Not So Fast

Uh-oh.  My dream of hitting the road and being a wandering gypsy might get a little sidetracked.  My aunt and uncle both have MRSA (Multiply Resistant Staph Aureus) and the entire family is in an uproar.  They are both very elderly, and between the illness and the stress they have both gone off the deep end into dementia.  Various family members are taking turns caring for them.  I haven’t been tapped yet, but it seems only a matter of time…

And yet I still intend to pick up my RV as planned, drive it home, pack up, and if need be drive to (chilly) Florida where they live.  I do worry about myself, because my immune system is not so good.  I hope I can avoid yet another family obligation, as selfish as that sounds.

I’ll keep you all posted on the developments…

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44 Comments

  1. Terri

     /  February 13, 2015

    Just my two cents. I have 5 older brothers and sisters and they dumped BOTH my parents on me to take care of during dementia. They NEVER had contact with me, except for this and used me horribly. I was extremely stressed and had to take care of my abusers for years. I said yes because I was still trying to get some approval. It was one of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made. They had the money and mental stability that I didn’t. Just another example of being taken advantage of by manipulative and mean people. This was my experience. Now….at 50, I am VERY protective of me and my time…….luckily there’s no one else in the family that I know of that I’d be called upon for such a service, but I’d definitely say NO. It’s time for me. I’ve suffered long enough, plus I can barely take care of myself……..

    Reply
    • I totally hear you on that, Terri. These people have four children of their own who can effing take care of their parents. Why should I let myself get sucked into their mess? It’s like you say, looking for approval from the abusers. These people never abused me, but when I thought about what you said, I realized that I’m still looking for approval from my mother, who IS the abuser. Thank you for that! And I’m so sorry that happened to you..And I’m so glad you’ve taken back your life!

      Reply
  2. i agree with terri. your aunt and uncle should have children of their own who can handle this, rather than nieces and nephews. so i hope you don’t get asked, and that you don’t say yes. you don’t have to be a part of your dysfunctional family any more, especially not uncles and aunts.

    Reply
    • You know, Kat, I’ve been thinking about that. Why the fuck should I risk my health and once more give up my planned enjoyment of life, when they have perfectly capable children and other family members right there? The hell with ’em, I’m gonna saddle up and ride West.

      Reply
  3. Yup! I like the previous comments. Nuff said!

    Reply
  4. Sounds awful. Hoping you can dodge this one.

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  5. Stay strong my friend,you will need it, I will send you lite and love, I could tell my woes of family but it’s not worth the pain

    Reply
    • Thank you, Sheldon. I sure do need all the light and love you send! Families…sigh….Even my dog has family issues! She was obviously the bottom of the pile in her puppyhood. If I pass by or even make any noise (washing the dishes, etc.) while she is eating, she will run away from the food until I tell her it’s OK, and even then she will wait until I am sitting in my chair to continue eating. I certainly have never chased her away from her food, but clearly her doggy family did. She must have been the canine version of Cinderella! And I’ve had her already four years, you’d think she’d forget..but no, she’s still the bottom of the pile in her neural network. I will have to do a post on that.

      Reply
  6. Terri

     /  February 14, 2015

    So glad you are not considering offering to take care of them…it’s your time. Hold your ground, don’t even answer the phone….

    Reply
    • Thanks, Terri. I need all the encouragement I can get! I’m a caretaker by nature, and it’s really hard for me to pull back, especially when there’s something medical going on. (Breathe….)

      Reply
  7. I didn’t read everyone’s comments, but I do agree with the folks that are encouraging you to take care of yourself in this instance. If you were in a position to ‘want’ to help them and it wouldn’t damage you, well, then that’s one thing. But, as you’ve pointed out, they have children and other family members to care for them. I think it’s “Laura Time”. Get that RV packed up and take off, my friend! I’ll honor whatever you decide. Peace to your heart

    Reply
    • Yes indeed, Sarah. It’s “me” time, all right. I can’t believe I let myself get sucked into old habits…but at least, with a lot of help from all my friends here, you included, I was able to recognize the pattern and bring it into consciousness. I don’t think it’s safe for me to be in an environment that’s full of MRSA, which could kill me in a matter of days because of my weak immune system. That has to be a boundary, life and death, that I cannot be sucked into crossing in order to be a “good person.” The RV might (probably will) have to wait until the weather settles down–even if I could fly out of here, the weather in Michigan where the RV dealership is, is like 9 deg F with wind chill in the minus 20’s–hardly a pleasant way to start my journey! I’ll wait till things settle down.

      Reply
      • I’m smiling for you right now for your personal growth 🙂 And, I can see the need to start out in good weather (or at least safe weather!) Do let us know when you take off….you’ll be in my thoughts and prayers for safe travels every time you hit the road. Peace to your heart

        Reply
        • I have a friend who has a bumper sticker that reads: “OH NO! NOT ANOTHER LEARNING EXPERIENCE!” I was just stomping around thinking thoughts like, “Oh right, the storm is going to miss us entirely, there will be a heat wave in Michigan, I will lose my airfare…” And I found myself giggling because, being a doctor you have to always be aware (read: anticipate) of any possible outcomes, good, bad, or otherwise. So I pop from, shit, it’s going to be freezing rain and the power is going to go out and then it will be four degrees and I will have to burn up the shed to keep warm, and then I will die from carbon monoxide poisoning, into the above balmy (or rather, barmy) scenario. Is this what personal growth is supposed to look like, or is it just that I’m an OCD Asperger’s geek?

          Reply
  8. Wow. Before realising you were in America I thought I had stumbled over one of my ex partners blogs….

    Ah well, although not my ex, well worth reading. Thanks

    Reply
  9. Laura, it’s spread by touch…so wear gloves and/or gown, and love them as always as you care for them.

    Reply
    • Yeah…I know…The only problem is, I’m not the one caring for them. It’s my 88 year old mother, who doesn’t believe she can catch it…cleans and dresses the wounds with her bare hands…sigh…can’t tell her anything. It’s her choice, in the end. Hopefully I will be on the road by the time she gets her colonized self anywhere near me.

      Reply
  10. Hello my friend
    Take care of yourself during this stressful time. I see a RV in your future.
    M

    Reply
  11. Not selfish at all. You must take care of yourself. Taking care of them could very well undermine your own mental and physical health.

    Reply
    • You are right, Kitt. I should not, cannot, and most importantly, WILL not, jump into this whole mess, apart from giving advice from afar. The worse-ness factor has jumped by a factor of ten in the last two days, and my mother is handling things completely wrong. My aunt has had some kind of neurologic event, and instead of sending her immediately to the ER for a CT/MRI, the PA (PA!!!!) who is “managing” the whole thing ordered a non-emergent neurology consult!!! Well, I’m supposed to be practicing NOT being in control right now, so I can add this to the growing list of things I’m not in control of.

      Reply
      • Frustrating when people do not demand the best medical attention and also frustrating when PAs are “managing” a patient or even “treating” people in the ER rather than MD emergency medicine specialists. The ER is a critical place to get excellent care and proper referrals to specialists. When my son fell off his bicycle and got a concussion, we took him to our local Children’s Hospital where he was seen by pediatricians and where they ordered a CT scan of his head. They took brain injury seriously. Thank God for Children’s Hospital. They also insisted that he be admitted when extremely dehydrated due to vomitting (cause unknown, whether virus, food poisoning, or even extremely severe migraine) a couple of years ago.

        Reply
        • I am, of course, a big fan of children’s hospitals ❤

          Reply
          • They treated him so well. Plus the chairs and couch in the room converted to beds so we could spend the nights with him. The first night we both stayed. The second night, I relieved my husband and my son and I indulged in watching a marathon of family friendly movies they had available.

            Reply
            • We try as hard as we can to make a hospital stay a good experience for a child. If the kid has to stay for a while, the Child Life Specialist designs activities according to the child’s medical condition and abilities, and if the child is there for more than a couple of weeks, there is even School! Can’t get out of school, just because you’re in the hospital, nope.

              Reply
  12. What do you believe is best and right for you? if you do decide to go make it a wander…take back roads and enjoy your time on the road..

    Reply
    • Oh yes, Robert! Blue highways for me. For anyone reading this who isn’t familiar with “blue highway,” back in the days when we had actual maps made of paper instead of Google, the two-lane back roads were printed in blue. My style of travel, slow and easy, and if I come to a spot I like I can park there and enjoy it until a) I decide to move on, or b) I get kicked out!

      Reply
      • I used to like buy an Ameri-pass and hop a greyhound with a backpack and a large wire bound notebook. I essentially spent six weeks going where-ever and keeping a journal of the trips. I did this three times between 1985 and 1992. In fact on January First 1993 I was in a rock club on Bourbon Street listening to a woman who had a voice like Janis Joplin. I’ll have to edit and post some of these journals…

        Reply
  13. manyofus1980

     /  February 19, 2015

    Laura, I hope you can avoid it too! Its terrible that they have that illness, but I’m assuming you have a large family, you should try to go as soon as you can to avoid obligations! Xoxo

    Reply
  14. I heard this recently and thought of you:

    Reply
  15. Praying for you, Laura. It’s always worth putting in a request or two with the Almighty.

    Reply
  16. Just dropped by to say hello to see how you are I haven’t been around in a while didn’t want you to think I had forgotten about you,hope all is well and you are in your rv
    As always Sheldon

    Reply

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