An emotional week

Dealing with aging parents has its ups and downs, but this week has been an interesting test to make sure we are up to the challenge.

On Sunday, just at the end of the church service, Mom W passed out. She was unresponsive for about 30 seconds. She suddenly revived and said that she needed to eat something. We decided it was important to get to the restaurant for brunch so that she could get some food in her.

I won’t go into what happened at the restaurant, but let’s just say that it was not very appetizing. I told Dad that he needed to take Mom home. He was disappointed, but we were insistent.

At one point after they got home, Dad called 9-1-1 because Mom continued to have problems, but she insisted that he call back and cancel the emergency call. Finally, on Tuesday, he made an appointment with her doctor for an evaluation. The doctor discovered that she was allergic to sulfa drugs. On Sunday, she had taken a Celebrex that morning to deal with her lower back pain, which has a sulfa compound in its formulation. The doctor thought that might have been what caused her fainting spell and the problems at the restaurant.

This should all be good news, except that Mom has decided that she needs to be angry at all of us (Dad, sister, and the two of us) because somehow it is our fault that she had to go to the doctor for treatment. She is not willing to accept that, had the situation been reversed, she would have done the exact same thing.

While we love Mom dearly, the health problems that come with aging are challenging. We are doing our best to cope, but we hope that the emotional reactions (on both sides) find a way to be expressed without too much damage. Her persistent sadness and negativity continue to erode our relationship and our faith that this is where we are supposed to be. Her unwillingness to seek help—or even admit that there is a problem—drains our energy.

Or is this just payback for the difficulties I caused her when I was a teenager?

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