Science Baby 10, My Sick Mother

Today is a day I should be happy but I am not.

Yesterday J took a pregnancy test.  She wasn’t supposed to.  We were supposed to wait until tomorrow, as per instructions from the clinic.

(i don’t want to write about this i don’t want to you need to you need to says my inner voice)

During the day I worked  — tech stuff — whatever.  While working I got texts from my brother, who lives with my mom.  My mom has been really ill for months now.  She’s late 70s, large, depressed, anxious — and that’s when she’s healthy.  End of June she became unhealthy:  blew her back out and wound up in a hospital and then a really crappy rehab center for two and a half weeks because she was so bad she couldn’t walk even with a walker.

Eventually she ends up home and my brother does some minimal amount of care taking for her and she goes to physical therapy once or twice a week and her oldster friend Barbara who lives in the same building that she does sometimes drives her to appointments (my brother is a terrible driver, will not go on the highway, is kind of useless).  Since she was released from the physical rehabilitation center she’s had nasty, persistent nausea.  We’ve done all the things you’re supposed to do in these situations.  Reviewed meds with doctors.  She was taking oxy and tramadol for the back pain while hospitalized.  Moderate doses.  Still taking small amounts of tramadol at home — that’s a synthetic opiod.  So we weaned her off that over 3 or 4 weeks.  But she still has the nausea, still barely eating.  My brother checks in and makes sure she’s eating and drinking fluids.  She dropped 15 pounds in a month.  She has had three separate days where she wakes up and announces she is going to kill herself and my brother makes her call the suicide line.  She has also gone back to the emergency room but leaves before they can commit her — she doesn’t want to be committed.

Yesterday was the fourth day.  I get texts from my brother in the morning.  mom suicidal again.  Moaning she wants to die.  I took her meds away.  

I am trying to work and now I cannot.  I call mom’s friend Barbara.  Barbara takes mom to hospital.  They wait in emergency room.  I try to work at home, get some crap done, trouble focusing.  Brother texting me and complaining he has to clean the apartment because Mom is gone and mom is a hoarder and the only chance he gets to clean is when she is out and she’s barely been out because she’s been so ill.  I don’t care.  I don’t want to talk about this.  I don’t want to talk to him, I don’t want to see my mother, I don’t want to care for anyone, I want time to myself, I want to work or exercise or read or do anything but deal with the shit and piss that is my family.

J gets home from work later and my mom is still in the emergency room — Barbara called my brother and told him they are waiting, then my brother texted me updates.  I tell J about the family shit that’s been going on.  J starts ripping on my family, my cry-wolf mother, my deadbeat brother.  She won’t let it go.  It feels like an attack on me.  I say listen, I don’t want to talk about this shit either, I’m just telling you what’s happening.  I’m on emergency standby mode.  I don’t know if I’m going to have to to go the hospital where my mom is.  I might and I might not.  I’m assuming I won’t.  But I might.  But until I get contacted again, let’s assume I’ll be home tonight, let’s have a nice evening, let’s not think about my family.

J likes to keep talking about the same things over and over again though.  She keeps bringing up my family.  whats she got to be so depressed about, she doesn’t do anything, doesn’t work, is retired.

I say my mom has been depressed her whole life, her parents abused her, she has issues with self esteem and religion and probably also a genetic disposition toward depression, her own grandmother killed herself in Europe by standing in front of a train, I saw the newspaper article that someone in her family saved about it.  I said we’ve been over this.  My mom is miserable, nausea, not sleeping, physically unwell.  why are we attacking her?  I know we are sick of talking about her and thinking about her, let’s not think about her ok?

When i say this J initially agrees but the subject always returns to the family.  Finally I make dinner, put a movie on — we were halfway through Jerry Lewis’ The Nutty Professor — a mess of a movie, sexist and silly, not all that funny but entertaining in some ways as a reference to American culture in the 60s.  It gets toward the end of the movie and Jennie pauses it and says she has to tell me something and her face is kind of trying to hide some kind of brightness and I say what is it and she says I took a pregnancy test and I say you probably shouldn’t have done that, we were specifically instructed to not take one until the official one at the clinic on Wednesday and all she can say is I know I know

But then she shows me the stick and there it is, a faint line where it’s supposed to appear if you’re pregnant.  She’s smirking because she knows she shouldn’t have done it but she did it and it sure looks like she’s pregnant.

this is good news, I know it’s good news, we’ve been working toward this forever it seems, two years, and it’s happening.  There’s still no guarantee, so many things can go wrong, but here it is, a pink line, our baby attached to her womb and growing.

I hug her not because I particularly want to — I’m still irritated with her because of the way she was going on about my mother, as if my mother is faking her illness and misery and trying to cause problems —  I’m supposed to grasp her and kiss her and we’re supposed to talk about our wonderful future family together.  I know I’m supposed to behave this way because this is what I see in movies and on TV.  I’m supposed to be happy and I know it, but my heart is heavy, coated in muck.  I fake it instead.  I fake being happy and I hate myself for it, I hate that nothing I feel seems genuine anymore except my negative emotions:  anger, disappointment, jealousy, resentment.

I wonder if this is what life is now.  Hoping that certain things will make me happy that, when they actually happen, do absolutely nothing for me.

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August 22, 2023

Mazel tov on the baby but hugs for the rest of the crap you deal with. 🙁

August 23, 2023

You are dealing with so very much.  I’ve dealt with mental illness my entire life, but I never gave up searching for meds that would help me.  And I am so very thankful I found them.

Congratulations on your wife’s pregnancy and just know, that whatever you are feeling is okay.