Dealing with the toughest period of my life these past 7+ months

les26

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I haven't been on here for a long time as I have been dealing with the toughest period in my life since last September when I realized that my parents couldn't take care of themselves or each other anymore, had to admit them to the hospital then short term rehab then into assisted living. They were doing pretty good, I got them where they needed to go, then early November Deb & I both got Covid because we were so worn down from stress, then about 7 weeks ago both my parents got it, my dad got over it pretty fast but my mom who has AFIB spent 4 days in the hospital with Covid and Sepsis then another rehab place then the rehab place where they started back in October, and she hasn't been right since, very weepy and out of it, she took several steps back with this and the staff there said that they have seen Covid "taking it's toll on the elderly residents" and it causes "personality changes" and mood changes, and she surely has that. The doctors check her out and they say she is otherwise okay, she says she has no pain, doesn't feel sick, her meds stayed the same, but she had a LOT to deal with with all that then about 10 days ago the stomach virus swept through the building and they both got that. I talked to her the other night and despite having to shout because she doesn't wear her hearing aids or wear them properly we had a good talk and she seemed like she was doing better. Then today Deb & I went to visit them and she was laying on the bed sleeping in a very weird position, then was so out of it she seemed like she was comatose or stoned which scared the heck out of us. I called the nurses to come in to check her out and check her vitals, and I gave her some water to drink and the nurses said her blood pressure was a bit low (she has that issue a lot so they constantly monitor her for it), and they also got her a sandwich to eat and more water, and she started to snap out of it so much that I said "you wouldn't have gotten that response from her 10 minutes ago" so she did seem to be getting somewhat better, but I left there feeling so heartsick and upset. I asked the nurse to please check in her records on the computer from a few days ago when the P.A. checked on her for the second time in 2 weeks if he had any notes in there, she just called me and said he did but it was nothing more than before and said she checks out okay but they wonder if this is her new "normal" now or if it still is from the Covid and I know MANY people said it could take 6 months or more for her to shake that at age 83, I know when I had it about a month later I developed anxiety, even asked on here if others had that, talked to other people who had that happen, so I'm sure she has aways to go with that. But I told them they are going to have to REALLY make sure that they both are eating and drinking, as they easily could get dehydrated, and I turned the heat down in there, it was like a steam bath which can also make you lethargic, but I am doing everything that I know to do for them, am making sure that they are taken care of the best that they can be, and hope that they get better and are as good as they can be, but this Covid is a weird virus, lingering issues especially in the elderly.

The other part of it that has aged me about 10 years is that they had many places and cars and properties, I used to talk to her for years and say "you don't use these places, you don't rent them or live in them, can we please sell them so when the time comes I don't lose my mind?" and she'd say "and I don't want that to happen" and I said "but you're not doing anything about it!". 2020 she floored me when she said she wanted to sell a property, we got a great deal on it but more importantly we got rid of it, no more paying taxes and upkeep on a place for "ghosts to live in" as I would say, and she felt better about it. I told her I could keep going and sell more but she'd always say "it's too soon, I need time" and "I don't want to upset your father" which was nonsense because he has Aphasia and Dementia and wouldn't have known or cared about it, so they did nothing. But this past Summer, when I saw that things were getting worse, I tried to keep them in their home as long as I could by having improvements made and me taking them food and giving her meds the correct way-she almost overdosed a few times because she went nuts and took 3 months of blood pressure pills IN 3 WEEKS because she said "your father is driving me nuts, I didn't want my blood pressure to go up-so I started to divy them out correctly, but I also made a list of all the things they had that I would have to sell, homes, cars, properites, and came up with 11 things, ELEVEN!!! Most people go into assisted living and have a home, a car or two, and maybe something else, but not 11 things that they didn't use but paid taxes on and paid for oil and to have the grass cut and the snow shoveled...I talked to them MANY times over the years to sell them or move into one of them, told them that this is CRAZY to waste money like this, but they had it to spend and that's what they did, I couldn't do anything except watch it happen unless I as I jokingly said were to have them deemed incompetent, so as they went through these changes I hooked up with a WONDERFUL realtor who helped me start digging into this mess and as of now I am down to 4 things on the list, and two of them are in the process of being sold, the last two things will be the house they lived in and a car there, but the rest is gone, I enlisted the help of a financial advisor and invested the monies into CD's that would pay dividends every 3 months so they are well taken care of so there is no money worries and it is costly where they are but they all are, and they deserve to be taken care of in a good place.

This has been the toughest, most emotional time of my life, but I have met every challenge head on, have made the best choices I could make, my realtor said "I don't think we could've done any better", but it was so tough and still is, seeing them in the mental state they are in, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make them better but I can't. Oh, they both also took a LOT of pills for migraine headaches over MANY years, I tried to talk to them about that too, telling them I thought they were getting rebound headaches but they told me "no we're not, we know what we are doing", but in 2016 they discovered my dad had inoperable lesions on the left side of his brain, and a year later my mom had a seizure and I told the doctor "she takes too much medicine for migraines" and he said "I see that, I'll address it" and he did, he put her on medicine to PREVENT the headaches and she hasn't really had one since, I wish I could go back in time 40 years and have them do that for her but I can't, I can just make sure that they are cared for as best as can be, sell the remaining things, and understand that this is how it is, this is my and their life now, all I can do is deal with it the best that I can, but it has really worn on me...

My Grandmother lived right across the street from them, she passed in 2009, I just sold her house a few months ago, they held onto it and did nothing with it except pay the upkeep on it which as I said was crazy, but it is sold now. We went in there a few months ago and went through what little things were left, and I cried my eyes out when I read cards and letters that my Grandmother had from when my Grandfather died in 1975, I could hardly read them through the tears. But it was such an emotional upheavel, this should've been sold years ago, but this was so tough as well as some of the other things to sell. I talked with my pastor and she and some other people have told me "this should never have been put on you", meaning they should've done something when I asked them to over the years, but it was/is on me, I am the only child, other than my wife and my realtor I have no one helping, but that is how it was meant to be I guess. But it has been so so tough doing all of this, while working full time too.

THANK YOU if you read this all the way through, I just needed to vent about it again. I have not been on here because of all this going on. I had coached youth soccer for 21 years and have given that up to handle all this, I am in no state mentally to commit to coaching while this is going on, I just work and try to make it through each day, keep a check on them, yet try to enjoy some things in life yet. Life has changed so much, and life has changed me, but as my Grandmother used to say to me when people faced tough times "that's life, Les".

You were right, Nana....:rbheart:
 

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But I told them they are going to have to REALLY make sure that they both are eating and drinking, as they easily could get dehydrated, and I turned the heat down in there, it was like a steam bath which can also make you lethargic, but I am doing everything that I know to do for them, am making sure that they are taken care of the best that they can be, and hope that they get better and are as good as they can be, but this Covid is a weird virus, lingering issues especially in the elderly.
Bless you for being there for them. I didn't have things quite like this (complicated in a different way). I can't count the number of phone calls (he lived in a different state) on my Dad's behalf to help him stay where he wanted to, help him navigate the mental struggles, etc, even with his own doctor being rather unhelpful. I had an angel working in the place where my Dad was, and if not for her, I don't know where things would have ended up. He got covid twice. It brought that tough cowboy down the second time. :redheartpump:

she almost overdosed a few times because she went nuts and took 3 months of blood pressure pills IN 3 WEEKS because she said "your father is driving me nuts,
My grandmother did this exact same thing, repeatedly. Before she passed, my Dad was there constantly.

I am the only child,
Me too. It stinks when they don't realize what they leave for us to deal with, actually even when there are siblings (although, I'll have to admit, sometimes those situations can be worse).

I think you've done, and are doing, an awesome job. Your Nana would be proud.
 
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neely

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I am the only child, other than my wife and my realtor I have no one helping, but that is how it was meant to be I guess. But it has been so so tough doing all of this, while working full time too.
I'm sorry you are going through this but the above sentence really resonated with me. Although I am not the only child I may have well been since I was taking care of my parents all by myself. My husband was an angel, just like your Deb, and tried to help as much as he could. Friends told me it doesn't matter how many siblings you have the responsibility always falls on one person. I started caring for my parents when I was pregnant with our second child. Talk about being tired. I was running up and back to the hospital just as you are, making sure their bills were paid, grocery shopping, taking them to doctor appointments, etc., etc. Little by little, their physical and mental health deteriorated and also like you it affected me deeply. So what did I do? I joined a support group which helped greatly and maybe something you would be interested in looking into. I not only found a caring group of people who listened but a wealth of resource information. They brought in speakers who were knowledgeable about elder care and taught me so much about navigating the health care system for my parents.

I can tell from your posts and especially this thread that you have been through a lot and are a very loving son. 🤗 That's why we do what we do, not for ourselves but for our parents. My dad passed away first and having never experienced the loss of a parent I cried and grieved immensely. I was worried I hadn't done enough but in reality I did more than most. I was by his side constantly and when our second child was born she brought him much joy. :hearthrob: Looking back years later I feel blessed that it was me taking care of my parents and doing what needed to be done in their best interest. You are doing the same and I hope you take that as a compliment. Please feel free to keep us updated on your parents and know that you can come here to share your struggles with us since we do understand.:hugs:
 
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les26

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Thank you all...:grouphug2: :rbheart:

I stopped in today and she was doing somewhat better, she and my dad were in the dining room (the second to last ones left lol!) and my dad was eating but they said my mom didn't eat a lot, and the wonderful worker there suggested getting her Boost or Ensure which is a great idea. I did that for her and him, mostly her, over the Summer when they were in their home, but once they got into rehab and assisted living she was eating better so they took her off of it, but now she really could use it. I also got two plastic reusable cups with straws so they can keep them filled with water so they can drink throughout the day and they really liked them and are using them already! She is drinking more and was making some more sense today, and actually wanted to go eat lunch although my dad didn't but like I said they were late so he ate only 1.5 hours earlier, but when a nurse and I were in their room we were getting the wheelchair for her, she used to walk herself down with a walker but that's a bit too much right now, but we looked up and her she was coming at us with her walker, she got herself up and was coming at us and said "can I go down in that?" and pointed at the wheelchair so that was a great sign! I stopped in and she was eating some more than before, didn't finish everything but at least we are making progress. And several of the nurses told me that the stomach virus that ripped through there "was worse than the Covid on people" and some were hospitalized and some are STILL in there so that really knocked her out after having Covid so that also explains a lot! But she is making slow strides so we both feel better, but as you know there are many highs and lows, some days good, some days not so good; yesterday was horrible but today was better, and after we went out this afternoon Deb asked if we could go see her, she said "I was very upset yesterday seeing her like that, I want to see that she is doing better", so we went and she was better, still doing some quirky things but doing better and even told us "I do feel better", so we are on the right track....

This really takes a toll on the emotions, but that's how it will be I know!
 

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I understand. You are doing such a wonderful job with your parents, les26 les26 . It's so hard when we become the parents of our parents. I went through this, too, once with my paternal aunt, then with my dad, and then with my mom. Thankfully, my sister was right there and we did what we could to help them. Please realize that you're doing everything you can to help them. And yes, it's difficult. But you're doing well.

And, please, take some time out for you, too. You cannot care for them if you don't care for yourself. :hugs:
 
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les26

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Thank you all for the replies....

I stopped in yesterday and talked to some of the "bigshots" that work there that aren't there on the weekends, and also the nurses again and I am telling everyone about her and what happened and they are on the ball with it now especially the nurses and are making sure that she drinks and they are starting the Boost so that will help. The physicians assistant is supposed to look at her again today and okay the Boost, and I told them to please have him call me about her, let's see if he does, sometimes it's like pulling teeth but I keep on them until they respond. I remember hearing "you have to be their advocate", boy is that true!!

But I saw my Mom and she was tired and trying to sleep, but she was talking a bit more and when the girl in the dining room asked her how she was doing my Mom told her "I'm getting there", so that is good. I think the Boost drink will help but it'll take time, she was really wiped out with the stomach virus and Covid and all of the moves, and again they told me that the stomach virus was harder on the residents than Covid was, so at 83 this will take time, and yes I am doing all that I can, and my Pastor says to me a lot "make sure to take care of YOU"...

And tomorrow Sylvester goes for his haircut and checkup. We usually get so uptight getting him in there and getting that done but I said "after what I've been through with my parents that'll be nothing!" :clapcat:

Thanks again, much appreciated!! :rbheart:
 

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Sorry you are going through this. I can relate somewhat, from past family experiences and now the last 2 1/2 years with my husband. You do need to find something unrelated that brings you joy to have a bright spot in your life. It will give your mind a rest from the stress and worry. Easier said than done!
From what one of my husbands doctors told me, an elderly person can develop cognitive difficulties if hospitalized long periods or from multiple hospitalizations.
We recently dealt with Norovirus running rampant through the rehab my husband was in. He got it and we nearly lost him.
I totally understand the emotional fatigue you are feeling.
 
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les26

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Sorry you are going through this. I can relate somewhat, from past family experiences and now the last 2 1/2 years with my husband. You do need to find something unrelated that brings you joy to have a bright spot in your life. It will give your mind a rest from the stress and worry. Easier said than done!
From what one of my husbands doctors told me, an elderly person can develop cognitive difficulties if hospitalized long periods or from multiple hospitalizations.
We recently dealt with Norovirus running rampant through the rehab my husband was in. He got it and we nearly lost him.
I totally understand the emotional fatigue you are feeling.
Thanks for the message and so glad you didn't lose your husband to that virus!!
 

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les26 les26 : Sorry you've had so much on your plate these last months. It's so hard when our parents get too ill to care for themselves. I went through a similar situation, and it's both emotionally and physically exhausting. The only real advice I can give you, is to ensure you take time for yourself when you need to, and accept any help that may be offered to you. 🤗
 

neely

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And tomorrow Sylvester goes for his haircut and checkup. We usually get so uptight getting him in there and getting that done but I said "after what I've been through with my parents that'll be nothing!"
Good luck with Sylvester's check up and grooming. :crossfingers: I remember from previous posts that it's not the easiest of tasks but you are so right that after what you have been through with your parents this will be nothing. In case I haven't told you, you rock!:rock:
 
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les26

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Good luck with Sylvester's check up and grooming. :crossfingers: I remember from previous posts that it's not the easiest of tasks but you are so right that after what you have been through with your parents this will be nothing. In case I haven't told you, you rock!:rock:
Thank you! We'll give him two Composure pills with a few treats in the morning, it usually takes awhile but it chills him out to the point where we can get him and get him into the carrier and we spray it with Jackson Galaxy's "Stress stopper" and I can get him to the vet and they take care of him after that. I get him there around 8:00 but he stays in a cage until they take him out and do his checkup and then his lightly sedated grooming, then after he comes home he thinks he's "all it", he LOVES his haircuts, just doesn't like how he has to get there for them lol!! :clapcat: :jester: :runaround:
 
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les26

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I gave him the Composure treats 5:45 so we are playing the "avoidance" game right now, since none of them can eat because he can't eat we try to avoid going into the kitchen as long as we can lol! He was pushing me at 4:00 when I went to the bathroom but that was way too early to give him the treats, he'd either be a zombie right now if we did or more liekly they would've worn off already, so about 5:45 seems to work, and by 7:40 or so when we try to get him he is groggy, let's hope!

I called last night and asked if that physician assistant looked at my Mom like they said but now it's today they say, but the nurse did say my mom was in the dining room and ate and was talking to her "table mates" so that was good to hear. I filled her in on what happened and now she is aware of it, she is on at night a lot, and said she was going to go check on her when we hung up. We are just hoping and praying that she regains strength and clarity of mind the best that she can after all that she has been through, but it seems like she is getting there but it'll take awhile I'm sure.

Soon it's off to the vet with the little dickens, let's see how many scratches I will have on my arms lol!! :clapcat: :eek2: :eek3:
 

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I feel for you Les. My mother is in an assisted living facility right now, she has dementia, bad enough to not have her on her own. She has 0 short-term memory, remembers no phone calls, visits, etc. but does remember years ago, who I am, and that I live out of town.
You said you were an only child, sometimes that is good. I am the oldest child out of 4, but EVERYTHING fell on me, even having to travel 150 miles round trip to take care of affairs after dad died, and everytime mom needs something. I wish we could tell EVERY older person to sell all those belongings! Getting their house ready for an auction was a nightmare. drove that highway every day for a month getting things sorted and rounded up, not one sibling showed up to help. And two lived in the same town! Come on, the amount of 'stuff' they accumulate in 60 years of marriage is unbelievable. PEOPLE, clean out your house! Now my mother-in-law has died, still have an 89-year-old father-in-law living at home (and needing a lot of help) and they live on a farm with the house crammed and huge buildings FULL of 'stuff' tractors, cars, and 12 riding lawnmowers! I hyperventilate thing about it. You do what you can, and I admire you for helping your parents as you have. Just letting you know you are not alone.
 
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les26

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Thank you all again for the support! The doctor called me today so I had a chance to describe things to him, and he also agrees it sounds like she was just wiped out from the Covid and then moving to the hospital, 2 rehab places and then back with Pop was an awful lot but also the Covid and then the stomach virus which must've really depleted her which makes sense.He will check her and do bloodwork if needed, but thinks it was just being drained and it will take time, I hope so.

And I just brought Sylvester home and he did really well at the vet today and they told me "he was a good boy!", so the little dickens is good for another 6 months!! :clapcat: :dance: :jester:
 
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les26

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Mom was admitted to the hospital yesterday because the blood tests showed her leve lwas way out of whack because of the Depakote that she takes for seizures, they said a normal range is around 120 but hers was 178 which is way too high so they are bringing it down with IV fluids and will keep her for a few days to get her meds adjusted and get her stronger. She is sounding better and talking clearer, and ate some more for supper than she had been eating, still very tired and a bit confused and talking a tiny bit "off" but nowhere near where she was before, thank God I pursued it and so did the physician's assistant! If not she would've ended up in there but probably in much worse shape, so hopefully they are on it now and after a few days she'll be better and back with my Dad again, and we have to try to make sure that he understands where she is, last time she was taken away from him he thoght that she died!

It never seems to end...
 
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les26

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I talked to my mom on the phone yesterday and she was chipper and talking a mile a minute, said she feels much better and is even asking them for food before it is time to eat so that is REALLY good news! She says she understands what happened with the medicine and knows that the IV is what she needed to bring that drug level down and they told me that she will be going back to the rehab place next door to where they live so this will be the third time that she will be there but at least it is right next door to their place.

I stopped in yesterday to tell my dad what was happening and he was very agitated and confused, kept saying that he thought she was in Philadelphia and that he was calling down there to talk to doctors about her but no one answered which he obviously didn't do, and that is REALLY tough to listen to and watch and hear, but that's how he is with his Aphasia and Dementia. I explain it to him the best that I can and hope that he understands, and the nurses do the same thing but he won't be right until she returns back to him. And Deb was so upset yesterday saying how my Mom has to deal with this stuff and "it's no fault of hers", it's just happening and worries about how much she can take. But hopefully now they have this under control, have made her stronger with the IV's which she really needed, and will monitor the drug level much closer from now on. They think in a few days she'll be transferred to the rehab place.

My gosh...
 

neely

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I talked to my mom on the phone yesterday and she was chipper and talking a mile a minute, said she feels much better and is even asking them for food before it is time to eat so that is REALLY good news!
That's wonderful news, I'm very happy for your mom and I'm sure you are relieved to know that she is feeling better.
Regarding your dad with his aphasia and dementia, I understand that can take a toll on your mom and you. :hugs: My dad's dementia was tolerable because it didn't alter his sweet and gentle personality but unfortunately if affected my mom differently. It's good that you try to explain what is happening to him but not unusual for him to be agitated or confused. I hope your mom doesn't get too stressed or frustrated when she returns from rehab but I know you will be there for her. Thinking of you.🤗
 
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les26

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Seems like she'll be leaving the hospital as early as tomorrow and sent back to the rehab place that is right next door to where they live so that is good! I just talked to her on the phone and she seemed better even though I woke her up, but I asked if she feels ready to leave and she does so let's go!! And she knows these people since this will be the 3rd time that she'll be there, and it's a necessary step to get her better and back with my Pop.
 
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les26

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She was transported to the rehab place next door to where they live today, she seems better but now has developed a cough, so I had the nurses check her out and told them that she has AFIB, they said that her lungs were clear and oxygen level was okay, but I asked them to please keep a close eye on her tonight, if I get a call in the middle of the night saying something bad happened I'll flip, this is so so stressful and never seems to end.

My dad also was very agitated and upset, I finally took him over to see her and then he was calmer, but it is tough on him too as well as all of us. Hopefully she gets over this cough and rehabs and gets back to him soon. She is eating a lot which is good though!
 
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