Thursday, February 25, 2010

'Tis Better to Laugh Than Cry Sometimes

I was getting ready or fixin' to write a sob story about my in laws when Ellen (tv on and Ellen show on tv)showed some really funny commercials! Oh my goodness.

followed by this one. I'm really enjoying these and laughing so much.

And then this one.

Somehow it just seems better to laugh this morning than cry about something I have no control over. Hubby is having to move his dad to the Alzheimer's side of the place. Actually they moved him yesterday, but now hubby has to move the furniture that won't fit in the room back to either our house or their house. He has the same movers that moved their belongings out there three months ago.

Also, hubby got a lesson in stubborness this morning. The home health people came today and they needed to draw blood to make sure her blood count is ok and isn't lower than it was. They are both anemic and the doc is trying to make sure there is no internal bleeding. When they got ready to draw the blood from my mil she refused. My husband was stunned, flabbergasted, and ready to disown her. He told me yesterday he could see her at the door of the wing where she lives pounding on the glass door trying to get out. It breaks my heart to hear that. It has been 3 months and she is still desperate to go home. Plus he found out they are only giving her Tylenol for osteoarthritis in her hip. I gotta tell you I hope there is a special place in hell for the doctor who took her off the pain patch that controled the pain and put her on freakin' tylenol.

She had to go to the emergency room a while back and they kept her for about a week. I'm pretty much for controlling pain. The longer you go without anything to relieve the pain it gets out of control and it is so much harder to deal with then. I'm not concerned that she will become a "junkie", and if she does we will deal with the addiction when she gets well.

In my humble opinion elder health care in the U.S. bites the big one. Unless you qualify for Medicaid the cost of "assisted living" or having three shifts of caregivers come come in is prohibitive. If you are somewhere in the middle, your children will be in charge of caring for you or your spouse until they are in the same shape you are. We will either bankrupt ourselves, put our children in a world of grief they aren't prepared for while we spend their inheritance.

That same doctor who took her off all the pain medication, took her off all the antidepressants her personal physcian had prescribed and the antianxiety meds, too. My husband talked with the staff where she is and with her primary doctor's aide to get something started again for her. But for right now she is back to perseverating about going home and beating on a locked door with her fists and in general making herself even more upset. I guess that is what we have to look forward to if we are unable to care for ourselves. Personally I'd rather be able to care for myself, but if that isn't an option I'd rather die.

PS-my hubby just got back from yet another visit to the nursing home and the nurses thought it would be sweet for his mom and dad to see each other. Well, it wasn't what they thought it would be. Neither of them recognized the other! Just a week ago he recognized her but she didn't recognize him. This week they didn't recognize each other. I guess 70 years together was enough for both of them.


  1. I did laugh at those videos, it made my day,

    I think the problem is world wide regarding the elderly and the health care. sometimes I do sit and wonder what would happen to me but as that is a depressing thought I think of something good and resort to laughing, like you say it's better than cyring.


  2. I'm so sorry to read about your in-laws. And don't you go feeling bad about writing about it either. You need to be able to share this and get it off your chest, so I am glad that you did.
    I'm praying for their comfort and their peace. I agree. Healthcare for the elderly sucks!

  3. Do you know, sometimes when you are on a blog you just click next blog to see what is randomly next door...a few times? Please tell me that's not just me! Anyway, that is how I found this post, and it really is heartbreaking. It does show you have to try and be happy while you can, so maybe we should laugh not cry, good on you for that! But it makes me so angry, I live in England and even with our different healthcare system we see some similar stuff. I totally agree about taking people off drugs that are helping, often the chance of addiction is just not as big an issue as the original problem the drugs were needed for. I was in hospital a while ago and I did end up reflecting that if you were left reliant on that ''neglect'' you would be totally doomed. I'm so sorry you're going through this difficult time. And sorry for my rant! 70 years together enough - ha! - that sentence is true tragicomedy.
    One of the things about flipping through blogs like I did is that it makes you realise so many individual lives out there, and people all over the world going through the same things. Best wishes from England xoxo

  4. Hi Amber,

    Yep, sometimes this is the best way to deal with times when they turn tough or ugly. Hope everything gets better for you and yours.

    Best wishes,


  5. Any place you can go for humor, GO, laugh hard and long. Life as we age is often quite brutal and we need the release of humor.
    The good thing is that you are not alone---the horrible thing is that you are not alone.
    You are all in my prayers.

  6. It is so good to have some support from you guys! Maybe today will be a better day and something nice will happen for all of us.

    My husband brought home my mil's dressing table. She really had that thing packed! I've been sorting the drawers out. We found my husband's favorite toy from when he was a little boy. She had a toy, found as well, and he had his. They used to play together with them. It is worth finding a drawer full of dirty socks, to find that.

  7. Ohhhhhhhh ... I see I AM missing some things by not watching tv. Good thing I have YOU to share HIM with me! Goodness!

    I agree that health care is NOT what it should be. This is why Mom is not IN a nursing home and probably will not be for a long time. But I think God sends you to remind me WHY I'm keeping her at home and how even on my WORST days, I'm a better care giver than she will ever get in a "home".

    But as far as the inheritance thing goes, I don't think you should look at it that way. (you'll probably yell at me for this one) Didn't you save to take care of yourself in your old age? Or did you really save planning for your children to inherit it? I do agree with our government in that a person's own resources should be depleted before the government kicks in to take care of them. Why should the government take care of the elderly if they still have resources to take care of their own needs? That doesn't make sense. However... I think my husband thinks like that also. I think it would bother HIM to put Mom in a "home" NOT because of the lousy care... but because it would eat HIS inheritance. I dunno... I guess because an inheritance was never something I expected to get, I never would have missed it. And when I found out I WAS getting something, I was thrilled! My sister's on the other hand had known there would be something... and they ended up fighting like thieves for larger portions! Makes me think kids are better off to think there's nothing there, especially since it COULD very well be eaten up by elder care! Then if they DO get something - how pleasant! IF my kids get anything it will be a major miracle and they will be thankful!

  8. Hi Amber, I am so sorry to hear about all the troubles with your in-laws and how sad it is for you to have to witness it all. Old age definitely sucks and we are all headed there with no other options.
    I feel so sorry for them and you and your husband. Please try to enjoy your weekend and put this out of your mind whenever possible. Love and hugs, Judy

  9. When we first we never think about what is down the road for us. We just accept problems one by one as they come. Life becomes difficult as we age and can't take care of ourselves...that's when families step up to be our advocates. We need to look out for loved ones, because sometimes we are all they have.It's so frustrating to have to deal with people who really don't care.I know what you are going through. One of the saddest days of my life was when my Mom didn't recognize me.

  10. Melli,
    I think the same way you do about the inheritance part. There is enough money to care for them in the nursing home with their money for at about 5 years. I truly do not think we could care for them in our home, because well, there are two of them, and she is very hostile at times. That would be like your mil squared + another one like her. Even the place they stay find it hard put to deal with them. Yesterday my mil refused everything they wanted her to do. The doctor had requested a cbc to try to figure out if her red blood count is still falling or coming back to normal. We don't know now. Also, he wanted a stool sample to rule out internal bleeding...same deal. Maybe today will be a better day and she will be cooperative and not as belligerent.

    It is very difficult to care for her when she is yelling and demanding amd hitting people as she screams that she wants to go home. I mean literally screaming, and lashing out at people. Remember when she was using her walker as a weapon? I do. She is extremely healthy except for the anemia and the osteoarthritis, which is the way of most Alzheimer's patients.

    If I'm helping you in any way to care for your mil I'm happy to do so. She can walk on her own, enjoys going out with you on little trips,is happy to watch the birds, etc. It is just that we cannot care for both of my husband's parents. My fil is incontinent and really...I'm not up for cleaning urine and/or feces off of him and then dressing him two or three times a day. He wears Depends, but he still has to be cleaned. My husband could try, but I'm not sure he would be able to either. Also we have a difficult time being able to go anywhere. We can't take them with us because well they can't ride in the car for long. We would have to have handicap bathrooms each night plus we would have to share a room so we could reassure them all is well.

    We possibly could have had people come in to stay 24/7, but that would cost as much as the home or more. I think $10,000 per month for the rooms is pretty stiff, but maybe you have a lot more money than they do. It is a lot to us. They have money saved but when it runs out we will have to spend our money to keep them, or maybe we can get them on Medicaid at the time they have depleted all of their resources....selling off all property they own and actually everything they have. I went through that with my dad when I cared for him for 13 years. At least he didn't have anything. I spent the thousand dollars or so in his checkbook for a room at a nursing home while I got him set up on Medicaid. He had had a stroke and understood that I couldn't take care of him. My sister thought it would be a good idea to take hime to her house for Thanksgivig. It was a nightmare for all involved. Getting him to the bathroom was more than she and her husband could handle. Houses don't have doors that are wide enough to accomadate a wheel chair.

    It may seem like I'm fussing at you about this, but I'm not. It is just so difficult to care for elderly people, and there are different levels of need. I'm very aware I will be elderly and dependant on someone someday soon. I just hope I die before it gets too bad. I don't want to be that much of a burden to my children.

  11. Oh Amber ... I don't BLAME you ONE BIT for not keeping his parents at your house! Don't think that for a minute! I play it season by season with Mom. I find that right now I'm willing to put up with things that 2 years ago I said I never would! That is God's work. He prepares me to take on more and more, little by little.

    Occasionally I'll find something going on in my life that outwardly seems totally unrelated to Mom. But suddenly I'll realize it's God preparing me. And sometimes I just look at Him and say NO! Oh NO! You're NOT doing that to me! ... but you know... before He gets around to DOING it, I've accepted it! It's weird. SO weird. But he changes my heart, and he changes my mind... and I do what He tells me to do. So at this point I don't even say "I'm NOT going to do THAT" anymore... because I don't KNOW what I'm going to do... I don't KNOW what he's going to ask of me! I know that if the time comes that He thinks I've had all I can take, He will instruct me to put her in a home. Until then? Here I am Lord!

    I hope I die before I have a chance to be of any hinderance AT ALL to my children! But that's out of my control too... *sigh*

  12. Not having any control is the one thing nobody really understands, but it is the truth. We really are not in control ultimately for anything. Somehow that made more sense when I was thinking it up.

    Oh yes...about learning and being able to do husband has had a real crash course in caring for others. He has always loved his parents, but he is not so demonstrative about it. That is starting to change a little and it is a good thing.

  13. Lucy,
    I sure do on the next blog just to see who is next door and my word they are nice but a bit surprised, I guess. They never leave a note they have been here. Thanks for that.


  14. Amber, I just can't imagine how it must feel to have your in-laws, or parents, in a nursing home. Sometimes medications are necessary, and in the case of the elderly, is there really a grave concern about addition? Keep our loved ones comfortable! They're care is in the hands of the doctors we "hire". So many people have gone the route of natural cures and care (I know I have!),and I've found them to be quite effective. Maybe you could find a good natural alternative to help with the pain, and with the alzheimer's...??

  15. I love that first commercial! But I was soon brought down by the story of your in-laws. Must be hard on them, and especially on your husband. I hope everyone's doing better now.