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About Like clockwork

Previous Entry Like clockwork Oct. 20th, 2009 @ 11:13 am Next Entry
Every Tuesday at 10:30AM my time, my parents call.
I talk to my mom for about 7 minutes, then my dad comes on for about 10 minutes give or take depending on the events of the weekend, and finally my mom comes back with a 3 minute wrap-up which usually includes 1 minute of good-byes and I love you's, between a series of 1-2-3 counts are chanted off as a means of getting her to hang up...a habit she formed my during my second week at College after I threatened to quit school and sit at home for the rest of my life.


Last Tuesday, I had great news to report. My free loading roommate of 8-months finally moved out on Monday and I was so excited!
My mom, as usual, didn't quite grasp how momentous this was. Sometimes I wonder if her stroke left my mother incapable of this form of empathy, as she is quick to cut off conversations with extremely random topics about her day or life, which have no connection to the conversation at hand, but which my family has chosen to just go along with and my extended family has chosen to ignore. Unfortunately, the doctors don't seem to think there is anything wrong with her, but I guess they don't spend enough time with her and thus are making inferences based on the 10-20 minutes they spend with her, talking about her, and so on. But, I don't have a medical or psychological degree and cannot pass judgment as easily.


Anyway, got handed off to my dad and he congratulated me on my new found freedom. Which was great, though he still is under the impression that the freeloader was paying money. Ah well...so, moments before the end of the conversation, however, my father tells me he fell. Not once, not twice, but three times. His legs buckled as he went to the bathroom one night. They buckled on him when he was going into the living room. They finally buckled on him when he was in a parking lot. That's how the conversation ended, which my dad suggesting he would have it checked out.

For one week, I sit here waiting for the phone call. I have been on vacation, actually, for the last 3 days with this on my mind and finally Tuesday has arrived.

The answer I got, I had too many other things to do, it costs a lot, I don't have time, no one will go with me,...and so on. My mother says she is trying to get him help, but as I said before, with an attention span no longer than 10 minutes, it is hard to get my mother to do anything unless she is focused on it for her needs. Which, I understand, but it is unfortunate that her needs always trump my dad's needs and no one who meets my family seems to understand that. The wheelchair really helps to get people on her side.


Well, after about 5 minutes of phone time, I was off the phone with the both of them.
My mother didn't want to hear me complain about how she hasn't tried to get my father to the hospital and my father said that he was just walking slower and hoping that things would go away in time, while sounding weak on the phone.

It is the same thing they did to me with my grandfather and my uncle before they both passed away. Pretend that nothing is wrong. Tell no one. And, much to my sadness, my extended family has basically given up on my parents and their childishness.

So, I am stuck here with a dilemma...

Hope for the best and continue on the track I want to be on.

or

Go home and take care of them.
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From:green_truth
Date:October 20th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
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That sounds so incredibly hard. How in the world does a person make decisions about one's own life, conveniences, major lifestyle and location choices, and the other people who are important to us and their own needs and wants? Is there anything that you would like in the way of support around this? I think that choosing to stay where you are is an acceptable choice, as is going home to help out for a while. Are you on your parents HIPPA information? You could potentially call and talk to their doctors directly.

I struggle with my own parents' situations and how much I should or shouldn't help out. I live far away from both of them, though not as far as you are from yours currently (assuming you are still outside the US). My mother has no money. Partially by circumstance, partially by choice. I send her money frequently. She took care of me for half my life, how can I not take care of her now? And yet I can get so frustrated at time with her continuing to make choices that make it hard to provide for herself. My dad doesn't have any money really either, but he has his SSD distribution, which is enough to get by on as long as nothing goes wrong. He writes about his dying fridge or the need to repair a sewage line, and I find myself wanting to help, but there is only so much I can help before I am compromising my own life too much in ways that I don't want to.

I hated being so far away when he had his heart attack and I didn't know how things were. But I don't want to live in the south. I love where I am living. It is hard to watch him grow old and infirm. He uses one of the little electric seated carts now when he shops. It made me have to work really hard not to break down and cry in Wal Mart, which is where we were.
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From:desultorif
Date:October 27th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
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I completely understand your feelings on the situation with your own parents.
I have had some people tell me that it is my parents who have to make decisions in their life and have to do what is best for themselves, but somehow I wonder if they have just been fortunate enough to have parents that didn't succumb to various sicknesses, mental problems, failures...etc.

Sometimes, I envy how free of their parents they can be, because their parents seem so much better equipped to handle life or have been quite fortunate.

The balancing act is not my strongest point and I fear the holidays will prove to be much the same. Breakdowns, fighting, ridicules, tears, etc...
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From:asivian
Date:October 20th, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
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Oh man. Dude, hard decision. Whatever you choose, you have my backing.
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From:desultorif
Date:October 27th, 2009 02:32 am (UTC)
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No decision yet. Should my dad make it to the holidays then I guess I will be confronted with having to make a decision asap.
Thank yo.
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From:trickygrin
Date:October 20th, 2009 11:39 pm (UTC)
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same here, rick. i would essentially guilt trip a doc visit though before any hard decisions though, to ensure that it's not a false alarm...
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From:desultorif
Date:October 27th, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
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Well, not a false alarm for MS, but something that is basically as deadly should the proper steps not be taken. At least he went finally... just hope he does what the doctor told him, but the sound of his voice suggests otherwise.
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From:desultorif
Date:October 27th, 2009 02:35 am (UTC)
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Thanks for the offer yo!

He finally did go, though my mum has suggested it included a lot of kicking and screaming...
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