Some good and bad news. My grandmother is out of the hospital and back at home. But she needs an operation because she has heart congestive failure and she also is in a big house by herself. Even so, she's been getting a steady stream of family and friends coming to the hospital just about every day, and calling.
I'm a bit annoyed (what else is new these days, lol) because firstly, she wouldn't say all the way from a year-and-a-half ago what her issues were to me, though I was the one to come to the emergency that time and this time, too. It was a bit weird that a cousin--who is there only once in awhile, but that's fine because she has her hands full with her own health and family--is over there tonight and in a snap told me the diagnosis of my grandmother. Even though I did know something was going on with her heart, I had to pull teeth every conversation with my grandmother to even say she had her issues from a year and a half ago, and tried to follow up with her; I had to let it go because she lied and said she'd tell me what the doctors said, but she never did. I told myself it was her business.
Now, though I'm glad the neighbors, some family including the cousin has been/is there, it feels like it looks like I haven't done anything for my grandmother. Because, my grandmother keeps saying for me to do what I need to and the hospital would transport her home, even though I offered. As soon as I look to relax about it, the next thing I know she is talking like she had no choice about the hospital transporting her because they saw she was 'alone' during her stay. I asked what was she talking about? She had a steady stream of visitors and callers practically every day while there. She goes, oh but the staff didn't see anyone.
Now, I call her tonight to see if she needed me to run something like food over (though she always stays well stocked) and though I am busy, I decided it would be best. The cousin answers the phone, friendly as she always is, but she goes how my grandmother is alone is why she was there, when I stated I was glad she was. I said she is not alone, but she does live alone. I didn't want to sound defensive, but sometimes it's hard not to when making a statement back to someone. I said I was about to come by if the grand needed. She said no, do what you were doing. To be fair, this cousin mentioned that her husband is in the hospital with the same thing as my grandmother.
My question is, I'm wondering if anybody experiences being able to determine when they are too busy with their own thing vs. when to help a senior loved one who is very sick?
While I get that I should only do what is possible, I've been injecting that in my conversations with them more sternly to keep making it clear, while others are just starting to step up. While this makes me feel like I can breathe, I'm also beginning to feel a bit villianized for deciding not to come running during a time my grandmother is obviously feeling alone. I do need to make sure not to get hooked into caretaking, which is also why I don't want to keep being the one to show up.
To add to it, my mother's boyfriend who has been caretaking her, is ready to go back home which is many states away. To recall, she had the hip operation a little over a month ago, but claims she is getting around.
With my busyness, should I continue to hang back from both? I sure am trying to so they could put other things in place. But it's a bit scary too that something could happen especially with my grandma and her heart with navigating two sets of stairs. She has the chair lift, but still has to get on and off steep staircases. Plus, the cousin is only there for a day or two and lives somewhat far herself. In a way, I'm praying my grandmother ends up going to live with her (while she waits for her heart operation) because her and her hubby live in a large house.
I'm trying to lend some support to both, without messing my own responsibilities up and without getting "trapped".
P.S. Man, haven't really even been able to get to my taxes with everything going on!