My mother is in the ICU right now. Very early Monday morning, she called an ambulance and was taken to the emergency room. She was in a great deal of pain. I’m listed as her emergency contact so I was called and told that help was on the way. I called her and talked with her until the ambulance arrived. I told her that I love her and asked that she call me and keep me updated. She said she would. We hung up and a little while later, I got another call confirming to which hospital she had been taken.
Starting early the next morning, I left my mom a few messages and was getting worried because there was no response. We live on opposite coasts so I wasn’t able to drive over and check on her. I messaged a friend of hers and asked if she could check in on my mom, explaining my reason for being concerned.
The friend messaged back, explaining that my mom was sent home with a prescription and still in a considerable amount of pain. She picked her up from the hospital, helped her get her Rx, and got her situated at home.
Feeling relieved and thinking that my mom was probably just sleeping off whatever had been making her feel bad, I went to work but sent her a couple of messages to let me know how she was doing. There was no response.
That afternoon, I got a call from her friend. She went to check on my mom and found her on the ground, disoriented, unable to move, and it appeared she had been there since the day before. My mama was on the floor, in a nightshirt, cold, in pain, and probably terrified for a whole day. I keep hoping that she passed out so that she didn’t spend all of that time afraid. I wish I would have been there. Her friend called for an ambulance and after they took my mom back to the ER, she called me to fill me in.
We’re on day three of the ICU now. My mom has an infection that has gotten into her blood. She is intubated because she wasn’t able to get enough oxygen on her own or with a mask. Her organs are stressed. She has AFib. She’s in her late 60’s. She’s very ill. It’s a waiting game to see what happens and whether or not she will respond to treatment.
My siblings and I decided that the time to move her in with one of us has arrived. My mom has been stubbornly resistant to the idea in the past and as long as she had the energy and state of mind to tell me to stuff it when I brought up the idea, I knew she would be okay.
The expense of moving someone across the country is costly even when it’s a bare minimum move. I reached out to my father to ask if he was willing to help with the cost. They’ve been divorced for many years but I thought it was worth a try. He could have just said no.
Instead, he told me the following: Stop crying. Calm down. Can’t you put her in a state institution? This situation sounds like the result of her slovenly lifestyle. I’ll help but if your brother doesn’t pitch in something, I will pitch in nothing (he emphasized nothing). Once again, the burden falls on me.
Here’s what you should know:
My dad has more money than anyone else I know. A few thousand dollars to rent a vehicle and get her across the country is a drop in the bucket for him.
He isn’t my brother’s father. He beat my brother from a young age.
My brother doesn’t have any extra money. He works hard and supports himself and never asks for help. But there isn’t anything extra. I had already explained this.
My dad’s mom died when he was young. He knows what it’s like to fear that your mother may die, and want to help her.
My sister is helping to physically move my mom across the country because she has the time to do so.
I will be caring for my mother for the rest of her life with assistance from my siblings.
I’m trying to figure out what exactly his burden is in this situation. He’s an old, well-to-do, caucasian, cis-gender, republican, heterosexual male in America with a bunch of money.
After I yelled at him and told him what an ass he was being, and that he could have simply said no (and that would have been fine), he agreed to help without conditions. But not without bitching about the “burden” that he was taking on.
I haven’t talked to him since.
My mom’s prognosis isn’t hopeless by any means but there are still many unknowns and she is still critically ill. We just don’t know what is going to happen.
I put a lot of effort into rebuilding my friendship with my father after many years of not talking. He was an abusive drunk and I didn’t want anything to do with him. At some point, I felt it was worth trying. And I felt I might regret it when he died if I didn’t at least give it some effort. Now I am right back to now wanting anything to do with him.
He has every right to say no to a request. And I wouldn’t have been upset if he said no. I would have figured out something else, like I have anyway. I’m paying for whatever she needs on my own, with help with things like transportation and packing her belongings from my siblings.
Apparently he is now bitching at my sister about not wanting to help. So, he can keep his money so he won’t feel burdened and see how good its company is. He seems to fail to understand that it isn’t money that cares for a grumpy old jackass when he can’t care for himself. He’ll probably learn that when it’s too late. But I don’t particularly care. I just want my mom to be alive and healthy and happy.