My brother and sister in law have gone away on vacation for a week. The grandchild they usually mind is being cared for by others.
The NH has MY phone number as a contact person if anything happens to Mom. I am in northern Indiana, Mom is on Long Island, New York. I'm a little worried that Mom may get sick and no one will be there from the family ....
Well, the chances are that nothing will go wrong. Mom has been there a very long time and she doesn't usually miss having visitors .. a while ago it became clear that she doesn't know if my brother comes once a day or once a week. I know for sure that my brother needs the break! He's been going a couple of times a week, down from every day, for a year and 4 months. His son and daughter in law flew off on their vacation last night.
Now I'm going to worry every time the phone rings!!
Last edited by Martha H; 02-24-2007 at 05:32 PM.
Reason: changes in situation
Martha, do you have a phone # where you can call B if anything should come up? How long will they be gone? Please try not to worry too much (it's impossible not to worry at all given the circumstances-especially if you don't have a phone #).
Yes, your brother does need a break badly. But I tend to agree with you that he should have given you some notice so that you would have a choice whether to go to NY or stay at home.
Things must be pretty good with your mom at this point. I don't believe that B would have even considered going out of town if there were even a remote posibility of something happening to you mom.
Just now they called and I now have the phone number where they are (California) .. also I found out that I forgot about his son's plans. He is on a business related trip to Hawaii and took his wife along! The fact that I forgot that scares me - am I getting AD too? HELP!
I find myself constantly forgetting what my children have told me about their schedule, plans etc.
I believe that this is because our brains only have a "finite" capacity for new information, and our brains prioritise
as my brain is now totally focused on my mum and her needs, and how to deal with her future ,her finances ,her health, her house, her belongings, when I am told information on other peoples plans, lifes etc I tend not to hold it in my memory unless it is VITALLY(where is the spell checker?) important
I dont have the capacity in my brain
I suspect thats whats happened with you Martha
Please do not fret that you forgot one thing that you were told.
I am sure we can all relate to being stressed when the phone rings
Hmmmmm....first of all, huge applause for your brother who has accepted the majority of responsibility. Please do not think I am being sarcastic...that is not my intent, but from being in the same situation as your brother...he desperately needs that vacation! Believe me, he also worries every time the phone rings!
Nine years ago, my Mother was taken from near my home to a facility almost an hour away...because 3 brothers living there decided they would be able to visit daily. That lasted for about a year. Her only visits for several years have become my Friday night rituals. I realized early on that the responsibility would be very different for me and the other 5 siblings. Two had moved far away long ago; their participation would certainly not be the same as the rest of us....but honestly, I understood and held absolutely no ill feelings. What is...IS.
You are in the same situation as my sister. Her weekly phone calls to me are my lifeline in this horrific disease. I can discuss any "mom" or "brother" situation with her and she lends me a most comforting shoulder. Her guilty feelings of not being here to help caused the same helpless feelings as you are having. You Mother is in a safe environment...and being carefully watched. You will get a phone call if bruises appear, or sometimes even if little changes happen...but that is the caretakers job to keep you informed. I cannot say enough about how much I treasure the caretakers for my Mom!
Please do not let those guilty feelings of not being close effect each day for you! You ARE helping...the comfort your brother feels by knowing there is still a family connection to receive a call...the soft shoulder you offer to him when he needs it..............sending positive vibes your way...p
Yes, Petalpusher, I know. I thank God every day for my brother and his wife. They took over Mom's care in June of 2005. I had been living with her for 5 years and as her dementia grew worse, I was not coping with it well, at all. I was also still working full time and it was all too much for my own health.
At 66 I retired, and after my brother volunteered to have Mom move to his house, I came here to be near my daughter and grandchildren.
It was only 3 months later that Mom fell down the stairs at their house and had to go to the hospital, then rehab, then nursing home. She was never able to get back on her feet (broken femur) and as a result of the operation (and the normal progression of this disease) her dementia got worse and worse.
Now he is the one who visits, cheers her up, brings home cooked food when she hasn't been eating well, keeps the rest of us informed, etc.
We also have an older sister who never did much for Mom at all, but now she calls her often and talks to her a lot. I appreciate that because I can't have a long conversation with Mom .. I ask her something, and she says "what?'' I don't know how my sister does it - I guess she just chats on and on and doesn't expect an answer. Anyway it seems to cheer Mom up.
Those 5 years as the live in caregiver were the hardest time of my life and I fullly honor and appreciate anyone who takes it upon themselves to do it - while also realizing that placement in a nursing home is ultimately the best solution.
I hope all is well with you! We are under an ice layer ..my daughter could not get out this AM to go to church because her garage door was fozen solid!
Good news, my brother and SIL are back in NY and Mom was fine the whole week. I never got through to her (she ignores the ringing phone) but did ask at the nurses station if she is doing well. My sister says she spoke to her for an hour and a half.
I'm happy Bill is back.
Now that it's March I can start to dream of spring. Maybe I'll soon book a flight to NY. We still have a lot of snow and ice, so not yet.
Good to hear you can breathe easy now! And yes the snow is still here too although I don't think we got as much as you. Soon it will melt and the flowers will begin to bloom and another beautiful spring will be here.
And soon you will go visit your mom. I want to go see my sister in Oklahoma soon. She too has lung cancer and is dying.
I'm trying to talk myself into feeling good about things but so much is happening here that I am so sad about. My MIL is very ill. Her diabetes is way out of control. Her memory is slipping. Her brother has dementia and she's been showing signs of it for a few years now although none of the family (including my husband) thinks so. In my opinion, she needs to be in a NH where she will get constant care. She has a son living with her but he works and really she shouldn't be alone at all anymore. She has heart problems and many more things wrong with her. She has severe fluid retention now which is causing her to not be able to breathe well at all.
And so here I am trying to take things one day at a time. That's the only way I can deal with anything.
With all that's going on here, I'm really glad that my dad stayed in Alabama instead of coming back with me.
That really was the best solution, wasn't it. You certainly do have more than enough to deal with. Taking it one day at a time is the best philosophy! Hang in there! Yes, Spring is coming .. soon, we hope!
MIL went into the hospital today. So far they've diagnosed her with pneumonia. I say so far because there is much more wrong with her and further testing to be done and more doctors to see her.
She couldn't breathe this morning so I went to her house. Her nurse was there (she has a visiting nurse come to her home twice a week) and it was decided that we would call 911. I went with her in the ambulance and my husband followed. I'm so glad she finally got scared enough to go to the hospital. She has so much fluid buildup that her feet look like they're going to explode any second.
Anyway, sorry I hijacked your thread, Martha. I guess I just needed to get this out.
No Barb, it's not my thread - it's for anybody who might need to speak. I'm glad your MIL finally got some help. It always makes me wonder when people refuse medical care. I have a friend whose daughter is a diabetic but refuses to watch her diet or stop drinking too much alcohol. My friend worries that she will wind up in a coma and die. But she refuses to listen.
Anyway I wish you luck with all the sicknesses and problems.
Bill visited Mom after being away for a week, and she was fine, in fact she seems more lucid since they took her off heart drugs. Amazing. Although we were told she only had months to live, we are kind of hoping she makes it to her 99th birthday (October) and then her 100th .... as long as she is not in physical pain and does not feel unhappy. She enjoyed watching the snow outside the NH. Bill talked about earlier times when she played with the grandkids in the snow, and she enjoyed listening.
I am beginning to see that as soon as our expectations for her lessened, we were all mch happier with her condition - not trying to make her understand, trying to find a cure, trying to make someone do something to get her up out of the wheelchair - now if she sits there and is contented, we are happy. It's just hard to lower your expectations suddenly - so it took years!
I can relate to lowering expectations. And I often wish I had done that before I did. Lord knows that would have prevented many angry outbursts from my dad. But as they say, hindsight's 20/20.
And I've noticed he loves me much more now....
I'm really happy to hear that your mom is having good days lately. I haven't been able to get through to my dad. So many times I try to call and no one answers.
I had a dream last night that dad wanted to come home and I went and picked him up. I can't handle that now....thank goodness it was only a dream.
Anyway, his birthday is the 13th. I bought him a Chicago Cubs baseball cap about a month ago. He still loves the Cubs although he's lost track of the seasons. the last time we talked baseball was in February and he asked me if I'd been to a game lately.
I hope Bill's health is improving now that he's taking more time for himself. And I'm glad that E has become more involved through her phone calls.
Martha, I'll keep hoping for warmer weather and an early spring so you can plan your trip to NY.