Dad’s Holiday from his Holiday

Immediately after Dad called and told me that he was home by himself, I got another call from Mom. This went through her normal litany of stuff, and when she asked, I told her that Dad was up here. Saying that made her angry is like saying the ocean has water. After a few minutes of holding the phone far enough from my ear to keep from going deaf, she hung up.

I went over to Dads, and we had a LONG talk about Mom. It was productive for a change, as he was completely worn down and just couldn’t take any more. Our conversation was only interrupted once by a phone call from Mom who was using the hotel room phone, so Dad didn’t recognize the callerID number.

A summary of what I went over with Dad:

  • I have no fond memories of my grandmother, and I don’t want the same thing for my kids
  • Mom has been progressively getting worse over the years, and doing nothing is no longer an option
  • Her behavior has a lot of similarities to that of my grandmother
  • They have lost or distanced themselves from friends over it
  • Mom’s behavior is a danger to herself and others
  • Her list of physical complaints don’t match what we know of her ‘physical’ illnesses
  • They know other ‘normal’ people who are bipolar and medicated

Because of Mom’s behavior, Dad had only gotten 1-2 hours sleep a night for the past several weeks. He also hadn’t been eating properly, and since he has mild diabetes, was getting to the point that he was getting sick. I gave Dad strict instructions to get something to eat, and to turn the phone off when he went to bed.

The next day, I got a frantic call from Mom (what’s new), that she thought that Dad had done something (suicide), and she reminded me how violent and eratic he had become. She also had called ALL of Dad’s neighbors starting about 7:00am telling them the same thing, and that she was sick and he abandoned her, and she had no car, etc. Dad had to explain the situation at least 4 different times to 4 different neighbors, including one 85 year old woman who had started banging on his door at 7:30.

That evening, I went over to Dad’s again. He looked a LOT better – he had gotten a good night’s sleep, and was eating well. He told me how happy he was that he had taken the phone off the hook, and that judging by the neighbors, Mom must have started calling him around 6. I let him listen to the voicemail Mom left me where she explained that she had tried calling Dad every 15 Min. since 2:00am, when she had finished talking to her sister on the west coast. We went over stuff regarding Mom again:

  • She needs help, and will fight getting it
  • It has been a long time building to this level, and may (read will) require inpatient treatment
  • The fix is not something that gets done once and is over, it will require lifelong monitoring/treatment, similar to his diabetes
  • Mom won’t willingly continue with the treatment once it starts, and will have to be coerced
  • My kids CAN NOT be around her when she is like that
  • He has been part of the problem by allowing her to continue, and smoothing over what she does

We also talked a bit about his legal options for getting her treatment against her wishes, and how to get her back home and to help. Since Mom is in no shape to fly, my cousin had offered to fly down, rent a car, and drive her home. My cousin is the ONLY person that has any kind of calming effect on Mom. I don’t know how she does it, but it might be enough to get Mom back home.

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~ by namegoeshere on April 12, 2007.