Friday, February 4, 2011

My sister threw a phone

In my last post I was talking about my sister’s anger issues.  A few days ago she threw a phone at her caregiver, Pamela, and spit on her.  Pamela called the police who took her to an emergency room.  A social worker calmed her down.  When Joan got back to her house she threatened Pamela.  The next day, Pamela had Joan evicted.  My dad called me asking if I knew of any place available here.

A few months ago, my sister  had said she was bored in Novato and wanted to move to Seattle to be close to me.  I had always thought I wanted Joan close, especially since I feel I owe her something because she visited my mom in the nursing home every day for five years.  Carol pointed out that having Joan here would be stressful for me and stress affects my health.  My friends Alice and Dinah agreed with Carol.  At that point my father confronted Joan’s plan to move telling her nothing would be different in Seattle.

This time when my father asked about Joan moving here I told him no and explained why.  Carol said if Joan moved here, she, Carol, would wind up having responsibilities for my sister.  She reminded me we should make a decision as a couple.

I asked my father if Joan could go to a psych hospital there.  He says the local county one doesn’t admit people with HD.  That seemed ironic since we often need mental health care.  My friend Dick pointed out that psych hospitals are oriented toward curing people, whereas HD has no cure.

I knew of someone with HD who had done well at Western State Hospital, which admits PHD’s and has experience with us.  I asked Carol if she would be all right with me suggesting that since it is at quite a distance, so I would visit more like once a week.  So I passed that along to my stepmother.

Meanwhile, Joan decided she would rather be in Boulder, which has a nursing home that specializes in HD.  My brother lives there and wants her there.  She has to find out whether that place has space and what the process of being admitted would be.  I talked with my brother about needing to have boundaries my sister.

The present moment is playful.


  1. Hard stuff to deal with, Marian, and it sounds as though you're dealing with it very well indeed. I'm glad the present moment is playful!

  2. What a challenge! Funny, I was just having a discussion with friends today about the tricky issue of taking care of ourselves vs. taking care of family members.

    Glad I finally found my way back to your blog. I subscribed to it on Google Reader so I hope that will help me keep up! Loved seeing you in Jan.

  3. Jeepers. I'm glad you and Carol are including your well-being in the calculation.

    I'd hope that a home that specializes in HD would be prepared to deal with issues like Joan's -- very challenging for the caregivers, even though it's no walk in the park for the Joan, either!