#Thankful for Support

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Thank you to my son for exercising more independence as I’ve been busy attending to my parents’ affairs, to my husband for everything from chipping in around the house to loving me deeply and devotedly, to my sister as we support each other in making decisions on our parents’ behalf now that they are unable to do so, to our extended family for supporting our decisions and loving us, to my friends, neighbors and online support network for being there, to the Silverado Memory Care Community in San Juan Capistrano for offering my parents’ excellent care and me support and respite, to Jane Mahakian, PhD of Aging Matters for facilitating care and helping my parents and me with this difficult life transition, to Rory Barish of Lane Four Real Estate for representing us as we negotiate leasing our parents’ home, to Steve Shields, CFP for helping with our parents’ financial planning, to my mental health providers, Brynne Lum, LMFT and Alex Michelson, MD, for helping me cope.

Much of the support I have access to is thanks to my parents’ savings. Few have such resources and do not have access to the same care options. That is tragic. Everyone needs access to excellent health care and excellent long term care. Not just those fortunate enough to have significant savings (or adequate long term care insurance) in their senior years.

Honestly, I never could do it without all of you. Thank you. God bless you all.

Day from Hell

Recently my mother slammed the door on her speech therapist. She refused nursing care for herself and blocked nurses from seeing my father. Her behavior has caused both of them to be discharged as patients from home health services. No more home nursing visits, physical therapy or speech therapy.

My parents reside in a board and care near my home where they are fed and cared for by caregivers. They still are seen by an internist with expertise in treating seniors. They take their medications. And, I have requested that a psychiatrist see my mother.

Back to the story about my mom… When I visited, my mom restrained me and blocked me from leaving their room. My husband felt compassion for my parents and questioned whether they received adequate care (they do). (He supports me now and tries not to offer opinions or “fixes.”) I ended up feeling so out of control and overwhelmed that I posted this to Facebook:

I really need a friend right now. Feeling alone, isolated, misunderstood, on my own, unsupported, inadequate.

I received just what I needed – love and support. Here are responses I posted:

Today I heard that my mom’s home health care providers were discharging her as a patient because she refuses service and slammed the door in their faces. I’m working so hard to help and feel so helpless. Hard to just let it be.

I’m stressed out caring for my parents and for my son. Got to me. Just broke down. Feeling better but the weight of my responsibilities remains. Must let go.

Thank you, friends! Greatly appreciate all the support. My feeling isolated passed. You all helped. Spoke to my dear neighbor. In the midst of family crisis. Will be ongoing for a while. Stress can weigh too much and wear me down at times. Sometimes I throw up my arms and cry for help. Thanks for answering my cry.

All the love is loud and clear. The mood has passed. The stressors and triggers remain. Have to let go of what I cannot control.

Change is Anxiety Provoking

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Great news. Monday I am moving my parents into shared rooms – and most importantly, a shared bed – at a board and care close to my home. To that end, I’ve been busy with electronic paperwork and facilitating the transfer of my mother from skilled nursing stroke rehab and my father from assisted living memory care. Delegated the moving of queen size bed and my parents’ clothing to my husband. Sunday we move the bed and clothes, and I sign the papers and cut the check.

This change, which I expect to be wonderful – which I hope to be wonderful for both my parents and my own family – still is anxiety provoking. So much is riding on it. I pray my parents are happy with the set-up.

Anyway, I’ve been so stressed out that I’ve colored a crap load of images using Colorfy in the last few days. Take a look at the slide show of images and see how busy I’ve been.

Today I finally took a clonazepam hoping it would help. Nada. No difference. I feel like I’m about ready to jump out of my skin. Instead, I write and share with you how moving someone else affects me.

You can imagine how hard it might be to move myself, son and husband. Whenever I have moved in the last ten years, and we’ve moved numerous times, I’ve had a set-back, experiencing deep and sometimes debilitating depression.

We moved our son five times during elementary school. He, too, is sensitive to change. My childhood growing up, we constantly moved. Because of it, I tend to hold people at arms length, never getting too attached for I may be leaving soon.

Stop this Circus – Prayer Request

The last few days have been a circus.

My father made a run for it from memory care, setting off the alarm as he left the building to look for his car in their parking lot so he could find my mom. The director called me to bring him home with me for the night. Not what I paid for.

My mother has had her bags packed and is quite anxious to get out of the stroke rehab skilled nursing facility. The other day she kept pointing to her wedding band.

Today I visited board and care facilities looking for a setting that could accommodate them both now. Please pray for a solution as soon as possible. They need to be reunited.