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Thread: Paleobird's Next Big Adventure page 131

  1. #1301
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    Quote Originally Posted by JudyCr View Post
    PB, how's he doing today?
    Dad came to a major milestone today. He turned over his car keys and had me close out his insurance policy so he has faced the reality that his driving days are over. I'm so glad I didn't have to be "the bad guy" and have his license taken away.

    That must be hard though to concede mentally that a big piece of your independence is gone and it's not coming back. I had to have a talk with him about how horrible he would feel if he hurt someone while driving. He doesn't really care if he hurt himself but the thought of running down a little kid got through to him. He would not be safe behind the wheel at all. He is still very unsteady on his feet.

    I think the medications may stabilize things a bit but there has been some damage done mentally. The ER doctor speculated that it could be the result of a cluster of mini strokes. Dad's memory is like swiss cheese right now. I'm afraid he would go out to someplace like the market and not know how to get home.

    The car keys are now all safely stashed away. That makes me feel safer.

    The next plan is to take both our vehicles, his truck and my Rav4, and trade them in on one Toyota Prius. Dad has been complaining that my Rav4 rides like an army jeep and the Prius would also be easier for him to get into having a lower wheel base. I went looking today since I had my car in for an oil change. The new plug in Prius is really nice. With the two trade-ins we could make it pretty reasonable too.

    The next step if he doesn't stabilize out some would be for me to move in down at his house. There is a pull out sofa sleeper in the living room if that becomes necessary. At every stage I need to gauge how much help to give and how much to respect his independence and let him have his dignity.

    My sister is coming for a visit next week. (This was already scheduled before Dad got sick. She doesn't see him nearly enough. Once a year maybe.) While I'm glad she will be here for Dad's sake, I have the feeling she is going to want to swoop in and take over everything, like she always does. No, we are not particularly close.

  2. #1302
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    Ah, sisters.

    I love driving a prius. Our car didn't start today, and I just thought to myself -- if only I had $18k to buy the used prius that I want. LOL instead, I took a cab to work last-minute and it was sucky. But, I made money so it balances out.

    it's good that Dad is capable of making good decisions, no matter how difficult. I think giving up that level of independence is really tough, but it sounds to me like he's handling things with a lot of grace and dignity, and that you are mindful of that for him. Those are good things for you both.

    I would -- because it's how I work -- tell him how proud of him I am. I know that it's hard to make these kinds of decisions, and the same courage he has shown in many situations in his life is showing up now. Just because it seems like a little thing, doesn't mean it is, and even so, at the end of the day, being an elder isn't an easy go. Things happen that you don't expect and that, honestly, youth can never really comprehend. Heck, I don't comprehend it -- I can only hint at the reality of it becuase I can imagine, but I don't really understand.

    So that is something for him to be proud of too -- that he's teaching us all about dignity and grace, and showing us what it is to really do this . . .well rather trying . . . stage of life right.

  3. #1303
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    As I often say to my patients at work - getting old isn't for wimps.

    I hope your sister can be somewhat reasonable, no doubt her desire to "take over" is in some way a manifestation of the guilt that she feels knowing that she does nothing for your Dad and you're there at the coal face everyday taking care of things. I hope you can both navigate your way through this with your relationship intact at the end (whatever there is of it anyway).

  4. #1304
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    It's never easy seeing our parents grow old, get sick(er) & even the initial signs of infirmity begin or increase. It's been gratifying & frustrating as all hell to be living with my mom for the 1st time since I left for college 29 years ago! She is happy that I do so much for her, that she has lost nearly 30 lbs in 12 weeks while building muscle. But she also resents the level of control I have assumed & asserted in her life. And she has a perfectly valid point. I'm looking forward to just taking care of myself again, seeing my son in San Francisco in late October, & interacting with, hanging out & caring for & feeding him again. He's 6.

    PB, I'm glad your sister is coming soon. Perfect timing for her to come & hopefully help w/ your dad (& give you some time off). A less than perfect set of circumstances for your family get-together since your dad's recent health decline.

    But life often throws us curve balls more than center pitches. All we can do is modify our swings...
    Last edited by Betorq; 09-20-2012 at 05:39 AM.
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  5. #1305
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    could also be just a way to attempt to abate any anxiety that she has about not being in control of life in general, or these things. that's how my MIL is. it's not guilt. She's completely freaked out that things are not in her control.

  6. #1306
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    Robin, I really feel for you. My mom died this past April after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's nine years ago. It was very, very difficult for her to give up her independence; luckily, my dad is very healthy and was incredibly supportive of her the entire time. I'm sure that the changes you've helped your dad make have prevented his problems from being any worse, and hopefully he has a good doctor who can support you in your efforts.

    It's heart wrenching to see our parents decline. My sympathies.

  7. #1307
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    I love driving a prius. Our car didn't start today, and I just thought to myself -- if only I had $18k to buy the used prius that I want. LOL instead, I took a cab to work last-minute and it was sucky. But, I made money so it balances out.

    it's good that Dad is capable of making good decisions, no matter how difficult. I think giving up that level of independence is really tough, but it sounds to me like he's handling things with a lot of grace and dignity, and that you are mindful of that for him. Those are good things for you both.

    I would -- because it's how I work -- tell him how proud of him I am. I know that it's hard to make these kinds of decisions, and the same courage he has shown in many situations in his life is showing up now. Just because it seems like a little thing, doesn't mean it is, and even so, at the end of the day, being an elder isn't an easy go. Things happen that you don't expect and that, honestly, youth can never really comprehend. Heck, I don't comprehend it -- I can only hint at the reality of it becuase I can imagine, but I don't really understand.

    So that is something for him to be proud of too -- that he's teaching us all about dignity and grace, and showing us what it is to really do this . . .well rather trying . . . stage of life right.
    Dad is going with me today to the Toyota dealership to "try on " the new Prius. I want him to feel involved in this change.
    With the occasional grumpiness that is totally understandable aside, Dad is handling the changing stages in his life with a lot of dignity and grace. I hope that I can remember this when my time comes and do it as well. He is still my hero even if he can't leap tall buildings any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by NourishedEm View Post
    As I often say to my patients at work - getting old isn't for wimps.

    I hope your sister can be somewhat reasonable, no doubt her desire to "take over" is in some way a manifestation of the guilt that she feels knowing that she does nothing for your Dad and you're there at the coal face everyday taking care of things. I hope you can both navigate your way through this with your relationship intact at the end (whatever there is of it anyway).
    There may be some guilt involved. She also, in our family, is known as The Stage Manager. She has always come in and decided what other people should or shouldn't do in their lives. She is also a serious neat freak so I'm sure she is going to give Dad's house a thorough cleaning which it really needs. When my sister gets out the swiffers and pine sol, just get out of her way and enjoy the free cleaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Betorq View Post
    It's never easy seeing our parents grow old, get sick(er) & even the initial signs of infirmity begin or increase. It's been gratifying & frustrating as all hell to be living with my mom for the 1st time since I left for college 29 years ago! She is happy that I do so much for her, that she has lost nearly 30 lbs in 12 weeks while building muscle. But she also resents the level of control I have assumed & asserted in her life. And she has a perfectly valid point. I'm looking forward to just taking care of myself again, seeing my son in San Francisco in late October, & interacting with, hanging out & caring for & feeding him again. He's 6.

    PB, I'm glad your sister is coming soon. Perfect timing for her to come & hopefully help w/ your dad (& give you some time off). A less than perfect set of circumstances for your family get-together since your dad's recent health decline.

    But life often throws us curve balls more than center pitches. All we can do is modify our swings...
    Hopefully some of the things you have taught your Mom about nutrition will stick with her once you head home. It sounds like she has made some great progress.

    My Dad's cardiologist is using the term Congestive Heart Failure which sounds scary as all hell but my sister actually has some experience in dealing with this since she took care of our Aunt who had the same thing and lived with it for years without problems as long as she took hers meds on time. Hopefully my sister talking to Dad about this experience will help to make it less scary for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
    could also be just a way to attempt to abate any anxiety that she has about not being in control of life in general, or these things. that's how my MIL is. it's not guilt. She's completely freaked out that things are not in her control.
    This nails it. She likes control and freaks out when she doesn't have it. Mortality is the ultimate in "out of one's control".

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldie View Post
    Robin, I really feel for you. My mom died this past April after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's nine years ago. It was very, very difficult for her to give up her independence; luckily, my dad is very healthy and was incredibly supportive of her the entire time. I'm sure that the changes you've helped your dad make have prevented his problems from being any worse, and hopefully he has a good doctor who can support you in your efforts.

    It's heart wrenching to see our parents decline. My sympathies.
    I'm so sorry for your loss, Goldie. As you said your Mom had Dad and you there for her. That's how it was with my Mom. Dad and I took turns and gave each other some time off. This time around it is just me.

    He does have really good doctors who are really supportive of PB eating and only resort to meds when really necessary.

    Alzheimer's must be really rough. The mental losses my Dad is going through now are pretty scary.
    Last edited by Paleobird; 09-20-2012 at 12:11 PM.

  8. #1308
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleobird View Post
    Alzheimer's must be really rough. The mental losses my Dad is going through now are pretty scary.
    Grandma insisted that her kids "stole" her car. She's convinced she's living in a hellhole so her kids can take her money. I'm guessing they didn't look at any Medicare nursing homes if she thinks hers is a hellhole. She told Mom, after Mom had spent several months there with my aunt who was dying of cancer, that she was worthless and was never there when Grandma needed her. Alzheimer's is apparently hell.
    Most people don't realize how much energy it takes for me to pretend to be normal.

    If I wanted to listen to an asshole, I'd fart.

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  9. #1309
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    I remember how hard it was for my mother to give up driving and eventually to give up going anywhere on her own because she would get lost and was also worried that her problems with cognitive processing and sequences would lead her to forget to look before she walked out into the street. Being conscious of one's decline must be hard, even when the person handles it with dignity and grace. Your dad is very fortunate to have you being so sportive, and I'm sure it makes it easier for him to make those choices knowing you are there for him.

    Oh, sisters. I don't have any, but I try not to be that sister to my brothers. As the oldest, it's too easy to sweep on in and try to fix it all, especially now that our mother is gone. I have to remind myself that they are grown men with their own lives and that meddling doesn't help any of us. It's a tough balance sometimes to support them in their young adulthood (they are much younger) without being overbearing.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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  10. #1310
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    Supportive, not sportive. Stupid phone.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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