September 29, 2006

A change in plans

I have had an idea or two for some additional blog posts, but those will have to wait:

I am headed to my folks' place on the east coast, where my mother has been caught between caring for my dad who has a bad case of sciatica (and is not the most compliant patient) and caring for my 101-year-old grandmother (well, she turns 101 in just over two weeks). Grandma was hospitalized for a week recently, with pneumonia and gastritis but--amazingly--is back home now (Baltimore area).

The three of us siblings (southern Oregon, Boston, and me in the Middle) have had one conference call to sort out a plan of action, since we each half-expect the burden of support to fall on us alone: my older brother, for being the oldest; my other brother, for living the closest; and me, for being the daughter.

So this weekend, for a few days, it's my turn. And based on the report of my Boston brother who was with our folks this past week, it's unlikely that there'll be any real down time to speak of.

Yeap, I'm definitely Grown Up now. Time to start providing care to those who long ago provided care for me.


UPDATE, Tenth Month 2006. My grandmother is out of the hospital but clearly is not the same woman she was when she was, say, 95. My mom's stress has shifted from caring for my grandmother to continuing to care for my dad, who is still in some discomfort and has not been able to walk without a walker. My two brothers and I are considering setting up a family meeting, when all of us can gather face to face and share our concerns, hopes, and observations with one another. All in all, I'm feeling less stressed and I'm getting back to the other parts of my life.


Joe G. said...

Boy, does this post bring back memories when my mom and dad were still around and very old! And you have a 101 year old grandma, too. Wow!

When I used to visit my dad for such things I found purposely focusing on each day at hand was very helpful. Good luck!

Rob said...

Hi Liz,

I'm sorry to hear about your family's illnesses. It sounds like things are quite hectic. I'll keep you in my prayers and hope for the best.

Do take care,


Robin M. said...

My mother lives with my 72 year old father (she married an older man!) who had a stroke last year and her 96 year old mother - it sounds very familiar.

The women of my mother's generation in our family have set a very high example in caring for their parents - I only pray that my sister and I can live up to it when our turn comes.

Godspeed and safe travels.

Mark Wutka said...

Hi Liz,
I pray that you will be strengthened for what lies ahead. I am happy that your parents and grandmother have caring offspring!
With love,

Cat C-B (and/or Peter B) said...

Hey, Liz,
Peter and I cared for his 90+ year-old grandmother for the last four years of her life--it was my welcome into the family, in fact, and certainly made me feel rooted and connected...

I remember that time period as both deeply rewarding and incredibly exhausting--emotionally as well as physically.

You're in my heart. Or, I guess, in Quakerese, I'll be holding you in the Light; in Wicca-speak, blessed be.

(insert warm cyber-hug here)

Liz Opp said...

Hello, everyone.

I want you each to know how much it means to me, whether we have met face-to-face or not, to be able to read your words of comfort, support, and connectedness as I have been supporting my mom and dad. More than once, I felt God's presence as I stole time away for myself to reground and change my focus for a few minutes. Thank thee(s)!

I am returned to my midwestern home as of late last night, knowing in my heart I may be called upon again to return to New Jersey soon, for providing additional care.

"May God bless us and keep us, shining Light upon us all the days of our lives."


Nancy A said...

Hi Liz

Wazzup? We haven't heard from you in a while...

Liz Opp said...

Nancy -

Thanks for your inquiry. You maybe have noticed that I do have a couple of other posts following this one (you can click on the title-header of the blog to go to the homepage to read them). I'll also update the main post here for you and other readers to find out "wazzup."


Nancy A said...

Hi Liz

Somehow my link got stuck on this date and wasn't bringing up anything more recent. Next time it looks as if you've gone on a long walk-about, I'll click on the refresh button. For now, I'll speed-read to catch up.


Liz Opp said...

Glad you were able to check in with me and check back to find out more. And there have been times when I too have been tricked into thinking that the world had stopped moving... What would we ever do without the "refresh" button?

And can I have a "refresh" button for the rest of my life, too? It would come in handy every once in a while! smile