Thursday, June 04, 2015

I throw my hands in the air

I'm walking away

I love my parents.
I am close with them and thankful that they are here.
But sometimes...I don't like what they do
How they make me feel and that more often these days I think about how they will not be here forever.

I got a call from my mother at work this morning:
"Hi I am at the ER with our father. He had me take him here because he couldn't catch his breath"
I asked if I could come and sit with her while she waited with him for test results.
She said yes, so I packed up and left.

I met her in the waiting room and then we went into the bay my father was resting in.
They were waiting on the results of a CT scan to see if he had a blood clot in his lungs.
He was whacked out on Ativan and quite comfy and mellow.

He drives a lot for his job. Often sitting most of the day.
So checking for a blood clot made sense.
He has had a portion of his spine surgically fused due to deterioration and sometimes he swims...but for the most part my father likes to sit, eat really processed food, 
and not do much else if given the opportunity.
He has never been an exerciser, and thanks to pharmaceuticals, he can eat what he wants,
as the medicines do the hard work for him.

I sat and kept my mother company while he slept, the doctor finally came in with the results and said:
we did two EKG's and they are clear
We did blood work that looked for clots in your legs, and that is clear
We did a CT scan and that is clear of clots too
You didn't have a heart attack
so all tests look normal and clear
I think you might have had a panic attack, and I am prescribing a limited amount of pills for you to use when you feel the same symptoms again.
I do recommend that you don't drive long distances alone for the next few days
and I recommend a stress test to make sure all is clear and we have looked at everything.
I want you to run on a tread mill
( I saw my father go from happy to mad)
I asked the doctor if my father was clear to drive as a passenger this weekend for a work related event in a town three hours away, he said 
" Um, he is probably fine, but I would wait until the stress test results come in 
to do anything like that"
My mother was on the phone right away to the doctors office to schedule the test...
My father looked mad, 
I asked him what was going on, what you thinking about:
"I don't want to run"
I smiled and said, " well, that is not an option now"

I picked up the anti-freak out meds, while my mother took him home.
When I met them there, he was acting like nothing had just happened.
My mother was making french toast for him and he was looking at the bottle of pills. 
I told him that they were for easing the same symptoms he had before,
not to be taken for recreational use.
He said he was fine now.
I told him, you can't just shove it off, it was serious enough a moment ago, and that just doesn't go away. You need to take the doctors order seriously.
He said that they were still going on the business weekend away trip. I told him again what the doctor said and he said he was going.

I ate lunch with them (as they ate breakfast) and I said goodbye
I had said what I could, repeated doctors orders
and he probably will be fine if my mother drives...but FUCK
why do the rules not apply to him?!
I drove home and passed out/crashed on the bed for an hour
I still think I have PTSD from when my mother went into the hospital
I canceled plans for tonight and instead am watching TV and working this whole thing out here.

I have to walk away for my own mental health.
I have to realize that he is going to do whatever he damn well pleases and if (heaven forbid) something goes wrong he will blame someone or something other than himself.
I have to understand, I can not make everything OK all the time


Amel said...


It's always difficult in this type of situation. The frustration...oh're right, though, you can't help someone that doesn't want to be helped, no matter how much you try.

Mali said...

They never think the rules apply to them!! My father-in-law is the one frustrating us at the moment. He does far too much around the house, and then when we recently got a panicked call from his wife, thinking he'd had a heart attack, we called first his doctor and then the ambulance. He was mad at us for making him go to the hospital, and was quite smug about the fact that he was discharged with "no evidence of a stroke." Even though we've noticed a significant mental decline since then.

The only thing we have tried on him is to point out that if he keeps taking risks, one day it will be a severe stroke, and then he'll have to live his worst nightmare, of being incapacitated, perhaps immobile or even unable to speak. It was tough speaking those harsh words, and I'm not sure if they got through, but he's been asking my husband to help a lot more since then.

Still, there are times when we just have to walk away and say "it's his life." Except that it isn't - it's his wife's life, and ours, that are affected as well as his. Argh.

Sorry - didn't mean to make it about me. Just wanted to let you know I hear you!

LaLa said...

Some people can't face the idea that they are mortal. If they make changes that means they are acknowledging that they weren't doing things right in the past. It is easier for them to hide and pretend that things are fine and nothing needs to change than go through any pain or discomfort right now, even if is going to improve their life overall - very short term thinking, and being deliberately blind to to the sharp curves farther down the road is just childish and inconsiderate for all of the people that love and care for them too.

My mom is the same way. She knows there are things she needs to be doing to improve her health, but she does almost nothing. She has ignored serious health issues until she was hospitalized for emergency surgery, refuses to change eating habits, and gets almost no exercise. She eats absolute crap most days. I visited recently and tried to showed her some very easy recipes that were tasty and healthy (literally open package of chicken, shake spices onto chicken, cook for 4 hours in slow cooker), but she still goes out every day and eats fast food.

Everything is too hard or too much trouble or outside of their comfort zone. I don't know how to get through to my mom either, so no advice here, just commiseration.