GoVanGogh Posted March 16, 2012 Share Posted March 16, 2012 I probably shouldn't be posting yet, as I'm so scattered and a muddle of emotions but - here goes. DH and I are from the same home town, but have lived halfway across the country for the past 20+ years. Our parents have divorced, remarried, divorced again, moved around that area, but still are in the same general area. Basically, we don't have a "home" to go home to. It is a full day drive to get there or a $1,000 plane ticket. Add in hotel expenses and trips home add up quickly. DH and I knew that someday we would have to face the reality of our parents aging. DH's side of the family tend to go quickly. My side of the family like to linger and draw death out for years. So far, we have only gone through this with grandparents. DH and I have a different point of view, mainly because our own experiences have been so different. Now here we are with our parents. My mom has been in ICU for the past week. I flew home and stayed at her bedside for five days, but I really need to figure out what to do from here - what is expected, how to navigate aging parents w/a stepparent thrown in the mix, etc. My mom is only 65, but in terrible health (uncontrolled diabetes) and partially disabled. She had a knee replacement surgery five years ago and refused to do the rehab after and then lost mobility in that leg. At that time, she was placed in a nursing home - by the hospital, not us children. She has always said she would rather die than go back to a nursing home. She has been more alert the past few days and already refusing to obey the doctors and nurses. They need to get her to drink a bit of fluids and she won't drink anything but soda, which they obviously are not offering her. The doctors are telling us if she were to get up today and walk out of ICU, she is looking at 2 months at a rehab/nursing home facility. But she has at least another week in ICU, followed by a week or two on the general hospital floor - then "months and months" (quoting her main doctor) at a rehab/nursing home facility. We have not told her this yet. My parents divorced when my brother was a baby, but our mom only remarried 10 years ago. My stepdad lost his first wife to complications of diabetes. He is a sweet guy, but total enabler. Mom wants a candy bar, he would go out in a blizzard to get her one. My sister and I were teens when our parents divorced and have a very different relationship with her than my brother, who grew up as an only child with a newly divorced mother. He is extremely close with our mother, while my sister and I have not lived with her (or even in the same community) in 30 years. My sister lives two hours away, but just went through her own divorce and is struggling to get on her feet. She doesn't have time and money (or a safe vehicle) to drive back and forth all the time. My brother and his wife live an hour away, but they have a large family and work full time; my brother also attends college. My sister-in-law wants someone at my mom's bedside 24/7. As nice as that sounds, it just isn't feasible. I flew home for five days and hardly left her bedside. But I can't stay up there. Is it really expected that I do? I had so many relatives and family friends say, "Great! You are here. Are you staying for the duration?" :001_huh: Should I feel obligated to?? The cheapest lodging we could find was $60/night, so that adds up fast. This is the first time my siblings and I have really had to deal with our parents aging... We are pretty clueless. And worried that this is just the beginning of a long road with our mom. I would love any book suggestions, websites, BTDT advice, whatever. Thanks. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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