Sunday, March 18, 2012

Doing the right thing

Mother by Marriage ~ Photo by Megan Frasheski

These past many months have been challenging for my husband's parents and siblings.  The relentless aging process for his parents and how to do the best you can for them as you keep them safe.  The process of this is quite different than with my own mother who set up literally a Fort Knox to keep her family out of her protection.

Mother by marriage (MBM) remains at the Assisted Care and is doing well there.  She still has a the hip wound that refuses to heal and now she has been to a Wound Specialist to aid in the care of it.  Last week the Dr. had to reopen the wound as there is a pocket that won't close up.  I won't even write about what they did as it makes me queasy to even think about it.  

Father by marriage (FBM) mentally is fading....quickly.  It was a success to keep him from driving but that was with some rather humorous ways that he tried to get back behind the steering wheel.  Brother by marriage (BBM) ended up removing the batteries from both cars and that seemed to work even though FBM keep calling to say he needed to go get a battery and would we take him to go buy one.  Then he ended up taking a cab and going to buy one by himself!  My sister by marriage (SBM) was visiting MBM when who should stroll in but FBM.  Big shock when he mentioned that he drove himself.  I failed to say that his license was taken away two weeks before via his Dr.'s recommendation (only because we all had to pressure the Dr. to understand that FBM should not be driving and at last he agreed it was dangerous for him to be behind the wheel).  

My Love went and bought two Clubs that go from the steering wheel to the brake pedal and slipped in the garage without FBM knowing and installed them in both cars.  FBM thinks that the DMV came and installed them!  So now we know he can't drive.  Wheewwww.

We have a caregiver go by the home everyday, and takes him grocery shopping as well as on short errands.  She has also driven him out to visit MBM.  

It's not easy learning how to parent a parent.  I've said before it is not for the faint of heart.  You have to be strong, you have to let go everything you thought of about your parent as the one knows how to tend to themselves.  It takes time for both sides as well as lots of redirecting and patience.

FBM is much like my mom in that he is difficult and can get quite nasty.  I'm glad my mom is beyond that point.  For now my Love and his siblings are learning just as I did how to tackle the onslaught of constant phone calls, demands, flowery four letter words this way and that, the crying, the yelling, the lack of hearing and the understanding that dementia brings with it.

Today an example of how hard it can be to deal with him.  We get a phone call from FBM that he wants to go to Costco.  My Love says he will come pick him up and take him.  A couple minutes later and BBM says he is going to pick up FBM as he wants to go to Costco.  Mmmmhmm.  See, FBM just starts calling.  He doesn't remember if he called or not, he just dials numbers.  We assume then that BBM will take him and my Love doesn't need to go.  5 minutes pass and BBM calls us to say the FBM is mad because he wants to go to Costo and BBM doesn't think there is anything he can't get at the local Safeway and doesn't want to drive him all the way to Costco.  My Love tries to explain that FBM just wants to get out and what is the big deal of not taking him.  They hang up.  Another 5 minutes pass and BBM calls to say that he has left because FBM wouldn't write a list and he wouldn't take him without one.  My Love tells him "Dad can't write a list"....well BBM refused to do the the right thing and said dad is unreasonable.

My Love right now is off to pick up FBM and take him to Costco.  Yes, it is a 1/2 hour to FBM and a 1/2 hour back to Costco, maybe an hour at Costco then 1/2 hour back to FBM's home and then 1/2 hour back to our home.  Maybe.  It might be longer but it will get FBM a chance to get out of the house.  To visit with his son on whatever level it may be.  It will be walking without a list to get who knows what.  Sometimes you have to do this.  It may seem a waste of time but for our elder folk it is all they have to think and do on a given day. 

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