Venting, Rambling, Sharing, Crying…..

I haven’t posted anything personal since my last trip more than four weeks ago. I’m heading down again in less than a week.

At times I feel like a walking zombie–not here, not there; living somewhere in between and not fulfilling the potential in any part of my life.

As a spouse. As a professional. As a caretaker.

I am exhausted and sad a good part of the time.

On the last trip I took my aunt and cousin along (my aunt is one of those annoying people who needs to read EVERY street and store sign that she passes–no comment on them–just reading. “Oh, CVS.”)

After dropping them off at the hotel, I went directly to the urologist, where my dad had been taken by an aide. Although they tried to take the catheter out so he would be able to walk around and hopefully have more energy, that didn’t exactly work out. It was decided to keep it in until after the brain shunt was inserted–which was supposed to be two weeks ago–except it wasn’t.

Through some lack of communication, dad was taken in the day of surgery ad promptly returned back to his facility due to another urinary tract infection. They wouldn’t operate.

That should have been communicated from the facility to the surgeon, but wasn’t. Poor guy and my poor mom who had to arrange transportation for herself. He’s been rescheduled for mid-August. The procedure is called a Ventricular paradneal shunt. It should give him more energy. We should see a change in gait before his urinary and increased confusion fade.

I did manage to apologize to the urologist for going off on him for not knowing my dad had a pacemaker, figuring I didn’t want a guy in my Dad’s penis who thought I was a dick, pardon the pun.

Speaking of which, after taking my dad and the aide back to his facility after the appointment, my mom promptly calls to inquire about my whereabouts and to hurl about 10 things at me that need to be done.

“Mom, mom, all in due time. I just got here,” I gently said.

“Oh, OK. You’re on dads penis right now. I get it,” she said, not realizing exactly HOW funny that line was at the time!

My dad continues to be full of good one-liners, despite being somewhat out of it.

“If I felt any better I’d be twins,” he says.

When telling him about the surgery (even though he thinks it’s on his testicles–something he had done years ago) he says: “It’s a no brainer.”

The trip was moving on several fronts. The fact that he recognized my aunt and my cousin astounded me to the point that I had to step outside to cry. I walked right into a hearse.

Shaving my dad and having him lean up and kiss me saying: “Thank You.”

My sister was her usual cold, miserable self–this time observed and noticed by others.
Couldn’t figure out her day to do something for my mom. She doesn’t have a joyful moment. Let’s her life eat her up.

I finally sent my sister THE email after my last trip (

She wanted to talk about it; I didn’t want to, but to her credit, she has been stepping up recently; showing up, taking mom places; visiting dad.

I don’t get my hopes up. But she called after texting this morning saying that she was fine using her house for dinner in August.

It doesn’t matter that I had asked to cook dinner there for Rosh Hashana in September. She got the date wrong, but the gesture right.

“Just wanted to say that the 24th for dinner is fine. I will make it a priority. Let me know what you need and how I can assist. Wherever Dad is, we will get him to my house.”

Impressive actually. Time will tell if it’s genuine, a result of the email, or a different set of meds.

I’m skeptical, but accepting.

I do see a difference.

I find my self Nodding at Strangers who are wheeling an elder loved one, with a knowing smile. It was running into a fellow dog owner when my dog was alive. There’s an understanding.

A few weeks ago, before my dad actually had the surgery, I’d had a conversation with Mom about not cancelling her own doctor’s appointment to go with dad for pre-testing at the hospital. I went through the age-old argument about taking care of themselves so they could be there for each other. She reluctant agreed.

SO, that day, on her way back from her urologist appointment, she calls me hysterically saying that the county elder transportation she was on had stopped by my dad’s faclity to pick him up. Did I know what it was for and why wasn’t she going with him.

I explained that this was the pre testing we had soken about earlier in the wek and she seemed to hZVE calmed down. It’s like having a god damn three year old and there are soe days my patnetice juwst wars so thin.

I have the same conversations five times and I just don’t know how to avoid it.

She has become so strong, but is still so needy.

Today, she was upset that dad showed everyone his scar but her.

Really? I told her she needed to let that one go.

The hope is that the surgery will give him more energy walk around.

I have been thinking about moving them up north. That’s what prompted me to send the letter to my sister.
Her response: Seriously? That came out of left field.

Not really, I said. It’s a consideration. Haven’t discussed with them yet.

Her: Why? Why U can’t just throw something out there like that to me and then board a plane

Me: Yes I can. Monthly trips getting to me. Draining emotionally and financially. Easier for me. Better for me. May be better for them. I’m better able to take care of them if they are closer. They need to be near people where it’s not a chore.

We will see.

Time will tell.

~ by Butch on August 19, 2012.

2 Responses to “Venting, Rambling, Sharing, Crying…..”

  1. Hi Butch, I’ve been wondering how things were going. Sometimes, people really don’t realize how short their contribution has been.

    I’ve had some really tough conversations with my siblings. Sometimes they are the wacky ones, but sometimes it’s me.

    This is such an emotional time, give your sister the benefit by telling her how she can better help you.

    What seems so obvious to you, may just not be to your sister.

    Many good tidings to your and your family.

    Hugs, Kay

  2. I sympathize with you. Life is off balance – caring for myself, my home, staying connected to my grown kids and grandkids, and sleeping at my parents’ house (at least just miles away from mine, not states), getting them to doctor appts, shopping for them, trying to keep them company, helping with thier yardwork and housework and laundry, while holding down my job (forget about career!) sometimes it feels like just too much! I totally understand.

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