Friday, January 8, 2010

A Week and a Half!


Good Morning Company Girls!


Well, it's been a week and a half! The picture above is of my mom and dad, 84 and 85 years old respectively. Physically, my mom is doing okay...she had a heart attack a year ago, but other than that, not bad. Her biggest difficulty is that she's in the early stages of dementia....although, if this is 'early' then there are days that I shudder to think of how bad it's going to get. My dad's physical health is quite fragile. He's been a diabetic for a number of years, which caused his kidneys to deteriorate and he now has dialysis, three times a week. A year and a half ago he was diagnosed with ulcerated colitis, which often leaves him house bound because of the severe side effects. They aren't able to get out to church anymore, which they miss terribly. My dad's mind is pretty good still....so he has to do the thinking for both of them...he's exhausted. We are trying to convince them that a retirement home would make their lives a lot easier...dad is ready, but because of mom's muddled brain, she is not.
Normally, my sister and her husband..they are both retired....do a lot of the driving to and from appointments and being another set of eyes and ears as the doctor speaks.....since I still have 4 teens at home, that I still have to ferry around to appointments, it's a little more difficult for me to do it. This past week and half, my sister and husband have been away ..on a cruise....they return the middle of next week, so my youngest brother and I have picked up the mantle of responsibility...and what a big one it is! I have tried to help with mom and dad regularly...if sister was not able to.....and sister and I are constantly communicating about what to do with them but I will admit that with her gone, this responsibility is a heavy one. My sister is very meticulous with detail and has one of those minds that can take everything in, calculate it, file it and retrieve it, at will. My mind...not so much....I find myself straining to remember everything....wanting to cry out...oh no..I'm not going to remember all this...good grief...I can't do this job! It's much easier when sister is here because then I can relax because I know she's handling it...but when the responsibility is yours!..well! ....it's very intimidating.
This week both mom and dad had some major tests that they had to go to....on Wednesday my dad had a bone marrow test done...fortunately, my brother was able to go with him...I had an orthodontist appointment with Megan...plus, I wouldn't have the muscles to help dad if he physically required it...so that was wonderful...I was so grateful that he was there...and then yesterday both brother and I took them to the hospital because mom had to have an angiogram done. For the past week she's thought each day that she had to go for this...it's been difficult on everyone,..especially my dad. I stayed with her while the test was being done and brother took my dad across the street, to an eye specialist appointment (he also has glaucoma). I was ever so glad that brother was there because by the time dad got over there he was exhausted and when the appointment was done, brother had to go and get the car to transport him back across the street....my dad uses a walker....not a wheel chair.
Mom came through the angiogram with flying colours..we were relieved that they didn't have to do an angioplasty, like they had feared...so she was able to come home...after she had lain for 3 hours flat on her back, and then another hour of sitting up. We got to the hospital just before ten in the morning and left, just around 6 p.m.,........a very long day...for all of us.
So...I know this post has been a little draggy..but....it's a good reminder of what the elderly are going through every day...some, unfortunately don't have sons or daughters to step in and help..they struggle..on their own...I'm not sure how.....it's a reminder that we need to be grateful for other people when they are willing to step up to the plate...I know that I've expressed to my sister and her hubby just how much I appreciate what they do since my involvement is limited and I was also so very grateful for my youngest brother who was there to help so much this week...couldn't have got through without him, that's for sure. It's not fun getting old...and it's sure not for sissies!

12 comments:

UKZoe said...

That sounds like a tough week. Praying that you get some rest.

Aiming4Simple said...

I think it is very commendable that you and your siblings are caring for your parents in their older years. The older generation has so much untapped wisdom. I wish we lived closer to my grandparents and could serve their needs.

One More Equals Four said...

Wow, what a week! I have watched with sadness, as my grandparents have begun to age. It is quite disheartening to see those who have lived such good lives and been so instrumental losing so much of their independance. Growing old seems so cruel at times! It seems very difficult to grow old with dignity. I have so much respect for those who care for their elder relatives...it is a blessing but is very emotional and draining.

Saying a prayer for you and your siblings as you walk this road!

carikaufm said...

Marie,

You and your brother are awesome for stepping in and taking care of the details! I used to work as in case management for an eldercare agency and I understand how difficult it is especially in the first stages of dementia.

As a suggestion for you, take some pressure off yourself to remember everything and carry a notebook where you put all the details. New appointments, doctors findings and the like. It will help with the hand over when your sister gets home.

Stephenie said...

Thank you for painting a picture of just what the elderly as well as their caregivers go through. I'm glad your mom's test went well. It sounds like you have had a hectic week, but I'm sure your sister and her husband greatly appreciate the help. Hang in there!

joyceandnorm said...

That is a lot of responsibility. I'm glad you were able to step in. My grandma who is 103 has the sharpest mind ever and still get around at the nursing home (she says it's very boring there), but has really weakened during recent weeks. I can't imagine how that would be like if she didn't have loved ones to visit during these times. One of my cousins even work at the nursing home, so between her 5 kids (5 kids-in-laws, 18 grandkids (+13 grandkids-in-laws), and 13 great grandkids, she's not as lonely as some others there. Anyhow, I digress. I love that smile on your mom's face. I'm glad she didn't have to go through that angioplasty...I have no idea what that is, but I'll find out. Isn't it interesting how much we find out about certain things once we're in the midst of it all?

Shawna R. B. Atteberry said...

Wow what a load you have. I hope you're able to get some rest this weekend.

LydiaCate said...

Your parents are precious! What a blessing they have you,your sister and brother who care so well for them. It's so hard to watch loved one age. I pray you and your siblings will have the strength and grace to deal with what lies ahead. Praying also that the Lord will make a way for your parents to move to the right place at the right time.

Cathy said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog...I just joined the Company girls and am making my way through the list getting to know everyone. It's interesting to see that there are women in different seasons of life, yet we can relate and learn from one another!! Thanks for your post!

jennibell said...

Your parents are very lucky to have the family that they have. I hope that you can encourage them to join a retirement community this year. It sure will take a big burden from all of you (including your father). If you find the right place with a community you ALL feel comfortable in then maybe your parents will finally realize that it's best for everyone. And sometimes just "talking" about it helps some, yes? Nice "meeting" you today. . .and I scrolled down to your previous post. . .I'm not 40 yet but sure don't think 60 sounds all that old. . .my stepfather was 72 when he died and he was MUCH too young.
Beautiful picture of your parents :)

MyJourneyBack said...

Where's your rocking chair. No sweetie this post talks about your mom and dad being in thier 80's. So your not old yet at 60! LOL. Isn't it weird it seems like yesterday we were like 20 something. Time flies. I hear you and all your delima (sp) about the parents. My mother is healthy and a pistol. We are trying to get her to move from the sr. apartment she is in to one that offers other amenaties and closer to us. It is difficult for them to make these kinds of decisions. I wish I had room for her to move in. It would be so much easier and actually I think fun to be together while she is in good health. We will both just have to wait on them and pray that God will show us the right road. I hope your weekend is relaxed and blessed. BTW thanks for coming by my blog.
Oh cowtown you ask is actually DFW. You heard of Texas Motor Speedway. We are right by there. Come by and visit again.
Blessings,
Sherry

Carolina Knitter said...

Wow, what a week you had. I am at a point where I am having to be a parent to one of my parents. It can be hard sometimes. Thankfully you have siblings who are able to help you.