AGING PARENTS

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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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Oops!

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I blame my dad's wine.

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

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

terribLY difficult. Sheesh!

Beth Parker (Beth Parker), Tuesday, 22 August 2006 00:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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 (twelve years ago) Permalink

five years pass...

This. Heavy shit, huh?

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

yep

curmudgeon, Monday, 20 August 2012 18:31 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

so heavy i can't really talk about it

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

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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

jed_, Monday, 20 August 2012 23:36 (six years ago) Permalink

and everyone else :/

jed_, Monday, 20 August 2012 23:36 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

Siblings help -- if you're lucky.

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

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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 (six years ago) Permalink

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.

โตเกียวเหมียวเหมียว aka Debriefed by David (Mount Cleaners), Monday, 17 December 2012 18:34 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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.

hmph.

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

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 (five years ago) Permalink

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 (five years ago) Permalink

I'm sorry to hear all of that.

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

me too. suerte, ian.

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

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

*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 (eight months ago) Permalink

Tonight I saw a doctor who told me that the UTI insanity can last 6 months.... :-(

Grandpont Genie, Wednesday, 14 February 2018 22:09 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

<3

mookieproof, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:39 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

love to you Aimless. Your post is crushingly beautiful.

Lockhorn. Lockhorn breed-uh (Jon not Jon), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

Best to you sir. A hard burden, but she is free of hers.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:57 (eight months ago) Permalink

RIP aimless's mom -- she was clearly loved <3

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 21 February 2018 19:59 (eight months ago) Permalink

sorry to hear that, Aimless

omar little, Wednesday, 21 February 2018 20:45 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

<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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

Very sorry to hear about your loss, Aimless.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 10:04 (eight months ago) Permalink

all the best aimless and everyone else on the thread <3 <3

mark s, Thursday, 22 February 2018 10:07 (eight months ago) Permalink

sorry for your loss, aimless. i’ve always liked the sound of your mom. <3 to you.

estela, Thursday, 22 February 2018 11:42 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

Thoughts with you aimless

Planck Blather (darraghmac), Thursday, 22 February 2018 13:22 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

*himself out of bed..

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 14:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (eight months ago) Permalink

Will look at that thanks.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:51 (eight months ago) Permalink

Condolences

Moo Vaughn, Thursday, 22 February 2018 16:59 (eight months ago) Permalink

Aimless that was a beautiful post. Love to you. <3

Benson and the Jets (ENBB), Friday, 23 February 2018 16:51 (eight months ago) Permalink

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 (seven months ago) Permalink

my condolences to you

Algerian Goalkeeper (Odysseus), Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:17 (seven months ago) Permalink

<3

mookieproof, Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:21 (seven months ago) Permalink

Best indeed.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 10 March 2018 22:40 (seven months ago) Permalink

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 (seven months ago) Permalink

xo, deepest sympathies to you

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 11 March 2018 00:16 (seven months ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

yikes

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 29 August 2018 03:38 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

<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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink

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 (one month ago) Permalink


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