Friday, August 6, 2010

Elderly Parents and Stress

My daddy had an episode this afternoon. Mother called and my husband and I rushed over. His blood pressure had dropped and he could not get from the bathroom to the bedroom. We helped him to the bed where he could lay down. He wasn't responsive at first except to shake his head because he didn't want an ambulance. We waited a bit--I kept asking him questions, like his name and who was president and how many fingers was I holding up. Once I held up 2 and he said "four" and laughed. I knew then he was feeling better. Took his blood pressure again and it had come up. He will make a doctor appointment on Monday. Whew!

Mother asked me to go to the store for them but was too upset to come up with a list, so we worked on it together. I took my husband home (he is blind in one eye and sees only a little in the other) and headed for the store. On the way I thanked God that Daddy didn't have a stroke and prayed for strength to keep me together. This coming on the heels of Mother's hospital stay was a bit much!

My nervous system has really felt taxed this past week. I've been cooking every day for my parents since my mothercame home from the hospital and taking it over to their house. Mother gets confused and can't remember she can't have food high in potassium and that Daddy was just recently diagnosed with diabetes. She can handle breakfast and sandwiches okay, but supper is just too hard for her to coordinate. It really is hard to figure out what they can eat and it takes some creative adjustment of my recipes. Because of her kidneys, Mother can only have foods with 10% sodium and no more.

My dad had asked me last Monday to take over the bill paying and the insurance and things there are pretty much a mess. Apparently, he's been confused over a few bills and insurance claims and just left them hanging. There were some unpaid bills to take care of and a mound of paper on the table by his chair to go through. Every time i mentioned that mound in the past, he always answered, "I know just where everything is. I have a system." and then he'd laugh. This week I found mail from 2008 in that stack.

Then I discovered his desk and filing cabinet are stuffed with papers from 1996 to the present. My parents were very independent up until this year and would not allow either my sister who lives out of town or myself to help out with anything. In my case, they would say I had enough on my plate with my husband not being able to see.

So since Mother has come home from the hospital last Friday, I have become their cook, secretary, and main caretaker--along with caring for my husband, my house, and my dogs.And the old internal vibrating in my veins has started up again. I keep a low dose of xanax in my cabinet (.25 mg) and began taking it again as needed. I'm still praying my Scriptures and feeling so loved by God, still experiencing His blessed presence and peace during my quiet time in the mornings when I meet with Him in His Word, and only took .25mg of xanax today. Yes! Praise you, Lord!

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