Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tuesday with Elders - Driving Mr. & Mrs. Daisy

I wish it looked this cool.
In 2006, I became my parents' chauffeur in between shuttle flights with my own girlies. With my parents it was an endless succession of doctor visits and grocery store expeditions. They had doctors for every toe. Some weeks, we would go to the Big Toe doctor's office, the Little Toe doctor's office and the Mahket.

Some days were hysterically funny because Elders with dementia lose the ability to edit. Think of toddlers saying the most outrageous things at the most inappropriate times. Some days, they put the stress in stressful especially the 6 hour from the time I left my portal until I returned shopping expeditions. (I don't miss those) The process was a long learning curve as I learned how to negotiate the road map that had no legend.

Ultimately, it comes back to the tug of war of control. I wanted my folks to snap to on my schedule. Ma wanted me on hers. Negotiating wasn't an option because it's hard to reason with a person who has lost the ability to reason. Setting boundaries wasn't easy either. There were days I lost my cool. Like the day I pulled the car over after being screamed at because I was going "the wrong way". I yelled at my mother to "Get out, if you don't like the Route of the Number 9 bus!".  Chalk that up to Pre-OPD.

I learned lessons in patience. It was easier to sit and wait for Ma to scrub the sink, wash the floor, or sort through her papers or any of the other things she just had to do before an appointment or shopping. I could sit and visit with Dad. After all, I was his support system. I had Himself, friends, and a blog where I whined. Dad had me. And we rolled merrily along on square wheels, not elegant, not efficient, but we rolled.

Next Week: Getting Assistance


  1. Ahh, sounds like you were a close family. When my mom hit that stage she ran around telling dirty jokes to anyone who would listen.

  2. Role reversal and caregiving....I wish there had been a handbook. But I guess it's different for everyone. {{{hugs}}}