Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Spoon Deficit

I have a spoon deficit.  (Here's a little background if you don't "get" that statement.)

I decided last year that I had to sever ties with my Mom because our relationship had grown toxic and her alcoholism was out-of-control.  After just over a year, we started talking again.  It came about due to a prank call I received that scared the shit out of me.  I didn't intend to open the door to anything after establishing that she wasn't actually the person who called me, but a few days after that call, her boyfriend called and said she wants help finding an assisted living or adult foster home.  He can't take care of her and he's enabling her drinking habit, which is only making matters worse.  I sat them both down and said that I would help, but the second I get any kind of resistance or it starts affecting my family again, I'm done.  I can only help as much as she's willing to accept it and I've been down that road with her too many times to want to repeat history yet again.  She agreed and was grateful that I was stepping in.

I contacted the ADRC and they put me in touch with someone at Senior Services.  I am just waiting for them to send me the information they said they'd send and at some point they will assess the situation and determine which services my Mom is qualified to receive.  In the meantime, she's got a doctor's appointment in 2 weeks and at that time I'll be talking to her doctor to get caught up on her health and hopefully get her scheduled for a new MRI and an appointment with the neurologist to discuss the tumor in her brain.  Other than that, it's been slow-moving.

This morning I got a phone call from my Mom's boyfriend saying that she had fallen and wasn't able to stand back up after the tumble.  He called the ambulance and they took her to the hospital.  He called shortly after midnight, but I didn't hear my phone and didn't get his voicemail until 2am.  I immediately called the hospital she was taken to, but they didn't have her listed as a current patient.  Thinking maybe her boyfriend had been mistaken about which hospital she went to, I called the other one in town and they didn't have her listed as a current patient either.  I spoke to her boyfriend and let him know that she wasn't registered at either hospital and that's when he wondered aloud if they had arrested her at the hospital.  She has a warrant for a past DUI that she never resolved, so it seemed probable.  I called the local jail and they let me know that she had been arrested on the warrant and would be scheduled for court this afternoon.

Shortly after 10am my Mom called me from jail and told me that they were releasing her.  I asked about court and she said she didn't have to go.  I was told she'd be released in 30-60 minutes.  I gave it about 40 minutes, then left work to go pick her up.  I checked in with the receptionist at the jail and she directed me to wait in the lobby and told me that my Mom would be released in a little while.  She said the paperwork was all done, they just had to wait for someone to bring her out.  And so I sat....and sat....and sat.  I parked in a 2 hour parking space, so when I was about 5 minutes from that deadline, I went up to the receptionist and said I needed to go move my car and let her know I'd be right back.  At that point, she asked someone if they knew the status of my Mom's release.  That's when they discovered that whoever was responsible for bringing her out had wrongfully assumed she was still going to court at 1:30 and had basically forgotten all about her.  The receptionist said it had been straightened out, apologized, and said it wouldn't be too much longer.  Finally an hour and a half later, my mom was released.  That's right, y'all.  I sat in the lobby of the jail for THREE AND A HALF HOURS!!!!

When my Mom came out to the lobby, she was wearing jail shoes, her regular clothes, could barely walk, and had a black eye.  (The result of one of her many recent falls.)  I gave her my arm to hold and helped her outside.  We got to the sidewalk and then I left her there so I could go around the corner and drive my car closer to avoid making her walk much further.  When I got the car pulled around, I went to help my Mom get in the passenger seat and noticed she had wet herself.  I hunted down a little towel for her to sit on, got her settled in, and headed to her house.

Once we got there, her boyfriend, his daughter (my brother's girlfriend), and nephew were all hanging out on the porch.  I knew immediately what they were going to do next.  It was an ambush.  They were planning to tell me she had to move out.  Knowing I don't have the room (or the emotional capacity) to take her, I went on the defensive.  After some seriously heated discussion, in which I finally had to end by pulling my Mom's boyfriend aside and talking to him one-on-one, things were settled enough for my Mom to stay at his house.  After I reasoned with him about the situation, and his daughter and I were both calmer, we talked rationally.  Mom's boyfriend's son almost got me riled up again when he came out of nowhere and asked his Dad if he had told me what he was planning to tell me.  I turned on him real quick and said "yes he did and we have a plan".  He tried to keep going, almost like he was trying to get his Dad to just tell me to take my Mom and leave, but I shut him down and his Dad backed me up, surprisingly enough.

The basic fact is that she isn't capable of living on her own, but her boyfriend isn't capable of caring for her, either.  He wants her out.  She needs assisted living, but my hands are tied until Senior Services does their assessment and tells me what she's qualified for.  She has a doc appointment on the 18th and court on the 24th.  I want to talk to her doctor to get things rolling to get her a walker and also find out if there are resources that she might know about that can help right away.  I also need to schedule her for an MRI and find out how much her tumor has grown and get her assessed to find out just how much it is affecting her mental abilities.  It's hard to tell if it's the booze or the tumor, but she currently functions about as well as someone around the early-to-mid stages of dementia.

For now, the plan is that she will stay put until the 24th.  By then I will have talked to her doctor, followed up with Senior Services, and we will know if the judge is going to order her into a treatment facility or if she will need to serve any more jail time.  At that point, I'll know if I need to take her to a shelter or if one of the avenues I'm pursuing will lead me to a better option.

So that's my latest Mama Drama Saga DuJour.  It's a lot, I know.  And maybe I shouldn't be getting involved, but if I don't, who will?!  She could not survive living on the streets again and she can't live alone.  I don't have room for her and even if I did, I can't have her around my kids.  My only option is to do whatever it takes to get arrangements made for her in the next 3 weeks.  Worst case scenario, she will end up in a shelter.  Best case scenario, the judge will order her into inpatient treatment, which will buy me 30 days.  (That one is pretty unlikely.)

I already have power of attorney paperwork printed up.  When I take my Mom to her doc appointment, I'm going to also take her down to sign the paperwork and get it notarized.  That will allow me the legal right to make these decisions on her behalf, which will help when she loses even more comprehension skills.  She needs someone who has her best interests at heart and honestly, I'm the only one who is willing and able to take on that responsibility.  Plus, it's always been like this.  Her the child.  Me the adult.  Somehow I always manage to find enough spoons to get things done, but today, I've hit a deficit.  Tonight I need to eat deliciously shitty food, cry if I need to, drink a couple hard ciders, and refill my spoon reservoir. Tomorrow is a new day full of new challenges that I will face head-on.  I am capable, I am strong.  I can do this.  Just not tonight.


  1. You're a wonderful, caring daughter that has a whole lot of responsibility, and even though its hard, I believe you are doing whats right, and I really respect you for that. Alot of people don't seem to care about their parents as it interferes with their lives, which I think is cold. Anyhow, I found your blog through NaBloPoMo, and I am like you, I like to write just to babble something, but I also like expressing myself too, thank you for an incredible post.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and reading a little of my craziness. :) I haven't always been the greatest daughter. There have been times I've had to step back for my own protection, and my kids' well-being. But when she needs me, I can't turn my back and watch her stay on the destructive path she's on. I have to help. She's my Mom. Through everything, that has to mean something.



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