Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Heavy Heart

Saul and I were supposed to have fasting checkups with our doctor on Monday afternoon. We had already rescheduled these appointments twice because we had mixed up dates. We arose early to make sure we had finished light breakfasts by 8:00 a.m. to allow us 6-hour fasts as we were told to do. At 10, the doctor's office called to cancel the appointment. Our doctor's wife had gone into labor that morning and was delivering their baby.

Adele came over unexpectedly to take Mom to the bank and to wash and set Mom's hair. She said that Mom probably had not told us she was coming because she was still angry about someone coming into the house to look after her while we are away on vacation. While they were at the bank, I called Aunt Ruth to see if she would consider taking some time off in light of her recent hospitalization to come and stay with Mom. I found that she is planning to go back to work on Thursday. While Adele was here, we sent the girls to take an early nap and we took the opportunity to take a drive together to deliver some work I had done. The weather has been so weird! On the way back, we encountered some of the heaviest rain I have ever seen, but by the time we arrived home, it had barely rained here. We all had a large lunch with the leftovers from Friday evening's barbecue.

In the afternoon, we took the girls to the movies to see Kung Fu Panda. They both really enjoyed it and so did the two of us. I am so happy that the theaters have made real buttered popcorn available again! I haven't been able to really enjoy movie popcorn since I was in my teens. I made a spaghetti dinner when we returned and we spent extra time putting the girls to bed.

Yesterday, we spent a delightful afternoon at Beachcombers, showered, made omelets for dinner and took the girls to a magic show in a secluded local park which we never knew existed. The girls were delighted with the show and were able to pat the bunny the magician pulled out of his hat at the climax.

Yesterday morning, I called Leslie Fine in the morning to tell her that we would decide about the help for Mom by evening. It really is not fair to keep her hanging any longer besides the fact that, at this point in time, she may not even be able to line someone up. Then, I put in a call to both Adele and Ken. Larry said he would have Adele call me back. She didn't call all day yesterday and by evening, after putting the kids to bed, I was too tired to make any phone calls. When I called Ken at the office, they told me he was at home. He had stayed home for several reasons. He has a cold and a sore throat, he was meeting some contractors to redo his finished basement which had flooded, and Randi had taken her father for cataract surgery. He also said he would call back, but I assume he was a bit overwhelmed yesterday. So this morning, I will be calling Leslie to cancel. I have very mixed feelings about all this. I feel that everyone around me has tried their best to be supportive, but they all have their own lives and routines and are as overwhelmed as I am with this situation. I understand Mom's resistance to having an expensive stranger in the house to take care of her. She has always been fiercely independent and this represents a severe challenge to her self image and an admission of infirmity. On the other hand, I am also angry that she has not held up her part of the bargain when we built this house that, when and if the time came, we would care for her here with help rather than send her to a nursing home. So here I sit, wavering between sympathy and anger. I feel that she has decided that she would rather die than accept help in her daily routine. That is a person's prerogative. When Uncle Jack was dying in the hospital and I urged him to fight and assured him that he could come and stay with me again, he told me he didn't think his future quality of life would make the fight worthwhile. I have never been in this position, thank God, so I don't know what I would do under the same circumstances. In the meantime, I will take the next few days to prepare for a vacation that I will take with a heavy heart.


sabasenders said...

You have kept your end of this deal. I choose not to have a heavy heart. We have offered her many options and opportunities to enjoy her life. She chooses to stay in her room and watch TV most of the day. She won't even go to visit her only sibling in the Hospital a 10 min. drive. She felt it "was too far." enough said. Our children and grand-children have all tried. It is now time to think of the next two weeks down the shore. I love you.

Ari said...

At the end of the day, she's still a lot better off than many people who are forced to or choose to live completely on their own. I think it just makes you feel a lot worse because you're around to see it on a daily basis.

She's got people to look in on her close by, and should otherwise be OK I think.

Anonymous said...

just testing