I come from a long line of martyrs…

The story of our relationship is long and mostly unpleasant, my mom and I.

The weekend Dad passed away we were pretty much calling it quits again, and he was assuring me that he’d help out with Daycare so I didn’t have to leave my son with her anymore.

I would say that our current status of acting like everything’s normal is due to his passing and leaving us both to grieve… but that’s really how it’s always been. There are times when she’s pleasant and acts as if we’re getting along (despite the occasional audible muttering and snyde comments) and there are times when she is openly aggressive toward me and whatever choices I’ve made. Regardless of her true feelings, which seem to change drastically from one day to the next, we carry on and I try to guess which mode we’ll be in on any given visit.

Since I was a child, as far back as I can remember, her manic swings in temperment tyrannized our interactions -either she was praising my writing ability or throwing things at me from down the bedroom hallway. As adults, she has less power and physical size on me so we tend to parley with words mostly. Still, Dad’s funeral was not so sacred that she could make it through without commenting on how I was wasting money on certain things or walking away from me with nary a word of comfort or farewell.

Sometimes I feel like she’s fishing for sympathy from me, and I just cannot give it. Sometimes it makes me angry.

It has been hard dealing with his loss, but I have some peace of mind knowing that he was happy with my decisions -my husband, my scholastic career, my son- and that he’s free from the physical stresses and pressures of this world.

Mom on the other hand… I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to feel a sense of peace in relation to her existance.  Just a month or so before Dad passed she told us she was bleeding and having to wear pads. She’s been menopausalfor over ten years. Dad offered to marry her again, so she’d be covered by his medical insurance. She refused.

Eventually, she went to the hospital and went through some tests. Nearly $1,000 later she was told she needed more tests, and could have uterine cancer -but they’d need lots more money. Of course, she couldn’t afford the more tests and went instead to a clinic downtown where she had a pelvic exam and they removed a polyp from her cervix.

Figuring that the issue was resolved, she went about her business -only to wind up spotting some more and feeling unwell. I figured perhaps dad’s death was causing her stress, and that perhaps was the reason her health was unstable. She broke out in a rash all over her body, and went to the cheapo clinic where the gave her OTC Benadryl.

Next she started having an allergic reaction to the latex gloves she wears at work (which she’s been wearing for nearly a year now with no reaction). Her hands are broken out with open sores, and the sores then got some sort of bacterial infection. She’s treating that with an ointment they gave her at the clinic. Still she scratches at them like an animal.

About two weeks ago I got three phone calls between 4:19 and 4:25 am. I blogged about those… well as it turned out she ended up going to the clinic the next day where the doctor insisted on calling an ambulance to hospitalize her and she refused. Her blood pressure was in the 200’s, because she hasn’t been taking her blood pressure medication for over a year. She claims the doctor she was going to wouldn’t keep her as a patient because she was no longer insured, so she just stopped getting refills.

The doctor told her she was on the verge of a stroke, and wrote her a scrip for blood pressure medications. She had an appointment on Monday of this week for some lab work, I’m assuming they want to know why all these things are happening to her lately. I suggested (after reading an article on bladder cancer in women) that she ask to see a urologist and have some tests done.

She told me today “you were right”. They asked her to go see someone who could run some tests on her kidneys and her urethra, because her kidneys are expelling protein, and that’s not good. She said, “But I’m just not going to do THAT because those tests cost 1700 dollars. I’m not doing that.”

…so am I going to lose two parents this year? I don’t know, but everytime I see her now I’m struck by every odd little thing she does and I wonder what I can do.

She asked me to eat some of her lunch today like four times, after I said no every time. As if she hadn’t just asked me the previous times. She’s never really paid much attention to my responses… or is she losing her mind due to some physical infirmity?

I don’t know what the symptoms of a stroke are, but I bet she won’t get tested to find out if she’s had one. I can’t afford to bankroll her doctor visits and she won’t go apply for medicaid.

This is just fucking shit. I know that this country isn’t so bad off as to let a person die for being broke -but she won’t do anything to improve her odds or even find out what they ARE. Is she fine or is she fading away?

These are the things that weigh me down each day… and I feel completely helpless to do anything about it.

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6 thoughts on “I come from a long line of martyrs…

  1. Maybe it’s just projected hypochondria because of my own mom, but the rash, the blood pressure, the reproductive organ problems, and the kidneys are all things I read about yesterday while reading about Lupus. I’m not a doctor by any means, but they show pictures of the rash on google if you want to look.
    Even the cheapo clinic will run those tests if she “subscribes” to a regular general practitioner through them, and they will either help her get assistance or they will reduce the cost. If she isn’t accepting it, that’s her own stubbornness and she has no right to use it as a way to get your pity. Especially not now… you have enough to worry about without worrying about whether she’s being too stubborn to take care of herself.
    On the other hand, I realize you can’t just sit there and let her self-destruct, so I have no advice on how to make her stop but her excuses about the financial end of it are crap.

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  2. I wish that I could tell you that someday your mom will realize how bad she has treated you and will turn over a new leaf, but it sounds like if that was ever going to happen it should have by now. It doesn’t seem like there’s any real good solution, you don’t want to cut her off for Sebastian’s sake and I don’t know if you would be able to now anyway, seeing as how her health is. Your reward for going through all this may not be much, but at least you’ll always know that you tried and in spite of everything, you care about her, perhaps more than she ever cared for herself.

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  3. I’m sorry you and your mom are going through all of this.
    I was uninsured for years when my brain started fucking up and I had to have tests. St. Anthony’s offers financial aid if you’re having problems with the bill and some MD’s offer payment plans too. That’s all I can say that might help with that stuff. I hope everything turns out ok.

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  4. *(big hug)*
    ew…doesn’t sound like a good prognosis… I can’t really say any more than has already been said in the other comments tho as far as offering advice.. . just good luck and good wishes….

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