I’m about to do the well-nigh impossible. But I’m going to do it anyway.
My dad is ill, and it’s not one of those things that’s going to go away on its own. He’s at that age, where not only do serious things start to happen, but it’s harder for him to deal with things he could have shaken off years ago.
On top of this, it turns out that — other than my mother — I am the only medical proxy and surrogate. So I get the job of making end-of-life decisions, if he can’t do it for himself.
Oh, this is not much fun at all.
And I need to travel to see my family — the ones who are highly tactile (ouch) and demonstrative (ouch) and get even moreso when they are nervous and/or afraid (OUCH).
So, I fully expect things to be physically painful, as well as emotionally and mentally excruciating.
I also have to talk to doctors, get my parents set up with the formal supports they need to weather out the coming weeks and months and (hopefully) years. My dad could bounce back and rally from this. He’s done it before. It’s in his nature, and it wouldn’t surprise me.
But I’m a day’s drive away from my parents, and I need to have at least some assurance that they’ve got the proper pieces in place to live their lives.
Access to the medical portal, so they can contact their doctors securely.
Meds all organized.
Medical information in a place where anybody who needs it can find it. Right now, it’s in a filing cabinet drawer in my mother’s sewing room, which is not intuitive at all.
Insurance situation at least partly sorted out. (How much is this going to cost them, anyway? Jesus Christ, I hate to think of it.)
And getting them used to the idea of “looping me in” on their thinking processes. Both of my parents are highly spectrumy — I get my autism honestly — and their first impulse is to withdraw into themselves and figure it out alone. They’re at a point where that’s just not happening as effectively as it used to. So, they have to get used to me being part of their decision-making process.
That last bit is going to be the hardest, because my parents have never really trusted my judgment. I’m in a different part of the spectrum than they, and they don’t trust differences. It’s hard. I just don’t want their lives cut short, because they can’t loosen up a bit.
But who knows what will happen?
I’m probably not going to be blogging much, over the next week. I have to save my energy. I need to withdraw, myself.
I’m getting myself all set up, this morning, to travel this afternoon and evening. It’s an 8-9 hour drive, and I have my semi-disabled partner to get squared away, as well. She has serious mobility and pain issues, which makes the trip miserable for her and will naturally extend the travel time. But we’ll have those hours in the car together, so I’m fine with it. We just need to get there safely.
My routine is going to be completely screwed up for the next 5 days. And I will be inundated with social interaction. My parents have a lot of friends from church who are around a lot. They’re hyposensitive, where I’m hypersensitive, so they crave stimulation and activity and constant, constant talking. Oh my fucking god. Well, I can’t worry about it. I’ll just lock-down, I’ll keep what routine I can — I’m taking my dumbells so I can do my lifting exercises each morning — and I’ll do my best to keep steady, sleep when I can, step away when I can. I’ve done this drill in years past with my parents-in-law, and I know what to expect. And I do a much better job of taking care of myself now, than I ever did before.
So, it is what it is. Just gotta get moving.
I’m ready for my beating, Mr. DeMille.