Oh the Horror!

  1. Oh sweet Jesus. This does not fit into the neat little schema that is my life. I got off the phone with my mother 45 minutes ago and my head is pounding. I need to rant. I know that because you people are so very brilliant you will tell me exactly what I need to do with myself. Okay, well at least you'll listen to me rant right?

    I was having a good day, really. This besides the fact that I have been awake since 0230 (thanks to my friend Jon -- the hoser -- and his phone call). I was going shopping downtown and was going to make a nice little day of it.

    First (as they teach us to do in Nursing Care of the Family) you need to understand my family tree. We come from a very large, small town family of French-Canadian-Catholic decent. Very prone to drama and hysteria and yelling, and are historically very enmeshed in each other's lives. With the exeption of my aunt and cousin who live in Alberta -- we all live within an hour of one another. My grandparents had 10 kids, my father being the oldest and the youngest being only 12 years older than me. He and his sibs all got married and had kids. I am the 3rd oldest of 26(!) cousins. Apart fom that, 10 of us are in heathcare.

    My Grandmother, who is pure evil, has been admitted to the hospital for severe CHF, bleeding intestinal polyps and failure to cope with ADLs at home. This sounds soooo cold, but she needs to die and just get it over with, and not drag the rest of us along with her.

    So back to the phone call with my mom. She's very stressed. She spills the story. A few days ago she brought my Grandmother to the pacemaker clinic in the city. She was under the impression that this was an emergency, but later found out that it was just a routine appointment. Earth to mom, the woman is in multi-organ failure -- the freaken appointment can wait. Long story short, g-ma refused to get out of the car when they got back to the hospital. Oh NOOO! She said, I'm not going back there (note -- hep-lock still in arm, and feet so swollen she's wearing hospital slippers). She demands to be taken back to the seniors apartment where she and my frail grandfather live. My parents comply! Now my Grandparents are moving out of their apartment into one in the city WITHOUT ANY HOMECARE SUPPORT OR MONITORING. Nobody is doing anything to stop this. That's okay, we'll just play along and let you live in your own filfth away from our prying eyes -- and we'll all just pretend that everything is just rosy. You'll probably lose your toes and die of starvation, but as long as everyone's happy....

    I am so angry and conflicted. I'm mad at myself because I have not intervened (not that I could do anything -- I have no power within my family). I have refused to get involved until this point, because I know that I will only be manipulated by my grandmother. I'll end up as her 24 hr nurse and will be the one called whenever she gets into one of her self-inflicted crisis. I deal with elders who are not in touch with reality on a daily basis. I had to exercise such self-restraint last Sunday, to keep myself from visiting her in the hospital.

    I'm mad at my mom for allowing herself to be manipulated. She's a nurse for God's sake, she's not thinking with her head. I'm mad at the hospital for not intervening sooner or at least not laying down the law with her during this past 1 1/2 years of revolving door hospital visits.

    My dad is so angry. I really worried about him. He's retreating into his workaholic ways and I have never seen him so stressed. I think he's reliving a lot of years of abuse and neglect. He ran into a lot of psychological problems a few years back and I'm worried he'll relapse.

    Thanks for listening.
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    About adrienurse

    Joined: Apr '02; Posts: 4,740; Likes: 104


  3. by   sunnygirl272
    got nuttin brilliant to add....just hugs ad to let you know that i am listening...willponder and post if i come up with any brainstorms...

  4. by   Youda

    it's always a delimma when someone needs more care than they are willing to accept. add some denial and fear and it gets really tough for the family!

    is it possible to get some private duty or home health care there in canada for them?

    i sure understand the stress this causes in a family! been there, done that! and it sounds like your family knows just what buttons to push to make you crazy! go shopping today anyway! shopping therapy works !!!
  5. by   baseline
    Shop til you drop.........I can't offer any staid advice other than to be supportive to your father and to take care of yourself.
  6. by   nursegoodguy
    Originally posted by baseline
    Shop til you drop.........I can't offer any staid advice other than to be supportive to your father and to take care of yourself.
    This is very good advice! Go shopping! It doesn't sound like there's much you can do... your mom's a nurse... she knows... don't let them trap/guilt you into something... grandma could be getting care right now and she chose NOT to! You didn't choose it for her, so... go out and SHOP!
    It's hard to let it go sometimes but you have to... your hands are tied.
  7. by   JonRN
    What a mess!!!! Adrienne, I feel so bad for you. Try to remember all the pts you work with have families, and all have probably been through the same things. Like everyone else suggested, be very supportive of your parents, and remember their is little you can do re: your grandparents until things get totally out of hand, then call the agency responsible for insuring their needs are being met.
  8. by   kittyw
    That sucks.... go shopping & buy yourself something really nice & implusive. That usually works for me.

    With as many people as there are in your family & with you having a life ... I wouldn't get sucked into doing anything you don't want to do

    Now .... I have a few exercises I want you to do (but only after you've gone shopping) ... READY?

    Say ....... NO.

    Say ....... NO.

    Say ....... NO.

    Say ....... NO.

    Now shake your head back and forth and say ....... NO.

    Repeat this qh x 10.

  9. by   kittyw
    And I hope things get better for you and your dad..... (((hugs)))
  10. by   beckymcrn
    Being part of a big family myself I can understand your delima.
    Unfortunately big families are full of lots of people who although all raised alike all have different views and outlooks on life.

    I never understood that one. I am the oldest of six and not one of us are alike. Some are actually rather crazy (stupid crazy I mean) So you want to ask who are you and where did you come from?

    My advice is like all the rest GO SHOPPING, spend some time on yourself. You can not fix anything so do not fret over it.

    (((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs for you and your dad)))))))))))))))))))))))
  11. by   moz
    Well, on the bright side you have a lot of family to help...if they will.
    Like the others I say spend time on yourself, and your dad; and it will probably have to get worse before it can get better.
  12. by   maureeno
    Do and not do for yourself and loved ones only things you will not regret remembering. Try to get a time-line perspective.

    There are no 'functional' families; all are made up of fallible human beings. Crisis brings out old patterns.

    with best wishes and prayers....
  13. by   fab4fan
    adrienurse: I can completely relate...my paternal grandmother drove me crazy, and I just couldn't stand her. When she got sick, I'm ashamed to say I had absolutely no sympathy for her; she disgusted me.

    You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. Don't really have any advice, just wanted to let you know I know where you're coming from.

    Oh, and I'm the only one in my family in the healthcare profession, but even though I've been a nurse for 17y, my parents would believe healthcare advice from a fortune cookie before they'd believe me.
  14. by   BadBird
    Oh Adriene,

    I wish you lived close to me, I would pour you a nice big glass of wine. I know family can be evil, at least you see through it. I guess you just have to distance yourself and sit back and listen to what happens, turn the ringer off on your phone and let your answering machine pick up all calls, that way you don't actually
    have to speak with your Grandma.

    You will always have us to vent to, hope you feel better.