As we get older, the relationship with our parents changes dramatically.
During our formative years they play the roles from God/best friend to Devil/worst enemy and everything in between, depending on our ever swinging mood. Aren't kids the bestest?
Eventually we realize they aren't sadistic watch dogs intent on ruining our lives and most of us become, dare I say, friends with them.
Sometime after that, when we have children of our own, we suck them dry of every ounce of parental wisdom in an attempt to survive this savage trial called parenting; They become our confidants, our allies.
At some point most of us will become caretakers of our parents. You know, like they used to always threaten when we were being teenage pains in the ass? It's reckoning time, y'all.
Warning: I'm about to go on a rant, a rather lengthy one. I rant so I can deal, I deal because I choose to. They are my parents. I tortured them for many many years and they refrained from selling me on the black market so I'm happy to do this for them. That fact by no stretch of the imagination means I won't grumble and gripe every step of the way.
My father's health is declining only he doesn't agree so he still runs around like he's 30 damn years old. Pain? Life is pain, Mandy he'll tell me and he keeps trucking along.
Except this time the pain got him down. For months.
It's a long story full of ER visits and midnight calls and arguments between concerned family members that concluded with me branded Nurse Ratched by some, Mother Theresa by others and leaving me in charge of keeping his healthcare organized; Setting appointments, reminding him he has them, making sure he can get to them, keeping on top of medicine refills, explaining test results to him, reporting new or worsening symptoms to his doctors, etc, etc, etc....
Also, he can't shop for himself or do many of his household chores, not to mention all the outdoor scutwork he used to do all on his own.
All of this is now my worriment.
It's not easy for several reasons. Reasons I will tell you about in excruciating detail because this is my blog and I'll bitch if I want to.
First, I live three hours away from the man so my physical contact has been minimal. Thank God for his sister who has devoted the last several weeks to caring for him. However, she has this irksome little thing called a life back home all the way across the country and eventually she will go back to that (if she can find her plane tickets, hee hee hee).
When my father gets a call and takes notes, those notes are written in his indecipherable scribble on whatever he can find near him, i.e. tissue boxes, the TV Guide - oh yes, he still uses the paper one, his jeans.... Not kidding, I mean what. ever. is near him.
He's basically collecting doctors at this point and seems to have a new one each day. Sometimes one is replacing another and sometimes one is filling in for another temporarily. I need a fucking flow chart to keep up.
Their names are more frequently than not, lost in translation, leading to me scouring the internet for Dr Beers who does MRIs when the guy's name is Deats and he's the kidney doctor.
Sprinkled into this perfect shit storm is someone who truly is trying but in reality is failing miserably to help by making appointments for my father without his or my knowledge. When we are informed of these appointments, usually mere hours before he's supposed to be there, it is with very little information which cumulates again with me scouring the internet for a doctor whose name may or may not be London and who may or may not be an oncologist. And for the record, my father doesn't have cancer soooooooo.....
Do you see why I'm crazy?