Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I think I need to buy some Tums

Thank you for all the supportive comments. I truly appreciate all the thoughts and prayers you have sent my way. Please continue to sent good thoughts, but direct them to my parents - they are the ones who really need all the help they can get.

Weirdest thing - I’ve had this pain in my chest for about two days. At first it was intermittent, but now it’s constant. It’s on the right side. For a moment I thought I was having sympathy pains for my dad, but I decided that was a bit melodramatic and realized that this is what heartburn must feel like. I’ve also been really tired. REALLY tired. Since I’ve arrived in Minnesota, I’ve been sleeping at least 8 hours, but I’m still exhausted.

About two and a half weeks ago, I had a terrible workout at my spinning class. I was breathing hard, sweating buckets and buckets and I got that pain in my chest. It scared me until the physician to my right reminded me that my heart is on my left side. (Thank God she went to medical school.) I left class after an hour feeling embarrassed that I couldn’t keep up. I shook it off to too much exercise that week and cut back last week.

Now I’m getting a little concerned. I know it’s stress. My body is finally starting to revolt to all of the stuff going on in my life. I’m not sure what I can do to alleviate any of this.

Dad and I have been talking a lot. Mainly about Mom. About her future – their future. She is obviously not doing well, but she truly believes that she will get better. Dad doesn’t agree. We actually had THE talk. The one about what will happen when she’s gone. It was awful. This is so hard on him in so many ways. She is not that easy to deal with right now. She is very demanding and not extremely appreciative. She is very angry with my dad and he’s not sure why. I’ve been doing marriage counseling since I got here. I talk to her, and then I go talk to him. Back and forth, back and forth.

Tomorrow she has an appointment with her oncologist and a chemo treatment. I plan to tell her doctor that she’s depressed. Also tomorrow, my dad comes home and will need some extra help at first. He can’t lift or drive for a month. We really have no back up plan for getting them help, if needed, after I leave. Every time I try to talk to them about this, the subject is changed or put off until later.

I think I know where the heartburn is coming from. This is one of those moments in life when you realize that no one is going to help you - that you are the only one. You are the one who has to fix the problem. I have to pull my head out of the sand and learn about all of this “senior citizen” stuff. Things like health proxies, Medicare, assisted living centers, protecting assets and whatever else I need to know.

I’m worried that I am not too good at any of that, though. I’m better with helping buy her some new pajamas and finding low sodium foods for him. The heartburn is telling me that I need to do all of that AND figure out who they can call, after I leave, if my mom falls again.

I need more time here. How can I do everything I need to do before next Tuesday? How can I stay away from my family any longer than that, though?

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