Monday, February 28, 2011

Don't Kill the Messenger


Dealing with my father in law and his doctors is wearing on me. I'm a little tired of all the calls and the complicated message systems we have employed to be certain this man is doing what he needs to do and doing it all while avoiding stepping on the old man's feelings. He likes to feel like he's in charge, but he's completely deaf. The cardiologist's staff is worried giving him coumadin orders over the phone, and I don't blame them. I'm sure they call MLTL, too, but their first call is to me. I take the message and text his slave (my son) regarding any special instructions in respect to his medications or tests. If they don't call him, he gets all indignant and yells at everyone who'll listen that he is not a dotard (I've apologized to the doctor's staff more than once). The fact is, he is half dotard and has that pesky little problem of deafness as well. To hear him on the phone is a spectacle not to be believed as I'm sure he can be heard one town over. Hell, having the phone ring in his house is frightening when you don't expect such a loud ring and strobe lights. I always jump when it happens.

What a pain in the ass.

So today the cardiologist office staff called. Apparently, MLTL made an appointment for an echocardiogram and a stress test for tomorrow morning. The office called me with instructions, which I promptly texted to the slave. Nothing to eat or drink after 7AM...no caffeine all day today...blah, blah, blah. These are non invasive tests and totally normal for a cardiologist to order, except MLTL has no memory of making the appointments and now thinks the sky is falling.

His behavior tonight has been explained to me as over the top: "he's losing his mind over this" (not possible as it's already gone) and "he's gonna blow a gasket." He thinks he's going to die with the news that he needs these routine tests. He swears he had an echo last week, but I don't think so. I think he had an EKG, but there is no arguing with him. His mind is set on the sky falling.

There's no doubt in my mind that his blood pressure is up over this, but I'm not getting involved. Lately, I'm the Queen of Telephone Tag and I'm going to limit my involvement to just that.

12 comments:

Rose said...

Sorry you're last week of vacay is full of that kind of aggravation. Keep knitting and breathing, as I'm sure you know, and continue the avoidance therapy!

SkippyMom said...

I am wondering why this man hasn't been evaluated [at this point] for his mental/cognitive health.

He has always been a hand full [okay fists full] but now he is completely deaf and bordering dementia - he sounds like a danger to himself.

Is it simply cheaper to keep him out of a home - which I understand - but it can't be easier.

Good luck to you all - your son is a saint - as I can see who raised him.

Miss 376 said...

That holiday must seem like a long way away. Your son must be amazing

Denise said...

Sorry you have to go through this frustration. It doesn't sound like much fun for anyone involved.

Gail said...

Sounds like a wonderful stress free time to me! Hang in there.

debra said...

Sounds just like my life! FIL is in the same club, which means we are,too.
Such is life...

Stephanie V said...

What a wonderful young man your son must be! I can't imagine my kids - or me, either - dealing with this increasingly frustrating situation with the grace and generosity that you've both shown.

Anytime you want to vent , we're all here. I'm sending positive and calming thoughts your way today.

Alice said...

Ahh yes, DEFCON 1, I know it well. I well imagine, you can hear my Father at your home . . . and he's not deaf. I hate it when he makes phone calls, because it always to some poor person at a help desk that has NO idea what he wants or why he is yelling at them.

I'm the SLAVE, but at least NOW I finally have medical power of attorney.

Lately it is me whom he screams at.
He'll ask a question about some innocuous thing, I start to answer, and he starts screaming "I don't want to hear it! Get out! Get out! You Demon from Hell!"
Personally, I think he forgot what he asked, (pretty much immediately), and this is his way of covering.

The Bug said...

My FIL is also hard of hearing, but miraculously finally got decent hearing aids & ACTUALLY CALLED US ON THE PHONE THE OTHER WEEK! Dr. M had a good conversation with him - the first phone conversation in over 20 years.

He's a bit paranoid & easily upset too, so I imagine we'll have similar issues in the years to come. However, we live 8 hours away, so someone else will have to be the slave.

I'm glad you're staying clear - we don't want YOUR blood pressure to get elevated!

sapphireblue said...

We get that alot here at the hospital where people are told what type of test they are having and they either don't remember or don't exactly understand what the test is or what it is called or even who the doctor is that ordered the test. It can be frustrating for everyone involved.

Lisa L said...

aricept? sounds like he's definitely slipping. ...poor you. and your son is a saint!

Ruth said...

((((HUGS)))) and a gold star for your son.He is so wonderful.
Have you thought about a fax machine - so then the Docs can fax the info directly to him and then he also has it in writing. I know fax machines are on the way out but it may help.