Being the middle of a sandwich

For a number of years, I’ve heard discussion about my generation being the “sandwich” generation. I’d nod my head in agreement…and then quietly wonder why it seemed so much of an issue.

Now I’m beginning to understand…really understand!

The issue with our grandson that I posted about a few days ago seems to be doing much better. He’s back home…and is laughing and interacting with people like he hasn’t for quite a while. I know there will still be issues–after all, he’s just starting the teenage years, and they’re difficult enough without the other “baggage” he has to deal with. But it looks like maybe this time–including a change of medicine–allowed him to be willing to open up…to get some things off his chest that he’s been carrying close…to let counselors/therapists in to help him deal with his “garbage.”

So that part of the sandwich is–for the moment, at least–doing better.

The other side of the sandwich–my 90-year-old mother–still needs attention. She’s back in her more independent living unit (in the nursing home)…back from rehab for her broken hip. But 90 years of behavioral patterns are hard to change, and she still doesn’t understand that when the therapists told her she needed to use her walker all the time, that meant in her unit as well as when she goes out.

And so…she fell again Monday. Fortunately she didn’t hurt anything, but she couldn’t get up by herself. She was frustrated at being the center of so much attention, but it still won’t change the behavioral patterns.

So we’re starting doctor visits again. Tomorrow some lab work for a visit with her kidney doctor next week, followed by a follow-up visit with her primary-care physician. Next week, the kidney doctor. Three weeks after that, the dentist…a few weeks later, a follow-up with the orthopedic surgeon. Those are only the currently scheduled ones–who knows what else may come up?

I struggle with patience, especially since I can get up, dressed, and out the door in 10-15 minutes. Tomorrow I will go down to Mom’s at 6:30 to wake her up and get her dressed so that we can hopefully be heading out the door at 7:45 to be among the first ones at the lab (which is on a first-come/first-serve basis).

Sometimes I feel like the two sides of the sandwich are each pulling, each demanding more of me…and I wonder when/how I can find the time to take care of the things I need to do. Somehow you find ways…but being the middle of the sandwich is always challenging!

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