Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thursday, answers and questions?

     Why am I going to Florida?  Hub's has a brother that lives in Florida and the family has been estranged from him for several years.  I won't go into the details, because like most family feuds they are stupid.  Just leave it to say that Mom and Dad, Hub's folks got put smack dab in the middle as they would not take sides.  It was an awful few years.  These two elderly people have their faults, but they did raise their family to be a close knit fun family.  Family is very important to them.  Hub's dad is very frail and has dementia.  Hub's mom is also frail but in very good health.  They desperately want to see their son and cannot make the trip alone just because of age reasons, 85,86.  Also son and his wife will bring up past problems which mom and dad can do nothing about.  This will be upsetting to them and they need to be protected.

     So enter us.  We agreed to take them down to Florida last year.  They will reimburse us for tickets.  In the mean time another sister and her husband decided to join us.  Then another sister and her husband are coming and finally that last sister decided to come down for a few days as she lives closer than the rest of us Idahoans.  So my mother and father-in-law will have all of their 5 kids together for the first time in 7 years.  Mom has cried buckets over this and it has been such an upsetting experience for her as a mother.  They really feel like their son was dead to them, by his choice by the way.  I am not to thrilled with all the family being there as I am an outsider and the more people you involve the harder things get, plus Hub's youngest sister is schizophrenic and heavily medicated.  She is kind and nice but can be a lot of work.  She is the baby of the family and a BABY!  One on one I love her in a group not so much.

     I realize the need for mom and dad to have closure.  I feel dad's days are numbered and he wants to see his first born. Dad is hard to deal with as all dementia patients are as they progress.  Mom is exhausted most of the time dealing with his behavior. I can somehow handle dad better than his real children.  They get upset with him and frustrated.  I have a way of getting him to laugh at his stupid behavior.  This trip cannot happen with out Hub's and I, the other kids cannot do it, as they have never traveled with dad and don't understand how hard it will be.  I also think it will be a great experience and a trip of a life time. I will sacrifice for this.  I will sacrifice for family, my feelings, my money, my time.  Families are forever.

     I had an exciting day yesterday.  I spent some time in the yard in the morning and in the evening.  I did some ironing and shop work.  Then I laid down for an hour before I had to go teach and I got a phone call.  It was a bride she had just got into town from 120 miles away and she was coming to pick up her dress.  I had her listed as the 21st not the 12th.  I shot out of bed and told her I could not see her until 6:30 as I had to teach dance.  I could have gone to the studio at 4 instead of 5, so a small white lie. Then I rushed downstairs.  In one hour I was able to triple bustle, take in the front and steam/press that dress.  What stress.  Now it could dry while I was at dance. I am just leaving for the studio I have 5 minutes to get there, and hub's comes down the hall from the front room choking  He just had is esophagus stretched 8 months ago and he is in trouble.  He was leaning over the slop sink in the laundry room.  I kept asking him if he was breathing, but when you are choking you can't talk.  Finally he was able to talk and I asked if he had gotten all the food out that was stuck.  He said yes.  I said before I leave you go get a diet coke and drink it.

     The acid in the coke bubbles up and eats away at the food.  Well sure enough all this soda foams up out of his mouth so he had not passed the food.  He told me to go; he would be fine.  I just did not feel good about that.  So I went and knocked on the boarders door and told him what was going on.  He has been a CNA for years and is in the nursing program at the college so I knew he could handle this, but he says, "I only have a scooter".  Drive one of our cars!  "I don't know the way to the hospital?"  Hub's can point the way there, or call 911.  I finally got the thumbs up to go and hubs was swallowing.  We had a good laugh when I came home.  The boarder and I agreed to split and life insurance money if he just steps over hub's body.  :)  That is a joke!

     I ran out of bags this morning(the big black trash/leaf bags) so I had to quit in the garden.  I did have a full truck load for the dump and went to the landfill this morning.  Now I need to clean up and get into the shop. I have a lot of hemming to do, before I go teach.

     Tomorrow I am driving to Missoula, to get my mom.  She is struggling with health issues and just needs to be here for a while. She will stay for a couple of weeks and then my step sister will take her back home.  I swear aged parents are a big time commitment, but I would not have it any other way.

     How do you deal with aged parents?
     Have any of you been in this situation?
     Can you offer any advise?

Have a great and productive day!



  1. You are doing well with your family, especially your FIL the best way is laughter with dementia.
    It is hard work tho and I'm sure your MIL is thankful for your help.

  2. You are a truly amazing woman. Seriously! I think you should be nominated for early Sainthood.

    I didn't ask for you to justify your trip to FL. I was just curious because usually you plan way ahead and we read what your plans are. Like when you just visited your Sissie. But this was just, "need to buy plane tickets to FL", so I was just curious what new adventure you were planning. And WOW! What an adventure. Not sure I could handle all that.

    My Parents are 79 and 80. They moved from our hometown in the mid-atlantic to FL 10 years ago. My children were 9 & 10. We didn't have the money to fly all 4 of us down to visit, so we drove once. They've visited us once, last year in fact was the first time they came up here, on their way to visit Ground Zero in NY. They are very independant but I am a little resentful at how they just picked up and left and never looked back, even though we've been close up until then. But what are ya do. We see them every couple of years when we visit my sister in NC for Thanksgiving and my nephews wedding. Probably 3 times in the past ten years so counting all visits about 5. Not ideal. Now my mom is showing symptoms of dementia and my dad has had heart issues and skin cancer scares, but so far so good,

  3. My mom had late onset Parkinson's and demential comes with that. It was the saddest time of my life watching her lose her facilities - she was a published author with an amazing mind, no one could beat her at Trivial Pursuit she was so well read. But she lost it all and suffered immensely. She lived with my brother and then my sister for awhile after her and dad's house was hit by a tornado but then she had to go into a home for nursing care. When my dad started driving around on his lawn with his car my brother went to live with him for awhile, then he had to go into psych hospital, then Parkwood hospital which has a wing for WWII vets. None of those living conditions were ideal but they were the best that we could do. There are certain things that come under the heading "Doesn't Bear Thinking About" and my parents' last years are number one on that list.

  4. My father passed away at age 72 with a heart condition. It all happened slowly over a course of 6 years. His mind was fully intact when he died, surrounded by family. My mother has outlived Dad for 14 years and is now 86. Up until 20 months ago, she was living alone in a beautiful, spacious condo with elevator and underground parking. Dementia began to set in (people on TV are sometimes real and watch her) and she couldn't tell night from day, schedule-wise. She was not taking her medications, could no longer drive or cook for herself.This is in my hometown where my youngest brother and sister still live. Now she is an assisted living nursing home. It's really very, very nice but she doesn't like it. She has always been independent. Fortunately, Mom has a lot of money, so she will be well taken care of.

    This nursing home is close to where my two siblings live and five teen and early 20's grandsons live. (She has 24 grandchildren and 6 greats.) My Mom also has one older sister and one younger sister close by in their 80's who are amazing and still drive, so they get her out too. The other four of us children live away, three very far away and I about 250 miles away. All of us work full time jobs. My younger brother is the POA and handles bill paying for Mom. I drive down there as often as possible and I faithfully write long letters every single week, which Mom loves. My youngest sister and I remind ourselves that this is just one part of Mom's long life, not what has defined it. We just feel fortunate that she is safe, well cared for, has good health care, and has visitors.

    I hope you have a wonderful trip!