they came and examined my dad's knee, noted it was swollen, wrote an RX for x-ray, gave him injections, said he can do a little walking but to limit it for now, and the x-ray will be done *at our house*.

godsend. all that for a $35 co-pay.

don't get me wrong, senior care in FL sucks balls, but that was the only good thing that happened today. it was my folks anniversary. 49 years. it was pretty much ruined. mom has been in tears most of the day.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 November 2021 00:59 (one year ago) link

Sorry about the anniversary sad, but YAY for scoring a house calls practice! That is HUGE and will come in handy big time.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 November 2021 02:33 (one year ago) link

Seriously. We couldn't have handled an urgent care wait today. This was eaaasy

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 November 2021 02:40 (one year ago) link

Strength to you, Neandi, and if your brother really will blow up or cut you out for asking him to do 10% more than nothing, maybe better to get that over with than keep having it hang ominously in yr future.

bobo honkin' slobo babe (sic), Friday, 19 November 2021 06:05 (one year ago) link

Is there something *very specific* that you can ask him to do on a weekly basis? Some people need a discrete assignment spelled out for them when a general “hey can you maybe step up and help here” doesn’t work. Plus it makes them look like a total dick if they say no or fail to execute. Shaming for the win!

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 November 2021 15:06 (one year ago) link

yeah that's what i'm planning to do - "can you come over this week to help mom take him to appointment" etc etc

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 November 2021 15:28 (one year ago) link


Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Friday, 19 November 2021 15:28 (one year ago) link

My mom will be relocating to be closer to me in the next year or two; my brother lives out of state, but he is soooooooo manipulable (is that a word?) via guilting and I WILL be making use of this on the regular.

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Friday, 19 November 2021 15:59 (one year ago) link

sooooooooooooooo, lots happened. anyway, last night, the friend I mentioned on the cancer thread was in town one last night, with his girlfriend, and especially due to his recent bad news, I wanted to see him before he left. I had maybe a 3 hour window as dad's usual bedtime is 10, and I didn't want mom by herself for that. also, friend's Jeep had a battery that wouldn't start, so I offered to jump his car.

I'd only just finished work, and mom was out doing errands, so when she got back, she told me I should go meet my friend, but that she did have to go to the laundromat across the street for a bit (our dryer only semi-dries lately, sigh....). this meant dad would be unsupervised for a short while.

he was seated in his recliner, so against my better judgment, I said "ok", as we've done this before mostly without issue. However, on occasion, he's tried to get out of his chair. Usually, it's because he wants to change the channel and doesn't have the remote - he'll try to get up to get it and will slide on his butt. so I gave him both remotes so he wouldn't do that (which is my usual move), and told him mom would be home soon and not to move (he understands conversation very well, and he agreed).

I get to the friend's and am in the process of jumping the car when mom texts me that she got home and found dad on the floor. We don't know what he was trying to do, but mom said his ice pack for his knee was on the floor, and also she didn't see the remotes on the arm chair. We think he either knocked the remotes off the arm chair or dropped his ice pack and tried to pick it up. I told mom to call 911 as I was 45 minutes away, and they got there in like 5-10 minutes and picked him up without issue, he's fine, not hurt. but of course, I was flipping out and then i slowly calmed down.

Today, the plan was to relax. I had plans with another friend in the morning. Well....first of all, I had agreed to housesit for my friend on the 21st and 22nd. Well, apparently he meant 20th-22nd, and didn't realize he gave me the wrong dates, so he messages me after he and his wife and kids have already left the house to go to an out of town resort, and tells me they've left and all is ready for me to come by. Was pretty aggravated about this but I wasn't about to punish his animals for it, and it's not a terribly difficult or time consuming thing, so whatever, I pencilled that in in my head and said I would talk to him later about his 'mistake'.

so then I go to get dad up, and find this bump on his chest, resembling that of a hernia (which he actually does have). he says it doesn't hurt, but we hadn't seen it the night before, and it was concerning. we were worried it might have happened during fall. so reluctantly we got ready to take him to get it checked out, meaning I had to cancel on my second friend in two days, and mom and I had to give up a huge chunk of the day we'd planned to use to relax. we figured we'd just have them do his x-ray since the group that was supposed to come by to do it at our house still hadn't come by.

we were both stressing and very exhausted, and mom called my brother to ask if he could come by, because both her and I were mentally exhausted, we were going to have to load dad into a car with a bum knee (which we hadn't done before), and we could use the help. He was working, and she asked if he could take off just once to help (since he about never leaves work for anything). he messaged me to try and weasel out of it and I just bluntly said "I ain't gonna tell you what to do, and I ain't telling you to get fired from yur job, but mom and I are on our last legs here" and proceeded to tell him that we've given up a LOT, that I've had to cancel all of my plans for the weekend, and that I've had to take off of work in the past too.

motherfucker shocks me by agreeing to leave early and he showed up and was actually a huge help. we tried going to multiple urgent cares with X-rays but got turned away for a variety of reasons (one said he needed to be able to stand on his own and that their facility was smaller than a hospitals so we couldn't come back with him to help him stand). so we wound up going to the ER, the bump on his chest the doctors didn't find to be a concern (they felt it was small, and just related to his hernia but not a pressing issue according to them). x-ray showed no breaks, and dad seems to be able to put more weight on it, as we learned while loading him into the car.

but my brother took over and would not let mom do anything (to give her a break), and I also got a bit of a break, and it helped a ton.

it's too early to say he's turned a corner but this is the first real time he's really sacrificed anything. and obviously we don't want him leaving work often, it's just that today, we were too tired to go it alone.

(I did also manage to walk the dog twice and feed the fucker in the midst of all this).

let's just say I'm watching football tomorrow and little else.

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Sunday, 21 November 2021 04:45 (one year ago) link

(xray was for his knee, and the friend who I was housesitting for is diff than the friend who I had to cancel plans with. my whole post was sloppy, sorry)

Cool Im An Situation (Neanderthal), Sunday, 21 November 2021 04:47 (one year ago) link

my folks are now both 77, which must be an ILX approved age. Doing pretty good aside from my mum’s late onset, slow progression Parkinson’s which is totally managed by medication for now.

assert (matttkkkk), Sunday, 21 November 2021 08:32 (one year ago) link

My mom is in her early 90's and is in assisted living. She's well-cared for, and has something of a social network there. (She has dementia, as do the other residents.) When I visit or call we have fine, upbeat, normal conversations, but at some point she will refer to a recent visit she had from a friend or relative who has been dead for years. She has essentially outlived her friends and family, but has brought them all back. Every so often she will say she's feeling down, because she heard that so-and-so (again, long deceased) has recently passed away. I find it interesting, this conjuring back the dead only to kill them off again and again. Not that she's doing it intentionally, I think it's just a subconscious attempt to make sense of an increasingly confusing situation.

henry s, Sunday, 21 November 2021 18:29 (one year ago) link

I think My Mother is losing it mentally, she is 70 and just generally confused. She lives Down The Road and has other children but all lontano. So I fix her internet for her, but she phones up the social work and rants on my behalf, I have an assistant but she's... non-confrontional like. So I guess my mother will die in the next year or so and I don't know what the fuck to do, I can't use the phone. My father occasionally sends me football shirts from Korea but is otherwise not to be relied on, my siblings live far away and have babies and such to deal with, I'm just scared what's going to happen to me shortly. Social Worker hates me for spurious reasons, I have a cat and a fridge and am acting as an adult but eeeeeeh... Imma be put in some home when my mother dies and that's gunna be soon

The Speak Of The Mearns (Jonathan Hellion Mumble), Sunday, 21 November 2021 18:56 (one year ago) link

my mom died a year ago and this morning i dreamt she’d finally come back, we were getting ready to go out together and i was so relieved and happy and excited. i heard her walking into the room but then my guy spoke to me, it was actually him walking in irl and i woke up and remembered she was dead and it felt like i’d been kicked. (it’s okay tho, i’m okay, her death was okay, it all just keeps being strange)

cookie hat, esq. (cat), Monday, 22 November 2021 19:17 (one year ago) link

My mother just came up to mines to watch the football... there is no football on today. Then she started rambling about milk bottles, I don't know what the fuck is going on in her head

The Speak Of The Mearns (Jonathan Hellion Mumble), Monday, 22 November 2021 19:47 (one year ago) link

aw dude, i’m sorry. my mom was pretty scattered for the last few years, i found it best to just roll with it in a laid-back way even though it was scary to see her unmooring like that.

cookie hat, esq. (cat), Monday, 22 November 2021 20:03 (one year ago) link

boy do i hate having to be the responsible adult in the room

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Saturday, 27 November 2021 11:02 (one year ago) link

so sorry, Brad. it really isn’t fair.

a swift, a shrike, a kite, a (cat), Saturday, 27 November 2021 20:29 (one year ago) link

Sorry, Brad, I know some of how that goes.
Got this today from Chuck Eddy---it's not private, as you'll see, so okay to post here, though it is a powerfully candid, concentrated account. He's mentioned some of it in the Voice and elsewhere, over the years, but even if you've read that, brace yourselves (no melodrama, "life and life only"):

New post on Eliminated for Reasons of Space

Peggy Eddy, 1931-2021
by Chuck Eddy
Fifty years ago this past September 22, Margaret Mae Eddy (né Richmond né Griffith) adopted me and my four siblings, aged 4 to 11 at the time. She would have been 40. My natural mom had died of ovarian cancer at 46 the previous June. Peggy, as most people called her, had been a nurse in the hospital where my "real" mom Elizabeth (also a nurse) died; it's where Peggy met my dad, who within a year she married. I've been told all my life (no idea if it's true) that Elizabeth somehow approved of the pairing, since she recognized Peggy was a great caregiver. Which was an important trait, since my dad died -- committed suicide -- two and a half years after the adoption, in February 1974. He was 43. I'm used to parents dying young. Old, not so much.

Peggy wasn't always a great stepmom. She was, in a lot of ways, it seems to me, psychologically abusive. Someday maybe I'll go into details; I finally, in this past year, confronted her about it. That was probably a good thing to do. But abuse or no, it's hard to know what would have become of my two brothers, two sisters and me if she hadn't shown up in our life. We had spent maybe a year and a half in a Catholic orphanage (St. Vincent/Sarah Fisher Home, Farmington, Michigan) when Elizabeth was dying and my dad thought he was incapable of taking care of us. We could easily have gone back there, or been split up from each other. (Even at Sarah Fisher, we were divided into different "cabins" based on age and gender.) Peggy is the main reason we stayed together. Think of that -- my dad hung himself and left her with five kids who weren't even hers. But she'd made a commitment, and she kept it. Stubbornly, which is the way she did pretty much everything. Trying to reconcile the saintliness of that act with the memory of whatever she did wrong in raising us (hey it's not like I've always been a perfect parent myself!) has kept me in therapy, on and off, for pretty much all of my adult life.

After high school -- well, after my first year in college at University of Detroit -- I got the hell out of Michigan, shut the door behind me, and almost never looked back. As life strategies go, that kind of compartmentalization has served me pretty well over the past six decades. Three of my siblings stayed in suburban Detroit. One of them stopped talking to Peggy a few -- maybe several -- years ago; I never knew specifically why, and never asked, even though Peggy asked me if I knew why pretty much whenever we talked, which wasn't that often but was often enough: on her birthday, Mother's Day, Christmas, a couple times when she was hospitalized a few months back. Even though she'd never met him, she almost always also asked about my wife's dad, who's in his 70s and has early onset dementia and is in assisted living here in Austin. She inevitably had advice about how we should or shouldn't be dealing with him. She was always full of unsolicited opinions about stuff like that. She could be a real know-it-all, a real pain in the ass.

Last time we talked was October 15, her 90th birthday. She was grumpy, and it didn't help that I probably asked a couple stupid questions about her medical treatment. Especially being so geographically detached -- unlike my youngest sister Emily and stepsister Nancy, who had to put up with her every day -- it was hard to keep all the medical issues straight. Her body had become increasingly frail over the past few years. As recently as this summer, though, her mind was sharp. She told me what she remembered about polio and smallpox. Fairly recently, she was still providing in-person care to elderly patients years younger than she was.

This morning, Emily called me. Peggy had died peacefully, on her couch, sometime after waking up. She had just, in the past day or two, come to terms with the realization that she was about to go into assisted living care herself. Now I have to figure out if I'm going to fly up for the funeral next week. I've been trying to sort out my mixed feelings all day. I don't even know if I'm comfortable flying now, what with omicron and all. I'm leaning toward going if Emily needs the support, if she says my being there would be helpful. But I've been to enough funerals, since I was little, to know that it will only depress me. I don't want to have to stand around shaking strangers' hands all day. Michigan December weather won't help; my fingers turn white and go numb with Raynaud's as soon as the temperature drops below 50ºF. On the other hand, maybe obviously, there's a good chance I'll feel guilty if I *don't* go. I already feel guilty for not swinging up to Michigan when I visited my daughter in Cleveland this summer. But none of these seem like legitimate reasons to go, or not to. Still trying to process all this. Maybe I should sleep on it.

Chuck Eddy | December 3, 2021 at 4:39 pm | Categories: Not Music | URL:

dow, Saturday, 4 December 2021 01:15 (one year ago) link

I told him I thought he would be wise to sleep on it.

dow, Saturday, 4 December 2021 01:20 (one year ago) link

That is really well written, thanks.

Goofy the Grifter (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 4 December 2021 13:47 (one year ago) link

mom's broken toe meant she opted to pass on visiting dad at the skilled nursing tonight so I went. told him she had a broken toe, and he got the familiar furrowed brow look that he used to get pre-stroke , asking me "broken toe?". and I put him on the phone with her and he managed to get more out than he usually does in terms of speech, asked her how she was doing and all.

it was sweet to see.