Trailer Park War Gaming

On the bright side?  i had a chance to see Mom’s ridiculously hot cardiologist* today.  And she was delightful, as always.  Mom’s health?  Heart and lungs are ok, but she’s put on a few more pounds, pushing close to 200 pounds, which is a bit much for her 4’10” frame…

During my roadtrip to take Mom to the doc today, i slogged through the increasingly murky quagmire that characterizes my familial Trailer Park.  It’s a fucking mess, and i need to do something…

Mom has been encamped on a bed in my niece, DQ’s, living room since pacemaker installation in July.  It was to be a short-term arrangement, but the ensuing angioplasty a few months later meant Mom needed more care, and DQ was willing and able** to provide it, so she stayed…

Originally, i wasn’t on the hook for today’s appointment, but over the weekend i learned that DQ III (2 years old) has been sick.  More than willing to blow off my office Christmas party, i left work at 1000 and made the trek south to meet them at the cardiology office.  i had a clear afternoon, so offered to just take Mom home afterwards, freeing DQ to run errands, or just go home for some time off…

Talking with Mom over lunch, she complained about how long the renovations would take on her house.  She complained about the lack of privacy, and that Christmas would be strange this year because of her circumstances.  Once again, i reminded her that there are alternatives to waiting another six months – at least – before BJ (DQ’s handy, hardworking husband) can start on the renovations.

daisyfae:  i can hire contractors to come in and start the work now.  We can get the place habitable and excavated and you can go home.

Mom:  Oh, I don’t know…

daisyfae:  We can also scout some of the assisted living apartments nearby.  You said they were too expensive, but we’ve never really priced them, or gone to visit…

Mom:  I don’t want to cause trouble.  Besides, people tell me that I’m better when I have other people around…

daisyfae:  Mom, it doesn’t matter what other people tell you.  All that matters is if YOU think you are better with people around.  If you don’t want to live alone, then that’s ok – just say so.  But it changes your options… and there’s no free lunch.  The price for having people around is that there is limited privacy, and a lot of activity*** going on around you all the time…

Now, if i had a dollar for every time we’ve had this conversation, i could purchase a brand new double-wide trailer for the whole entourage….  But she never really seems to want to DO anything to change things, so i’ve always just let it ride.

She thanked me for lunch, and mentioned how tired she is of fast food, which seems to be the main fodder at the Trailer Park table. 

Mom:  I’m so sick of pizza, I couldn’t eat another bite.  Can’t eat hamburgers any more, and I’m just sick of Chicken McNuggets…

daisyfae:  Doesn’t DQ cook?

Mom:  Well, with BJ working late most nights, she said she doesn’t feel like making a big meal, so we just go through the drive-through, or call for pizza. 

In the car, we talked about some healthier choices.  Some things she could get at the grocery that would be easy to fix as an alternative.  Some of the bagged frozen veggies and “lean” meals that are available… as well as just cottage cheese, fruit and a bag of lettuce…

Mom wanted to stop by her house, to feed her cat****.  i went to take out the trash, clean the litter box and try to do some pick up around the place.  Within minutes my nose was running like a champion sprinter and my eyes felt as though they were covered in sand.  i have no idea what sort of muck has been dredged up from the preliminary excavation that was started (and abandoned) a few months ago, but it’s pretty clear that to do any substantive work in there, i’m going to need a dust mask, if not a full respirator. 

Rushing through my project list, i hauled Mom back to DQs next door.  To find DQ shopping on-line, with DQ, Jr***** (the 14 year old), while the baby took a nap.  Going over the prescription list, the new instructions from Dr. Monica, and future appointments, we did the “hand off”. 

i hauled ass out of there.  Drove damn near 80 miles an hour all the way home.  This is not the quality of life Mom deserves.  i’m starting to think that if Mom continues to eat nothing but junk and is sleep-deprived on a routine basis, she won’t last the year.  i need to do something.

In a one-hour therapy session with one of the smartest women i know (my hairdresser), i realized i need to kick up the heat.  Mom clearly doesn’t want to live alone.  What she wants is for the renovation schedule to ramp up so she can get her own nice little apartment set up, and can get home with her cat.  Mom is also worried about “trouble” – as it is, my sister in Florida has already written off the entire mess, my brother and his wife are standing back because they’re not sure what to do either…

A strategy emerged.  i’m going to start investigating “assisted living” centers in the area.  Perhaps have some informational brochures sent to the house.  In order to help with transportation, i’m also going to get information on the local “Council for the Elderly” services, and see that we get some information shipped in as well.  Oh, and the church is happy to provide “meals on wheels” – maybe arrange to have something sent over every week so that Mom can get healthier meals at least occasionally.  And as the coup de grace?  i’ll talk to some friends from high school, still in the area, and get referrals for general contracting…

If my guess is right?  That fucking addition will get underway just a wee bit sooner… Let the games begin….

~~~~~~~~~~~~

* It’s probably my imagination, but the lovely Dr. Monica seemed genuinely pleased to see me, after a few months.  She commented, as always, on how much weight i’ve lost, asked how my workouts are going, and if i’d been on any travel adventures of late… (sigh).  Not only is she gorgeous, and wicked smart?  She dotes on Mom… i think i adore her as much for that, as i do for her deep brown Bambi-esque eyes, hidden behind her cutey-pie designer smart-girl glasses…

** She has a 14 year old and a 2 year old, and takes care of Mom.  That’s enough to fill a day.  If you do it right…

*** Mom tells me of midnight trips to WalMart, people stopping by at 2 AM, and the constant buzz of activity at all hours of the night…

**** The cat was nasty before Mom moved in with DQ next door.  The cat now is a nearly feral thing… i tried to pet it and the hairy little fucker hissed and damn near bit me.  DQ has been trying to pawn this animal off on me for a few months, saying “We won’t be able to keep her, I’m afraid she’ll bite the baby…”.  Mom wants to keep her, and is worried that she’ll have to give up her cat once the renovations are done.  My guess?  The cat is going to have an “accident” or “sneak outside” sometime during renovations… 

***** This kid is in 9th grade.  This is not the first time i’ve been there – on a school-day – and found her home.  Not sure what’s up with that, but i know that school isn’t over at 1:30 in the afternoon…

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23 thoughts on “Trailer Park War Gaming

  1. I think you’re in with that doctor daisy… but that might just be my wishful thinking.

    But your right sounds like things need to change pretty quickly, porper food is a must!

  2. oh what a messy situation. And the idea of the whole family living on fast food makes me feel ill. i know you’ve already bought your mom a walker for xmas – do you buy DQ anything? If so maybe a blender/juicer thingy or a pizza pan so she can make healthier pizzas at home?

  3. It certainly sounds like you do more than admire the doc. I have no idea of you roll both ways so to speak. If so, more power to you.

    There are a couple of other things in what you’ve said that really concern me. “Visitors stopping in at 2 am”? Kids not in school for no good reason?

    Excuse me for saying so Daisy but that sounds like a drug house to me. Where else to people just drop by at that time of day?

    I think you are doing exactly the right thing trying to get your mom to a better situation asap.

    Good luck.

    TAG

  4. I feel your pain. It’s why me and my dad make a four hour drive every few weekends. One time I had to chip my grandparents out of their frozen house with an ax. They’s been left there for a while. It was bad.

    But after the ax work, I was pretty understanding.

  5. Good/smart dealers have hours, bad dealers don’t but it does sound like there could be some business going on there, how much does DQ shop? where’s the money come from? and if it goes on all times of day and night it’s most likely powder, your Mother could wind up in jail just for sitting on the couch, check into it… and as a general rule the construction business is a great place to find contacts for “product”… of course it could just be another night at the Trailer Park.

  6. Oh, there’s just nothing quite as sweet as that first moment when the trigger is pulled and battle is joined. After that, it tends to get messy. But sometimes you just have to do something. Good luck, daisyfae. We will be looking forward to the reports from the front.

  7. Ugh. Merry friggin’ Christmas, indeed. I am so bad with confrontation that I wouldn’t last a minute at the Trailer Park. They’d (you’d) make soup out of me in no time.

    I had my appendix taken out by an astonishingly hot surgeon. It’s hard to turn on the ole’ charm when you’re drugged and wearing a hospital smock.

  8. alex – it’s just a girl crush. i’m just starting to think it’s mutual! definitely time to do something… about mom’s situation, not the girl crush!

    nursemyra – we don’t exchange gifts among the siblings, but there might be a crock pot/slow cooker in her future… i might have one i don’t need any more…

    savannah – thanks. hate the ‘weasel warfare’ approach, but mom’s made it clear that she doesn’t want confrontation…

    TAG – just a girl crush. i’m prone to being drawn to smart, independent women. not uncommon, by the way… don’t think it’s drugs. it’s just the guys, or cousins, or whatnot… or my niece.

    uncle keith – not my natural style to be shifty, but since i’ve tried the direct approach and been pushed back, i’ve got to be a weasel. long live the weasel!

    casey – whoa. frozen? damn… makes that whole “walt disney” / “ted williams” thing seem less unreasonable…

    ellie – i promised my father i’d take care of her. in fact, take care of them all… damn it. but i don’t resent it. just feel helpless sometimes to do the right thing, while respecting mom’s wishes. and i do appreciate that my niece is willing to do this… but it comes with great personal gain for her…

    kono – my oldest sisters second husband (she’s on her third) was a dealer. just weed, but we’ve been through that before. know the signs. this is just ‘trailer park’ bullshit. up all night, sleep all day….

    upset waitress – i’m sending them a copy of “Fast Food Nation” for christmas. i have wondered if it’s a plan to kill mom sooner. my niece is pushing 300 pounds, so it ain’t doing her any good either…

    chris – yes. i know it’s going to be tough. and there will be counter-insurgency to deal with. but i’m good. bring it…

    unbearable banishment – they are used to me being direct. i doubt they’ll see this as PsyOps. at least not until i start blaring the classical music at them through speakers from a van outside the house!

    hisqueen – the blog is my therapist. there will be updates…

    jimmy – thank you. i truly wish i were making this shit up. i can’t write fiction. mainly because i don’t need to…

  9. Boy, now I feel guilty for getting annoyed with my Mom for leaning on me for computer help, financial advice and other assorted chores.

    That there is a downright messy situation and I don’t envy you one bit. You are setting yourself for a big ole lot of “not fun”.

    Good luck daisyfae. Good luck.

  10. Hey Daisy Fae,

    I’m was thinking of living in a trailer park….but I’m thinking now it could have a bit too much drama….have a happy christmas vacation…say hi to your mum

    PS try canned salmon, would be good for her lunch…..also it might make the cat more friendly

  11. rob – we all have our demons… a pain in the ass is a pain in the ass. i’m gonna need that luck…

    syncopated eyeball – yes. that is exactly what i’m gonna need. started pricing assisted living facilities. in my neighborhood… agh…

    sean – they loves the drama. and yes, fish would be good for her! unfortunately, she only likes breaded fish sticks. the dry, crunchy, frozen kind… but that would still be a step up from her current diet…

    uncle keith – i have a particular fondness for the “invasive weasel”. best amusement park ride, ever…

  12. annie – i’m also looking into places i can move her closer to me. that might slow things down. the will has been re-written. DQ gets what she needs. might bring the project to a stop…

  13. I definitely think you should get her into assisted living ASAP. The place my dad lived had three meals a day, and help with the cleaning. If your mom likes being near people, I think she’d like the communal meals and activities. She might like it so much, she’d remake her will again.

  14. Pingback: Not “resolve” exactly… Not really… « Trailer Park Refugee

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