Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Swamped/Mom's Saga Continues

Why this is me today, even though my bike isn't loaded down like this:

My uncle, who is my mother's financial advisor, called me this morning to find out what I had done about the Medicare prescription supplement. I reported my accomplishment and he said it was expensive. I said he'd told me to find a plan and sign her up, and I'd found a plan and signed her up, and if he wasn't happy with it, he could un-sign her and start all over. I'd done the best I could, I'm not a financial wizard. He's pushing me to get her supplental health care under a new policy (he doesn't like the one he got for her) and now he wants me to find her a cheaper phone company as well. This is the problem with engaging a family member in any kind of professional capacity. It doesn't go the same as if you were not related. I guess I should put it this way: my uncle, who is pushing 80 himself, is asking me to share the task of getting my mother to an acceptable financial state. Plus, of course, I'm cleaning up her house. I don't think he knows that. And I think he thinks that as a retired 50-something I'm full of energy looking for a place to put it to use to keep from being bored.

That's the loaded panniers on the bike in the picture.

Bike ride: 1:30 easy recovery ride was scheduled. I did a route that comes out to about that and took it very easy, paying no attention to my current speed, average speed, or cadence, just doing whatever kept the ride effortless. The weather was awful. 47*F, windy, with some kind of water in the air... more than mist but less than drizzle. I'll call it mizzle. Yeah, that's it, a raw, mizzling day. I was supposed to do a flat course but we don't have any of those here. The route is 20.45 miles and it took me 1:33, so I've done my assignment for the day. I wasn't really cold on the bike (except my toes) but I can't get warm now. I had hot soup; I've got a sweatshirt on; I've got 2 electric heaters aimed at me, and a microwaveable hot pack on my feet. If you've read my posts of the last month, you'll understand (maybe) how extreme it is that I'm wearing a sweatshirt indoors.

I should go out and clean campsites, but I've got housework to do indoors that seems suddenly a lot more enticing than usual.

This business with my mom's financial/insurance stuff is weighing me down.

She wanted to go down to KY to the Hatfield-McCoy marathon with me, for fun. I told her yesterday that.... um.... that.... it's a 5-hr drive each way, and with helping her in and out of the truck for bathroom stops, and worrying about what and how she would be doing for the 5 hours I'm out on the course, and generally taking care of her, it would be more stress than I felt able to add to the driving down/running a marathon /driving home marathon I'd already have. She said she was fine with that but I felt awful. I still do. She loves to go to things like that with me but it's just getting.... well, I can't do that and run the marathon too. I feel so bad.


nancytoby said...

I'm so glad you said NO to Mom! That was the RIGHT answer. The assertive one. Feeling guilty is optional.

Deb said...

Gosh woman..You are in my prayers. I am widowed and was a care giver to my husband for 15 years. It is difficult to care for someone without it overcoming you. Right choice on the trip...hard one, I know. You create your space...protect that part of your world. It's crucial. You keep riding running, and doing WHAT you can WHEN you can. Maintain everything that makes you, YOU.

*jeanne* said...

You can only do as much as you can do.
I understand wishing to be able to do more...but you have to take care of yourself, too.

Vickie said...

Well maybe a solution for your mom going with you is to find something closer that you are planning on doing. As for the financial stuff and everything else, it is an exhausting job. I do it for my dad too, but thankfully he never wants to tag along anywhere with me. The Medicare/insurance stuff is complicated, but the main thing is to just read what they offer for what you pay. Its comparisons. At least your mom/uncle don't expect you to shop around for the best CD rates in town! I'm on that hunt right now. So I understand what you're going through. Part of the reason I'M not doing an IM this year or probably not next either. Not enough energy left to do all that training too.

PuddyRat said...

Ah, Ellie. You know only too well how much I can relate to the mom thing. I admit to being grateful I didn't have to figure out which medical or prescription drug plan to choose for my parents. The thought of it was daunting. I admire your courage and fortitude.

Do what you can do and leave the rest to God.

From Here to There said...

Ellie, it's ok. Your Mom does understand. I also understand the guilt, but there really is no need.

Can you sign up for a small local race (5k for example) as an event for the two of you? 30 minutes or so on her own, she can soak up the atmosphere and then you can go for tea, etc, and spend some time together.

It's wonderful that she wants to show her support to you, but not in her best interest, or yours.

Don't beat yourself up, she's a smart lady. Her desire to be there for you is no doubt clouding her limits. I'm sure when you explained it all to her, she realized this and was relieved.

Hugs to you both.