Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It's My Friday!

And I'll bitch if I want to. Knit Kimono-no. Here I am waiting for this book, excited by this book, and as far as I can tell, Amazon lost it. I received a ship notice, but can't find confirmation that the carrier picked up the package, and it is now overdue. I normally get Amazon orders days before the estimated delivery date. This is weird.

My job - Oh, I wish I could tell you details without getting dooced but, suffice to say the stupidity is breathtaking, and I am fed up. So I have 5 days off, in a row. Last night I actually had a pleasant and cheerful conversation with my mother, because I haven't had time to go over there for a month I'm going to go tomorrow. I figured we'd do lunch, whatever.

Then, the icing on the cake - midday today I get an email from Cousin C, who says my mother called her and didn't want to alarm me, but she went to the doctor and her blood pressure was 180something over whatever, and he said if she didn't bring it down in two weeks he was going to put her in the hospital.

Am I alarmed? No. I am fucking pissed, and I called my mother and told her so. Why is her BP up? Does she have a serious underlying medical condition? No. She is a tiny, not overweight, active little woman whose biggest gripe at 81 is that she can't climb ladders like she used to. She does have high blood pressure, I am pretty sure it's a side effect of being in a near-constant frenzy about every minor thing, but just as she will not take mood-improving meds, she randomly stops the BP meds. She takes it upon herself to stop taking her medication, and hasn't taken her BP meds in two weeks, and has been working herself into a batshit crazy frenzy of stress over her homeowners' insurance, the weather, you name it. This is intentional, self-inflicted drama, to get attention. If I took my BP right now I'm sure it's up, because I am mad as hell about this. Furious. And I told her so.

I called her from the office, and she immediately launched into her litany of complaints about all the day to day stuff we all deal with - her homeowners' insurance premium, her agent is suggesting switching to a new carrier and she's not sure, and on and on about that. Then I interrupted to tell her I'd heard about her BP, and she says in her fake quavery little old lady voice, "Oh, I didn't want to worry you...." (Yeah, that's why you called C and told her to tell me.)

"I'm not worried. I'm really fucking pissed. You stopped taking your medication." Yes, I did say "fucking pissed" to my mother.

I will draw a veil on the next 45 minutes of insane conversation, the bottom line is that she will stop taking prescribed medication on a whim - this time "her leg hurt." Before that, she had "a red spot on her arm." She reads those ever-so-helpful pamphlets with every possible side effect listed, and she gets ALL of them. This has happened over and over, I am sure her doctor is on to her and as sick of this shit as I am. And no, this is not Alzheimer's or forgetfulness or any of that. You should hear this woman talk politics, she should have an hour on MSNBC. She is sharp as a tack, analytical, very intelligent. We all should be that sharp and healthy at her age. This is pure manipulative narcissistic personality. I grew up with this, I am not sympathetic, I am just pissed. Pissed that I am stuck dealing with this, because my life, as you know, has been a goddamn bed of roses so far, and I have oodles of spare time to dance attendance on my nutty mother.

So, instead of a pleasant day with her, going to lunch, visiting, I'm going to spend a day of my meager 5 days off going over there to give her the talk. The one that goes like, "If you don't take your meds that is going to be interpreted as not being able to care for yourself, and you're going to end up in the hospital, and from there it will be into assisted living." Because she will never live with me, no way in hell. I am not going to be held hostage to her craziness, and I know that this is what she's angling for here. But this is easy - either she can shape up and show she can live on her own, including taking her meds, or other arrangements will have to be made. Or she can act like a nutcase and refuse help until she has a fucking stroke. Her choice. I honestly don't give a shit which she chooses, as long as I don't have to spend my very few vacation days running to deal with her.

Cousin C is my backup and my support, she is onto her and would be my witness at the hearing if I have to Baker Act her ass. And I'm prepared to do it if that will stop these fake "emergencies" that really do endanger her health, to get attention. Let's remember, this has been going on since I was in high school. I've earned a little peace and quiet.

I do marvel at my mother's radar - once again she crafted an "emergency" when I had a few days of pleasure to look forward to. But I've worked it so that I deal with her first, then I have four entire days to myself, to do what I want to do.

On Friday, I'm going to go shopping. I got a small bonus and instead of being Practical, I am going to blow it on a luxury item. I'm leaning toward a new Coach bag. I don't care for their new styles but they have brought back some of their "classics" from the 80s, and I had always wanted one of these back then. I blew a bonus 20 years ago on another of their 80s classic bags and loved that damn thing to death. I think it's still in my closet, but it's pretty much dead.

With the bucks left over, I shall go to L'Occitane. And there is an Apple Store at the mall, and Apple is running a discount promotion for college students which can be used by parents on their behalf, so I am going to buy the hardworkingest girl in Floriduh a MacBook like mine. She has no time for shopping, what with working over 40 hours a week caring for aggressive developmentally disabled residents at night while taking day classes to be a nurse. She's limping along on my old freebie Dell laptop, it is years past its life expectancy. She's going in halvsies on the new Mac, I'll front her the purchase and when she gets her next bonus check she'll kick half the cost back to me. I know I don't have to buy my 24 year old working on her 2nd degree a new computer, but I'm proud of her for deciding to go into nursing, so I'll kick in gladly.

And after all that, I'll still have THREE days! Whooo!!!

Crazy Mother P.S.: I have to share this because I'm still laughing. After I posted the above, my phone rang. My mother called to share that she had taken her BP meds and her BP is now 120 over 66. And she said, out loud, that she would have to apologize to her doctor for being a bad patient. And I told her that I was about to come over there and read her the riot act and threaten assisted living if she didn't take care of herself, and she said she knew, and she wants to live on her own, and she needs to stop being so negative and listen to her doctor. And this will last until the next time, but I just thought I'd share an example of how quickly Roller Coaster Mom can climb and drop, and rise again. I need a neck brace.


Anonymous said...

Gee, I hope you haven't told your mother you have 5 days off- she'll manufacture another crisis. Take care of yourself and go to the gym before your own BP goes thru the roof!

And congrats to the girl- I'd give an arm for a new Mac, and I have a G5, which is pretty snazzy already. Just new Mac envy.

Catherine said...

She's paying for a good chunk of the MacBook herself, and it's not one of the high-end models, it'll be like mine, one up from the bottom. But I really do want to do something nice for her, because I'm so damn proud that she has chosen to go back for a nursing degree, instead of a master's that would allow her to sit in an office. She's a hands-on kind of girl (like her mother) and I know she'll be happier in hands-on work, but it's not a quick and easy change, it'll take longer than getting a Master's. She deserves a goodie.

dragon knitter said...

would threatening her privacy with a visiting nurse (if her insurance pays for it) help? i actually had to have one come for my mother because she was getting her blood thinner medication mixed up (dangerous stuff!). she came for 2 weeks and got my mother straightened out. she's doing much better now (she's 79, but she's deaf, and doesn't always understand what people tell her)

Bliss said...

I also was going to suggest Visiting Nurse, who can monitor her meds for her. (Visiting Nurse Plus is the agency that supplies my daily caregivers.) I understand this is not a problem with confusion, but an attachment to drama and hypochondria. (I believe you can request that her pharmacy not enclose the info sheets except where there is a black box warning, i.e. Viox, depression meds and teens, etc.)

My father had all of his capacities, but depression could sometimes cloud his reality about taking his meds. Having Visiting Nurse cleared up that preponderance for inappropriately taking or not taking his medication. However I know some insurance companies only want to pay for this service if blood levels are needed for drugs like blood thinners, etc. which he did take.

It's too bad she couldn't volunteer in a nursing home or other facility where the truly incapacitated dwell, so she could understand how fortunate she is to have excellent health and brain power at her age. However with the tendency for drama/hypochondria she would soon be sporting all kinds of new ailments for you to assist with.

We had a family friend when I was growing up we called Aunt Lolly. She was active well into her 90's where she would go to the nursing home to visit the "old people" most a decade or more younger than she. At 96 she decided she wanted to tour the grand canyon by mule or donkey. The proprietor of the service balked at her age. She said, "Young man, I've been riding since before your grandfather was born - so give me a leg up." And he did.

Aunt Lolly was never shy about speaking her mind. One time she was at the movie theater, and a young man near her was passing gas continually. Aunt Lolly stood up and said loudly, "Young man I am going to change my seat. You need to go change your britches!"

(Please feel free to disregard any and all advice. I know you are probably just venting and don't actually need to know how to handle your mother after a lifetime of experience. It sounds like threatening assisted living brings her around quickly.) P.S. I think helping your daughter with a new Mac is just the pick-me-up she needs as she switches to this all important major. I'm in total Mac envy. Some day my Mac will come...

blissfulknitter at gmail dot com

Catherine said...

There is no reason to have a visiting nurse, I don't know how they would justify it to her insurance carrier. This is Florida, we don't have services here. I'll just keep on threatening assisted living when she pulls this shit, it worked well. She is also paranoid, so she worried that "the doctors will all talk to each other and decide to put me away." And I said, "All the doctors know is what they see, and if they see you not taking care of yourself, refusing meds, etc., yeah, they will suggest that maybe you need to live somewhere with supervision!" And then she swore she'd be good because she wants to live on her own.

I love the Lolly story - my mother's aunt was like that, she died last year at the age of 93, feisty to the end. She used to yell at my mother on the phone several times a week, telling her to get herself together and get a life. Because they were so close in age they were more like cousins or siblings than aunt and niece, they even looked a lot alike, but in terms of their personalities, Aunt used to wonder what the hell happened to my mother to make her like this. Cousin C says this too, my mother is not like anyone else in the family.

So this mock crisis is averted, all's well until the next one. Oy.

Catherine said...

Oh, and talking to the pharmacy is a fine suggestion, but when she doesn't get the sheets in the box she'll simply switch pharmacies, she is as sharp as you and I, she would immediately notice that the sheets weren't included. And the pharmacy that did it would then be evil and conspiring against her. That's a long list.