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Home Again.

25 July 2017

I’m on my way home to Seattle for a week tonight. I’m going to a high school reunion, giving a talk at a hospital, and taking my sisters out to a fancy restaurant. They deserve it. They’ve been in Arizona for a week trying to figure out how to get my father into a nursing home he doesn’t want to go to. But he can’t be safely cared for anywhere else. And he’s awful to the people who love him.

My dad has many good qualities, but they are fading rapidly as they are replaced by a cantankerous Trumpkin with little regard for anything but his own immediate needs. It’s wearying. He has heart failure, can’t use the right side of his body, and doesn’t understand how much effort and money others put in to his care. His memory, and therefore mind, is in and out.

But I can’t do much about any of it. I spoke to him and added my voice to the chorus explaining that living at home is no longer an option. He refuses even to consider that others have a point. He’s obsessed with minutiae and missing the big picture. It’s sad, but we’re all sick of his bullshit. He’s fake-threatening suicide as a means of manipulating us. I outright told him that that’s bullshit and no one believes him.

Nevertheless, we are calling his mental health provider and asking that he be evaluated for suicidal intentions. In the very slight chance it’s real, it’s the right thing to do, and in the much more likely situation that he’s faking it, a 48 hour involuntary hold might just make him stop threatening and take us seriously. It’s hard not to laugh at a man who puffs out his chest and petulantly says, “Well, I’ll just kill myself then,” in the same tone as someone sending back soup in a deli.

I’ll do a lot of outdoors work while I’m home. I’m going to swim across Green Lake and run the path around it. I’m going to bike with friends. I’m going to do hill repeats in the city. I’m planning on running with my niece and maybe nephew for three miles. I’m looking forward to a good time at home. I’m hopeful that that will be something of a relief from the stress of work and dad.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. 25 July 2017 07:37

    It sounds like it will be a wonderful trip. I hope you and your sisters get some rest from the stress.

    When I was doing root cause analyses of suicides at the hospital, there were a couple of times a person who was only making a “threat,” like they did every other day of the year, accidentally killed themselves. We found it was a good idea to treat all suicide threats seriously.

    • 25 July 2017 07:42

      Yes. We’re taking it seriously enough to have him evaluated by a professional, absolutely.

  2. Aimee permalink
    25 July 2017 14:37

    Which niece? Rowan?

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