The Toilet Doesn't Work

Denise

The Toilet Doesn't Work

Denise
That's just one of the problems since my parents moved from the retirement community and into an apartment.

Since they moved on June 10, my mom has fallen and had a UTI. My dad's ostomy bag, which my mom changed every four or five days before the move, now leaks almost daily which means an every-day change.

I keep a smile as I bite back the words I so want to scream.

My mom, who pushed for the move, loves the apartment. She walks through the apartment, Swiffer in hand, content to be in a place far away from what felt like death to her. The retirement community and its residents who look just like my mom brought my mom's fears of death too close to the surface. In the apartment, she can push away reality much like she sweeps over the dust with her Swiffer.

My dad, who enjoys my mom's happiness over their apartment, hesitates to include himself in the category of happy. It's more work to live in the apartment -- grocery shopping, meals, cleaning, laundry. And, it's not just doing the work but it's also thinking of the work. He loved the socialization of the retirement community; he attended a weekly men's club meeting and participated in recent play. He still walks across the street to attend meetings at the retirement community but it's not the same. I've included a photo of my dad after performing in the community's rendition of "Our Town." He's standing in what was their apartment in the retirement community. I loved that apartment.

My parents moved to an apartment across the street from the retirement community. Sounds like an easy move, right? Nope. The apartment building has strict regulations about where a moving truck can park -- it has to find a spot on a busy street around the corner from the building entrance. And, my parents, so decisive about the move, now falter anytime they have to make a decision, including where to put furniture.

The leaking ostomy bag did accelerate the decision to hire a nurse to help manage the ostomy care. They just couldn't let the frequent leaks continue. Hopefully, the first nursing visit will happen on Thursday. My dad, ever so watchful of the budget, announced today to me that he will not pay for a nurse on an ongoing basis.

I don't enjoy visiting my parents in their apartment, which is so quiet and closed off and isolated. I hate the building, which offers a level of security a younger generation may need but which adds another level of disconnect for my parents. I have to call one of my parents on their cell phone to buzz me into the building. How will that work in an emergency? They've stalled on the decision to get a Personal Emergency Response System, telling my sister that they can only do "one thing at a time." I did call the fire department to ask about access to that building in case of an emergency. I only reached voice mailboxes so will stop by the fire house to learn about protocol to enter such a secured building during an emergency.

I spent time with my parents this morning, going to a doctor's appointment with my dad and then changing his ostomy bag at the apartment. While at the apartment, I noticed the toilet in the master bathroom doesn't work. I mentioned that to my mom, who quickly dismissed my observation.

Later, she said, "You're right. The toilet doesn't work."

And, so it goes.

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4 Comments

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Helen

Ah Denise, you deserve a medal for hanging in there with them. I hope you can take a break from all their issues, for a little while at least. It's so hard watching lo's make decisions that are to their detriment. Maybe they will listen to you more as time goes on. Sending hugs....

frogger16

Omg....my hat off to you for being able to \"keep a smile as I bite back the words I so want to scream\".\r\n(Love the picture of your dad!)

Lillie Fuller

Sorry you are dealing with this. You already knew in your heart there would be problems, I guess that is the reality! On a better note, your dad is looking mighty dapper in the picture!!!

Desiree

Oh Denise! (((Hugs)))\r\nI feel uneasy myself, just reading about all this. IMO your concerns are fully justified. I wonder if your parents are like mine, in that they'll disregard the most sensible, reasonable and practical advice- just because it's coming from their daughter. It's just maddening.