Friday, March 30, 2007

The Mom situation and my upcoming work presentation have created a lot of stress. Peanut keeps it all in check.

Last night at the dinner table:

“Kitty onna couch.”

“Yes, Kitty is on the couch.”

“Silly Kitty.”

"She sure is silly."

“RAWWWWR!! I scare Kitty.” ……. “Scare Mommy, too.”

“That WAS scary. How will you scare Daddy?”

Peanut beans Hubby in the forehead with a piece of grilled cheese sandwich. “I Scare Daddy.”

A short while later I hug and kiss Hubby goodbye before leaving to visit Mom.


Peanut flings the remaining sandwich pieces with his spoon.

Later in the evening...

"It's nine o'clock and past your bedtime. Time to get in bed."


"Yes sweetie, it's 9 and time for bed."


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Peanut tested negative for Strep today! Fingers are crossed that he’ll stay that way.

We’re making slow progress on the bedtime sitch. Last night I put him to bed, read The Very Hungry Caterpillar (aka Boo Boo Tummy Pillar, aka Fat Pillar), turned on his lullabye CD, gave several kisses, had Daddy come in for kisses, then turned out the light and went into the living room. Peanut called for Daddy and Mommy a few times, but STAYED IN BED! We haven’t needed the baby gate for a few nights, and each night the get-outta-beds have been fewer. Of course, nothing in life is free, and he’s been waking up and getting in our bed around midnight instead of 2 or 3 am now that Hubby is coming to bed earlier and isn’t up to soothe him when he fusses. I’m not really complaining, though.

Mom seems to be getting back on track. She waffled on continuing her ECT treatments, but the doctor and staff talked her into finishing out the course. On Monday she was convinced she needed to go into the short-term residential treatment program, so the social worker arranged for an assessment. When that social worker arrived on Tuesday, Mom wanted nothing to do with her until the hospital social worker forced her. "You wanted this, you will do it." By Tuesday night Mom was shifting more toward a manic state. I truly hate being around her when she’s like this. I don’t know how she’ll be from one phone call or visit to the next.

Mom put in her notice at the ALF this week. If she had done it when the social worker first asked her to, Mom would only be out a half-month’s rent, but now she’ll be out a full-month’s worth. Arrangements were made for Mom to move into the Hometown independent living place. During my lunch break I removed the last of her personal items from the ALF and a mover from Independent Living will move her furniture in a day or two. I hope this time she’ll like the living arrangement and give the place a chance. I doubt she will, but I’m through being yanked around. If she has another freak-out, she can go wherever the hospital refers her.

UPDATE: As I was writing this, the social worker called. Mom is having a bad day (normal for ECT days) and now wants to go into the residential treatment. She'll be transferred on Monday after her last ECT. Independent Living is out for now, but they have Mom's info on file. We'll see if they have anything available when Mom gets out of residential treatment. It could be a few days, it could be several weeks. Well, at least the ALF will be paid up through the end of April, so her stuff can stay there for now. She changes with the wind.

Friday, March 23, 2007

My recent lunch breaks have been spent trying to escape thinking about Mom, working, and a few lunches out with friends. Hence no writing here.

Hubby spoke with his supervisor today about leaving the homicide unit. Last night was the first in a while that he's slept well. Just knowing he'll be getting away from all the stress was enough to quell the insomnia. A position in general crimes will be opening soon and we've got our fingers crossed.

Mom is terrible. She's off Kl0n0pin which has resulted in serious anxiety. Unfortunately, it's an anti-seizure medication in addition to its anti-anxiety properties, so she can't be on it while receiving ECT treatments. She's had two so far, and the hospital does them in a series of 6. So far, it hasn't done anything for her. I called the nurse this morning to see how the treatment went and she wound up putting Mom on the phone - the last thing I wanted. Mom's a mess. They're talking about releasing her early because Medicare won't pay for a long enough hospital stay. She can't (won't) go back to the ALF and the promising place in Hometown won't have a room until April or May. I can't cope with her, nor can I take the requisite days off for a series of outpatient treatments. The hospital requires someone to be with the ECT recepient for the whole day after a treatment. There's no way I want her around Peanut when she's scary and irrational.

I left a message for the social worker and am awaiting her call. I'm hoping she can put all this into perspective for me, and that the reality isn't as bad as Mom's perception.

Mom's evil cat is now residing on our back porch until we figure out what to do with her (Shovel and a bag of lime? Just kidding.) She snuck in while I let the dog out this morning and I spent a good 5 minutes chasing her hissing, mean ass around the house with a squirt bottle until she decided to go back on the porch. Apparently she bit/scratched several aides at the ALF. I've been on her sharp end and it's not pleasant.

Peanut tested positive for Strep at this week's follow-up. He's back on the Dur!cef and will be retested next week while he's still on the meds. I got tested today, just in case. We're not sure if he keeps getting reinfected or if he's carrying the damn bacteria. If he's still positive next week, an ENT referral will be in the works. At least we already have an ENT!

I need a fucking vacation. Good news: Dad and Stepmom are planning to visit in a month or two. I'm counting down already!

EDITED: I spoke to the social worker later and no one was threatening to Mom out of the hospital. What really happened: the doctor told her she can't stay indefinitely and needs to start preparing for when she's discharged.

If she goes into the residential treatment program, it will be voluntary, which means she can check herself out at any time. Greaaaaaat. I give it 3 days, tops.

My Strep test was negative.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Do farts filtered through pantyhose smell different from non-filtered farts? Hubby swears he can smell a difference. I have no clue and rarely wear pantyhose anyway.
Some of my anger has dissipated and I’m feeling better about the whole Mom situation.

The social worker and I had a good conversation, so now I have a better understanding of what's going on with Mom and her options once she is released.

Mom will be getting ECT treatments. She told me last night that the doctor wanted her to have them. The social worker said Mom requested them. I'm not sure how I feel about it. She had ECT in the 70's and it worked for her. It's safer now, but can have serious side effects and a risk of death.

The social worker already made plans that if Mom’s month trial in ALF failed, she could go to the independent living place in Hometown. Mom made it sound as if they made a half-assed attempt at getting her in there and let the ball drop. The plan was actually that Mom needed to make an effort at ALF before they would transition her. I felt like the social worker had done a poor job until the whole story came out.

Our suspicions that Mom’s real desire is to live with us were confirmed by the social worker. When confronted with the reality that we may not be able to provide the care she needs, since ALF wasn’t enough, Mom’s reply was “we’re family. Love is unconditional.” She’s in denial and dodging the real issue as usual. The social worker tried to point out that living with us may not be an option, but Mom refuses to accept it.

Mom has a personality disorder in addition to/as part of the bipolar disorder and anxiety. Duh, why didn’t I figure that out? That explains the selective memory, partial truths, and manipulations.

If independent living fails, Mom’s options are short-term residential treatment (she did that about 5 years ago and it really helped – it’s a minimum of 6-8 weeks on total lock-down and intensive therapy), state hospital, or a nursing home. Mom’s not too thrilled about any of those other than maybe SRT, so maybe that’ll be motivation for her to make independent living work.

Mom refuses to deal with her issues (as in her conviction she can live with us). She’s not doing all the treatment she should, such as journaling. The social worker believes that by writing out her situation, she could get to the root of her problem. I agree. As usual, she’s stubborn and refuses to do anything she doesn’t want to, to her own detriment.

Mom is mad that the social worker won’t tell her what she wants to hear and instead tells her what she needs to hear. That is all too familiar.

It’s OK for me not to make the decisions for Mom and tell her to make them for herself.

I have a much better appreciation for what my Dad went through. He and I have spoken about it before, but I'm really seeing the manipulative aspect of her illness/personality this time. I used to blame him for my parents’ divorce and was convinced Mom was the victim in it all. Now I understand just how frustrating it was for him. She asked for the divorce, he gave it to her. When I was growing up, he occasionally made remarks about her that pissed me off, but I realize now how much he held back and how honorable he was to her and how kind and loving he was to me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mom called just after lunch yesterday. She was in a tizzy and needed me to come right way. "This place is killing me. I'm confused. My brain is slowly dying," was her explanation. I mulled the situation over for a few minutes, scarfed down the rest of lunch, and drove over.

I tried to figure out what was going on and pretty much decided she's working herself into hysteria because she doesn't want to be in assisted living. I called her counselling office and they said to have her evaluated at the ER. We packed up some of her clothes and headed to the hospital (note-Mom's assisted living is down the road from my job, which is 30-40 minutes from hometown and the hospital, doctor's offices, pharmacy, etc. A pain in the ass.) On the way out, we let one of the staff know. When asked what was wrong, Mom just said she was sick. I elaborated that she's depressed and isn't happy in assisted living. Apparently she put up a front and acted fine all morning. I told her how frustrated I was with her for pulling that manipulative crap. Maybe if she would talk to the staff or someone there, they could help her.

They got her into a bed within 30 minutes - amazingly fast. Then she started freaking out about not wanting to be there and could she just come home with me (light bulb on!- that's what she really wanted.) Thankfully, she had already signed the voluntary admission paperwork. We had some interesting company in the psych section. A young woman with visual and auditory hallucinations (she was maybe 20 years old - God, that must be horrible) and another woman my age who was in for drug detox and had diabetes and congestive heart failure. I stayed with Mom for a few hours, then left when Hubby got off work. An afternoon of work lost. I'm still catching up from Peanut's strep episode and am putting together the damn presentation which is 3 weeks away and stressing me out.

I spoke with her psychiatrist today. He has no answers as far as what to do with her. He only deals with meds as most of the p-docs here do (WTF ever happened to the psychiatrists who take the wholistic therapy and drug approach?) His opinion - she's having a "tantrum" because she doesn't want to be in assisted living and therefore won't stay there. I'd say he hit the nail right on the head.

So, what do I do? Do I make her hold up her end of the 1-month trial period bargain, knowing she'll end up back in the hospital within a week? Do I bring her home for a few days/weeks until she's stable and risk my own mental health and marriage? (Yeah, living with her is that bad.) Do I take her to check out the ALF in hometown, the one she keeps talking about but knows nothing about? Do I look into the mental health group homes, the ones she used to work at and would be miserable in?

I feel like a shitty child. I have no more patience for Mom, her drama, her wallowing in self-pity, her inability/refusal to make an effort at staying in assisted living.

I'm fed up with being yanked around. Oh, she loooooved the ALF when we visited it the first time. Now it's dirty and filled with of old people on the brink of death. I guess she somehow managed not to notice the old people on our visit. The place is clean and much, much nicer than the shithole she went to a few years ago. She wants her trailer back. She wants to stay at my house. She wants to be in the hospital. Wait, no, she doesn't want to be in the hospital.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Mom was released on Friday. She stayed at our house until Saturday evening when we drove her home. Once she was out of the hospital she obsessed over her feelings of not being ready for release and not wanting to go back to assisted living. She got herself into full panic-attack mode by the time we dropped her off. She seemed to calm down some on Sunday. I cannot stand the ups and downs. While in the hospital, she agreed to give assisted living a month's chance. Once out of the hospital, she didn't want to go back at all. I know it's her illness, but it seems like no matter what anyone does, she's never happy. When she's in she wants out, when she's out she wants in. She complains that she doesn't have any friends at assisted living - she's stayed there a total of (I think) 4 days now. She had one friend in her old neighborhood and they were on non-speaking terms a good 50% of the time.

Yesterday I decided to get a little retail therapy. I found a great dress with a plunging neckline. It fit well, except the boobs looked really droopy (that's what happens when you go from a C to a nursing E back down to a B). So I went to Victoria's Secret, got fitted, and found an overpriced demi-bra that actually gives the old girls some perk. I usually hate their overpriced, crappy bras, but this one really worked. Once home, I put the new bra on to show Hubby (boy did he hate that.) Peanut noticed right away. "Mommy beebees up." "BIG beebees," he said while shoving his hand and arm down my shirt. A little while later he crawled up onto my lap again and began poking them. Then he laid his head on my chest and said "Soft beebees." I guess that cancels out the other night when he told me my teeth were yellow.

Monday, March 05, 2007

When I visited Mom Friday night, she had swung into full-on manic phase. It's better than depression, but not good, either. We both talked to her social worker and then I talked with Mom. She agreed to give assisted living a month's trial stay (I wish she would give it longer) and I reminder her that I would come once or twice a week for lunch. She requested spending a weekend a month at our house and I agreed. We had talked about that before she moved, but we never set anything in stone. I reminded her that she needs to be kind and respectful of us when she visits.

Hubby and I went to see Wicked on Saturday. It was awesome. The ending surprised me - it's different from the book and isn't clear from the soundtrack. Hubby figured out some of the plot twists, but was surprised, too. Peanut had a great time with the babysitter - we left the car with a carseat for her to use, so they went to the park and out to eat. He avoided a nap (we assumed he would) and zonked out on the couch shortly after his usual bedtime - without a binky!

We went to an rc airshow yesterday and the boys had a blast. Peanut kept asking to look at the firetruck on standby. Hubby thought I was making it up so I could check out the firemen (not). One of the rc jest crashed and started a grass fire adjacent to the runway, so we got lights, sirens, honking horn, the works. Peanut loved it. He fell asleep in the car, sans bink, and went to bed without it, although he repeatedly asked for it, needed several drinks of water, Daddy to sit in the hallway, and extra "tisses" from Mommy.


WTF is with D!sney and their scary-ass G movies? I should've listened to my gut and not bought Nem0 for Peanut. We watched it last night (not the first time) and the sharks scared the shit out of him. He started to cry and kept saying "no big fish, no big fish". His daycare class watched it a couple weeks ago and I wonder if it scared him then, too.

Friday, March 02, 2007

So, it's been one of those weeks from hell.

Hubby and I moved Mom into assisted living on Saturday. She wasn't really ready and we spent the morning sorting through stuff deciding what to take, what to donate, and what to leave. She had a meltdown after the buyer came to give her the check and sign all the paperwork. Oh, and the asshole buyer paid with a personal check - I thought Mom knew better, but she never insisted on a bank check. After everything was signed, he informed us the check wouldn't be good until midnight Monday because he had opened the account with a Canadian bank check, so his bank here insisted on a hold before releasing the money. Asshole. We got some small paybacks, though. Our bank (Mom, Hubby and I use the same one) put a three day hold on his check since it was from another bank...which meant 3 additional days before we released the signed title to him and we discovered a mushy spot in the floor near the air return. Have fun with the repairs, asshole!

Peanut started a fever on Sunday which spiked Monday night (we're not sure how high - he wouldn't hold still for the rectal thermometer, but we did get an underarm reading of 103.2 - too high for comfort). Motrin and a cool washcloth brought it down. We drove through a horrible hail storm to get to the doctor's office on Tuesday and Peanut freaked the eff out when I carried him from the car to the office. He managed to pull his hood off for about 3 seconds and got soaked. Then the power went off. At the freakin' doctor's. He has strep. For the second time in 3 weeks. This does not bode well considering I was a strep carrier and had it at least 3 times a year up until middle school.

I had to take time off work during my largest experiment because Hubby's Neanderthal bosses think childcare is the sole responsibility of wifey-poo. His supervisor gave him shit for hesitating to go out on a call the night Peanut's fever spiked. Hubby had already worked a 14 hour day and had only gotten 2 hours of sleep. Never mind Hubby was exhausted and sick and we were debating taking Peanut to the ER. Fuckers. But it's OK for his coworker to skip call-out with a headache, there is no problem with his other coworker who has health issues and has been on light duty, and therefore no call out, for a couple months, and it's peachy for another to come in late because she just HAS to have her nails done. Whatever.

Our idiot dog ran into me, knocked me over, and I sprained my ankle. It's OK now other than a little twinge here and there, but I'm sick of her knocking into Peanut and me.

Mom has decided that assisted living is a mistake. She lasted all of three days there before going into the hospital. Now she's talking about getting an apartment (a possibility if we can find something affordable and safe) or moving back to CT (Oy veh - not that AGAIN. Her disability isn't enough for an apartment much less utilities, meds, doctors, etc.) I'm frustrated, angry, and don't want to deal with it anymore. She's laying on the huge guilt trip about how I just want to get rid of her blah blah. I'm sick of "forcing" her into decisions she doesn't want to make (she and her shrink decided she could no longer live alone the last time she was hospitalized. I had nothing to do with that although I fully supported the decision.) Hubby and I suggested she give assisted living a few months but she's hell bent on getting out of there. So now she wants me to meet with the shrink and and the social worker to hash it all out yet again. Nothing is ever resolved. The shrink only wants to deal with meds. The social worker never comes up with a liveable solution. Last time it was the shithole assisted living. Sure, it was affordable, but Mom had to live with drug deals, broken toilets, leftovers several days a week, backups in the kitchen plumbing, and leaks in the roof. The time before that we got a list of assisted living places - the same one I've printed off the DCF website.