mamadeb: Writing MamaDeb (Default)
Yes, it was lovely and peaceful - a tad boring but less so than in years past (in large part because I didn't hole up in the room eating pistachios.)

But there were some difficult moments. Some of it was from my mother-in-law, who wants to believe that less than a month after a major car accident, including a minor leg injury and a slight concussion, she should have fully recovered, because she hasn't. Adding the leg injury to her chronic sciatica, standing around and doing things is *painful* for her. But she does it anyway and the pain makes her temper short, as it would and her store of patience, which is never very large (I can be like that), disappears. We both try to tell her that anyone, even someone much younger than she, would still be having problems - she has surface injuries that haven't healed yet, much less the deep tissue ones we can't see.

And who does she get the most impatient with? Her husband - and that's also based on *fear*. See, she's seen her mother and several beloved aunts go through long declines, and the idea terrifies her. As it should. And my father-in-law...well. His short-term memory has never been good, although his long term memory has always been fine. And as he's aged, it's gotten worse. Add to that the fact that he's hard of hearing in one ear and totally deaf in the other, so everything must be said at least loudly if not actually shouted. He does have a hearing aid, but it's not 100% effective and there's no filtering. And then there's the result of his congestive heart failure last Febuary - it went undiagnosed for a while, as he never complains, so his brain was a bit oxygen starved, and as a result, he's lost long-term memories (distinct memories, not general memory.) Plus, well, there's the accident itself, and the physical and emotional trauma it produced - including his acknowledgement that his driving days were over.

As he said, he's 86. If anything happened, he'd be blamed no matter what.

And he thinks therapy is hogwash, so he won't go to one even if he needs it, as he does. As they do.

So he's more "feather-brained" (his term) than ever. Yesterday, I caught him about to use instant coffee in the percolator. Fortunately, I did so in time for him to take out the instant and put in the ground (which I found for him.) He's made coffee every morning of his married life. And he needs to be reminded constantly. Which means for my frightened and in pain mother-in-law, a lot of angry shouting.

As you can see, he's aware of what's going on with him. He just. Doesn't complain.

These are both wholly remarkable and wonderful people, and I'm not saying this just because I love them. My father-in-law is a musician and a music teacher. He takes pictures (or did before computer photography defeated him), teaches recorder classes despite his hearing problems, learned to lein and lead services in the last 20 years. He's kind and gentle and infinitely patient. My mother-in-law is a devout feminist who obtained an MBA at a time when so few women did so that she got mail addressed to Mr. Swendy (as opposed to Mrs. Wendy). She's active on mailing lists dedicated to diabetes and Jewish cooking, she runs food and clothing drives and thanks to her, bushels of bread are delivered to homeless shelters all over the city. And she learned her Aramaic since I've known her.

And so this weekend was lovely and peaceful and we had a good time, but there was also *this* all through it, and I just pray it gets better.
mamadeb: Writing MamaDeb (Default)
And it was nowhere nearly as bad as I thought it would be. :)
All that whining for nothing. )
mamadeb: Writing MamaDeb (Default)
Of the minor - my knee is improving daily and my face is almost back to normal. I have consult with my doctor tomorrow.

Of the in-laws - I went over to see them today. It's...not wonderful. They're both in pain and covered in bruises. My mother-in-law thinks she shoudl be recovering faster than she is - she has had no motivation to even leave her apartment. I have to believe she's washed them, but she's wearing the same top and skirt she was on Sunday - and that skirt was the one she wore during the accident, and has a three inch cut in the hem - no more because the nurse realized it buttoned up the front. I know she has a lot of clothes in the country, but she also has some down here.

Basically, she's in pain and dizzy from her slight concussion and her legs are swollen and hurt, and she doesn't realize it takes time to recover from this sort of thing, so she's depressed.

As for my father-in-law - he's...not quite there. He's beginning to realize his driving days are over, and he doesn't want to deal with that. And he's in pain, too - he bruised a rib. He also seems to just be sleeping all the time. He's been forgetful his entire life, but now it seems worse - or it seems worse to my mother-in-law, who is terrified that he'll end up losing his faculties. He's barely recovered from his congestive heart failure earlier this year, and now this. He did go to the doctor today - and by *bus* of all things, so at least he's not stuck in the house.

Latest plan about the country house - there's a local cab service in a very nearby town. They can use that to shop and go to shul , and not be trapped there. I hope this works out - they do love that house so much. However, other than when we bring them up the first week in September, that's it for the season there.

I kept Mom company while my father-in-law was at the doctor's and I did some shopping for them - mostly produce.

I'm very worried about both of them. This is just too many shocks at once.

(And she feels bad that she can't give me their car after all. this point? Who cares about a car?)
mamadeb: Writing MamaDeb (Default)
As I said yesterday, they ended up taking a limo from Poughkeepsie to Manhattan. It cost a fair bit, but they got a very comfortable ride (in a Cadillac) with a pleasant and attentive driver - a more comfortable ride than they would have gotten in my mom's Hyundai or my brother's tiny Honda, so it really was for the best.

We got to their apartment about five minutes after they did, with a bag full of lunch and dinner. And - oh, my goodness. They are *technicolor* - bruises and more bruises, and cuts and stitches. And they keep getting more bruises, too, as their soft tissue damage works its way up. But Mom is getting close to her old self. Dad is taking a little longer, but he's also eighteen years older, and while he's mostly healed, in some ways he's still recovering from last spring's congestive heart failure (they couldn't believe he actually had it in the hospital.) He's far, far, FAR too thin. So, he's sleeping a lot and sounding not great because he bruised a rib and broke his nose, so his breathing is a little labored.

Both are pretty wiped out.

I brought baked salmon plus Israeli, cucumber (with Equal) and potato salads for lunch, and my father-in-law showed more appetite than he has in months - that dreadful hospital food, you know? And both were starving for vegetables. I also brought a take-out barbecue chicken to be their dinner, and then I took her list grocery shopping, so they're set for a few days. And while they'd rather be in Margaretville, they're much happier being in their city apartment than in the hospital.

The car is completely crumpled - it's a Subaru, and designed to do that. That, the cage construction and the seatbelts made it possible for them to be walking around. We are so, so, so very grateful.

Current plans are for me to rent a car and drive them and us up to the country house just before Labor Day weekend so they can go to a bar mitzvah at their upstate shul and get things ready for the winter. It'll be a boring Shabbat for us because we won't drive or be driven, but it'll be fine. They'll put off any further decisions until spring.


mamadeb: Writing MamaDeb (Default)

February 2011

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