31 March 2011

The middle of the road

Time for a post that's not so depressing. I shouldn't write when I'm feeling bad, though I tried really hard to make it a little happy. I shouldn't write the day after, either, which was the case with my last post. I got a call very early Monday morning from the paramedics. My mom had fallen and they wanted to take her to the hospital. It was her 3rd fall in 6 days. Poor banged-up and battered Mom. She was sitting on the edge of her bed trying to lean over and pick up a roll of toilet paper that fell off the brass free-standing toilet paper holder beside the portable commode beside her bed. She slipped off the bed and fell face-first into the tipped-over brass stand. The life-alert necklace she wears alerted help, and they came right away. For the third time that week. This time she decided to go to the hospital, and I met her there. Her injuries are superficial, but she looks awful. She's on Plavix, which makes any bruises that much worse. Between the three falls, she has bruises everywhere. When we got home from the hospital I found evidence of a medical problem with my dad, all around his toilet. I know...too much info. That meant a trip to the doctor's office where he was diagnosed with a UTI. I'm glad I was there to take him. It was a sad day. I went to Panera's for coffee and home to make lunch in-between the ER and the doctors. Then I had to cancel my day of work on Tuesday to be with my parents because Amanda couldn't be there. And I had to stay late. That's why my Tuesday post was so depressing.

It dawned on me Monday (what took so long?) that my parents aren't living independently; they're already in assisted living. They're only able to be in their own home because of Amanda and me and my siblings and keeping them there is taking it's toll on all of us. They had gotten used to having people around them when they were in the rehab center, and they miss that. Since they've been home I've watched my mom become sadder and sadder. We kids made the plans for them to stay at home, but now their home is no longer the home they were used to. Yes they have new floors, but all the things that made their home their home are packed up or in the garage. There's no clutter, no things. And the changes? They're no safer in their home now than they were before.

It's time for a change, and now we start the quest to find an assisted living facility for them. My mom says she's more than ready. My dad either says yes, he understands my mom needs it, or says, we'll see. He's been adamant his whole life that 'they're going to have to carry me out of here'. I've seen him in hospitals and rehab centers, and he's been very content in them. I think he'll be content wherever he goes. I think it will be harder for my mother. I'm mourning the loss of the house already. We all grew up there. It's been the family home for 49 years. I'm really not ready to see it go.

So now we deal with the maze of facilities, finances, and legalities. Then the contents of closing up a home. Much work is ahead, and many changes. It's time, and it will be oh, so nice to just be able to visit.

I had a short day at work today. I visited two assisted living homes. Then I came home to my own house, in the daylight! It's been a while since that happened. I made dinner for the family for the first time in ages. I'm writing a real blog post, and sitting on the couch, and soon I'm going to watch TV. It's been a good day. I'm hoping not to get any bad phone calls.

Thanks for standing by me. This is the middle of the road. It's going to be a journey.


Jamie said...

I don't envy you ---- you do have a hard road ahead. But there will be fun and good times and triumphs in-between. You are a wonderful daughter and I think you do a tremendous job with both of them. Big hugs. If I can help with anything, I would be very happy to. Very. :)

KathyA said...

This has been rough on all of you and I feel for your whole family. It's true though, that this situation cannot go on without dire consequences. I hope you find a place that will make your parents happy -- and when the parents are happy and safe, you all will be, too.

Noofy said...

You've certainly been through alot with more to come. Thankfully, you have the support of your brother, sisters, Emily, Rob, and many others. You know it won't be easy, you have to do what you have to do. You'll get through it, talk to the people that support you, you'll find solace, one day at a time.

Mary said...

My heart aches for your situation. Yes, it's time for assisted living. Change is always hard. The results will be a safe haven for your parents and peace of mind for you and your family. I certainly understand where you are and how you feel in this situation. Sending love and prayers for an easy transition.

happyone said...

As hard as it is, I think you have come to the right decision at this time. Your parents will be happier and safe and you all can have peace of mind. My prayers are with you always.

Anonymous said...

Cousin Cheryl, you and your family are making the right decision. I used to worry myself sick about my parents. Neither of them had good balance and my mother took a fall that landed her in the hospital/rehab center for 3 months. I understand exactly what you are going through.

Blessings and Peace!
Cousin Suzanne

I remember that house - my parents bought the exact same one (except reversed floor plan) in NJ for the short time we lived there. We moved to FL when I was 9. Where did the time go?

Know that you have done the best you can. It's time to put safety first. Besides, I'm sure your parents will be able to socialize more with other residents and that will make them both happier. My heart goes out to you.

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