Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Please forgive my lack of compasssion

I spent most of Friday and all of Saturday with John's mom because she was transferred to a rehab hospital and was scared, bored and very discouraged.  So I was trying to keep her optimistic and upbeat about how this was going to get her closer to home. She was talking about she didn't know what the point was for her to fight so hard to survive the ordeal of the last two months.  She's clearly still suffering from some residual effects of the post surgery delirium, she says she didn't get her meds this morning, and that no one came to check her wound this morning etc. etc.  It's not her fault but she's so afraid that the nurses or doctor will realize that she's having difficulty and use it as an excuse to keep her longer that she doesn't want to acknowledge to anyone that she can't remember.  She tells me this stuff and I say yes you did get your meds and yes your wound was checked and redressed, she looks at me like I'm just trying to appease her and says "If you say so".  Why the fuck would I lie?  She's trying so hard to do and say whatever she thinks will get her home sooner, truth or not and to not acknowledge or admit anything that may make them "want to keep me in the system now that they have me here".  I've tried to explain that they will not be trying to find excuses to keep her in hospital, there are other people waiting for that bed. She wanted a newspaper but I got her the wrong one.  She wanted more clothes but I chose the wrong ones.  The food is terrible, but she knows she has to eat so she does although I'm not convinced but what can I do?  She doesn't like eating in the dining room because there are "weird" people there, some shovel their food in like animals, some have no manners, some have a particular spot and "God help you if you sit in his seat".   (she ought to try eating in a small dining room that is shared by the mood disorders patients and the crisis unit, tin foil hats and all, when you are already suicidal)

I'm trying so hard to be patient, understanding and compassionate and God knows I have tried to help her with pep talks, giving her knowledge and opportunities to learn but I'm running out.  I brought her a duo tang with looseleaf paper and an easy crossword puzzle book.  The crosswords are too hard so she gives up.  I tell her it doesn't matter if she only gets a few words in each puzzle, it's still exercising her brain and working on her memory but she still won't go back to it and try again.  The only things in the duo tang are what I wrote for her, the names of the dietician, doctor, physiotherapist, nurse, and social worker and the date she was admitted.  She wanted me to write down the date two weeks from her admitting date as the date she would be discharged I said no because that is not necessarily the day she would be going home.  I didn't meet the Occupational Therapist yesterday but I'm willing to bet that when she meets that therapist she will not write the name down, nor will she remember the name,  she may not even remember that the damn therapist even came.  I want to shake her:  "If I was in your shoes I would not have fought to live in the first place, your kids, grandkids, great grandkids and friends, the reasons you fought are still there for you to live for.  I have John, my kids, D and Max,  you have no business talking about giving up after two hard months and one other bout with cancer, the surgery is over, you don't need chemo or radiation, you are going to be fine you just have to be honest and do some things that may not be so pleasant, the illeostomy is temporary and will be reversed in a few months, my depression is going nowhere.  If I had the opportunity to go to an inpatient program where they had a real plan and a good chance of helping me reach "wellness", I would jump at the chance and I would stay there as long as I had to, I would be one hundred percent frank and honest about everything so that there would be no chance of being sent home before I was strong enough, or recovered enough or at risk of another relapse.  This is a golden opportunity for her to regain strength she's lost over the last couple of years and she's acting like she's being punished for surviving the surgeries, the cancer, the infection.  WTF?  I know about irrational fears and anxieties, I know what it's like to "feel" things that aren't logical but I also know you don't deal with them or fix them by ignoring them or telling people they aren't there.  Am I being unreasonable?  Am I bitter and jealous because she had a chance to bow out from "natural causes" i.e. not suicide and she didn't take it?  Do I resent her unwillingness to continue to fight and work at recovering now because I have had to fight against my will (so to speak) for so long?  She's a lovely, generous, kind woman and I feel horrible for being angry with her right now.

I've been sleeping very poorly lately and I know that doesn't help.  I want to increase my clonazepam but am too scared to ask my doctor because I'm afraid she'll say no.  I pulled the calf muscle in my right leg which is making it difficult to walk but there's no one willing to take Max out except John but he has to go see his mom today because she's supposed to be getting her rehab plan and tentative (she won't see it as tentative she's going to think she should mark it on her calendar and start counting down the days).  We need groceries but there's no point because our new fridge is coming tomorrow and we I would just have to move everything.  I busted my ass Sunday to try and clean house but I didn't get finished and all I can see is what didn't get done.  D was kind enough to come and help Jess with her room.  There are now things Jess has to do on her own before the next steps can be taken and she hasn't lifted a finger to do any of it in three (?) weeks now.   Oh wait she was going to start once but John had a headache and asked her to wait till the following day, that was right after D left and she hasn't lifted a finger since.  That means she is still camped out in the spare room with her boxes, her mattress and her mess so I can't really get in there (I want to get in there and find a nice piece of fabric to make a roll for my crochet hooks).  She also has stuff clogging up the upstairs hallway that can't go back into her room until the painting is done.  I'm tempted to just stick it all back in there and finish her room once she moves out.  I'm losing hope that she will do it on her own.  She and Derek are missing school and not working hard enough to get their courses done in the allotted time.  Derek still has no volunteer hours.  Jess hasn't started her grade 12 math upgrade yet.  When I tried to talk to her about missing school she complained that nothing she does is good enough for me, she's missed way fewer days than last year and I'm still complaining.  Is it just me or is that a really pathetic, self-serving argument?  Last night she was burning the Lavender candle that D gave me as a gift.  I have already given her a scented candle but it was upstairs and I guess she didn't want to go up and get it.  She complains that we don't have healthy food in the house (which we often don't) but there have been a number of times that John has bought fresh fruit and nutritious foods and half the time it goes in the garbage.  She wants to see a dietician or a nutritionist when I can guess the reason she's gaining weight is that she stays up all night watching t.v. or on the computer and sleeps all day.  With habits like that I don't imagine it matters too much what you eat.  It was 2 a.m. when I came down to find her burning my candle,  why was she still up at 2 a.m. and then why is she surprised she has trouble getting up in the morning.  I know the candle thing seems petty but dammit it's my favourite candle and she has on more than one occasion taken candles out of my bedroom which to me is not right. I would never walk in to her room and take something of hers just because I didn't have one. If Max doesn't stop shedding I'm going to shave him.  It doesn't matter how hard I try, I find stray dog hairs and tufts of it everywhere.  I have to try and sort out all the coats, sweaters and shoes that are in the entrance to make room for some warmer things.  The bathroom upstairs needs cleaning (not to mention that it has needed a complete overhaul since we moved in 20 years ago but we decided to wait till the kids were a little older - I was thinking 8 and 10 now they are 18 and 20 and still we don't have the money).  I have to try and find some place to put my shorts and find some of my sweats that I didn't cut off into shorts in a fit of rage during the insanely hot summer.  I appear to have three pairs of unmaimed sweats left.  I have laundry to put away and more laundry to do.  The kids have been using our towels again and I can only assume theirs are laying dirty on the floor in their rooms.  Please, put me in the hospital for a week or two!

So sorry, I will not post again until I'm in a more optimistic, positive frame of mind.  So this may be the end of my blog.


  1. The possibility exists that this blog could be pretty good therapy for you. You have articulated very well what's currently on your mind (driving you bugshit to use one of my own expressions) and it has to be at least a little cathartic to write it all out.

    Here's to a little better times ahead?



  2. She, You are a wonderful daughter-in-law, don't forget that. You have this blog to vent...vent away, don't stop. I think you blog what alot of people need to see in print to recognize that they are not alone in their thoughts and feelings. I love your blog and the magic of your words is a gift. Please keep giving. D