Saturday, February 6, 2010

Too much for words - Part Three

OK - Here it comes.  The final chapter of this WAAAAYYY too long post.
For those of you just joining in the drama now, you can read part one here and part two here.  

I promise to be more upbeat in the next few posts to make up for these last few.

Thanks for reading & not unfollowing me during this rant :)
Here goes.

When I started to realize that I couldn't continue to live my life based on the doctor's (inaccurate)predictions for his life, I basically tried to have a little bit of my normal life (summer)back. But every time I did anything that was out of the city (D and I are big into camping and usually go on at least 5-6 trips per summer) I felt this horrible pit in my stomach like I should be by his side.  So I resolved to spend as much time there as I could.  I was not in the greatest state health wise myself, was waiting for my laproscopy in July, but I tried to get there at least 4-5 times a week.  I'd bring my guitar and play and sing for him.  At first he really seemed to like it.

Then I had to take several weeks off due to my laproscopy. And the pain didn't really get any better even after they removed the endo.  I started getting back into the habit of going there as often as possible, carrying my guitar on the bus despite the pain I was in.

And then he started expressing that he wasn't enjoying my little concerts anymore. And I started getting back the feelings of resentment that I had felt towards him in my youth.  Those feelings didn't just come from his criticism of me though.  I started realizing the my mother is pretty much not available to me EVER anymore because she stays by his side for 10-12 hours a day (despite the fact that she has MS and should be trying to preserve her energy).  She has become completely one track minded, and although I understand that he is her brother, and her baby brother at that, I just really think that she needs some perspective on the whole situation.

My mom got a little does of reality a few months ago.  One of her 'friends' decided to turn against her and started telling my uncle that my mother is trying to kill him (this was shortly after he was moved into palliative care). She caused a HUGE drama, which I won't get into, but I'll just say that my uncle basically spat on my parents, who had been his sole care-givers and his power of attorney since this all started, and said that he was revoking their rights, closed the accounts that my mom was using for funding his care, and accused my father (who lovingly shaved and fed him daily, and kept track of his finances, paid his bills etcetc) of stealing money from his account.

For a few weeks I was the rational one in the family, saying that he is sick and that's why he's so easily misled by this 'friend' of my mom's .  But deep down I thought that this separation was good.  My parents realized that they had been going waaaaayyy overboard, and that they needed to take a step back and start living their own lives again.   At one point during this time period I said to my mom,"Do you believe that if the situations were reversed that your brother would give up HIS WHOLE LIFE to stay by your bedside?"  She responded, "I know he would not."

She has literally given up on calling back her friends, going out for lunch with her daughter, rarely joins the family for meals, stopped talking to her daughter about anything other than his illness, stopped talking to anyone about anything other than his illness.  My father, who has his own bag of issues as well, spends all day at work and then shleps down to the hospital daily to feed him dinner.  Because my mother does not believe that the hospital can care for him adequately.  Nor does she believe that any of the caregivers they have interviewed can do a good enough job.

All that would be fine(ish), except for the fact that my mom pretty much expects me to feel the same way she does.   She makes me feel like I am a bad person because I'm continuing on with my life and not spending every minute thinking about this horribly bad and sad situation.  She appears to think that the pain that I have almost every day of my life is not justification enough to stay away.  And she also gives the perception that she feels I am being heartless, cold and invalid in my feelings about the past.

It may seem that way - and I'm the first to admit my flaws - but I really am having a hard time seeing a good outcome of me getting close to him now that he is on his death bed. The fact that he wants to become a good uncle now is a sweet sentiment, but unfortunately I'm too jaded. As usual. And I'm too scared to get close to him now as well.  I'm too scared of the feeling, the void, it will leave when he passes.

And so, I stay away.  I do a weekly visit, stay a short time, and allow D to deflect attention from me by monopolizing the conversation.  But the phone calls from my mom telling me about how he's sorry about the past etc etc, those are starting to get to me anyways.

I have never gotten along trendously well with my mom, but I miss the normal kind of not getting along.

This guilt-trip, overstressed, overtired, overworked kind of not getting along is too much for me.  And so I avoid.  Whenever I can.

That was my point - here comes the latest case:
This is what I wrote after the last time I went down there (last Sunday).

Yesterday I went down to see my uncle,  feeling like total shit, nauseous, dizzy, the whole works. D started complaining about the whole ordeal as well (I guess he's sick of being a deflector for me) and then we got there and there was no parking...

So I called my Dad to ask if my uncle was even awake, if I should shelp my ass from a  street parking spot on the other side of the world too come there. His cell was off.  I couldn't remember the extention # for the hospital room. So I called my mom.

She immediately started with attitude. I don't know why. She answered the phone sounding sweet and then switched to sour when she heard it was me. Great. Told her my dilemma.  Asked her to call Dad & tell him to call me.  She refused to even hear what I said and kept insisting that there must be parking and that I am just not looking hard enough.  Then told me I couldn't find parking because I "always insist on going there at the worst times". I was getting annoyed. I asked for the number myself so I could call. She spat it out at me and then hung up.  Great.

I called the room.  No answer.  No answer on Dad's cell still.  Called my mom again.
Her suggestion. 
"Why don't you ask D to drop you off and circle around until he finds parking".
"I'm dizzy mom. I don't want to walk alone through the hospital. I want him to be with me or even better push me in a chair." (I also don't wanna make him my hired chauffeur.)
"Hrmph... I see. "
I'm not feeling well. I don't know what else to say to her. I sit in silence.
"I know you can find parking. Just keep looking okay?"
"Fine. I'll look a while longer. If I can't find it I'm going home."
"Bye." Click. She hung up on my again.

So now, I just really really don't wanna go in at all. I want my bed. I want my duvet. I want to maintain my sanity.

BUT I try anyways.

"D? Can you drop me off at the door and then shlep back alone from the street parking spot on the other side of the world"  Cringe.
Squeeling tires out of store parking we were sitting in, and now pulling up beside  side door to hospital. I get up out of the car & as I stood up this bolt of lighting type pain hit my right ovary.  I puked all over myself, the sidewalk, and a bit onto an old lady's shoe.
Luckily I hadn't moved away from the van.  I plonked back down into my seat, pulled my pukey scarf off my neck & literally threw it in the garbage (D is a reflex puker. He sees/smells it, he pukes. I was so not in the mood for that)
And we came home.

What do you think my mom said this morning when I told her what happened and why I wasn't answer my phone all evening when they were obsessively calling and calling?
"Your father was looking all over for you. You should have called him or went to found him. He could have helped."

Helped what... helped me puke? I can handle that on my own thankyouverymuch.

Anyhow. That's the story. And the reason I 'wimped' out this time.

BUT  - Tomorrow is Sunday. I am going to try again.


  1. You shouldn't be made to feel guilty about any of this. You are doing the best that you can. Maintaining you own life and health is the most important thing.

  2. Your mother shouldn't be giving you these guilt trips. That's just awful. You need to take care of yourself.

    I understand where you're coming from with the not wanting to get close to someone that's dying. It makes sense. Why hurt yourself like that?

    Good luck with everything. Just know, we are all here for you. I am here for you. I hope everything works out for the best.



Related Posts with Thumbnails