Backup of David's Livejournal

In Case of Emergency

My mom had surgery three years ago, and came out of it with a severe stroke.  It devastated the family, and my dad's been taking care of her.  It takes everything he's got.

This past week, he went in for open heart surgery himself.  The next day, there was fear that he, too, had a major stroke.  That's not the case.  (It's not over, though.)

I spent a day having to accept and move forward on the assumption he had the stroke.
Dad, mom's care provider, is out of commission.  And he is in as bad a state as her.  Neither can reliably answer questions.  What are mom's medications?  When do they expire?  What commitments are they going to miss?  Which ones will cause harm if they're missed?  (Like physical therapy...)  Who needs to know first?  Who can help?  Are any bills late?  What are they paying?  How are they paying them?  What kind of care will Dad need?  How do I find and assess the options?  What medications is Dad currently on?  If they're both stroked-out and wheelchair-bound, where do they want to be?  How do I explain this to them, now that they're like children?  On and on and on.  My world collapsed.  This, of course, affects my original dependents, my children.  But my parents live on the opposite side of California.  Something was going to break.
Although Dad tried to give me some critical information before surgery, it was terribly inadequate for the scenario I was facing.

This post is a plea to do the responsible thing.  Take care of yourself.  (Do self-exams.  Get checkups.  Exercise.  Eat well.)  Document the important things in your life.  It's not enough that you have godparents for your children.  Have current documentation for them to refer to.

For the sake of those you love, have guidance prepared for them for when they have to help you when you cannot speak for yourself.


 pastilla on Feb 5th 2007 at 4:35 PM
Whoa. The sandwich generation. I hear you. My dad died in 2001 and the 3+ years leading up to it were pretty frustrating because he refused to think about the possibility of extended illness . . . (and ended up getting one) Despite that, it took a big scare of her own for my mother to put her affairs in order . . . finally we were able to get her to fill out a "What Your Loved Ones Need to Know" booklet and do the P/A thing. Very hard. :: hug ::

 dblume on Feb 5th 2007 at 6:29 PM
Thanks, Pastilla. Where can I find such a "What Your Loved Ones Need to Know" booklet? We needed that. (The ones at the hospital were mostly about "What to do when a loved one dies.") ::hug:: back, between Sandwich Generationers.

 pastilla on Feb 5th 2007 at 8:59 PM
Here's what we used (Harriet Carter = senior friendly and very basic, $10 . . . you can get a terry toilet seat cover and rooster shaped candy dishes, too): Here are some that look similar at Amazon (the ring-binder one looks top notch):

 dblume on Feb 6th 2007 at 12:20 AM
Heh. Reminds me of the time I posted a question, and Zannah replied with the answer in a Wikipedia link. Like, duh, David. Thanks for the links! Gosh, $10.00 or $100.00? I may have to make my choice and purchase at a local brick-and-mortar store.

 pastilla on Feb 7th 2007 at 4:03 AM
Oh, not at all. Actually, the $10 book we used wasn't that easy to find . . . and quite frankly, with what you're going through, sparing you a search through a lot of titles concerning the demise of parents was worth a little hunt :)

 narilka on Feb 5th 2007 at 6:35 PM
I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this. *hugs* If there's anything your internet friends can do to help, please let us know!

 dblume on Feb 5th 2007 at 6:54 PM
Thanks! Write down your pet's routines and expectations. (When is walk time? Feeding time? What's his favorite toy? Any medical issues?) And make sure that the ones you trust, the ones with a key to your place, know where to find the info. So easy, and so helpful to the ones who care about you!