A Ramble

Fair warning, I’m about to ramble. Due to recent events it is a little hard to write coherently….

Memorial Day evening, my daughter asks to go to her Mom’s grave. I take her.

Tuesday morning the nursing home called about a “walk-in” appointment for Dad with a Podiatrist. I was already on the highway with my daughter heading toward the site of my wife’s death (different location than her grave and much further away). It was another request of hers, seeking closure. I rarely miss a medical appointment for my parents but this one was unscheduled and I was already committed with my daughter. No worries, the facility had matters well in hand. I make plans to follow up with them the next day. It was not to be.

Tuesday night due to urgent medical problems, I rush my daughter to the ER, she is unconscious by the time we arrive. Another indicator of the urgency, even though I drove us in (no ambulance) we did not have to wait, we were immediately assigned a bed.

Wednesday morning, after an 18-hour overnight in the Emergency Room, I slip out for an hour and go home to see my son wake up and head off for school. Back at the hospital, my daughter is better. Longer term plans are made for her care and I slip away again to clear my work calendar, officially go on sick leave and put our dog in the kennel. Wednesday night, daughter is transferred to another hospital.  Outside, Tropical Storm Beryl is pounding the area dumping rain. I hardly notice. I get my son from another family, we have a late take out dinner and both he and I collapse asleep.

Thursday morning, I sleep in. AWESOME!  My son sleeps in, Uh-oh! He’s late for school. Real late, it’s okay. I drive him in. I pray, I go by my church. Both are vital for my support and health. Small things which have great impact. I visit several local offices to give my mea culpas on missed appointments from Tuesday and Wednesday. I finally make it to the nursing home and learn my Dad is fine. He had a toe nail removed but is doing great. Mom is her feisty self, happy to see her “brother” again. Head to the local Social Security office. They’ve mailed me a letter asking questions regarding my parents finances. I have a car load full of files and documents ready to back my position and claims if necessary. It is not. Ten minutes I’m in and out with simply a verbal explanation on my part.

I make arrangement for home and carpet cleaners to come in and clean the house on Friday and I do three loads of laundry (normally the kids do their own laundry). A clean environment will help my son and I and will be a great lift to my daughter once she comes home. I cook dinner for my son and I before driving the hour to my daughter’s new hospital for visiting hours.

As I drive I ponder what is the difference between a parent and caregiver.  My daughter has significant medical issues which appear will be lasting. I already have Mom and Dad, am I my daughter’s caregiver now as well? It doesn’t matter, I’m going to be who and what she needs the most. Whatever any of them need me to be.

My son texts me, the toilet is stopped up.

Finally, a task I can do something about.

9 thoughts on “A Ramble

  1. Trish

    Jo, Your last line brought tears to my eyes. My heart goes out to you with everything you are handling right now. It must have been such a relief to know your parents are in good hands at the care facility and you were able to devote your full attention to your daughter. You are so much to so many – it doesn’t matter what you are called. You and your family have my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

    Reply
  2. G-J

    Oh, Jo, I was so sorry to read about your daughter! It becomes one more thing that we don’t even think of it like that, just go into the mode, and get things lined up, like having someone come in and clean up the house. (Smart move, by the way.)

    I am glad that your parents are currently stable so you can focus on your daughter. I hope your daughter with be home with you and your son in your clean house soon.

    Reply
  3. Sharon

    Hi, Jo. I am so sorry about the events of the past week. My heart goes out to you. Jo, you are such a strong compassionate man; and you are there for your kids and parents. I suspect that you were always a compassionate man, but you have learned compassion in greater depths because of the trials you have endured the last years. Your kids and parents are blessed to have you in their lives.

    As you hinted at in your post, there are so many things which are out of our control. I know that you know the One who is in control, however, Jo. That will give you the strength to go on. You and your family will be in my prayers. Take care of yourself also, Jo.

    Reply
  4. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Oh, Jo, I am so sorry. I’m so glad you took the time to give us an update–thank you so much for that.

    We’re thinking of all of you. And, we’re here with all the support you need.

    Keep us posted as you can.

    Reply
  5. Avatar of Old BillyOld Billy

    Good for you Jo, go ahead and ramble when ever the need arises. Writng out your circumstances no matter how incoherant, is one of the best ways I know of to sort things out in rough times.

    I’ve never been a parent but I would think you become a caregiver the moment your fist child is born. Judging by my oldest sibling, I doubt the task ever ends.

    You’re a fine example of Caregiving Jo and a Man all others would be proud to stand beside.

  6. Avatar of Bette

    Hi Jo,
    I’m so sorry about what transpired over those few days. You continue to move forward calmly addressing each need – thank you again for that example.

    I have often thought about your question of caregiving and children’s needs – I’ll continue to ponder, but thank you for asking it here. I agree with your answer (:

    I hope your daughter is home soon and that everyone has an uneventful and restful week-end.

    Reply
  7. Avatar of ejourneysejourneys

    Jo, I would call you an angel.

    I am sorry to hear your daughter is back in the hospital and hope she recovers soon. I am relieved your parents are stable. And I’m glad the Social Security matter was resolved quickly.

    Like Bette, I learn from your sense of calm in the midst of all that happens. Thank you for that.

  8. Avatar of KathyKathy

    Jo,

    How distressful to read of your daughters illness.
    You have my daily prayers for all of you. I shall ask specifically that your daughter gets quick and complete healing and that you get some rest for your mind and body.
    I’m sure you must feel like stretch armstrong getting pulled in so many directions.
    You always seem to handle the challenges so beautifully.

    I bet it was a relief knowing your parents are in capable hands.
    You made a good choice for their care. Well done son :)

    Now it’s time to teach that son how to plunge a toilet :)

  9. Avatar of JoJo Post author

    Agree about my son and the toilet although thinking about it reminds of a saying from my military days, “make sure the juice is worth the squeeze…” I don’t know if the mess will be worth the effort to teach him. Eventually he’ll learn on his own. :-)

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