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Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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ennis, montana
good morning, one and all!! well, today is the day...i will be leaving around 9 am for north dakota to take my dad home...the last few days have been pretty emotional for all involved...even the hubby who has become pretty attached to the stubborn norwegian over the last 10 years! i know in my heart that i am doing the right thing...he simply cannot breathe at this altitude and more than anything i want for him to be comfortable...so, today is somewhat of a sad day..alot on my mind!! taking my only remaining parent home...not sure when (or IF) i will be seeing him again...his lungs are SO bad...damned COPD and cigarettes!! after mom died, we grew even closer...last night he told me i was his "pride and joy"...said "outta 5 kids (3 of them "his" by dna), you are the one who made something outta yourself!"...didn't want him to see me cry, so i am crying on your shoulders!!! won't have computer access until friday, so i will write you all then and let you know how things went...don't worry, i have a case of kleenex with me...just in case!!
until then, i wish you all health, happines, sunshine (except in montana where a butt-load of rain/snow would be welcome) and healthy babies!!! God bless and know my thoughts are with you all!!

At least a couple of us on this net have been in similar situations with our dads/moms and know the sense of loss and misgivings about the placement business. As the saying goes "life wasn't meant to be perfect or we wouldn't need heaven."
Some things here "on this side" are just plain difficult and imperfect. But acceptance comes if we let it. Our thoughts and prayers go with you, Rancherswife.
nr said:
At least a couple of us on this net have been in similar situations with our dads/moms and know the sense of loss and misgivings about the placement business. As the saying goes "life wasn't meant to be perfect or we wouldn't need heaven."
Some things here "on this side" are just plain difficult and imperfect. But acceptance comes if we let it. Our thoughts and prayers go with you, Rancherswife.

thanks, nr...damn sure good to have you back!! :wink:
I'll be thinking of you on your journey today, ranchwife.

I have found nr's wisdom to be so helpful in these situations. And she is correct in that we have to find acceptance within ourselves for what we do--the choices we have to make are sometimes so hard and how do you know until too late if it was the right one or not? We have to do what we feel is the best at the time with what we know. How great that your father shared some of his innermost feelings with you. He has lived with you for 10 years?

Our situation is not the same, but very similiar. I have to travel to do anything for my father and it gets difficult. I would like to be with him more, but outside of him coming to an Assisted Living place here (and I am working on that) it just isn't going to happen. While I was there, his lady friend informed me that I needed to come THREE times a month to see him. She did that for her parents...etc, etc. Just trying to stir up something. I told them both I could not do that and I was not going to do that. She creates a lot of problems but she is the only one he has there to do anything at all for him, so I just try to get by it. It is getting increasingly difficult. I have to learn how to blow it off better.

My dad was much better on Monday so I left for home Tuesday morning. Got up at 4 in the morning. Had to sleep for an hour at Colstrip but made it home in time to get my stuff done at work. (Two days worth in half a day-so I was exhausted last night.)

Thank you all for your concern and kind words. My dad will never be well, but he can be better than he was. He has rallied again and will go to the nursing home for physical therapy and then back to the assisted living place. It seems the time is shorter between hospital visits. He has quite a bit of pain and they had to give him morphine, which HE really doesn't like. He told me on Monday they gave him "too much of the damn stuff and it made him woozy", so he was going to do without it on Tuesday. He has always been so tough, it is hard to see him vulnerable. I'm glad I had the time with him. I wanted and needed to get home sooner, but he needed me worse, so I stayed.

Again, my thoughts are with you, ranchwife. Be glad you had your father for 10 years. Is he going to an place with care--assisted living, etc? My dad has adapted amazingly well. He got the Prince award on Valentines Day. My dad a prince?--Never thought it would happen. A tiger maybe, never a prince!!!!
I feel so fortunate that my folks live in the same yard and enjoy fairly good health. My mom at 83 got a powered scooter the other day so she can go for a ride down the lane and take the 3 dogs for some exercise. She wanted Dad to go along so he got my daughters old bike out of the shop and at 82 pedaled along but said it was hard going that slow.
I guess we have to cherish what time we do have with them.
The Guilt Trip. And what a trip it is! Must be the longest and most emotionally expensive trip in the world though it comes free. If we don't sufficiently put ourselves on that trip, somebody around our ill relative will.

Faster Horses, it was brilliant of you to set the boundaries clearly, what you can and cannot do, with your dad and his friend. Wish I had thought that through more clearly before my dad came to live with us. A practical head beats good intentions to bits.

Last night I went to a church women's small group meeting and some shared in a most open way about their family's searing emotional difficulties in dealing with an ill parent in their homes. The anger, the pent-up feelings, the drudgery, the stress on the marriage of the children-caretakers.

People will down-grade nursing homes and lay on the guilt trip saying "you put your parent in THERE!?"
But the WHOLE family has to be considered, not just the ill parent. And parents are living longer with more complex debilities these days. If we could all afford to have a round-the-clock nurse to help with a parent at home that would be a help. But few have those resources.

I hope, if I need nursing home care, my children won't feel guilt and will just have a happy visit with me once in awhile and write me nice juicy letters.
Thanks nr, for your encouragement. I truly think you are a wise woman and value what you say.

I also believe that the crime is not in placing elderly parents in nursing homes, but leaving them there and not going to visit them.

My dad's Assisted Living Home is actually better than him being at home, and I think he realizes it. At home he was alone too much. At Assisted Living he has to go to the dining room (he calls it the Mess Hall, LOL!) for meals. He really watches the time so he doesn't miss out, too. The girls that run the place really care for him and let me know if something is not quite right. He fell in his apartment and they were right there. He fell at home and when someone went to check on him they found him down and trying to crawl up the stairs (only 3) to get to the phone. Not a good deal. Him going to Assisted Living has certainly taken away some of the worry we had.

There is no easy answer, there is no perfect solution. You are so correct in that it has to be about all the family, not just one person. Our neighbors mother is in Assisted Living, but the father won't go there. He should be there, instead of driving into town every day. His driving is horrible. He should not be behind the wheel. I think it will be a very sad family, if/when he has a wreck, because it is only a matter of time. Amazing how we just can't stand up to these old people. I know my dad put the fear of God into me and there are some things I just can't talk to him about, though it would be in his best interest. So I do what I can and know what I can't.

I don't feel guilty because I know in my heart I do the best I can.
FH- You can never feel quilty about what you have to do--Do what you can do as best fits-- I was in the same situation a few years back.. My mother had a stroke and altho she could talk, walk, eat, and do most everything on her own-- she could not remember well enough to care for herself as far as cooking, taking medication- even remembering to eat... Because of the situation I was in ( just after I had been elected Sheriff) we didn't have the time needed to care for her- we put her in an Assisted living home- which she had always said she wanted if something happened and she agreed to... She spent 3 years there and was quite happy, altho nothing like if she was home- I gave her a bad time about them fattening her up (my mother never weighed over 120 lbs soaking wet in her life)... Then I had the opportunity to retire early from the county, come back full time to the place- and I decided Mom would come home too....
It gave her a chance to spend time to better get to know my kids and to be with my grandkids-sit back on the porch on the place she had spent most of her life -sometimes limited much I could do because I would have to come in often from the field to check on her- or arrange for someone to check if I was going to be up in the pasture all day- but the smile on her face when she was able to play with her great grand kids was worth it... A little over two years later she had another stroke and died-- I never regretted either of my moves-- you have to do whatever the situation allows......
Having the infirm elderly driving is funny/ scary/terrifying indeed! We're going through it both past and present. My Dad had to take over all the driving when Mom's mind went because she couldn't remember where she'd driven. But he couldn't bear the thought of not having a car in his late 80's even though he didn't have the range of motion to check behind while driving ("Well, I'll only drive where I have to go forward, I'll never back up" :shock: ) and his reaction time was slow ("I only drive in the middle of the day when the small children are at school" :???: ).
He had "answers" for every protest. Finally the retirement home they were living in hounded him enough, I think that was after the bees nested in the roof of the car and stung someone. :roll:

Now my father-in-law age 92 is still driving despite macular degeneration, and all the problems above. His wife called the eye doc and pleaded with him to write that her husband could no longer drive. All he wrote was that he can't drive at night. :mad: So daily he is driving at the time of day "when the sun won't shine in my eyes which is when I can't see." I firmly believe there should be more of a physical exam that accompanies driving tests which would include range of motion and more stringent testing of reaction time...and sanity. Of course then I might not pass :?

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