Author Topic: Dealing With Aging Parents  (Read 32353 times)

injest

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Dealing With Aging Parents
« on: July 18, 2007, 06:37:23 pm »
well, relatives period.

Are your parents still alive?

My mother is alive and only in her mid sixties....might as well be ninety the way she acts.
How do you deal with your parents? Are they in good health?

« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 09:38:46 am by injest »

Offline Lumière

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 06:47:48 pm »
My dad is in his early seventies..
He takes very good care of himself - watches his salt/sugar intake, eats lots of veggies, takes his vitamins regularly etc.
My mom is in her fifties...
She has had problems with high-blood pressure and a few health issues over the last couple of years, but I am glad to see that she is starting to take better care of herself and my dad keeps an eye on things and makes sure that she eats properly and takes her vitamins/mineral supplements.

All in all, I am glad they are taking care of themselves.  :)


Offline Brokeback_Dev

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2007, 07:27:53 pm »
I've lost all my parents.  Both my mom and dad, and my mother-n-law and father-n-law all in the past 3 years.  Sometimes its harder than others, but i guess i learned to live with it.  Its weird sometimes.. i just want to call my mom and then i realize i have no mom!  or i wish i could hang out with my mother-n-law, but she's gone.

Be glad you still have your mom.  Take good care of her jess.  i wish i could have taken better care of my mom.  My mom had a lot of lung problems.... smoking, heredity, lack of exercise.   i have lung problems too, and no i don't smoke.  Go figure.  just wish i could have helped more..  i suppose i did the best i could, and i know you will too.

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2007, 08:00:50 pm »
Funny this topic should come up today.

My father died from a massive heart attack in 2001, but it was due to decades of living with diabetes.  Enlarged heart, you know.  Otherwise, aside from diabetic issues - cataracts, failing sight - he was up and able to work around the house.  In fact, he'd gone outside to work in the yard when it happened.

My mother is in extremely poor health.  She came out of remission last spring with her breast cancer.  She is in such poor health she cannot undergo any surgery, so her cancer is inoperable, she is too weak now from her bad health for the chemotherapy that's always worked before, most of the anti-cancer drugs have made her extremely ill, and her cancer is too close to her heart for radiation. 

The doctors finally found a drug she could take and it's kept her cancer at bay for over a year now.

Her diaphragm is elevated on her left side and is pushing against one lung, halving its capacity to function, but she cannot exercise to strenghten her other lung and increase the efficiency of her circulatory system because after half a lifetime of going in and out of chemotherapy treatment, one of her heart atria is ballooning and she cannot stress herself too much or it might blow.  She has a goiter in her neck that's pushing against her esophogus and making it difficult for her to swallow and recently her breathing capacity has worsened and an hour or so ago, my mother called to tell me her latest CAT scan showed a "mass" in her chest behind her trachea.  It's almost impossible to get to for a biopsy without putting her under - which they can't do anyway - and that's probably what is causing her increasing difficulty in breathing.  It could be a new goiter or it could be cancer, no one knows right now. 

I hold out some hope as her oncologist has yet to see the CAT results. I hope it's just another goiter as her cancer as of last month was still under control but the goiter in her neck is enlarging and so is this 'mass'. 

In the meantime, the doctors asked her today if she's made all her 'arrangments'...

These are all extremely serious conditions and I take them extremely seriously.  But my mother has not helped my attitude about them.

For the last few years, she's done things - just for attention - calling us the middle of the night - 'having severe chest pain' but refusing to call 911, waiting for us to get there after a mad dash across town, just to have her refuse to leave home, she just wanted someone there.  This is in the middle of a work week, mind you - which pisses me off to no end.  Asking us to hold her hand for very minor procedures - it may not sound like much, but invariably she has her appointment at 8 am, which means she has to be there 2-3 hours earlier to check in, which means we have to get up at 5 am to drive across town just to hold her hand for something stupidly non-invasive and not dangerous.

Her doctors and hospitals are - I kid you not - less than 1/2 mile from her home, but prefers that 'family' take off from work, drive 20 miles one way to her house and take her to the doctor even though she's perfectly capable of driving herself and refuses to call a cab or any of the social services to take her to her appointments.

She's hard of hearing, but won't wear a hearing aid and then wants us to attend every meeting with her doctors because they 'mumble' and she 'misses' things.

She has on average 4-6 appointments per month.  Every month.  I and my sister have used up all our sick time ferrying her back and forth and I was comp'd one day at work because I got sick and didn't have enough sick days to stay home and recover.  Taking off so much time can put our jobs in jeopardy - neither me nor my sister have a boyfrend or husband to help with bills/running a household - but my mother doesn't care much about that.

I love and care for my mother and what happens to her, but she needs to help herself more while she can because soon she'll be bed-ridden and she'll be regretting the times she made herself helpless when she truly, finally is.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2007, 08:05:58 pm by delalluvia »

injest

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 09:59:26 pm »
Del, I swear...if I didn't know my sister is NOT going to Paris...I would SWEAR you were her...cause we got the SAME family!

 :laugh:

and that  is the thing, Dev...I DO love her and I know when she goes I will be devastated..but right now I have to vent so I don't blow up at her!

Del, my mother insists she can take care of herself and doesn't WANT us in the office with her when she sees the doc...then she can't remember what meds she is supposed to take when...or how much...and we will ask."Mom, did you tell him you have been dizzy?"

"No it never came up"

AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Offline delalluvia

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 10:53:25 pm »
Del, I swear...if I didn't know my sister is NOT going to Paris...I would SWEAR you were her...cause we got the SAME family!

 :laugh:

It's why we get along so well.... :laugh:

Quote
and that  is the thing, Dev...I DO love her and I know when she goes I will be devastated..but right now I have to vent so I don't blow up at her!

Me, too.  I'm going to be horrifically bereft when she goes but she's not making it very easy for anyone.  Go ahead and vent, but you will eventually blow and then - like me - you'll feel incredibly guilty because you yelled and got mad at your mortally ill mother.   :(

Quote
Del, my mother insists she can take care of herself

So does mine.  :P  She's so proud about her 'independence' but still wants someone around as much as possible.

Quote
then she can't remember what meds she is supposed to take when...or how much...and we will ask."Mom, did you tell him you have been dizzy?"

"No it never came up"

AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

... :o  ...What's your mother's name?!?!?!   :laugh:  My mother does the exact same thing

Offline Lumière

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2007, 01:21:57 am »
I have always heard that saying that you end up parenting your parents...that is how I feel.

Do your parents live nearby, Milli?

No they don't, alas.
But I've just spent a small fortune on herbal supplements, vitamins, etc.. for them.. Coz I get to see them soon.  :)


mvansand76

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2007, 05:42:34 am »
OMG guys, you touched on a very sensitive subject here! I can't even think about my parents aging because it scares the shit out of me! The biggest fear I have is of my parents becoming ill or dying. I honestly think I would not be able to get over it.... :( It would leave such a HUGE gap in my life, I am not sure I could live with that....

It's such a deeply ingrained fear, I have nightmares about it from time to time. I am very close to them (but like I read in the previous posts here) they drive me up the wall most of the time!  :laugh: Well, that seems to be the case with everybody!

Scott6373

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2007, 03:49:24 pm »
Well, I think that it's something you slip unconsciously into.  First it's the calls for a little advice then the rides to MD appointments, then helping them with financial choices.  It comes on in dribs and drabs, until you find yourself in the postion of being almost entirely reponsable for their well being.  I know...that's where I am with my mother, and it only got worse after my brother passed away in 2005.  She very nearly willed herself to die that year, not that I can blame her.  The rest of us kids have made a concerted effort to make her be vital, to make her be active in her life with and without us.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2007, 04:06:16 pm by Scott »

Offline serious crayons

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Re: Dealing With Aging Parents
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2007, 04:03:42 pm »
I don't call my mother as often as I should.

She has Alzheimer's, and although she can still talk on the phone and probably would even recognize my voice and remember my name, any conversation past that point is almost impossible. She answers questions and talks, but her words bear no relationship to reality, they're just rambling nonsense. And she can't hold any kind of continuous dialogue. For example, if she says A, then I respond B, she has no idea what I mean by B because she's already forgotten A.

Because she's in a nursing home without a phone in her room, it's kind of hard to get her on the phone. When I do call her, I'm sure she forgets the second she's hung up the phone. And it's hard to be reminded of how much unlike herself she is.

But those are rationalizations. I still feel guilty about not calling her more.