It’s been a hard, hard summer: Spilling over high tea September 2016

“Do you ever feel like all you do is take care of everyone else and when the heck is someone going to take care of you?”

Man, that’s what I wrote for July’s Coffee Date — little did I know how much worse it was going to get! Probably a good thing, because if I knew, I’d have gone for a run one day and never come back.

Posts are almost sure to be erratic again next week, but I’m hoping things can get back to at least the new normal after that.

Today I am joining up with CocoDeborah, and Lynda for their ultimate coffee tea date.

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that while I wasn’t looking forward to taking care of my parents during my mom’s recuperation from her surgery, I had no idea of the perfect storm that awaited me (and my brother bore the brunt of it!).

I won’t go into the gory details, but she got severely dehydrated shortly after being released from the hospital the first time, which resulted in a trip to the ER and a 3 am readmission to the hospital Sunday morning.

I ran my 10 miles Saturday, as my plan was to go down Sunday morning, as my brother’s plan was to leave Sunday afternoon. It was my first double digit run since my half in May. It went pretty well, I felt good, and I already knew there was some issues so I offered to come down that afternoon, but my brother insisted the next morning was good enough.

By that evening she was in the ER, and while I slept through the update texts at midnight, by 3 am I was texting back and forth with my brother, by about 7:30 am I’d hit the road. I had to have Mr. Judy take Bandit to the kennel as I just wasn’t able to reach her (turns out I had the wrong cell number for her).

My brother left Monday instead of Sunday; my mom stayed in the hospital until Wednesday morning; I brought her home Wednesday and my brother-in-law came over to make sure she got up the front steps safely — my parents have to walk up a flight of stairs to get into their house.

I came home yesterday, will stay until Monday morning, and then I will head back for what I hope is only a few days but we really don’t know. My sister is with my parents now, a household aid comes Tuesday morning, and there’s a visiting nurse and a physical therapist a couple of times a week.

She is doing better, if not well, but the dehydration just set off a real avalanche of crap, and we’ll leave it at that.

I felt badly leaving my sister there over the weekend, as she doesn’t have the best relationship with my parents, but she does live there, and quite frankly, tired as I am, this small break has been heaven.

Moral of this story: if you have an elderly parent who needs to have surgery, watch their liquid intake very closely afterward. Apparently dehydration in the elderly after surgery is very common, but we weren’t informed of it or given any guidelines for how much she should be drinking. So ask!

dad90
In April, at my Dad’s 90th birthday luncheon

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that for years I’ve been saying that that house is just an accident waiting to happen.

Mind you, none of what has happened has anything to do with the house. But it’s become apparent to all (except my parents, and maybe even them, finally), that they just cannot stay in it anymore.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that in an odd twist of fate, the physical therapist is the same one that worked with my dad after he was so sick a couple of years ago. My mom recognized her name. My Dad didn’t even recognize her in person.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that it is very, very difficult to watch your parents become so old and feeble. Before the surgery, while my mom had her issues, she was pretty vital. Now just watching the both of them barely able to shuffle around the kitchen, so stooped, so tired . . . and you just feel so incredibly helpless (and helpless to help).

I do believe that she will regain her energy, but let’s face it: she’s 88 and my dad is 90 and while they’re in relatively good health considering their ages, they are just a shell of the people they used to be, especially my Dad.

If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that although my sister has been saying my Dad is severely depressed for a while, I didn’t really see it until this weekend. Yes, it’s been stressful for everyone, but . . . he will now say, to basically anyone who is listening, I don’t want to go on. I’m ready for this life to be over.

He is not at all suicidal, but it is very clear that he is just tired of his life. He won’t speak to a therapist (not to mention he’s extremely hard of hearing). I have no idea what to do for him that would give him a purpose in life again.

Bandit’s happy to be back “home”


If we were enjoying high tea . . .
I’d tell you that I will try to end this very depressing post on a more positive note. The kennel owner said Bandit did great — much more relaxed than the first time, no problems with eating — he even sat on her lap!

He was incredibly excited to see me, so far things are good in the poop department, and we are now trying to go from downstairs to upstairs off leash (and making sure we have a piece of jerky for him to lure him to the proper place and keep him off the furniture). We can also let both Bandit and Lola out together through the office now, at least so far, and that alleviates some of the time it takes to jockey them both around.

Tea? Iced Tea? Coffee? Decaf? Or something else?

Have you done the elderly parent thing already?

Any tips for me?

Especially about how to approach moving to an apartment?

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27 thoughts on “It’s been a hard, hard summer: Spilling over high tea September 2016

  1. I have done the parent thing once and dread it second time round… I can’t offer you any sound advice because i was pretty crap at it… I think every single one of us deals with it so differently, so much comes from the relationships you have with your folks.
    All i can tell you is patience is a virtue and if you can remain patient and compassionate and oh god i know it can be hard… but, when the time comes and its all over, its one less thing to deal with… knowing deep in your heart that you did your best will not only help you through the hard times, it will give you peace.

    You are being amazing! xxx

    Gosh i am not sure where that came from… didn’t really mean to get deep and did contemplate deleting it 🙂

    if all else fails… TEQUILA! *winks*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to hear about your mom! My parents are getting up in age and mom has been in and out of the hospital more times the past year than the years before (mental illness). My dad blames himself most of the time because he feels like he can prevent her episodes as long as she is taking her meds on schedule…but it goes beyond meds. So complicated… You are in my thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sorry about your mom. My mom is still very vital so it’s hard for me to imagine. Our neighbor is 93 and trying to care for her son and that’s too hard on all of them! Glad Bandit is a bright spot this week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bandit may have been the bright spot until he had diarrhea again last night. Can’t catch a break it seems. 😔

      Hopefully your mom will continue to remain vital. I believe my will recover, but I think at her age, with her health problems, it’s probably temporary.

      With me 90 minutes away & my brother on the west coast, most of it falls to my sister, who lives there. But she works.

      Like

  4. Oh man Judy I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. I haven’t yet done the elderly parent thing (well my dad has been very sick with heart issues) but some of my friends are right now as well. I can only imagine how draining this must be and how helpless you feel, but know that you’re doing great. Hang in there and yay for Bandit holding his own! That’s awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry to read this. Seeing parents get older is so hard. Mine are in really good health, both physically and mentally, but because we only see each other in person about once a year, I do notice how they age during that time. My husband’s mother is much older (father passed away a couple years ago) and is definitely high maintenance despite being in pretty decent health. Its family though so we do all we can to support her. Family in France is soooo important.

    Hang in there and try to get some time in to exercise and run, even walk, without the pressure of having to hit a pace. Just being out side, alone helps me recharge.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The problem is when I’m with them I can’t get out at all. They can’t be left alone (although they still think they can, of course).

      But they really don’t get moving til late morning, which is how I was able to get some exercise in.

      Like

  6. Yes I definitely know that ‘ I care for everyone else ‘ feeling. Even though for the last couple of years of her life my mother in law needed lots of care I missed her so because she cared about me even if she couldn’t do anything practical. I suppose that when people lose their intellect and personally caring for them can be so much harder.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. One of my best friends mother had dementia. It was so sad that the person we knew disappeared. And it seemed cruel because she had given so much to others all her life. And it was very difficult for my friend to cope, physically as well as mentally. Wherever you can, please take care of yourself, you need to preserve your own well being so that you can continue to do this. 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It is hard to see your parents get older, Kenny’s dad is much older and I worry. He gets unhappy because he can’t go as much as he wants, I think it is hard to have time and not be able to enjoy it. That has to be depressing.
    My mom is so far way, it is hard – I can’t just go as much as I need to. She is having a hard year.
    I am glad your Mom got through the dehydration okay, that is scary.
    Glad to hear bandit did okay while you were gone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty much glossing over just how hard it’s been. I’d always thought we ended up moving here because we’d be nearer to my parents (of course the real reason was so Mr. Judy would have a job), but we’re 90 minutes away, and there’s the animals, so it’s still not easy.

      Like

  8. I’m so sorry…We’re having this same kind of issue with my grandparents, who are 87 and 89. Grandma has been in and out of the hospital all year, and every time she goes in my mom warns us that it may be the end. She’s still with it and sharp and seems happy to be alive, but it’s hard for such an old body to recover from surgery and illness.

    Matt’s Nana told us she was ready before she passed. I think as people get older, they just are at the point where they’re okay with being “done.” It’s hard for us – it’s SO much harder for us – but I take some comfort in knowing that when the time comes, they feel emotionally and mentally ready.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so sorry to hear about your challenges with taking care of your parents. I haven’t had to go through this yet, but it is definitely something that I worry about. It looks like you’re doing your best and doing your part with your siblings.

    And yay for Bandit! Hope things continue to go well with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I can only imagine how hard it is with an aging parent. Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with that yet… my mom is still going strong (knock on wood). I do remember taking in my grandfather after he had open heart surgery and helping to care for him, it was tough.
    Good to hear that Bandit did well, that is a little bright point.

    Liked by 1 person

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