Friday, October 29, 2010
I have been having a down week and not blogging for a couple of days. Are there others out there who care for an aging parent??? We have had my step-father down here for about 16 months - he does live alone, but I do pretty much everything for him. At first he didn't feel good and I worked for several months to get him back in decent health (for 99 he is doing pretty good). Now he is feeling better, it seems he just sits at home thinking of "jobs" for me to do-like I have nothing else to do. He is getting more and more demanding and if I don't do something almost immediately, he worries me about it like a dog with a bone. If it is something that fits in my schedule, I try to do it pretty quickly, if not and it isn't something he really needs, then I wait and do it when I am running other errands. When I do that, he gets quite demanding and constantly asks if I am going to do "whatever" he is wanting done. So far, I have bit my tongue, but the day is coming I fear when I am going to lash out and I do not want to do that. The reason to move him down here was so we could care for him and make his last years as good as possible. I have 3 brothers and only 1 offers any help. We are pretty much tied to dad and never leave him alone for more than a few hours. I guess at this point, I am resenting him and his attitude towards me. No matter what I cook, he would have done something different. If we bring him home a meal from a restaurant, it never pleases him, nor does he ever say thank you. At this point, we don't plan to bring him any meals from a restaurant anytime soon and if and when he asks about it, I plan to tell him we decided we didn't want him to have to eat something he wouldn't like anyhow and it is expensive (he never offers to pay for his meals). We don't want his $$ but it would be nice to hear a thank you or him to ask if he could pay for his meal.
On Thursday, he read in the newspaper that they are wanting veterans to sign up for a Memorial Wall they are going to build in town. Good thought, but I had to stop everything I had planned and look thru his papers to find his discharge papers. He really expected me to take it down as soon as I did, but I had a full day already going so told him I would do it today. Today, I had to take a script to the dr for him to get it faxed in for a refill, then I spent another 40 min getting him signed up for the wall (if we waited till next week, it would cost him $15), then I had to go get some stuff at Wal-Mart for him and finally go to the bank to cash a check for him so we could pay for his new steps. Now I did all this and it took me almost 3 hours and when I got back to put his purchases up he never said thanks, just that he had to warm his lunch up himself since I didn't get back by noon (he likes to eat lunch at noon and dinner at 5 which isn't always the schedule that fits my plans but I try hard to accomodate him). At that point I nearly lost it and had to hurry up and leave before I said something I would regret later.
If anyone else is dealing with issues with an aging parent do you have any tips. I know that it is the right thing to do and I will have no regrets later but sometimes I want to just throw my hands up and send him to a nursing home. I don't know if I should sit down and have a talk with him and tell him how I feel or just shut up and do it. Any advice????
Some days I want to say, Look, I am the step-daughter, my mother has been dead since 1968 so why do you expect me to care for you??? There are days I blame him for my mother's death, she committed sucicide and I do not know what drove her to it-I was already married so not there every day. I often wonder if I could have prevented it had I not been away in college. Did he drive her to it. So many questions without answers.
Well, I feel better just getting this out and maybe tomorrow will be a better day. Friends are coming to spend a few days with us and see the shuttle blast off so they will distract me and dad will be on his best behavior!