About my mom. Oh, dear. My mom. She stayed in the hospital for a few days, with a non-stop barrage of medical drama. She had a boatload of blood tests, a CT scan, an MRI, an EKG, and one ultrasound to check the blood flow in her carotid artery (neurology) and another to check her coronary arteries. She had oxygen and IV fluids and about 187 different medications. And after all that, her results were inconclusive. Oh, wait. I take that back.
She had a bladder infection.
At first, they thought she had a TIA (mini stroke); but couldn't find any evidence of blood clots or blockages. After bugging her about what really happened before the ambulance arrived, I found out that she hadn't eaten dinner the night before & only ate a few bites of a jelly donut for breakfast that morning. The dog had thrown up on the carpet, and she wasn't ready for her physical therapy appointment when the therapist started knocking on the door. She couldn't remember if she had taken her medication, and wasn't sure if she had fed the dog.
I think she felt completely overwhelmed and had a panic attack, coupled with a sugar rush after not eating for 20+ hours. When I tried to get her to open up about it, she finally admitted to feeling overwhelmed. With taking care of herself and the dog and the house. Which isn't really that much to an independent person; but my mother was completely dependent on my dad for everything. She doesn't cook or clean or shop or even drive. She doesn't have any hobbies or interests - no crafting or reading or putzing around on a computer. She watches tv and talks on the phone. That's it. And now, she's not even capable of staying by herself.
We had one of those medical alert systems installed at the house; but she still can't handle living on her own. She won't even try. And I know she's still grieving, but Dad has been out of the house since he had surgery on December 31st. In seven weeks, she's spent 2 nights alone and wound up in the hospital because she got so overwhelmed from her day-to-day routine of sitting on her butt and watching television.
I don't mean for that to sound cruel or unkind, but I'm just so frustrated. She now refuses to stay on her own for even one, single night; so either her sister or I have to stay with her around-the-clock. Mason and I stay from Thursday afternoon until Monday night, and her sister fills in the gaps so I can get him to school. She won't even think about moving into an assisted living apartment, even though that's probably the best place for her. She just "doesn't know" and is "sick of" us asking her "too many questions".
Because really, she just can't think of anyone but herself and how drastically her life has changed. I know that Dad was her caretaker and that she's still grieving. But still. Never mind that I have a husband who works 70-80 hours each week and a house of my own to take care of. As long as she's comfortable and content and happy, that's all that really matters, right?!? To hell with the rest of us.
I asked her to move in with us for a few weeks, but she refuses. I asked her if she wanted palliative care; to have an assistant come in and live with her until she figures out what she wants to do. But she has HUGE trust issues, and won't let a stranger stay in the house with her. I offered to move in there with her and transfer Mason into her school district, but she feels like she needs space. Space which she can't handle without getting overwhelmed about and winding up in the hospital.
I offered to contact a builder to put an addition on their house, with a handicap accessible apartment for her. One with a walk-in bathtub for her and a small kitchen and a bedroom and bathroom for guests. Dave & Mason & I would move into her house as it is now, and she would get a brand new living suite, just for her. But for right now, that's a no-go, too.
We were thinking of putting our house up for sale anyway; but once it's for sale, we have to decide where we're going to live. And if she wants us to move in with her so she doesn't have to be alone, she needs to decide. But every time I bring it up, she shuts down. Tells me it's too much, too soon, all this pressure to figure things out.
Well, yeah, Mom . . . that's LIFE. Life is nothing but a series of moments and choices. She just doesn't seem to realize (or care) that any of her decisions affect us, and vice-versa.
I'm grieving, too. No one ever asks me how I am, how I'm handling things, whether or not I'm okay. I'm trying to take care of her and take care of us and get our house cleaned out and ready to sell. I don't get a day off. I don't even get down time. Even on our pre-hospitalization mini-getaway, I had to check in with her 5 times a day. I've had to pull Mason out of his part-time daycare, because he screams & panics when we try to drop him off. He's just so scared. He doesn't understand why Grumpa died, and wonders when he's coming back. He's scared we're going to die. He told me that he wants to die, so he can see Grumpa again.
We've started the probate process, to have all of their assets transferred from their joint accounts into only her name. But she's not capable of making those decisions on her own, so I'm also the personal representative of their estate. In the six hours a week Mason is in school, I'm running copies and contacting the attorney and the bank and the clerk of courts.
I feel like I can't fall down; because if I do, I don't think I'll have the strength to get back up. I know it will get better. It has to.
Until it does, I just bite my tongue & do the best I can to keep it all together. It's all I can do.