A Week is a Long Time

In politics and family crisis. I need to record this because if I don't, I wont' believe it later.

Ben thinks I'm on an emotional roller coaster, and I may be, but not because I'm upset about Dad, but because my best intentions and associated plans have been changing daily and that upsets me.

Earlier in the week of April 22, Dad was going to be sent to another hospital. Later in the week the heart doc said Dad's too weak to move to the other hospital so they were going to keep him in the heart hospital for a while, do as much rehab as possible, (which was a smidgen more than none,) then send him home so he can recoup and then go to the other hospital. 

Or he might be going to the other hospital directly. 

On that Thursday, after ascertaining Mom was not going to put Dad in a care facility temporarily but bring him home for a while, I started packing with late May/early June departure in mind.

On Friday, I asked my travel agent to book me a flight the week after Ben's week off, told Sister and Brother the May dates I'm likely to return, but I didn't tell Mom when we spoke.

On Saturday I started doing things on my lists. I spoke to Mom but just noted her plans and schedule, and didn't tell her. The other hospital may have been completely off the cards.

Last Sunday, I asked what Mom thought of my coming home in late May. The answer, in my words, was there is so many new factors in caring for a bed-ridden person in a five-level house with new/strange assistants as well as the old, she needed to sit down and plan and be the manager, not Helper No 1, and to do this she'd like a bit of peace, not my sister and me bombarding her with well-intended but constant noise.

Usually when I'm home I try to take over the housework, telling her it's a temporary reprieve and she should do whatever she likes. I noticed this upset her balance in life in Feb/Mar compared to previous visits, so I was going to butt out and be one of the helpers from next time, but I decided to give her more space.

On Monday I updated the travel agent, asking him to not book anything but be prepared for an urgent request. I also unpacked, but kept the suitcase in my stash room.

On Tuesday, after talking to Mom, possibly after the other hospital was back on the cards, I still thought late May/early June would be right, and started looking forward to Ben's week off and started to work/live as normally as possible.

On Wednesday, after Skyping with Mom, possibly after the other hospital was off the cards again, I thought sometime in June would do, and I started planning my next work project.

On Thursday, I started to think that the trip could possibly wait until late Aug/early Sept, giving me time to tidy the garden as a therapy; I started planning things to do with Ben during his week off (among others, the new Star Treck movie,) and even contacted Pat about having lunch next week.

On Friday, after Skyping with an irate Mom, who was told "the other hospital" was on the cards again, and her declaring Dad is coming home and giving the docs, nurses, and the public help organizations specific requests to that end, I revised my plan to June 4 departure, June 3 being a holiday here. But Ben and I made plans for his week off, including cheese-making, gardening and tidying the house a bit and throwing things away big time. I even made a gantt chart.

On Saturday, my sister's family and Mom went to see Dad and shortly after Sis asked to Skype ASAP and told me later in May may be too late. And nothing in our almost-20-years in New Zealand had been urgent on my family's side, so I rang my travel agent at home. 

Long story short, I'm leaving early next week but not tomorrow; our problem is always the domestic leg, and I think Tim's doing something special but I won't know until Monday morning so I can leave on Tuesday rather than Wednesday. I'm packed, and I've also packed Ben's case in case he needs to follow me soon.

As regards Dad, it's still the sieve/multiple organ failure situation, with the addition of a possible pneumonia. His main, heart, dog is an indecisive man, according to Mom. But to me it feels as though his body is finally catching up with him; he's been so angry about his failing health and a lot more disheartened by his condition that his condition warranted. That's why the docs and nurses encouraged him to do stuff, and as recently as Friday, according to the heart doc, his heart/lungs were not threatening his life. But Mom and Sis have noticed an even more drastic decline in his mood, and you know I wouldn't be surprised if the body just decided to go along.

Of course nobody wants him to die, but if he does, nobody in the family will be as devastated as you might expect because the mental/emotional place he's been for the last six months was really very bad and if he's freed from it, well, we can't complain.

Well, maybe Mom.


Meg said...

In 2011, we discovered 10K yen in an unused purse of mine. http://www.megweaves.co.nz/2011/03/this-cant-be-right.html This morning, we spent two hours looking for 10K yen which I knew I had put in this black case where we keep our airports cards and passports. We checked all bags, cases, purses, several times over, plus the rubbish bin, but I remember putting it in a "safe place" when I came home. I realized I hadn't unpacked completely from the last trip; for e.g. I had my Nelson house key in my New Zealand wallet's coin section, so I checked my Japanese wallet particularly carefully to no avail.

In the end, though, I knew I put it in "the usual" place so I checked the black case like for the 7th time, Ben having checked it three times, too, and found it. We just hadn't stuck our fingers far enough!

Anonymous said...

A deep wallet is always a good thing Meg :). My heart goes out to you at the moment...never easy. Joanne.

Peg Cherre said...

Aging parents is a challenging thing, for sure. May you and your family find some moments of peace in the coming weeks.

Cate Rose said...

I'm so sorry about your dad, Meg...:'(

Holly said...

Thinking of you, take care of yourself.

Rachel Biel said...

We, your Mom may be feeling overwhelmed and think that she might not want you there, but I suspect that she will be relieved and glad, even if it just means being able to vent. I'm glad you're going, even if it is so hard.... Thinking of you!

Meg said...

Thank you everybody. I've even been able to change my thinking a little - without Dad at home we will have more time on the loom, so I'm making a few short warps, labels and swing tags, today to take with me so I can "work" while in Japan.

Marei said...

Definitely a tough time emotionally for everyone. Having just gone through a similar situation, I understand the comment re: the past 6 months. The last 6 months of my MIL life were so bad that it was a blessing for her, and a relief to others when she was able to pass gently away. Best wishes to you and your family.