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Drama and Coping

Friday, July 05, 2013

My 89 yr old dad is having health issues. These days involve almost daily calls from his assisted care staff, trips to ER and doctor, errands to various stores for medical & other supplies. Dealing with assisted care administrators, physical therapists,med techs, my brothers and sisters (sigh. more drama) and of course, Dad.

And they said I would never use my college degree in Psychology! :)

In the midst of all the drama going on my tendency is to frantically play 'whack a mole' as each problem/issue pops up. In the past, I would do this until all the 'moles' were pounded down or I was totally worn out.

This time, yes-- I am whacking away at those pesky moles, but one thought keeps flashing to the front of my mind:
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The airplane safety drill about making sure your oxygen mask is on before helping others put on theirs is loud and clear in my brain. I need to take care of myself first in order to be able to help others. What a concept!!!!

Yesterday I did 'dad-drama' errands and then went to family bbq in 110 degree heat. I just wanted to hang out in my cool, ac house and read my books, but didn't want to have a big blow out with my dh and dd's. I went, but stayed in the background rather than my usual scurry around helping, helping, helping. I let my kids and neices and nephews handle everything while I was pleasantly socializing with everyone. I made it a point to drink water CONSTANTLY and took extra care to eat my 'usual' foods and kept amounts small. The last thing I need these days is to dump or throw up! My scratchy throat & itchy nose was a bit better but we didn't get home until 1 a.m. Showered and hit the sack. Ahhhh.

Today is a work day and my symptoms 'blossomed' into a full head cold emoticon
Got my now-daily dad-drama call at 6:15 am and will deal after another cup of HOT skinny mocha coffee. emoticon

I'm making it a point to take care of myself. I took a vitamin first thing today, sipped my HOT drinks to clear my head and reached out to my Spark friends for understanding, support and friendly shoulders.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My husband's mom is now in "assisted living" and the demands on my dear husband are non-stop! She is frail and elderly, BUT, she has always been demanding and self-centered. (Even complaints from the home that she is abusive to staff).....
    --- I pray that if I require care, I'll be appreciative and kind to care givers.----

    PS... We all should have a degree in psychology -- (smile)
    PPS... Take care of yourself, and keep that oxygen mask handy! Hugs!
    1531 days ago
    I can relate to the hard work involved in looking after parents! Hang in there! You are very wise to take care of yourself first .
    1536 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/6/2013 7:26:09 PM
    Could you perhaps delegate a bit of the dad drama onto other siblings? The way you did at the bbq? Hang in there!
    1537 days ago
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    1537 days ago
  • SAMI199
    You do have a lot to deal with & it's not easy.Take care of yourself & I hope you feel better.

    1537 days ago
    Sounds like a lot on your plate right now!

    I hope things calm down for you and go back to normal.

    Hang tough Patty!
    1538 days ago
  • STLSUE01
    I liked your blog too. I liked the reference to Whack A Mole -- a game I need to seek out and play.

    Care-giving is exhausting, physically, emotionally and mentally, and yes, you have to take care of you so when you're called upon, you have the reserves to draw from. Don't forget to say 'no" when you have to.

    The hardest lesson I ever learned (actually, I'm still trying to learn it) is that I can't fix everything for everybody.
    1538 days ago
    I liked your blog. I experienced the same type of drama and craziness when my dad
    was ill and at the end of his life. It is good that you are starting to see the importance of self care. It really helps. Also, remember, eventually, this too shall pass. Now that
    my dad is gone I can look back with pride that I did the very best I could for him.
    Hang in there!
    1538 days ago
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