Saturday, 24 October 2009

How do you solve a problem like a grandma?

So we are looking towards the future right now, to the upcoming trip back to Houston to see what work the Chemo may have done. It's not until the 1st of December, but we can already foresee an issue: My grandmother fully intends on coming and staying for as long as it takes. And she wants to bring my great uncle.

What's the problem? I hear you ask. Well, I would, ordinarilly be in favour of my grandmother being with my dad for as long as possible. She is the mother of an only child and has every right to be with him for as long as she likes. Problem, though, is that she freaks out easily, gets angry when she is not kept in the loop but does not understand any of the medical things she is being told. She, for instance, had a go at my father yesterday for eating almond spread, because, she says it's fattening. She doesn't realise that the rules have changed and that he now has to gain weight, otherwise things will be bad.

In fairness, if my parents kept her up to date with what the nutritional requirements were, etc, then she would not make these irritating mistakes, but the other argument is that she doesn't listen. She only knows what she has heard from her friends in the "I knew a friend of a friend who had your type of cancer and they did... or, I think it was cancer. Or maybe it was MS" sort of way. So she thinks she knows best (ahhh, Jewish Mothers) and, in the meanwhile, my mother is the bad guy who is trying to keep her away from her son and might well kill him in the process.

Now, things being well in Houston, the next step may be radiation therapy and then he may be in Houston for several months. And true, anyone can hold my father's hand, but my mother knows what drugs he is on, how much he takes and how he reacts to everything. So, as much as it's important to support him, his "primary carer" i.e. my mother, needs support to. And this does not come in the form of my grandmother.

My mother rightly says that she will not trek to hospital with us every day and will end up in her hotel room going stir crazy because she has no idea what is happening with her son. And then she will need to know every infinitessimal details and then she will worry about it, which causes my parents more worry.

In short, my mother says that she is not sure she will survive Houston as it is, and with my grandmother there, the chances are even slimmer.

I told them to sit her down and have a candid conversation with her about this. I think she will respond to reason and, when she sees that no one is lying to her or trying to trick her, she will calm down. After all, the trip to Houston could be only 1 week long, and then straight back to Israel for more Chemo. But they are not convinced.

So what do you do? Is it a woman's inaliable right to be with her son when he is suffering, even at the expense of his wife's sanity? And can the two learn to coexist in any reasonable way? Tune in Next Week for the next part of Days of our Deaths!

Oh, P.S Preliminary results have come in for the genetic tests. So far, my father tests positive for all three mutations. And I now have American medical insurance.

No comments:

Post a Comment