Friday, March 5, 2010

Who can forgive you when you blame yourself?

So did I tell my doc that he sucks? I sure did. And I explained my reasons, reminded him of the rushed appointment and lack of information, etc. But it wasn't very satisfying because he was exclaiming about how good my numbers have been (on average), and I had lost 7 pounds . . !

He was in a good mood and being his charming self and I couldn't be mad at him when he's such a smart ass. He asked what I was doing and I explained not putting sugar in my tea anymore, eating lots more fiber, etc. He said "Scared the $hit outa you, didn't it?"

Hmmm. Regardless. He said if I lose some more weight and keep my numbers down by eating well, he wants to take me off the meds. Yay! But 2 minutes from that I was telling him about my mom. She was his patient for about 6 months or so when she lived with me. Those are the times when the a$$hole goes away and the caring physician comes out.

See, I put my Mom into a nursing home Wednesday afternoon. Long distance, sight unseen. It was a traumatic situation for all of us but at that moment, she was being released from the hospital and could not go back to my brother's house.

I spent a good part of the afternoon talking to a social worker, my mom, my broth
er, the admissions gal at the facility. Back and forth and around and round. When the time came my mom asked me for the address of the facility because - (omg) - she wanted to take a cab. My mother is tiny. She walks in a wobbly wandering manner, listing one direction to the other until eventually she falls. I pictured her sitting by herself in the corner of the cab in her little sweat suit carrying her purse and her little plastic bag from the hospital. Arriving at the facility and meandering up the walk till she reached the building and went inside with her head held high. It broke my heart.

But even though they had discussed it and it was more her idea than his - my mom had thrown the accusation at my brother that he was "sticking her in a mental institution. Sticking her in
a home." So - he called me. He wasn't going to stick her anywhere.

So I did it.

Isn't that the most awful thing you've ever heard? I live in Chicago. My brother is with my mother in NJ and my other brother lives in Seattle. My sister? Nobody cares. None of us can stay home and take care of her, I don't think any of us will ever retire either. And none of us has a spouse to help. That alone speaks to what our family is about.

But we do love my mom. I was weepy for 2 days. Those phone calls? I spoke to the social worker and then cried a bit. Spoke to my brother, cried a bit more. Talked to to my mom and cried again. It was tough and there was drama and gnashing of teeth. Still - it was the right decision, the necessary one.

Will there be adjustments? Holy cow, yes! She is signed up at the facility she is at for 30 days. During that time we have a chance to explore a few different options - one of which is staying where she is except being moved to a different floor where she can socialize and there are activities. Right now - the floor she's on - not so much. It was the only bed available. She said the food is good, and they give her pudding. If there is something my mom likes it is people doing things for her. And pudding.

Tomorrow my brother is going to pick her up and bring her back to the house to collect some more of her things. He's still very hurt by the things she said to him but maybe this is a chance to have a better relationship again before she passes. Because God knows she dumped a rash of guilt on him that he needs to work though. He told her he loves her and isn't abandoning her. But he also told her that she really hurt him. Her answer? "I know."
So, it's a beginning. And a beginning of the end I guess.

Mom has always been worried about people seeing her walk - like they would think she was drunk. Well maybe now that she is in an environment where everybody else is old too - she won't feel as embarrassed by her unsteady gate. I'm hoping she makes a friend or 2. I
can dream.



  1. I had to do this with my Dad - it wasn't nice at all. I know how you feel, it's so very sad as you know in your heart it is the final chapter.

    My Dad made a lady friend in his home and she made his last months somewhat bearable I think..

    Best wishes to you BetteJo at this very difficult time..

  2. Your story does hurt the heart,its not an easy time for the whole family.I can feel your pain and I am sorry.We always want the best for our parents.

  3. Oh BetteJo You lost weight , well done and you told the doctor how you felt , well done you ! And what an awful week you had . But you sound like you know you did the right thing so what's to forgive? Its hard though , is what you're saying I think ? You have friends here .... I know you're ok but you have my email address if ever you want an anonymous kind of sounding board! Take care

  4. I don't know what to say. I just want to give you a big ol' hug.