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It Always Ends The Same Way

As I make yet another trip to Ft. Myers to mark the first anniversary of my dad’s passing, I need to try to break the pattern that has emerged each trip.

First, it is difficult to believe a year has passed. All the firsts without him that will ease with time. I miss him, and I feel both his absence and his presence at the same time. Since I will be overseas on the actual day, I’m flying down to Ft. Myers a week early to go to his favorite restaurant.

These monthly dinners have a pattern, and that pattern has to do with my sister’s lack of emotional connection.

We go to dinner, my sister and her family have cross conversation–never involving my mom–and my mom cries about it on the way home. 

“What did I do wrong as a mother?”

“Why do they treat me as if I’m not there?”

For years, I’ve told her that she was complaining to the wrong person; that she should tell my sister directly.

THAT is not going to happen. 

SO, last trip, I laid down the law: “If you are not going to tell her, and you won’t let me tell her, than you can no longer complain to me. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

“I’m here for you; I know you’re right, but I can no longer hear it. All it does is make me angrier at her for her lack of sensitivity/involvement, and I can no longer do that to myself. I promised Dad.”

We’ll see how that goes over this coming visit, especially since we’ll have other family with us–or if she even remembers what we talked about.

Memory is an ongoing issue-she’s losing it. She can no longer remember the dates I’m coming down, or to look at the calendar which those dates are on. She can’t remember things we talked about or issues we resolved, which leads to many repeated phone conversations and LONG voicemail messages. She reads me what little mail she gets word for word for fear of missing a better deal on health insurance, medications, car warranties (I have her car), or money for dad’s coin collection (he did not have one).

The drugs my dad took for dementia are not an option given how much else she has going on with her Type 1 Diabetes. So, nature will take its course.

Currently, we are looking into a treatment for her Diabetic Neuropathy pain, which keeps her up at nights. There’s a treatment available–with a not unreasonable out of pocket–that we are willing to try, but transportation will be an issue three days a week.

The center is 1/2 a mile outside the confines of the American Disabilities Act service area. What is the purpose of having this program if it doesn’t work? I’m emailing back and forth with the Justice Department to see if this in violation of the ADA.

In the meantime, I know I am doing everything I can for her, but deep inside hope that there is some synchronicity with the expiration of her Long Term Insurance plan in 4 years and her own path. 

 

You guessed it, I hate myself for that sometimes.

 

 

 

 

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~ by Butch on March 9, 2014.

3 Responses to “It Always Ends The Same Way”

  1. Disease is difficult enough – as we all know – but mix in family dynamics, and the level of difficulty climbs through the roof. I’m sorry this added stress is upon you.

  2. Wow! You travel 1500 miles every 3-4 weeks to visit your mother? Talk about long-distance caregiving! Have you ever considered moving your mother to live by you? That’s what we did with my MIL who lived in New Port Richey, FL. It’s all documented in my book “What to Do about Mama?” Thank you for following my blog of the same name.

    As you said in “About Me” your younger sister only sees your mother occasionally. When siblings don’t meet your expectations, it really can stoke the anger element. That was a really big issue for me because I was caring for a mother-in-law full-time in my home (and quit my job to do so). So kudos to you for figuring out that your sister’s behavior was sapping your time and energy, and just wasn’t worth it. Honestly, my anger over the issue was eating me up.
    I can see that you are a prolific blogger–and really good at it, too. Blogging is something I do only begrudgingly to promote my book. Our objectives, however, are the same: relating experiences, and sharing with others so that we will all learn something about the care of our aging parents.

    In your March 9, 2014 blog entry: It Always Ends The Same Way you state: “In the meantime, I know I am doing everything I can for her, but deep inside hope that there is some synchronicity with the expiration of her Long Term Insurance plan in 4 years and her own path. You guessed it; I hate myself for that sometimes.”

    As caregivers, we have to remember that we are only human. Here is an excerpt from my book which addresses the same concept:

    “The spiritual advisor visited later in the week, and David came home from work to be a part of the discussion. When the spiritual advisor tactfully asked Mom if she had ever considered stopping treatment, she said she was not going to stop her heart medication. All I could think of were Mom’s previous comments, which began running through my head: “My goal is to live to 100. It’s all in your attitude. I don’t want to miss anything. I just keep plodding along.” To be honest, the thought that ran through my mind was, “Is there no end in sight?” But, I had made a commitment to provide for her care. It now just felt like a hopeless situation.” pp.24-25.

  3. Reblogged this on What to Do about Mama? and commented:
    From Mom & Dad Care March 9, 2014 blog entry: It Always Ends The Same Way
    Wow! You travel 1500 miles every 3-4 weeks to visit your mother? Talk about long-distance caregiving! Have you ever considered moving your mother to live by you? That’s what we did with my MIL who lived in New Port Richey, FL. It’s all documented in my book “What to Do about Mama?” Thank you for following my blog of the same name.
    As you said in “About Me” your younger sister only sees your mother occasionally. When siblings don’t meet your expectations, it really can stoke the anger element. That was a really big issue for me because I was caring for a mother-in-law full-time in my home (and quit my job to do so). So kudos to you for figuring out that your sister’s behavior was sapping your time and energy, and just wasn’t worth it. Honestly, my anger over the issue was eating me up.
    I can see that you are a prolific blogger–and really good at it, too. Blogging is something I do only begrudgingly to promote my book. Our objectives, however, are the same: relating experiences, and sharing with others so that we will all learn something about the care of our aging parents.
    In your March 9, 2014 blog entry: It Always Ends The Same Way you state: “In the meantime, I know I am doing everything I can for her, but deep inside hope that there is some synchronicity with the expiration of her Long Term Insurance plan in 4 years and her own path. You guessed it; I hate myself for that sometimes.”
    As caregivers, we have to remember that we are only human. Here is an excerpt from my book which addresses the same concept:
    “The spiritual advisor visited later in the week, and David came home from work to be a part of the discussion. When the spiritual advisor tactfully asked Mom if she had ever considered stopping treatment, she said she was not going to stop her heart medication. All I could think of were Mom’s previous comments, which began running through my head: “My goal is to live to 100. It’s all in your attitude. I don’t want to miss anything. I just keep plodding along.” To be honest, the thought that ran through my mind was, “Is there no end in sight?” But, I had made a commitment to provide for her care. It now just felt like a hopeless situation.” pp.24-25.

    Wow! You travel 1500 miles every 3-4 weeks to visit your mother? Talk about long-distance caregiving! Have you ever considered moving your mother to live by you? That’s what we did with my MIL who lived in New Port Richey, FL. It’s all documented in my book “What to Do about Mama?” Thank you for following my blog of the same name.

    As you said in “About Me” your younger sister only sees your mother occasionally. When siblings don’t meet your expectations, it really can stoke the anger element. That was a really big issue for me because I was caring for a mother-in-law full-time in my home (and quit my job to do so). So kudos to you for figuring out that your sister’s behavior was sapping your time and energy, and just wasn’t worth it. Honestly, my anger over the issue was eating me up.
    I can see that you are a prolific blogger–and really good at it, too. Blogging is something I do only begrudgingly to promote my book. Our objectives, however, are the same: relating experiences, and sharing with others so that we will all learn something about the care of our aging parents.

    In your March 9, 2014 blog entry: It Always Ends The Same Way you state: “In the meantime, I know I am doing everything I can for her, but deep inside hope that there is some synchronicity with the expiration of her Long Term Insurance plan in 4 years and her own path. You guessed it; I hate myself for that sometimes.”

    As caregivers, we have to remember that we are only human. Here is an excerpt from my book which addresses the same concept:

    “The spiritual advisor visited later in the week, and David came home from work to be a part of the discussion. When the spiritual advisor tactfully asked Mom if she had ever considered stopping treatment, she said she was not going to stop her heart medication. All I could think of were Mom’s previous comments, which began running through my head: “My goal is to live to 100. It’s all in your attitude. I don’t want to miss anything. I just keep plodding along.” To be honest, the thought that ran through my mind was, “Is there no end in sight?” But, I had made a commitment to provide for her care. It now just felt like a hopeless situation.” pp.24-25.

    Wow! You travel 1500 miles every 3-4 weeks to visit your mother? Talk about long-distance caregiving! Have you ever considered moving your mother to live by you? That’s what we did with my MIL who lived in New Port Richey, FL. It’s all documented in my book “What to Do about Mama?” Thank you for following my blog of the same name.

    As you said in “About Me” your younger sister only sees your mother occasionally. When siblings don’t meet your expectations, it really can stoke the anger element. That was a really big issue for me because I was caring for a mother-in-law full-time in my home (and quit my job to do so). So kudos to you for figuring out that your sister’s behavior was sapping your time and energy, and just wasn’t worth it. Honestly, my anger over the issue was eating me up.
    I can see that you are a prolific blogger–and really good at it, too. Blogging is something I do only begrudgingly to promote my book. Our objectives, however, are the same: relating experiences, and sharing with others so that we will all learn something about the care of our aging parents.

    In your March 9, 2014 blog entry: It Always Ends The Same Way you state: “In the meantime, I know I am doing everything I can for her, but deep inside hope that there is some synchronicity with the expiration of her Long Term Insurance plan in 4 years and her own path. You guessed it; I hate myself for that sometimes.”

    As caregivers, we have to remember that we are only human. Here is an excerpt from my book which addresses the same concept:

    “The spiritual advisor visited later in the week, and David came home from work to be a part of the discussion. When the spiritual advisor tactfully asked Mom if she had ever considered stopping treatment, she said she was not going to stop her heart medication. All I could think of were Mom’s previous comments, which began running through my head: “My goal is to live to 100. It’s all in your attitude. I don’t want to miss anything. I just keep plodding along.” To be honest, the thought that ran through my mind was, “Is there no end in sight?” But, I had made a commitment to provide for her care. It now just felt like a hopeless situation.” pp.24-25.

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