Saturday, January 03, 2009

Odd Number Year

Now two full days in and I’ve managed to keep my food and drink intake within a manageable and reasonable level. I’ve had some giggles and a serious conversation with the daughter, an interesting and enlightening conversation with the son, a distressing conversation with the mom and a fun, challenging, serious, enticing, and invigorating conversation with the girlfriend.

In short, the first two days of the New Year represent business as usual, mostly.

I haven’t gotten the amount of exercise I’d hope to get but I think Saturday and Sunday will be my ‘get physical’ days.

Mom pointed out during our New Year Day conversation that I’ll celebrate birthday number forty-nine, she, sixty-nine one of her sisters, seventy-nine and the eldest sister, eighty-nine this year. (There are two brothers and another sister between my nearly 69 year old mother and her nearly 89 year old sister).

My mother doesn’t want to live to see 89. She told me so. She tells me so nearly every day. She reminds me how tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed she feels. None of her various conditions are, in and of themselves, life threatening, but they are debilitating and the constant pain is, well, a pain.
The meds tend to addle her already over taxed brain.

The details of day-to-day living are turning molehills into Mt. Olympus.

I, the only daughter, am in the process of helping her pare down even further her meager possessions, scout assisted living locales and file applications with the alphabet soup of government and social services agencies. Though tired, frustrated and overwhelmed she hasn’t quite reconciled her emotions to the eventual relinquishing of control over some aspects of her life.

Hopefully, the right locale, situation and set of circumstances will materialize sooner rather than later and she can move on to the next phase. Further, hopefully, she can begin to finally un-clench, relax and come to appreciate the good above lamenting the bad.

So, in short, 2009 so far, business as usual.


  1. I have to tell you I am such a huge fan of assisted living facilities. My mom was in one, and she just blossomed while she was there, she had a more active social life than me! My friend's grandmother is in one now, and her family is just thrilled with the way she's blossomed. She used to basically just sit in her chair at home and do nothing. Now her family feels like they need to make an appt. to see her, she's so busy. The initial change is difficult for many, they see it as such a loss of their independence, but the right facility can be a God-send. BTW, I don't know if you have Merrill Gardens out there, but if you do, I can't say enough good things about them.

  2. I'm sure your mom would not even go for this, but two words:

    Chinese medicine.

    Really. Chinese medicine is amazing.

    But, yeah. I know. Anyway, good luck.

  3. That's very tough... Does she have friends or hobbies?

    Good luck... and happy 2009!

  4. I have so many friends who are trying to help their parents and they all seem pretty exhausted by it all.

    My Da died when I was a kid and my mother when I was in my mid thirties, so I never had that worry. I hope you find something that works, Deb.

  5. drowningpisces12:52 PM

    Ugh... My mom is dealing with this with her parents now. My grandfather is in early stages of Alzheimers' my grandmother is getting to old to take care of the both of them and both REFUSE to leave the farm. I hear and feel the frustration from my mom, and I can only imagine your feelings and frustrations to be similar.

    I thank goddess that my mom is still in good health ... yet I know eventually... I'll be the one discussing these types of things with her. Not looking forward to it.

    Positive thoughts and
    Big Hugs coming your way.

  6. Sassy: yes, I think the move will be grand for her and eventually she'll be convinced. Thanks for the tip re: Merrill Gardens, I'll check it out.

    eb: Two words: thank you. and You're right, she'd never go for it, but hey, what's to lose?

    Val: No real friends or hobbies to speak of adding to the challenge of the whole situation.

    Maria: Yep, yep..that about sums it up.

    dp: Thanks, much appreciated!


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