Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What's Next? Part Three

One thing I wish I could change is the tendency to have my weird health issues appear on holidays and weekends.  Of course, my main wish would be to quit having weird health issues altogether, but if that's impossible to grant, could whoever is in charge please schedule them around doctor's office hours?  The past weekend of waiting to hear results was a long one.

At last I have some positive news; late Monday my new gynecologist's office called to tell me the results of the biopsy were benign.  The ultrasound results were not back yet.  I now have an appointment in six weeks to see the doctor for a follow-up though I can call sooner if need be.  What a relief it was to hear the results were normal, at least for now.  We still have no answers for why this happened in the first place, though the pieces of the puzzle may come together yet at some point down the road.  We'll see what January brings.

Carl's mom is still holding her own.  My father-in-law insisted he could change the bandage on her leg wound after we did it together the first time, and I reluctantly stood down.  I do not want to become the Dictator Daughter-in-law.  This is all new territory and when the roles change, it's very hard.  

You'd think since I've been through this with my mother I'd have better insight into the best way to broach difficult topics, wouldn't you?  But the truth is, I don't.  Every situation is different and with the onset of dementia, the situation can change every minute.  No one ever said this was going to be easy.

But along with my good news yesterday, I received a call from my mother-in-law shortly afterward; her new doctor's office called and asked them to come in for an appointment yesterday afternoon.  According to my MIL, her blood pressure was much better and her leg is healing well.  Thank God for that; I was really worried about her blood pressure and whether or not the wound care was being done on a daily basis.  I was very glad the office called them to make an appointment and another big plus is the new doctor's office is in our little hometown.

My MIL was scheduled to have some circulatory testing done this coming Thursday, and I asked about the appointment.  

"No, I don't have to go back in for anything.  I'm getting better," MIL said.  "My blood pressure was very good, I don't need to see the doctor anymore."

"That's good," I said, but I thought differently, and asked her if I might speak to my FIL.

After talking to him, I found out the circulatory testing is still going to be done and that she will have to go once a week for wound care to the hospital, which was the original plan.   My FIL understands what's going on, which is a blessing.

Dealing with dementia is very difficult.  At times the fog lifts and they can remember everything with stunning clarity, but at other times, events are muddled and confusion abounds on the part of both caregiver and care receiver.   In the midst of all the upset and role-changing, there needs to be respect.  After all, my in-laws have lived eighty-six years of their lives without me telling them what to do.  So who am I to waltz in and turn their world upside down?  No one wants to lose the ability to make their own decisions.  I know I won't either when my time comes.

 As a caregiver, you have to develop a thick skin because at times (ok, most of the time) you're seen as the Bad Guy.  Having a good support system in place is a necessity for your own mental health.  And a sense of humor and irony is also a must.

Sadly, if we live long enough, we will all need help of some kind.    My late uncle always joked, "Treat your kids well because they'll end up picking out your nursing home." 

 My mother had a very hard time adjusting to my taking her car keys when she turned 93.  And she still protests turning over her laundry and other chores, but I think she's come to grudgingly accept it now. At one point we were all helpless infants and our parents cared for us.  Now we have the duty and the honor to repay the favor, though the time may come when I will also have to hand over the reins to someone more qualified.  Until then, we keep on keeping on, one day at a time.  

I want to send a sincere thank you to all of my dear friends, near and far, who have and continue to support me as I stumble around in these uncharted territories.  

Without all of you, I would be lost.

Thank You! 





Sue said...

Ah, caregiving--the toughest job! I took care of my mom for the last 1 1/2 years of her life. There were days I would sit in my car and just cry, I was sooooo exhausted and angry and every other emotion you can imagine. BUT--I am so glad now that I did it. It was some of our finest times together. (And most maddening. Let's be honest here!)
Good luck to you as your roles reverse. And never forget, you will be glad you did all the things you did.

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Bless your big, tender heart dear Karen as you care for others.

I'm glad you had some good news from your dr. and hope it continues to stay good. Maybe you were just under so much stress that you had 'that' happen to you.

Continued prayers for all of you. Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

Donna@GWGT said...

What a difficult job being a caregiver. You have always taken care of others as I remember, but it is good you are getting yourself checked out too. Glad you got good news. My health problems alway surface when I am ready to travel. Holidays, not so much. I sometimes wish they would to avoid the MIL. LOL.

Alison said...

I'm so relieved to hear the good news about your biopsy! I hope things settle down with your in-laws. I was lucky in that mine lived across an ocean.

Carol said...

Far, far away but I love peeking in on your Life, (even the trials). Reading your blog is like talking to a neighbor. There are times I laugh so hard at something you write, other times I feel your pain. At my age, we have all been through it and see the future as you describe with your dear Mother and parent In-Laws. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a better New Year early as I seldom comment but do check in regularly. Carol

Jennifer said...

I am glad you got good news from the doctor. I feel for you struggling to deal with your mother-in-law's dementia. It was hard when my own in-laws were going through a similar point in their lives. My Mom is still driving! She promises to give it up by " the time the snow flies" . I hope she really does this time.I am not there to take the keys from her.I wish I lived closer! At least we can talk on the phone every few days.

outlawgardener said...

Thank goodness for good news! I'm in awe of your dutiful care giving while worrying about your own health issues and keeping your sanity (well, mostly:)) You're an awesome daughter!