Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dad's ok. Me? Not so great

So Monday went better than any of us could have dreamed. Dad is adjusting just fine to the nursing home. So far anyway. He's eating more than ever--every meal they've served so far. He's still had family with him all day - it's only day 2 - but no one at night. And my sister doesn't have the stress of running his household and doing everything, and I think that's helping everyone.

I was there yesterday and today until 8 pm. Monday I got there at 2, when he arrived in the wheel chair van the VA sent to pick him up. Today I set up his Internet with a Verizon hotspot wireless thingy. I was there 3 hours tonight. Not planing on visiting tomorrow because Sophie has voice lessons, and I need a night off.

Today I was in a terrible depression. I can't explain it really. I'm glad dad is doing well and not shutting down. But I'm afraid he could live like this for many months or even years. I don't know if I can handle that. It's still so hard to deal with it all.

And I'm angry with him. He's seen what his care needs have done to my sister and uncle. Yet he let them feel guilty and grovel over the nursing home. He was supposed to have 6-12 months. This is month 11 and I see no end in sight. I know he can't control when he dies but I feel like there was an expectation that's now blown out of the water, and he has fought to stay alive, preferring a paralyzed existance to heaven.

Which is a big issue for him, I think. He says he believes, but I think he has just enough faith to slide under the pearly gates. Of course, lots of people are afraid of dying. I don't blame him for that.

I blame him for putting himself first before everyone else for the past year. Like his illness has given him carte blanch to treat so many people like crap, and take advatage, and not give in return.

I feel horribly guilty about felling and thinking all of this.

The past 10 months I've not made myself a prioprity. At all. And now I'm in tight size 12s and dropping to the floor in front of my closet this morning, in tears because I'm terrified I'm going to be the girl who lost a bunch of weight and 3 years later is Fat Again.

I just can't go there. I can't.

I talked with Mark about it today. He said he'd support my time to exercise. He understands and thinks I'm being too hard on myself (I am). But I'm still afraid of the speed train to obesity that I'm on.

It's only been 2 days and my involvement with dad hasn't decreased yet. It will though, hopefully. The emotonal issues that are a big part of my eating problems aren't going anywhere. How am I going to fix myself this time? I don't know yet. I just don't know.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPod Touch


Vickie said...

NO one is going to understand this more than I do, because I have been dealing with this for 8 years and still no end in sight.

And I have been dealing with the fact that this is all my mom's doing (second husband, and if you put first husband and second husband in a bag and shook them really hard, it would be a toss up as to which has had a worse impact on my life).

The hardest part is absolutely when they don't die when they are supposed to. It sounds odd/mean to say, but that is the truth.

The will to live can be huge.

And no one has the right to say when someone else dies (I understand) but it still just rankles*

*(rankles - cause bitter feelings; to cause persistent feelings of bitterness, resentment, or anger)

when we are hanging on by our finger nails thinking "one more week and then surely this will be done", and it isn't - it just buries us.

And absolutely your whole life's history with your dad is a huge factor.

And the fact that it drags you and your sister and your own family DOWN is a huge factor.

and the fact that we only have so much life ourselves and everyone keeps stealing HUGE hunks of it, is a big factor.

And he will adjust faster if you are all NOT there.

It is just like college - the kid that goes home constantly or whose parents visit constandly is not going to adjust.

But I understand you are not looking for a permanent adjustment, you are looking for the end of his life and do not want him to feel ditched.

If you are there all day, every day, that will be his expectation. Figure out a quality time to go (when he is not receiving care like a bath or a meal) when the time will be most appreciated by him.

Monica said...

Laura, I am so sorry that you are struggling right now. Have you thought of going to some sort of "support group" or counseling? I know your life is already hectic with work and family, but you really do have to take care of YOURSELF and your emotional self is definately in turmoil right now.

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you and your family!!


Jill said...

Oh Laura, sweetie...I think Vickie tackled the dad-thing very well, so I'm going to tackle the weight thing - IT'S OKAY!! It's okay if you've gained some weight back - you are not flawed, you are not a mess, you are not broken - you are human. You are enmeshed in a very difficult year and you gained some weight - so what?! Honey, right now my life is a breeze and I've gained some weight too. Today I'm 166 pounds - a weight that I swore I would never be again, but here I am. You have been coping the only way you knew how - with food -it's your way of trying to soothe yourself. You need to be extra gentle with yourself right now - find a compassionate voice inside yourself and only listen to that voice, not the one who says you screwed up - because you haven't.

Even if you gain ALL the weight back, it doesn't make you less lovable or less valuable. I really don't think you will gain it all back, so just go easy on yourself. Having your dad in the nursing home will free up time for you and your family once he settles into a routine, and you'll get back to running.

Oh how I wish I could give you a big, huge, giant hug right now!! Just remember that you are still awesome and I think you have incredible strength. You are amazing - don't forget that.


Jodie said...

Vickie and Jill covered it all. Can't add much to that. Just know that we're all thinking about you!

Anonymous said...


sharla said...

I'll just add, never feel guilty for your feelings.