Covering All Bases


Covering All Bases

castle-1184638_640I went back go to my parents' apartment on Thursday to change my dad's ostomy bag. His rash is healing nicely and this bag lasted five days. I think we finally, finally, finally figured out how to protect my dad's skin and seal the bag so it doesn't leak. With his new bag in place, my dad said to my mom, "It will be such a relief if I know I can keep a bag on for five days."

After I changed the bag, I sat for a few minutes to visit. My dad said to my mom, "So you are sure you want to move?" "Yes," she said.

"You want to give up the safety and security we have here?" he asked "You want to make four people (me and my siblings) unhappy?"

"Yes," she said. "No one is concerned about my happiness. I've been unhappy for months and no one cares."

I didn't say anything and left a few moments later after giving each a kiss good-bye. I thought it best not to engage with my mom about the move issue. I did, however, mutter a not-very-nice statement under my breath as I walked out their door.

When I got home, I began to wonder if perhaps my mom's irritability (and nastiness) is about something else. Could she have a urinary tract infection? Started another internal bleed? Her appearance startled me on Wednesday and I said to each sibling, "She doesn't look well. I think she's lost weight."

I just want to make sure that I understand what's going on with my mom. Is she reacting to her fear about where she is in her life? Or, is she reacting to an underlying medical situation which also caused Tuesday's fall?

I called the nurse practitioner, Dana, the next morning at about 7:30 a.m. As fate would have it, she already had an appointment to see my dad at 9:30 a.m. I met Dana at my parents' apartment; my dad was alone as my mom had gone to the community's gathering room to participate in a worship service and receive communion. We shared about my mom with Dana and my dad asked for her medical opinion about a move to a condo. Unfortunately, Dana hedged and said she could see both sides -- our concern for their safety and their desire for more independence. (Just as an aside: They lose their independence in a condo which has been one of my points to my parents.)

When my mom finally returned, Dana took my mom's blood pressure (it was low -- only 100/70) and did take a urine sample. The sample was negative so she doesn't have a UTI. However, she has lost three pounds in the past week or so. She lost 15 pounds in December, gained back five but recently lost three.

Does my mom feel the end which is why she's so urgent about a move? Does she feel her life is a failure if she can't manage to die in her own home? (She insists the apartment is not home and that she needs her own home.)

So now I know she doesn't have an urinary tract infection. It seems she has a bad case of fear.

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You're so wise to check out UTI, etc. So frustrating that the nurse practitioner hedged! GRRRRRRR! You know she belongs where she is. \r\n\r\nYou know your mom's behavior is reminding me of my MILs in the very early stages of dementia... She had previously agreed with her husband before he died of cancer that she would move to retirement community. At that time she thought it good idea too. But then she began having TIAs and I think much earlier that we new. She became very irrational and was saying things very similar... She made some really selfish statements and decisions and refused to move out of this house despite the fact she couldn't care for herself or the house. She started confessing to us (after the fact) that she had fallen a few times. P found her laying half in/out of her car door in the garage one morning. She would always say she was fine! and she could manage on her own. Although she was stubborn to begin with, she got extremely stubborn and rigid.\r\n\r\nIs your gut still telling you it's not adding up? \r\n\r\nIf it is regrets and fear and feelings that no one cares, maybe some heartfelt, gushing letters of love and appreciation of her strengths and accomplishments from her kids/ grandkids might help? Just throwing it out there. You know, just fumbling here for anything that might help...