Boundaries v Keeping the Peace.

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My father is in an ECF for rehab following surgery. I live across the country but have been calling daily. He has been unusually weak and we haven't spoken much. There are some relatives he speaks to daily on a normal basis. However, since his recovery isn't going quite as planned, he has asked me to call them daily and say everything is fine since he doesn't want them asking questions and saying the wrong thing." I said I was uncomfortable with this as these aren't relatives I ever speak to on the phone and it looks funny for me to be calling daily. He said if I don't do it I'll make it more difficult for him. He has always been secretive and I'd like to just tell the relatives no news is good news. That I'll call if something arises but not daily just to say he is fine. I agreed to do it this week so as not to stress him more, although it stresses me more. Thoughts?

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He is back to normal! Called today and reminded me of some financial stuff I would have forgotten. Also details about his hospital bill, discharge plans, how they left out part of his breakfast, etc. We'll see how it goes from here. Thanks for all your support and ideas:)
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The elderly can take up to 6 months to recooperate from the anstesia from surgery. This effects their cognitive reasoning and paranoia levels. I would get to know these people better, they could be a god-send in an emergency and let you know if you need to step up in his care level. You are starting to reach the point of the grey area when roles will start to change and he becomes the child. i wish this had spell ck.
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By the way, what is an ECF? I'm not familiar with that acronym.
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Whoa, imaamy, I think you are letting your imagination run away with you here. As emjo says, take a deep breath. Stop the panic, please.

"Extreme sleepiness is a precursor to dementia."
1. Maybe. But I persoanlly am being treated at a sleep disorder specialty center for excessive daytime sleepiness. And no one has even hinted at the D word. Do you think they are hiding something from me? :) Lots of things can cause sleepiness. Surgery is high on the list.
2. The man is recovering from surgery for Pete's sake. Cut him a little slack. You can't make a few phone calls and conclude his level of sleepiness is pathological!
3. IF (please notice the caps) IF your father is in the earliest stage of dementia, dashing out to see him will not change that. You will have months and years to deal with it.
4. If you'd like to visit your father, and maybe that would make you feel better whether it makes him feel better or not, get a reasonable plan together and cover all the home bases first.

Maybe he is playing on your guilt. Maybe he is punishing you for not making the calls he asked you to make. Maybe he is genuinely tired and weak right now. But whatever is going on, it can wait until you can talk to his nurse and to him.

Try to get a good night's sleep. Resume your contact attempts at reasonable intervals tomorrow.

Hugs!
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((((((amy))))))I understand that, and it must be quite frustrating. He is not a well man, and has had surgery, so I think you can expect him to be tired. However, I also think it is wise to keep informed about the meds he is on, and his condition in general. Honestly, I don't find anything strange about it. I have found it is very hard to get a hold of people in a hospital at times. Relax and try again in the morning, He is in good hands, and if he said he didn't need you to come out for his surgery, I think you can accept that, and let the guilt go. My mother is 5 hrs drive away but the last two years I did not see her very often because of my own health issues. You can only do what you can do, and you need to look after you.
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Thank you Joan...my concern tonight was not being able to reach any nurse as the facility. Really it is in an upscale neighborhood and highly recommended as one of the best in town. And the phone just rings or repeats "press 1 for this, 2 for that?" I really do think he is tired and wonder if they are giving him something for anxiety or agitation or whatever in addition to the meds he was on long before the surgery (PD). I don't think he would basically hang up on me if he felt he could talk, and he hasn't asked me to come out. I offered before the surgery and he said he could manage. Strange situation!
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(((((((imaamy))))))) I would take a deep breath, and continue to call to find out how he is. That is not too early to go to sleep, and just because you read that in a book about sleepiness does not mean your dad has alz. Even if he is in early dementia, you rushing out is not going to stop it - he is in hospital, and you have a toddler to look after. Sounds like your buttons are being pushed. You are feeling guilty because you haven't seen him in a while. Do you think he is playing on this? If you really want to see him, plan to go there in a way that does not stress out you or your family. If it is difficult for you to go because of your toddler - the toddler (and your husband) come first. Don't panic! And don't act out of FOG -fear, guillt or obligation. That is what dysfunctional people use to manipulate their family members. Look after you and your family. (((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))) Joan
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Something is really not right. I called today not having heard from him and he said he was up and about to walk, call back. I did and he said he was trying to sleep (8:30 pm) and would try to call me. I called the facility and tried to get a nurse to speak with. The automated system kept spitting me back to the same recording. I hung up and called again...the woman I finally got said she would transfer me and it just rang and rang. Feel like I should get on a plane ASAP and see what is going on. I read an article that extreme sleepiness is a precursor to dementia:(
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I haven't heard from him today and don't know if that means he is mad I forgot to call the others yesterday. If I call him, I get, "I'm too weak to talk. Thanks for calling." A few days ago we did speak for more than 20 seconds and I asked what has been the best meal? "I can't talk about the food." I said, "well I thought you said the food was good?" Reply: "It is good but I can't talk about the meals." Wow.

Speaking of guilt, I haven't seen him in a long time. I feel I should go visit but we have a toddler I'm home with an no other care lined up other than PT preschool. I really need to get a Plan B for the future!
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Thanks sister frustrated :), sounds like a good book. I have wrestled a lot with "honour thy father and they mother " and had it thrown at me many times. I knew what was in my heart, and it was not disrespect, but self preservation, which is what I see from imaamy. Finally, I came upon a very good commentary on that scripture with many other scriptures to support the views expressed, and it satisfied me. In a dysfunctional family, we are to forgive , but not put ourselves back into a situation which is damaging to us. "Do not provoke your children to wrath" needs to be counted in the equation, too.
"If guilt works on you, remember this is your problem, not theirs". Absolutely true!
As "they" say - "No one sends us on a guilt trip - we have to buy the ticket," and I would add, get on the bus.
I find I get weary sometimes from all the drama, the craziness... but resistance is not futile! :) (((((((hugs)))))))
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