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The road I didn’t want to travel

I stand at a crossroad.

There is no surprise. For years I pretended not to see it, concentrating on my own road full of twists and turns, dips and potholes; distracted by precious cargo, flowers blooming along the path and long easy stretches walking in the sun.

But now a new direction looms before me. It is dark and unknown, filled with landmines and difficult terrain. In fact there’s a glaring neon sign screaming, “WRONG WAY!” Yet, here I go, right or wrong, ready or not.


Even though it’s cloudy and hard to see, I continue on, reckless and hopeless trying to find my way. The rain pours down and I am in uncharted territory, lost and scared. Oh my God, what was I thinking moving my father from NJ to NY?! I spent forever getting him set up with all those benefits and a home health aide who does all the stuff I don’t want to do!

But, at least he’s not two bridges away.

Oh my GOD he’s not two bridges away! He’s going to be right here!

Air. I need air! ARGH!!! Who put this walker in front of me! F%*#&!@!

Wait… that’s why we’re moving him. So he can be closer. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing. It’s a good thing.

There are just So. Many. Doctors.

Internist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist, podiatrist, vascular, dermatologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, oncologist, pain management…

Who are just So. Done. With. Him. He needs new ones.

Oh jeez! I have to find new ones!

Tape, red and hot, strangling me. Can’t breathe.

No! I will fight my way through, battle social services, find a kind, reliable and capable new home health aide. I’ll get the benefits straightened out and, and, I won’t even look at the mountain in front of me. I’ll just keep climbing up up up.

Get him packed and moved. Buy a ton of new (nice) shit (that he will destroy). Organize everything. Make sure we find the right person to manage his meds.

Don’t think. One step at a time. Call electric, cable, phone, movers.

Social services. Advocates for the aging. Medicaid.

Things will get done. We have already made some progress.

The rain drizzles down but the storm cloud lifts just a little. Even though it is dark, the mood has lightened, brightening the landscape. I can still make out the blur of the neon sign flashing ominously in the haze but there’s no turning back now. For better or for worse we are on this new road.

Maybe, just maybe we are headed in the right direction.

I hope I’m wearing good shoes.

Gee, this road looks pretty. Lets go this way!

Gee, this road looks pretty. Lets go this way!

About Ice Scream Mama

Mama to 3 boys, wife to Mr. Baseball and daughter of a sad man. I have a double scoop every day.

18 responses »

  1. Sending love my dear friend. It is not a fun or easy road at all. xoxo

  2. Welcome to the world that me and my mom (as caregiver) and siblings have lived in for 15 years for my dad. When I think of all we’ve done for him, it pales in comparison to all he’s done for us. And, as disabled physically as he is, he still continues to do for us. Yup, the healthcare road can be treacherous. But I’ll fight any medical worker or facility who doesn’t treat him right.

    It’s never easy but well worth it. Big hugs.

  3. I felt the exact same way when I moved my mother in with me. I felt as if I were drowning in her needs. That I was losing myself and my independence. I had just raised my two kids and it was just my husband and I. that lasted a year before mom had to move in. I still feel like that some days…most days, but you get through it by putting one foot in front of the other and whatever you do don’t look down…good shoes will help too!

    • It’s really is overwhelming but once I transition him I’m hoping it’ll be a little easier. I’m prepared (sort of) for disaster though. You know, the shoes, an umbrella…. ice cream and wine.

  4. I feel your pain. Being the care giver is a tough job but you’re a wonderul daughter to be doing it! Just be sure to take time for yourself…when you can.

  5. OMG. It’s such a tough decision. I admire you and empathize with this stage of your life.

  6. God luck to you and your family. It’s a hard road but still the right thing to do. But make sure you have an outlet!

    • Oh interesting ‘God luck to you.’ I’m not religious at all but I like it. I think it can be a bumper sticker. And yeah, i’m afraid the tub of ice cream might be my outlet. I’ve gained 3 pounds in two weeks. That will stress me out more. So… need to find a better outlet. God luck to me. 😉

  7. My grandpa passed away two years ago, after a long and terrible battle with Alzheimer’s. My mom, grandma, and I were his primary caregivers, and it was the best and worst experience of my life. It was like losing him over and over again, and the worst times were not when he didn’t recognize us and cursed us, but when he remembered who he was and what was happening to him and to us. I don’t know the details of your situation, but I wish the best for you.

    • I’m sorry for your experience and also I understand why you would say it was one of the best along with the worst. This is real life stuff and it’s the stuff that matters and defines who you are inside. it’s obligation, misery, frustration, strength, caring, understanding and love. it’s what makes us human and ultimately it is what it is. and we do the best we can for those we love and hopefully it doesn’t kill us. thank you.

  8. I just want to reach out and hug you. This is such a tough decision, and you are making it with such grace.

  9. Some of the boys and I were talking about how many ‘gifts’ life has given us and how appreciative we are of them.

    Some of the mishegoss makes me want to tear my hair out, but then again it helps me find greater appreciation for stuff I might miss.

    I am not saying I am always centered and so ‘zen’ about all of the crap, but when I take a deep breath I get there.

    Sounds like you are figuring out how to get there too.


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