Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Are they kidding?

Although I would like to be more enlightened right now I am irked!

I need to give you a little background. I have two older sisters we will call A and B. A is the oldest, and she lives about a 6 hour drive away. She is married without children and retired. My other sister, we will call B, is unmarried and child free. Sister B works full-time and has significant chronic health issues. I also have a brother, who has 3 kids and works a lot of hours. Both Sister B and my brother live in the same city as my mother. I live about an 80 minute drive away from my mother. I am lucky enough to have two small children. To visit my mother I must take very busy highways, including a toll road. One of these roads is one of the busiest in North America and often has significant traffic jams.

My mother recently moved into a senior residence. She is at that point in life where she needs more help than she can get living alone. My sisters and I have been taking turns going to the doctor with her because she has trouble with accepting her current medical situation. Without too many details, she needs to take a number of medications for her various conditions. She feels that taking too many medications is a sign of weakness and she should just tough it out. Today the doctor suggested to Sister A that it would be better for consistency if the same person came to all of the doctor visits.

This evening my sisters called and gave me an update on the doctor's visit. They tell me about the doctor's suggestion about only one person attending with mother. I say nothing. They pause. Sister A comes right out and suggests that it be me. I say I don't have time.

Realistically a visit could not take less than 5 hours as I would need to leave early to make time for traffic delays, waiting in the doctor's office etc. I have a son who finishes school at 2:45 pm. Do they know how hard it is to arrange childcare for the occasional mid-day? My husband, who works 80 hours a week, cannot leave work early these days as his company is NOT doing well. What about the winter? Traffic in the winter is often hideous. What about my part-time job? The cost including Toll roads, childcare, and gas, is probably $80 a visit or more?

I cannot really believe that they are suggesting that I be the one to do this. Sister A starts to suggest I could control the time of the doctor appointment to fit my schedule. (Is she kidding?) I repeat to her that I have already said that I don't have time. Silence on the other end.

Am I wrong here? Are they crazy? Do you think that I should pretend that they never suggested it? Sister A has been getting pressure from Sister B to do more. Is she hoping that getting me to do more will make Sister B happier? I think that the only answer is that we cannot have a consistent person to go with my mother to the doctor. My husband thinks that we should move 3000 km away again.

3 comments:

Hailey said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ann

http://externallaptop.net

Emma said...

Hi, You are right - not one of you is in a position to be the consistent companion. Plus I feel that is too much for one person to bear anyway.

Kami said...

Ahhh . . . family dynamics. I can see the same thing happening in my family. My vote is to move 3,000 miles away again.

I don't know much about elder care, but is it possible there is a family friend or a private caregiver you could hire to go on these visits?

Thanks for commenting on my blog.