Mentally Exhausted

My brain hurts.

Yesterday I addressed two things that had been on my mind head-on. The first, a visit to a friend that I haven't seen since October. Being the anti-social creature that I am that would not be too big of a surprise… except for the fact she only lives about 3 miles away and really is a close friend. There for a time it would be nothing to be emailing each other at least three times a day, but lately it's been closer to once every three or four weeks and then just hitting the "high" points. I did tell her, and meant it, that she is one of those friends that even when you haven't talked for ages or seen each other, when you do get together it feels like you just saw each other. Not that things haven't happened to us both (my gosh! she painted her house and got a new car!)… but that we're just comfortable with each other. She's one of those people who tell you how it is straight up and doesn't mince words. I appreciate that.

Unfortunately, after catching up on all the things going on in my life she shared with me some terrible things going on in hers and although I can do nothing but sit on the sidelines and offer support, I still felt awful for not being there for her. I can't tell it here, as it isn't mine to tell… but suffice it to say it is not life-threatening, just life-altering.

Then I left her house and drove to see my parents. Specifically, I went to confront my father. (Slight re-cap: my parents lived in the neighboring town my whole adult life until they retired and moved to the "sticks" in Arkansas. Three years ago last winter they had a devastating house fire that destroyed everything they had and after some thought they moved back up to Iowa to the neighboring town.He had hip surgery a few months before the fire, and his other hip done immediately before the fire – and has never really gotten his full range of motion back after the second surgery.) After talking to him a few months ago and getting him to admit he was depressed, then getting him on some medication for it, he appeared to be doing better. He was starting to move around more, get more exercise, and most importantly – he'd quit snapping and growling at my mother. However, since November, he's been falling more frequently. The first couple could be chalked up to alcohol intake. But the falls he's had in the past couple of months can't be. My parents quit drinking. (Probably too little, too late… but I'm glad they have.) He falls and he won't let anyone help him get up, so he may lay there for 15-20 min until he can get himself up. He's 6'5" and it is a long ways down and a long ways back up again. I've been concerned and didn't know if he was getting dizzy or light-headed, or if it was just a matter of his balance – since his posture is now so bad from the surgery and his lack of movement. He's very stooped over. My mom has tried to get him to use a walker or cane (they have both from when he had surgery) but he is too proud and won't do it. So she says he does nothing. He sits in a chair all day, or sleeps… and doesn't do anything but watch TV. He will ride along with her to the store (sometimes) but he won't go in. He refuses to go to their good friends' house or go out to eat with them, although they beg and plead and have even gone to the house and scolded my dad and mom for not getting out of the house and doing things. My mom will go with them occasionally, but he will not. I knew it was bad when he wouldn't come for my son's wedding. He loves my kids and used to love a good party… to not even come for the ceremony was a red flag.

The kicker came when we went on the trip Saturday. Mom told me then that dad had some blood work done a couple of months ago and his PSA test was high. The doctor immediately set up an appointment for him with a specialist. Mom told me he cancelled the appointment.

So I went to my parents' house yesterday. I told my dad that there were many ways to commit suicide and I felt he was doing just that… passively. I talked to him about using the walker or cane around the house and moving move, getting stronger, then he wouldn't have to use it outside and he would be more confident and feel like doing more. I suggested he start physical therapy. I insisted that my mother re-schedule the specialist appointment – and told him if he didn't let her take him, that I would be taking him. I got firm. I became The Mom.

I came home exhausted.

To be honest? I'm really glad my daughter is doing so much better. I'm glad my other kids are all doing well right now. I'm grateful the rain has stopped and Hubs has been able to get back into the fields. I'm blessed with feeling pretty good myself. I can only take so much at one time… and I feel my plate is full again. Bear with me. This is a major reason I've not been over to read your blogs and haven't been posting much. I'm just trying to put one foot in front of the other and when the day is done I just zone out in front of WoW or TV or spend time with my Hubs and critters. The words just aren't coming like I'd like… and that's okay. I really didn't want this blog to just be all about me whining… but it appears to be turning out that way.

More another day.

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Sue

Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

13 thoughts on “Mentally Exhausted”

  1. I’ve been wondering how you are doing…I’m sorry to hear about you friend and your dad’s troubles. I’m glad you’re there for them though. It must be hard to be the parent to your parent but it sounds like your dad needs that.

    Wishing for the best for all of you.

  2. Fist off, I sure as hell don’t think of it as whining. You certainly have enough going on to reach your saturation point. Hang in there!

  3. I’m with Al! Glad you have a safe place to vent. Sorry to hear about your dad’s & friend’s woes. It’s hard to watch parents age. You’re in my prayers.
    Love you!

  4. It’s always hard to watch the ones you love suffer or struggle – especially when there’s no easy fix to apply.

    I am glad to to hear that other things are starting to look up. You deserve some good stuff!

  5. Sue..I understand, perfectly, and I’m sure all of your other readers do, too.

    I think of you all the time, and have been remembering you in prayer, especially when I see what’s happening with the weather around there.

    I was wondering how it is affecting your farm work.

    It is hard, I know, having all the other concerns, but I hope that things will turn out good for you, and your family.

    Remember that you are loved! 🙂

  6. I’ve been wondering where you’ve been and hoping you were ok. Sorry for all you are dealing with right now; it is a lot. Sending good thoughts from afar.

  7. I’m glad you have your blog to help vent and sort things out. Just the simple act of writing it down (typing it in) is a boon to self-discovery and learning.

  8. Sue, this reminds me of myself in early 2006. Have they done a bone marrow biopsy on your Dad? If not, if he’ll consent to it, push for him to get one.

    I’m thinking of you {Hug}

  9. I’m sorry about everything you are going through. But, your dad getting up on his own is much better than anyone helping him!
    Not only does it force him to actually move a few muscles, it keeps other people from hurting him further.

  10. I will never forget the moment I realized the role reversal between myself and my parents. It was a two edged sword, I felt so mature that I now was making the serious decisions and my folks rebelled like little kids and acted irresponsibly to my endless frustration. I also felt old and sad to see one magic myth after another of my parents legendary infamy crumble before my very eyes as they became mere mortals and eventually small bent over arthritic whimpering recluses, shuffling about and jumping at shadows. And now some days I am that bent and broken whimpering recluse lumbering and grumbling about the house with only my cats for guidance and direction jumping at my own shadow. Thank goodness my cats are smarter than the average bear.

  11. You have had a lot on your plate this year, and you take all the time you need away from blogging or just use this as your sanctuary to vent. We’ll be here. I hope things start getting better for you and your family.

  12. Just got caught up… Don’t fret, we all need to let it out or we would explode. Hang in there and know you have all kinds of support… Should you need it.

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