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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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen 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 (sixteen years ago) link


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

I blame my dad's wine.

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

terribLY difficult. Sheesh!

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

five years pass...

This. Heavy shit, huh?

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


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

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

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

and everyone else :/

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

Siblings help -- if you're lucky.

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

I'm sorry to hear all of that.

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

me too. suerte, ian.

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


waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Saturday, 18 February 2023 20:40 (one month ago) link

My mom turned 74 yesterday, on vacation in Mexico with one of my aunts. (She goes down for two weeks around her birthday almost every year — she skipped the last two years because, y'know, pandemic, and she was pretty salty about it. We joke that she's going to visit her secret other family.)

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 18 February 2023 20:54 (one month ago) link

my mom turned 75 last week, on her way to SF today. We're all in a very specific stream of experience right now.

POLIZISTEN VERSINKEN IM SCHLAMM (forksclovetofu), Sunday, 19 February 2023 00:05 (one month ago) link

Daddy made not one but two hilarious jokes at dinner, both in service of teasing my bro

Using only his hands.

He's still got it

waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Sunday, 19 February 2023 00:58 (one month ago) link

Heh forks u right xpost

waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Sunday, 19 February 2023 00:58 (one month ago) link

the eye doctor w/ dad is the sixth layer of hell. not because of him, but because these facilities never adapt to people with disabilities, and my mother acts embarrassed/annoyed/keeps dramatically apologizing when he can't do what is asked as if he has any control over it and if it doesn't make him feel bad.

looks like it's time to revisit the convo i'm tired of having w/her (has to have been 20 times already).

also trying to work remotely from here but that isn't going well, couldn't take the time off though due to a class.

waiting for a czar to fall (Neanderthal), Thursday, 23 February 2023 18:55 (one month ago) link

My dad, 81, had a stroke a few weeks back. Luckily for him, it was a pretty mild one. It also helped the doctors discover he's about 90% blocked in his carotid artery. So, the experience may have added years to his life. My family members in general are remarkably hard to kill.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 23 February 2023 18:57 (one month ago) link

had a zoom call with my aunt and my mom's social worker this morning and he was basically like, you need to set up a new home (with 'memory care') for her in the next six months, and then kidnap her and take her there

also he's not wrong

mookieproof, Saturday, 4 March 2023 03:22 (three weeks ago) link

my brother send me and my other bro a long text last week about how dad freaked him out bcs of his behaviour. Dad's in his late 70s and fairly immobile due to a hip replacment that made things worse instead of better and possible parkinsons (some sort of mild palsy anyway).

Bro had apparently organised to drop round and talk with dad about cleaning, detailling and selling his car. I dont know why that'd been decided, but apparently once he turned up and started taling about it dad got belligerent, had completely forgotten this'd been planned and then got very argumentative with my bro about anything to do with working out the price etc. But in a confused, irrational kind of way? Bro said mum was brushing it off "no thats just how he is now". Bro eventually got fed up and went home.

I mean maybe Dad's upset cos selling car = loss of independance, cars are presumably important to him (he sold them all his adult career). Having to admi he's become infirm.

But there's also the looming concern of dementia, which is what did for his own mum.

I live in another state. I see my folks one a year if I'm lucky, and I hardly even talk to them anymore. I know they'll refuse to move even though they live in a house on a steep hill so theres loads of stairs to get in the house. I dunno how much my brothers help out. I left the family home town 30 years ago, so this is all weirdly remote to me, and I'm not sure why I've gotten so emotionally detatched.

Stoop Crone (Trayce), Saturday, 4 March 2023 04:44 (three weeks ago) link

dad's been fidgeting a lot in his sleep the last few days, moving his legs around and sometimes off of the bed, and his pulse has been over 100 and he's woken up breathing heavy, though his oxygen and temperature are fine. His pulse used to be high regularly but he went on beta blockers so now it's normally in the 70s. he did tell us he felt dizzy. also, he has restless leg syndrome (as do I), so wasn't sure if that's why the constant leg movement. we also suspect dad probably has anxiety, for obvious reasons, so there's that too.

Naturally, mom's frantic nature didn't help, as first she comes in telling me dad's oxygen is at 40% when she put the oximeter on him - I had to remind mom that if it were that low, he'd be near death, that it probably slipped off, and when she retook it, of course it was like 98. then she badgers dad with a battery of questions and then gives him no time to respond, even though he's mostly non-verbal and takes a while to respond, which no doubt stressed him out.

trying to figure out whether to take him in to be checked out or what, but this was a good reminder to get a new bed rail since our last one was recalled.

hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Thursday, 9 March 2023 15:09 (two weeks ago) link

pulse back to normal, so we're just gonna watch and see. honestly he's been like this on random occasions before, and we have blood pressure cuffs/oximeters/thermometers checking him regularly.

hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Thursday, 9 March 2023 15:21 (two weeks ago) link

update on my above situation (I've since been out to spend time with her once, with my wife and the kid, who she hadn't been able to see in years now) and that was a good visit and my assessment at the time (mid Feb) was that she had about 2 months left, and that seems to be holding up. Her cancer has started to spread, so they were going to change the treatment this week, but it was apparent her blood ox was extremely low; a few days in the hospital indicating the cancer came back in her lungs in a manner that it's restricting oxygen. Recommendation from oncologist is going to be to stop chemo. She was hospitalized but left against medical advice today saying she was going home to her dog and is insisting she will get chemo next week. Appointment in the morning I think will disabuse her of this notion. My sister and I are handling all of this remotely while her old friend transports her to and from the hospital. They did send oxygen home with her...but she fucking smokes. So she's either going to blow herself up, or, more likely, just not use the oxygen enough, get hypoxia and pass out again (which is what happened this week). She's still alone. Sister going up next week and me a few days later...and probably remaining there for some time (but I suspect that won't last longer than the end of April at most).

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Friday, 17 March 2023 03:02 (one week ago) link

Sorry to hear that, akm. Smoking is the devil. When I was in my late teens, my grandfather got me to sneak him cigarettes into the hospital where he was recovering from having surgery to remove a cancerous section of his colon. He would not, or could not, quit.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Friday, 17 March 2023 03:10 (one week ago) link

it is really insane. I say that as someone with a history of substance abuse issues, but in no way do any of them compare to the insane grip cigarettes have had on my mother. they are her only true love. she talks about how her brother taught her to smoke when she was 13. she has never once stopped. I smoked half heartedly for about 2-3 years 30 years ago and finally quit because I hated the smell on my clothes.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Friday, 17 March 2023 03:13 (one week ago) link

does anyone have any book recommendations or internet resources to support someone with a terminally ill parent? feeling pretty lost right now.

not too strange just bad audio (brimstead), Monday, 20 March 2023 20:30 (one week ago) link

I don’t right at the moment but I wanted to say you’re not alone here, I hope you are finding some strength brimstead

assert (matttkkkk), Monday, 20 March 2023 20:53 (one week ago) link

thank you, mattt

not too strange just bad audio (brimstead), Monday, 20 March 2023 21:15 (one week ago) link

i'm sorry, brimstead. i also don't know of any resources for your particular situation, but like mattt, i'm wishing you all the support and strength i can. little acts of kindness could help them, or maybe gently asking them what they need right now? it's difficult all around. <\3

so amazing moments ever. . (cat), Monday, 20 March 2023 21:26 (one week ago) link

Brimstead, this is not exactly what you are asking for, but I found the book Staring at the Sun, by Irvin Yalom, to be immensely helpful in addressing anxiety about death. It may be of some comfort in thinking about your own parent's passing. It doesn't really contain any practical advice about caring for someone who is terminally ill, though.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Monday, 20 March 2023 22:08 (one week ago) link

I've not read it (it came out at a time I wasn't able to tackle it) but I have heard wonderful things about Dying - A Memoir by Cory Taylor (an Australian writer). A friend was involved with it at the time and said it was a remarkable piece.

assert (matttkkkk), Monday, 20 March 2023 23:15 (one week ago) link

Being Mortal, Atul Gwande

mom tossed in kimchee (quincie), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 00:35 (one week ago) link

I depended on advice and instructions from professional caregivers, but books might have helped, might help the next time, at least in getting more focused----here are a bunch, incl. authorized manuals; checking customer reviews might give a fairly clear idea of any that could be useful, possibly:

dow, Tuesday, 21 March 2023 02:00 (one week ago) link

Thank you all, much appreciated <3

not too strange just bad audio (brimstead), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 04:05 (one week ago) link

STRONG recommend for this book DIGGING OUT by Michael Tompkins (who you may recognize if you have watched any latter-day Hoarders, he's one of the doctors and is very compassionate -- and effective) I finally found someone to help my mom with her living situation (a professional organizer via NAPO) and she recommended it to me. I finally started reading it and wish I had known about it earlier, it would have really eased some pain.
Anyway, if you are dealing with a loved one who has a hoarding tendency/problem, this book is for you <3

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 14:34 (one week ago) link

My dad developed complications from the surgery he underwent last week to put a stent in his carotid artery. The possibility of his death, which I thought I had reconciled myself to, has hit me much harder than I thought it would have. He seems to be making slow but steady improvements, which is good, but I'm really worried and sad about the idea of losing him, and that's something I didn't expect, given our relationship.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 14:41 (one week ago) link

sorry to read about everyone else in the same/similar boat. I will say that taking ativan every morning is helping me significantly with my own anxieties about what is likely going to be a very shitty upcoming month. My mother has been hospitalized 4 times in the past week for falls caused by low blood oxygen; they kept releasing her but are now holding her until my sister arrives, at least. We are going to have to convince her to go on hospice care; I'm fairly positive they are not going to grant her more chemo treatments but she's under the delusion that they will. I've nothing against chemo in theory and it certainly has extended her life; she's lived 2 years longer than anyone expected, but it's clearly time to stop now, it's stopped working against her cancer which is spreading. I'll be heading to south dakota over the weekend and spending what I fully expect to be 2-3 weeks of hell trying to sort out what's next.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 15:30 (one week ago) link

first of all, brimstead, I am so very sorry to hear about your situation, and send my best. same for akm and jimbeaux.


hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 15:33 (one week ago) link

I guess there was no second of all, sorry about that.

hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 15:34 (one week ago) link

sending love and strength to you all!

Goose Bigelow, Fowl Gigolo (the table is the table), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 16:49 (one week ago) link

re: books on dying, many many years ago I read Sogyal Rinpoche's The Book of Living and Dying. I had flirted with buddhism at the time, didn't commit to it as a practice, but I don't think you need to to find much of this book very comforting. Much of it has stayed with me and I'm likely going to read it again soon.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 16:56 (one week ago) link

Having watched the most recent John Oliver episode my biggest current worry with my mom is that I think she owns a timeshare in Mexico that I might get saddled with when she dies. (If that turns out to be the case, I will fly down there and set the building on fire and see whether that resolves the issue.)

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 18:29 (one week ago) link

and make Mexico pay for it?

hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 18:35 (one week ago) link

(jokes 7 years past expiry-date!)

hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 18:35 (one week ago) link

I lolled

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 18:39 (one week ago) link

Didn't know about xpost Digging Out, thanks! A very illuminating study-saga that quincie and Elvis Telecom recommended, on this very thread, I think, is Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, by pioneering researchers-therapists Gail Steketee (quincie's professor) and Randy Frost. I'm a bit leery of hoarding bools about hoarding (why they say they've stopped giving print-out sheets in workshops), so haven't checked their others yet---but Digging Out looks good...

dow, Tuesday, 21 March 2023 19:05 (one week ago) link

Oh yeah i read STUFF back when it came out, again a few years later. It's good for understanding hoarding and its many facets. Digging Out is specifically aimed at family members trying to deal with loved ones who are exhibiting hoarding behaviors. They're both good!

Piggy Lepton (La Lechera), Tuesday, 21 March 2023 19:31 (one week ago) link

thanks, that looks super helpful.

sending best wishes to akm and jimbeaux

this really sucks.

brimstead, Tuesday, 21 March 2023 19:42 (one week ago) link

Got mom to acquiesce to home hospice since it's clear there is nothing more they can do. Not entirely sure she's fully aware of what this means, since as of earlier this morning she was telling my sister she thought God would cure her if she got more chemo. Not entirely sure how all of this will go; I'm heading there on Sunday, which is probably about when they'll send her home. I'm hoping she goes fast, the hospice nurses only come 3x a week apparently. We can't really afford to pay for any additional carers.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Thursday, 23 March 2023 21:38 (six days ago) link

I am so sorry, akm.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 23 March 2023 21:39 (six days ago) link

I'm so very sorry, akm :(

hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Thursday, 23 March 2023 21:45 (six days ago) link

thanks everyoone.

the weird thing about home hospice is it seems to be a nod-and-wink euthanasia , which I am not morally opposed to, but the vague terms the medical establishment uses leave lots of room for interpretation. For instance, in the hospital notes, it says: "Daughter is updated that while she is with her mother in the hospital to get "hands-on" with medication for comfort". this is still in the hospital. what does this even mean? beats me.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Thursday, 23 March 2023 22:03 (six days ago) link

I think it's more stopping treatment of the various ailments and letting things take their course, which kind of accelerates the process. that's very much what my grandma's hospice was - mostly about keeping her comfortable and free of pain.

that note's a bit confusing in its wording but I think it's saying "she will be given medication to keep her comfortable on request and as needed".

hootenanny-soundtracking clusterfucks about milking cows (Neanderthal), Thursday, 23 March 2023 22:07 (six days ago) link

When my mother-in-law was switched to hospice care, she was completely unconscious and died pretty much the next day. When my grandmother was, on the other hand, she lingered for a couple of weeks, with my mom basically keeping watch at her bedside all day every day. She was 99% gone, too, you couldn't talk to her or anything, but then she'd take a ragged gasping breath, scaring the shit out of my mom, and then lapse back into corpsehood. It wasn't a whole lot of fun. It sounds like your mom is still awake and aware of her surroundings, so I would say I hope it goes well, but... "well" in my experience translates to "unconscious patient, quick expiration," so... good luck.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 23 March 2023 22:10 (six days ago) link

xps speaking as someone who had my FIL die at home w/us in hospice, the "comfort" part basically means "give them as much morphine as they want, it's ok now"

obsidian crocogolem (sleeve), Thursday, 23 March 2023 22:45 (six days ago) link

I am so glad you got to this stage akm, wishing you an easy transition

obsidian crocogolem (sleeve), Thursday, 23 March 2023 22:45 (six days ago) link

my sister seems to think she will live another month, maybe two, which seems delusional to me. my mom did live much longer on chemo than originally thought, but she's about to have no medical interventions of any kind and we already suspect she had a heart attack a week ago on top of everything else.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Thursday, 23 March 2023 23:23 (six days ago) link

so sorry, akm <3

brimstead, Thursday, 23 March 2023 23:47 (six days ago) link

i hope everything goes as well as it can, akm. i'm sorry things are like this.

so amazing moments ever. . (cat), Friday, 24 March 2023 00:07 (five days ago) link

Wishing you and your family the best, akm

Jeff Wright, Friday, 24 March 2023 02:53 (five days ago) link

Adding to the good wishes. I hope all can be peaceful as possible.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 March 2023 03:51 (five days ago) link

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