Wednesday, April 22

What's normal anymore?

Normal? What's that? That word seems to have deserted my life for the last couple of years. My husband and I could sure stand a little boredom instead of all the excitement and chaos that keeps occurring.

Got my mom settled back in her home town last June and finally signed the papers to sell her house the end of February this year. Just about the time we thought we'd get a bit of a breather, things went south again.

On Valentines Day, my husband drove through white out conditions to pick up my FIL at the hospital where his girlfriend was a patient. My FIL's behavior had made him no longer welcome there. A drive that should have taken no more than 90 minutes round trip took 3 hours. I was very worried. Hubby told me the roads were horrendous and there were lots of slide offs. It was a white knuckle drive. Not long after he arrived home they put out a blizzard warning and told everyone to stay off the roads. We got a lot of snow that day.

Shortly after that my FIL moved back to his own home after living with his girlfriend for the past 6-7 years. He just turned 92 and is not a happy camper about being separated from her. His girlfriend is in the end stage of congestive heart failure and is now living with her daughter.

Within 2 weeks of being home my FIL was in the emergency room twice. Shortly after that came the day a visiting nurse checked on him and he greeted her with "I took a bunch of pills with alcohol to kill myself." She rushed him to the ER. He had an infection but was not successful in his suicide attempt. This landed him on suicide watch at the hospital and a visit to the local mental health center for evaluation when he was well enough to be released from the hospital. He was at the mental health facility for a week before they finished evaluating him. He said it was like being in the army again. My FIL doesn't understand why they are concerned that a 92-year-old would want to commit suicide. This is the kind of stuff that makes you want to tear you hair out when you hear it. He is supposed to be seeing a counselor. Not sure it's happened yet as the doctor keeps cancelling his appointments. He's also supposed to be on antidepressants and stop drinking. I don't think either of those have happened. You can not make a stubborn old man do something he does not want to do.

My husband, his two brothers, and we three SILs have tried our best to make him comfortable, see to his needs, and keep him out of trouble. He wants none of it. He is only interested in getting back with his girlfriend which he thinks about constantly. Like a dog with a bone, he keeps chewing trying to find the best way to achieve his end goal. I strongly suspect the suicide attempt was as much a bid for her attention and sympathy as anything else.

My FIL used to be a loving, kind, man who was very family oriented. Every holiday, family event, birthday, anniversary, etc. we celebrated together. (I also got the whole how important family lecture is from him before I married his son.) Then my MIL died. A year passed before he reconnected with a woman he knew growing up. My FIL turned his back on his sons, our families, and all of his close friends who had helped him through his wife's passing. He no longer had time for any of them. It's a very sad and frustrating situation for all of us. We do what we can for him but more times than not we are greeted with verbal abuse.

On top of this, one of hubby's close, long-time, male friends is fighting a terminal cancer diagnosis. He has been in and out of the hospital a lot and he has refused to give up. We are praying for a miracle.

And as if hubby didn't need anything else to worry about, I've been down with an upper respiratory virus for the past week. It is one nasty bug that's making the rounds in our area and it doesn't want to go away easily. (I'm hoping hubby doesn't get it. I am worried as he has been coughing and complaining of a headache that goes along with this bug.) I'm looking forward to feeling like myself again. Haven't touched a crochet hook, knitting needles, or much of anything else I've felt so bad. Hubby didn't help when he came home last night with news I didn't want to hear -- two people at work told him they had this and it took 2 to 2-1/2 weeks to get over it. Yikes!