Friday, June 24, 2011

At odds

I was going to write this morning about how everything has been going well: Rain came last night to refresh everything and quiet the heat, the garden is yielding a lot of vegetables,  my wife's parents have been maintaining.  I was lying in bed thinking about the day and relishing the thought of spending the weekend at an inlet up the coast about 20 miles.  Then the phone rang.

My mother-in-law was on the line saying that Pop was not feeling well.  That means that he is passing blood again.  C. was downtown at the medical university doing her early morning cardiac rehab exercise class.  Mom asked what should she do so I told her to call 911 and have him transported to the hospital. 

I have to say that I am doing my best to feel compassion and caring.  But I am also tired of the intrusion into our lives.  Pop still insists on doing just about everything, even though there are nurses aides coming in twice a day to change linens, give Mom a bath, do laundry, and a host of other things.  He decided that he didn't like the morning aide so he told her she was no longer needed.  He told me that he could do all the things that she was doing and better as long as he stayed well.  So here we are. 

My immediate reaction was that I don't want to go over and spend the night again.  I want to sleep in my own bed and go about those things that I enjoy.  The parents-in-law have the means to pay for help.  I respect that they want to stay in their house.  I worry about the stress that this will cause C.  I am hoping for a solution in which an aide can spend the night there until Pop is out of the hospital.   We would then be able to cover the day time hours. Mom cannot be left alone. 

I know that there is a solution.  I know that I am willing to help but not be all encompassed by this.  One part of me feels that I "should" rush over and be the good son-in-law.  The other part of me says that I have done a lot and am wanting to have my life.  The two are at odds within.  I have learned in Al-Anon to do the next right thing.  I know what that is.

17 comments:

  1. i hope that they get an aide...this is a tough one syd...not easy decisions...prayers...

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  2. Oh, Syd, I feel for you. It's a fact of life that, so often, when we get sick or feel the stress and pain of getting old we become very self absorbed and our world becomes smaller and smaller. It has just a negative influence on those around us and I pray that I will remember this when it happens to me and try not to inflict the guilt and frustration on my family that you are feeling now.
    Hang in there!

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  3. Your response sounds rational. My parents went into the hospital with cardiac crises (at 76 and 84, they were heavy smokers) and never left. I was once told that my abrupt recovery from addiction (along with working the program) coming at the same time of my mother's death meant she took my addiction with her. A nice thing to believe.

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  4. Syd,
    I am so sorry to hear this. You are loved.

    SB

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  5. Prayers Syd. I know dealing with aging parents is hard to do. I hope they look outside for help. We can't tell C what to do, we can pray for wisdom. :)

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  6. You DO know the next right thing and I know you'll do it.

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  7. Hang in there,prayers and Hugs.

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  8. Your honesty is heartfelt today. One day you'll look back and realize that you did all you could do to be present in this situation, whatever your decision turns out to be. Decisions like this are difficult for me realizing my co-dependence and wanting to do the right thing.

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  9. Caregiving is difficult for anyone, and we need to be honest with ourselves as to what we can do, without losing serenity, or compassion.

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  10. It is very important if you are a carer to take needed breaks. In the hospices here, they take on patients for a week or so to offer relief to carers.
    Things are difficult because everyone is tired and the sick person is often grumpy and not quite with it, which is very testing of ones patience. You might have to put your foot down about the home help.
    Glad you have an idea how to proceed. Good luck with that Syd..

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  11. Let's just put it this way: having an aide over there wouldn't be the wrong thing.

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  12. You did the right thing Syd. You did.

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  13. This must be so tough. Both my parents are alive - my brother lives with them and I think his quality of life has been sacrificed. Balance in all things is the key, I'm guessing. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Another moral dilemma. I'm so sorry you're at that place. I know you will figure out what to do, but do you mind if I offer a suggestion? You know me -- I'll just go ahead and stick my nose in your biz.

    If there is room in the house, I suggest they hire a live-in aid and a part-time back up for when the aid is off. Since money doesn't seem to be the issue.

    After you've done that "next right thing" and the crisis is mellowed, you and C should sit down and devise a plan to present to your parents. I know you will do that in a very diplomatic and loving manner -- explaining that you just want what's best for them and never mentioning the hardship on you or C.

    You're strong. You can handle this. Just do it. When it's over you will feel good because you will know you did the right thing.

    Linda

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  15. Loving C's parents does not come with the condition to give up your own life to care for them. After all the nights you spent there recently you know the many needs they have. They must be able to give a little and get the professional help required for them to stay at home. I hope they can grasp that with a loving heart.

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  16. Syd... I am praying for you, for C for her folks. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for all of you. I kknow you'll do the right thing, what needs to be done.

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  17. Oh Syd, we are living very similar lives right now! It is a balancing act huh. And I am finding all new ways to apply the tools of my program in my life that have nothing to do with some elses addiction but rather my own issues with co-dependence and the need to be needed....and then resenting the holy hell out of it. lol

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Let me know what you think. I like reading what you have to say.