Monday, June 13, 2011

It Ain't for Sissies

There are stages of life that each one of us must pass through. Infancy, childhood, the dreaded teenage years, and finally adult hood, where you realize that your parent's aren't as stupid as you thought they were.

After seeing John's grandfather at home the past week, I have a new idea of getting old. I don't think that no matter what you do, it can't be done with a lot of dignity.

Granted, every case is different. Every person is different, so the struggles that Jerrold has won't be the same for everyone. His younger brother's life is drastically different. He still works, and has minimal health issues that keep him from living life on his terms.

It's been hard to witness the things that have came with old age. It's been hard to see Jerrold have no real desire to do something different about the circumstances. It's been hard to see him have no real desire for a different outcome. Instead he wants our sympathy. He wants everyone to be the optimist and see that in a week or 2 that he will be "back to normal". He wants to believe that. He wants us to believe that.

The last 24 hours have given me a glance into how our lives would be so very different if we weren't moving out. Do I feel bad? Yes. I hate that he can't care for himself. I hate that he pushed and bullied his doctors and nurses into letting him come home sooner than he was ready. I hate that their own desire to make their lives easier clouded their judgement. After phone calls between the nursing home, home health, and adult protective services; they are in agreement. Even Jerrold has admitted that there might be a small possibility that he shouldn't have came home yet.

Yesterday as we packed and continued to prepare for the move this upcoming weekend, I think that a reality set in for him. I think that he began to understand that things were fixing to be very different. That his life would be very different. I hope that his eyes were opened and that he is preparing himself for what's to come. I hope that he understands that this isn't a joke, and that in 6 days, he will be living alone again.

I hope that when Adult Protective Services shows up today, that he doesn't fight them. I hope that he listens to what they tell him, and that he follows their advice, willingly. Because after the past weekend and watching him sit in his own feces and urine for 38 hours, he is out of options. He is going to have to make some hard decisions, or adult protective services will make them for him.

Getting old is hard. Your body is worn out. And with all the abuse and injuries that his body has seen, it's a miracle that his hasn't failed him before now. His feet are healing and look so much better than they did. But another few weeks of the same routine as he has had the last week, he will be headed back towards the direction that brought all of this on. He has already discontinued his diet. which the high blood sugar helped his feet continue to deteriorate in the first place. It's sad and it's terrible to be powerless.

There is no dignity in getting old. You can only hope that you have taken good enough care of your body that if it starts to fail you that you can still continue to use an adult diaper to help with the embarrassment. You can only hope that you are still capable of changing yourself and tending to your own needs. You have to want to maintain some level of dignity, some level of self respect in order to survive.

One things for sure - getting old ain't for sissies.

1 comment:

  1. :( So sad, yet so true. Thinking of your family and hoping for the best.



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