Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Crying Wolf

The trip to mom's went ok, for the most part. We got a lot accomplished, as far as clearing out my room went. My sister and I sat and listed to the hospice people be as comforting and vague as they possibly could. They did, however, give us some booklets to read - hopefully I'll be getting my own copy soon. I read them at my parents house, but I want them here, where I can access them when I need to. There was also a poem in the back of two of the books, both of which almost made me burst into tears. When I get them, I'll post them.

According to the "very flexible timeline" that the books put forth, mom has between one and three months. Dad thinks a month and a half, mom says three. Either way...before the end of the year. This information, along with a half-assed comment that mom made about me skipping a semester, made me re-evaluate school. There were a few days of intense discussion around here that culminated in me deciding to just talk to my profs before classes start - see what they think will happen if I miss a few weeks. Will I be able to keep up? Will they be willing to send me my assignments so I can try?

Today I talked to mom and that whole discussion might very well have been moot. Her kidneys are shutting down. The doc is going to try her on a new diuretic to see if they can jumpstart them, but if they can't then I don't know what they'll do. I suggested dialysis, until the rest of her body is ready to go, but mom says she can't think that far ahead. My sister is supposed to be going down in a little less than three weeks and mom said "I might be dead by then" which is what prompted the whole kidney conversation.

I am going to try and go down this weekend, since I don't have to work on Monday. I'll go when I get off work on Saturday. I just don't know how long I can keep doing that. The lead TA at our other office put in his resignation, two weeks ending on the 7th. Until school starts, I can take all his shifts so that they're covered - we're not busy enough at my office that my boss HAS to have me and they desperately need me at the other one, so off I go. Once classes start, though, they'd better have someone in place or they're going to be SOL. If mom dies, though, I'll need the time to go down there and they'll be SOL anyways. As horrible as this sounds, mom being gone in a few weeks would actually be the best timing possible...if one can truly have a "best time possible" to die.

Here's where crying wolf comes in: Husband says I should tell my boss and my regional about this latest crisis. I feel like I'm saying "Mom has six months. No wait, now it's closer to 2-3. Oh wait - her kidneys are going and it might be only a few weeks. Oh - nevermind, they solved that crisis and her kidneys are going again...we're back to the 3 month mark. Oh - another crisis has popped up...." Well, you get the idea. On the other hand, if I DON'T tell them then they have no time to prepare and are caught in the lurch. I know death isn't SUPPOSED to be plannable, but if at all possible...head up is nice. I just don't want them to roll their eyes and say "here she goes again...wonder if her mother will actually die this time."

My outside is relatively calm - I'm fidgety, and typing like a mad woman, but I'm relatively calm. The inside, however, has been reduced to a gibbering mass. I want to flee, but I have no place to flee too. I want to call everyone, but I don't really want to talk about it. I feel like I'm spinning in circles and it fucking sucks.


BethH6703 said...


For what it's worth, I'm of the opinion that more notice is better than less. If you have a good relationship with your bosses, simply tell them that you hate to keep having these timetable discussions with them, but things are happening frequently that change the outlook.

If it were me, I'd ask how "up to date" they want to be kept. If they want all the fluctuations in hopes of you being able to give as much notice as possible, you can do that. If they'd rather be a little less in the loop, and just get a phone call that says "I'll be gone for ____________ days/weeks/whatever", you can do that too.

Let them decide for you. It'll be one less thing for you to worry about.


Jess said...

I agree with the other poster about work. Just tell then you're keeping them in the loop, but let then know exactly what may or may not happen.

I'm sorry for it all. :(

Andrea said...

I dont have any good advice. I dont even have assvice. Just... I hear you. I spent over an hour tonight on the phone with my dad tonight, arguing over what to do about my grandparents, how to save them from themselves. They are his parents, his mom and dad. And to hear his voice break... I can only imagine being in your place and there is nothing I can say that even comes close to making that better. I'm not sure I could deal with school and teaching and all of that, but on the other hand.. what better way to deal than to stay busy and just let it go for a while? Have a life for a minute?

I have no idea.

My dad has decided to stay away. "Of course" he will go back before they die but he doesnt want to see them that way. "What should I do then, Dad, when we are in that spot? We all become our parents." "Put the gun to my head."

He has taken the way out of just disengaging. And it still drives him crazy.

I cant imagine how you feel. You should do what you think is the right thing to do for you. If you feel you need to keep working, work. If you want to take the semester off, do it. The best way to find out-- flip a coin. Name heads or tails one or the other, and then flip it. You will know if it comes up the way you dont want it to, because you will start doing best 2 out of 3 and make excuses etc. One of the best ways to figure out what you actually want to do.

Luck and strength to you.