Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Visited Mom Tonight.

I called and talked to her nurse today. My mother "cooperated" with PT today, but barely let them do anything before claiming exhaustion.

She is still in the hospital, but tomorrow she will be moved to a skilled nursing facility. She is not in any kind of shape to go back to the very nice AL place, and she also doesn't want to go back there. So our conversation went like this:

Mom, you have to do your physical therapy and eat, and cooperate, or you are going to be in a nursing home permanently.

I don't want that, I want to be independent.

I know, but you aren't right now, you have to get your strength back - eat and do your exercises, build yourself up!

I want to go HOME.
(The delivery was very ET. I felt for her, I really did.)

I know, but right now you can't take care of yourself - hell, you can't even take care of yourself enough for [assisted living]! How on earth do you think you could manage at home?

I know. But I don't want to go back to that place.
(meaning, assisted living place).

Why not?

I just don't like it.
(did not offer a reason)

At this point I got tough, and said: It's the nicest place in the area, you cannot be on your own during the day, you keep falling, and I am not going to run your ass around the county looking for a new apartment every time you decide you don't like the Tuesday night dinner choices. (The only concrete reason she ever offered was that sometimes she wouldn't eat the entrees - they always have other options and will cook whatever you want within reason, but bitching about the dinner menu is her most dramatic complaint.) I'm doing the best I can here, and you need to recognize that and try to make the best of it, because there are no other options right now, this is how it is. But right now, your choice is simple - cooperate and make an effort, or keep getting weaker because you aren't working on getting stronger, and live in a nursing home.

I really am more sympathetic than I sound, I really don't know if she can get stronger. I know she is making a huge adjustment, I have been doing all I can do to help her, but she is doing nothing to help herself. I will move heaven and earth to help her, but I can't rearrange reality to enable her to not try to fight. Reality: she can't go home, I can't make my father be alive again. (I do wish I could, so I could smack him for leaving me holding the bag on this shit.) I can't make her 25, or even 65, again, and that does suck, but I'd like to be hanging out with George Clooney at his villa - or at least win the lottery and surround myself with puppies. In the Immortal Words of Mick Jagger - You Can't Always Get What You Want. Sometimes reality bites, and we can either adjust and do our best and find the best in it, or, what, give up? Right now she's giving up, but tonight I saw a faint possibility that she secretly wants to rally. As Mick so wisely put it - If you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.

She will either decide to live or not. I can't do it for her, and I'm not even going to pretend I can.


Janet said...

You must be so exhausted. I can't imagine how tiring this must be.

Catherine said...

I'm beyond tired. And let's recall I'm in a probationary period on a new job, where I was hired though I am Older and Expensive, and have to be on my game all day. Yeah, no pressure.

ikate said...

Oh man...this is playing out so much like my grandma. I remember my mother repeating this very conversation to me. So, so sorry because I know this is awful for you.

But, you know you are right and there aren't other options...doesn't make it easier but ...but I don't know what. There is nothing in this situation that makes anyone happy, so it's so hard all around.

dragon knitter said...

i think the problem at this point is that sometimes you have to treat them like children. i literally took my mom's stepstool away, to keep her from climbing up. she's 4ft nothing, and, with iffy balance, has no business climbingafter things. it's like taking a child's toy away because they won't play nicely with it, sigh.

here's hoping she does decide to live.

Anonymous said...

All right. Normally I avoid dissing other people's mothers (my own is fair game! Tee hee.), but good Lord. Your mom is a huge, tiny pain in the ass. She is so lucky to have you. She may well not realize it, but 'tis true. I don't know how you're managing it, exactly, but here's hoping she sucks it up and straightens out. :)? My mother's a crazy dramarama of a raging alcoholic depressive, and, judging by the way she whines and guilts and generally acts like a psychotic child now, I suspect that I'm seeing shades of my future in you. I only hope that I end up with your pluck, too.

Life, she eez no fair. Pffft.

--Shana in MO

Bess said...

Actually, here's hoping we remember all this crap and don't do it when it's our turn. I've told my son that the third time he suggests I move into AL and I refuse, move me anyway. No matter what horrible thing I say, I really will always love him. The Hunk-Ra crap is just rage at age talking.