I Can’t Win


At times it feels as if I can’t even place or show.

No matter how many times I ask health care providers to have conversations with me–and not directly with my parents–it causes me grief–and inevitably another series of phone calls.

Two cases in point—-just today.

Dad had a urologist appointment and went with a CNA from his facility. I had asked the urologist’s office to call me to fill me in afterwards. In the voice mail message I received, the doctor said they were removing the catheter from my dad since my dad said he was now walking.


Phone call back to him. Phone call to dad’s facility. Phone call to Mom and Sister.

I still haven’t spoken to the doctor to correct him.

Case 2:
Mom spent time with the activities director at dad’s facility who mentioned another facility to her where they could live under the same roof.

Mom took the name and the number and told me about it.

Even though I had called the facility on a previous search, I called again. Not only did the person who’s name she was given not exist–but the place was dementia only. Mom can’t live there.

“You’ve got to trust that I’ve uncovered every single rock,” I told her. “I’m going to lose my job AND what’s left of my sanity if you don’t stop. I cannot have the same conversation with you each and every day. I can’t. I’m at the edge. Do you understand?”

Phone call to the recommended facility. Phone call to my mom. Phone call and message to the activities director who gave her the wrong name and wrong information.

Then the kicker:

“Some people understand that older people want to be together,” she had the nerve to say to me.

“Yes mom; you’re right. My sole mission the past few years has been to separate you. You figured it out. The gig is up. How could you even think that? I will talk to you tomorrow. Good Night.”

I had intended to go to the gym tonight before I had the life sucked out of me.

I’m thankful to have the partnership of my sister who has been present. She even told a nurse a few weeks ago when I made a call that “My brother doesn’t play.”

What she meant is that I get it done.

I feel for my mom.
I really do, but I can’t help her. I can’t do more than I’m doing.

They’ve know each other since she’s 15. I’m sure he’s the only man she’s ever been with, and she feels as if she’s lost him already.

He makes sense a lot of the time now, but his thought process in terms of time is off.

Last week he called my mom saying they were late to meet friends at the roller rink.

Tonight he told me he was glad mom sounds less stressed out.

I hate this disease.

A friend last night told me that when he has those moments of clarity it’s heart thing; not a brain thing.

I like that.

When she’s with him, she yells at him.

“Don’t get up without help. Don’t rub your eye.”

He’s mean.

He’s like a 3-year old, I tell her. “What do you think he does as soon as you leave the room or the 22 hours a day you’re not there?”

She refuses to believe he’s not coming home.

They both refuse to hear what they’re told in the care plan meetings. They hear the parts they can deal with.

He calls me about the non-existent mortgage and I ease his mind. Not by correcting him, but by telling him I’ve taken care of it.

I’m trying to take care of it all, yet I feel like I’m failing them all–my parents, my partner, my employer, myself.

No more wild goose chases.

I’m sorry Mom.


~ by Butch on October 17, 2012.

3 Responses to “I Can’t Win”

  1. Yes, my Mom’s dementia is always right, and I am always wrong. Yes, I too hate telling Mom these fiblets. I hate having the same conversations over and over and over. I hate it when doctors are fooled and conned by intelligent people who are covering and coping with their Alzheimer’s.
    peace and hope

  2. Butch, I definitely feel your pain, and from both sides of the coin.
    But rest assured, you are NOT failing them all – your parents, your partner, your employer, or most of allyourself. You are doing an AMAZING job of loving, honouring and caring.
    The doctors and service providers are another issue – most do refuse to believe family members or take serioulsy our concerns. When we asked the doctor to make my father in law sit a driving test – he was UNSAFE driving – he refused to do it. After 18 months, and almost killing a grandson, we told the dr if he had an accident, we would tell the Insurance company we had told him he was unsafe to drive… it was only then he acted properly!!
    Take care, take some time out to recoop your strength, and continue to be brave. With love and hope, Kate

  3. […] I Can’t Win. […]

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