Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Tuesday night when getting Joe in bed, he had wet his pants. He wasn't one bit worried, "They're just a little bit wet." Do you think I could talk him into dry underwear? If you think not, you're exactly right. So I pulled his wallet, change, etc., out of his pants to put the pants in the laundry basket. That ticked him off. He grabbed my wrist, with a "Wait a minute. That's not fair. Looking at my bills and laying them out there." Do you have any idea the grip a frail, senile old man can have! Especially when they're in the midst of a delusion you're not privileged enough to be part of.

He'd wet his pants last night, too. He's pulled some boxer shorts out from somewhere, instead of wearing the depends. I thought I got rid of all of those bloody boxer shorts. Rats. How many does he have squirreled away somewhere! Where the heck does he squirrel them away???? Likely the same place his working hearing aids are.

There's a huge VA facility in Memphis. If I can get Joe in Memphis, his care will be 10 times easier. A 30-minute trip to a local facility far beats an hours' long drive to Marion, Illinois, which I don't know and have to drive around lost. Of course, I'm lost in a lot of Memphis, too; but GPS works fairly well in Memphis.

I've decided that the time has come that I absolutely cannot give Joe the proper care he needs. It's been two years that I've been caring for my parents in Kentucky. It's been one year that I've lived up here every day. I need to get them both in Memphis. Joe needs to be in a facility where he can be contained. I cannot contain him on 7 acres. Tonight I had to bully him back into the house at dark. He was raking leaves under a tree, in the dark, by the street light. He wouldn't quit. I had to physically take the rake from him to get him to quit and walk back to the house before he tripped on a gopher track and fell. He'll want to burn the stupid leaves tomorrow. Criminy.

Neither of my parents have a clue that I have lived with them for two years, paid their bills, cooked their meals, washed their clothes, put them to bed, given them their medicine or done any of the things I do daily for them. Neither of them have a clue they depend on me for their daily living. Neither of them have a clue I have a husband with whom I am not living, or might, gasp, miss. My entire life is totally non-existent to them. I can't get to my own doctor for my own health care - to refill my own blood pressure medicine. I can't get to my dentist to get my own teeth cleaned.

If you're lucky enough to have your own family and work in the same area your elderly parents are, these things aren't a huge hurdle. I'm not that lucky. My husband's family is from east Tennessee. My son is in east Kentucky. My husband took a job at a considerable cut in pay to come to the west end of the states so I could care for my parents. The closest job he could get at anywhere near his salary range was Memphis. That's 2 1/2 hours from my parents.

I 've struggled for two years to  give my parents their hearts' desire - to die in their home. I cannot keep it up. I can't continue to be away from easy medical care for them, to drive hours to get them to needed appointments, to live away from my own husband. I can't leave one at home unattended whilst I take the other to an appointment. I can't leave Joe alone anymore to get groceries or run errands. He's too likely to take off or too likely to fall while I'm gone. They can't afford to pay for any more additional people to help than they're already doing.

My goal from this point forward is to find a facility to care for Joe,  to sell their property, and to find a rental house with enough room to keep Lola with Max and me. Then I have to clean out their house and move their stuff out. I have barely a clue where to begin. May I have the grace to die before my son has to do this for me.

1 comment:

Jess said...

Oh this is hard but it is what you must do for you, for them and for your family.