I woke up this morning to a call from my step mom. She was on the other end crying so hard I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. From what my fuzzy sleep filled mind could piece together it was that my dad was in the midst of a medical crisis and he was refusing to have her call an ambulance. She was begging me to come over and convince him to go to the hospital. (Apparently my dad told my step mom he is refusing care because he just wants to die.) Of course I rushed over.
When I arrived she had called the ambulance and my old grumpy dad was angry and she was hysterical. She pulled me aside and between sobs told me how she can’t do it anymore. She cannot do this alone anymore.
As most of you know I have written about this before. How no matter what Mark and I say or do she refused help. She opted instead to push everyone away and be my dad’s sole caregiver for 2 years since his massive stroke that landed him wheelchair bound and totally dependent on the people around him. I wrote about it before how it all came to a head this past summer when her and I got into an argument about miscommunication. I washed my hands of that drama and of offering my help to her. I stayed away but let my offer on the table if she needed my help.
Enough is enough! I told her in that kitchen as the paramedics were looking my dad over that things will be changing. She fumbled and said, “No, no! Your dad will kill me if you take care of him! He couldn’t bear it!” I told her I will do all house work, laundry, and cooking. She can solely focus on my dad’s hygiene and dressing for his dignity. If that is not to be so then we need to sit down as a family and decide where to go: nursing home, outside assistance, etc. Either way her days of being a caregiver martyr ENDS.
My dad was angry. He was refusing to talk to anyone. He was refusing to make decisions and he looked tuned out. Everyone was tiptoeing around him. So I pulled up a chair so we would be eye level and I said what no one wanted to say, “This effing sucks. You have the severe flu that makes you feel like crap. You have complications from your stroke because you do not want to take care of yourself. You just want to die. Oh BOO HOO! You wouldn’t be in this situation if you would do as you need to. Instead you are sittin there feeling sorry for yourself!” He grumbled something cranky and incoherent. I just laughed and said, “I love you…and I love it when you are the cranky old man you are” (he smiled) “…but…you have two choices right now. You go with the paramedics or I take you to the hospital myself…either way you are going to the hospital and you are going to get better…and things are changing!” He looked at me and said, “…with the paramedics” In the background I heard my step mom sigh in relief.
They took him away in the ambulance with my step mom following behind in her truck. I told her as we were standing in the drive way that enough was enough. Once he is stable we are all sitting down as a family and discussing what can be done to make this situation better for the both of them. She told me she didn’t want me going to the hospital as there was no sense. Mark (works 3rd shift) and I (work 2nd shift) both had to get some sleep and or get to work. She said she would call me with any news.
In a way I am glad things are falling apart so they can fall back together in a healthier manner. My dad has severe flu complicated by his stroke and his stubbornness not to do what he needs to do. Add to that depression but I think he will get better once things change.
When my step mom and I were standing in the kitchen she looked at me and said, “you lost weight and it all went to me!” she patted her tummy. (As most of you know I have written before how she always has snide remarks about my weight) She has gained weight. That ends as well. This family needs to work together like we always did to lose weight and get healthy. No more of this we do it ourselves. She needs to lose, my dad needs to work out so he can be healthy (he can also stand to lose some weight!) and of course I am already on my journey…..so they are coming with me kicking and screaming if need be because I am SO done with all this “I do this all by myself” drama. Done!
Hope everyone is well.
BTW: Doctor appointment went well! Still struggling with OAB but my doc said I have been on a steady weight loss since my first visit to him! (He also informed me their scales are calibrated 5 pounds heavier!!!) He said since I saw him 3 months ago I have lost 4 pounds. Yes, its only 4 pounds BUT that is only because I have been struggling to find a happy medium with my OAB. I am getting there!