This post is intended for me to vent. If you are uninterested in a rant, come back later and I am sure there will be some happy knitting related post or something (actually I can guarantee it b/c I need to put up pictures of the finished shawl).
My brother is "home". That is to say, he is staying at my mom's house. His jaw surgery is scheduled for Tuesday. He is going to stay with her until then and then come to my house after surgery to recover.
I stopped by yesterday to see him. He is looking better. The swelling in his face is going down and he is able to get some good fluids in him. His teeth are his main source of pain right now and even talking (especially those sounds where your tongue has to touch your teeth to make them) hurts a lot.
He gave me all of his discharge papers to read so I would know what was going on, and to help explain to him a little what all of his follow up appts and instructions were for.
Yesterday was his first night out of the hospital. Amazingly, my mom and he listened to me when I said, "Make a chart for his medication(s) and check them off when he takes them." He has multiple medications for pain and infection fighting. Some are every 4 hours, some every 6, etc. They are all in liquid form so he can't use one of those pill-counter box things to keep track. It is very important that he stay on top of his pain so that it does not get out of control. If he is not able to manage the pain, he runs the risk of misusing the medication and possible becoming addicted.
So.......I stopped by yesterday. Then I went grocery shopping and came home. He was looking forward to watching the Packers play last night. I decided to call over there after I got the groceries put away (around 11PM). I just wanted to see how he was and let them know I'd probably come by today after Mass.
My mom's husband answered the phone. He was obviously drunk. She was "out with her friends". JT was sleeping. I endured 15 minutes of his babble, mostly to try and ask about JT. Her husband joked about how he was "babysitting". He also said, "Well, the chart is here and he should have had his medicine an hour ago. But he's been sleeping for hours. I am not waking him up. He is being rejuvenated." I asked him, well kind of tried to convince him, to wake him up. But, of course, in his drunken excellence he knows everything and told me it would just be best to let him sleep as long as he can.
This is a point I really pounded into my mother before she brought him home from the hospital (and one of the reasons I am glad he stayed there as long as he did). Pain management and infection control are VERY IMPORTANT. Important enough to wake someone up for. He needs to take the meds on time, every time.
As you can imagine, I am very frustrated. I cannot believe that it is that hard to stay home with your son and take care of him. I can't imagine anyone NOT wanting to do everything they can for their child (adult child or kid) in this situation. It isn't like she has to go to work, or has any little ones to take care of. Her only "job" really in this caretaker situation is to make sure she wakes him up to take medication if he is sleeping. When he is up, he seems to have a pretty good handle on using the chart and knowing when he needs to take meds. Oh, and maybe she has to throw some milk and carnation instant breakfast in a blender a few times a day.
Is that really so hard? For your son? I just don't get it. I know part of that has to do with the bonds I have developed with my children that she just doesn't have with us (my brother and I). I know that part of it is her history of abandonment with us. I know that she really doesn't know how to relate to anyone, especially her children, in a *normal* situation. It still really bothers me a lot.
This is a situation where it is completely acceptable and appropriate to focus attention and care on your adult child. Unfortunately, she spends so much time giving him inappropriate attention/care that now she feels like it is just "too much". (In the "not hit by a car" life - she enables my brother's addictions and enables him to not have a job/grow-up/be an adult. Most of the time she caters to his every whim, chauffeuring him around and buying him whatever he needs, be it cigarettes, toilet paper, food, clothes, or booze.)
I am just feeling really frustrated and a little helpless right now. I am very angry with my mom. The worst part is, I am sure she was out drinking. So not only did she leave my brother alone with her drunk husband for hours on end, by the time she got home last night, she was probably drunk too and unable to give optimal care to my brother. What a great example to try and help him NOT DRINK while he is recovering, right? Yeah.
But I am sure she convinced herself she "deserved" a night out since she'd been going to the hospital to visit him everyday. Uh-huh. Because when you put time in taking care of someone you (supposedly) love it's just so you can "earn" time to yourself. Right. And take off when they actually need you, when there aren't any nurses or doctors to come in and check on him.