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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Angry Grandmother - October 12th 2012, 05:40 PM

My mom called me this morning and told me my 89-year-old grandmother (my dad's mom) was in the hospital - she had been walking around in a daze all morning, said she wasn't feeling good, and she's been complaining about "pressure" in her head and neck for months. Dad checked her pulse which was relatively normal (high for most people but normal for her) and her blood pressure was relatively normal as well. They have a pulse oximeter, so they checked her oxygen saturation which was 82%, when it should be in the high 90's. They put her on oxygen, which helped, and then took her to the ER by ambulance.

When in the ER, they did her blood work and discovered that she'd had a heart attack n the past couple of days. So, of course, she wanted my dad to call and let everyone from her church know. Mom called the pastor, who said that he wasn't surprised because she had already told someone in the church that she had been feeling bad a couple of days ago - BUT SHE DIDN'T TELL DAD. She didn't tell the people who take care of her.

I'm so furious, because she plays this "poor pitiful me" and the people from her church expect that my family is taking care of her, so they automatically assume that she's not being taken care of when they get phone calls saying she feels so bad. WHY would she do that?! I realize that she doesn't have the best relationship with my family (mostly because she pulls this "pitiful me" bullshit a lot), but we -do- take care of her.

The other thing that scares me is that, because I don't have a close relationship with my grandmother, the fact that she's in the hospital doesn't scare me that much. It's not affecting me emotionally like you would think it would. I -do- love my grandmother, but the fact that this makes me angry with her rather than sympathetic for her scares me. Is it okay that I just don't seem to care that much?


“Don't get too comfortable with who you are at any given time. You may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be." ~Jon Bon Jovi

   
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Re: Grandmother - October 12th 2012, 07:45 PM

First, I'd like you know if your grandmother was ever tested for Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia. 50% of all people over the age of 85 suffer from Alzheimer's (not sure what the percentage is for Dementia). These illnesses can result in memory loss and confusion, so perhaps this isn't JUST about your grandmother's tense relationship with the family. Maybe she genuinely felt disoriented after the heart attack, and while she was capable of telling someone at her church (a person she saw face-to-face), she wasn't capable of doing something more complex, like picking up the phone and dialing a phone number. It's just a possibility I wanted to throw out there - maybe it would be a good idea to test for those two illnesses. All you can do is manage those illnesses, sadly, but it would offer you some insight on why your grandmother may do some of the things she does. Not all of her actions may be malicious.

Second, you are not a "bad" or "sick" person for not feeling sympathetic toward your grandmother. It's always sad when someone becomes sick and/or dies, but that doesn't mean we suddenly forget all the bad memories of things they said/did in the past. Your grandmother is still the same person now that she was a week ago - the only difference is that she had a heart attack. When my mom's mom died, I didn't feel particularly sad. I was sad that my mom was sad, but for me personally, I didn't feel much. My grandmother was not a very nice person. She was selfish and lazy. She kicked my mom out of her house when she was 16 years old. She strung her boyfriend along for over 10 years, then turned him down when he proposed. She lied about her finances in order to receive low-cost housing from the government. She spent the majority of her day watching QVC and HSN (and yes, she did buy stuff - LOTS of stuff - which is how I found out she lied to the government). She criticized EVERYONE. While I certainly didn't want her to die in the way that she did, I didn't suddenly break down and cry because she was dead. She didn't magically become a hero/role model because she was dead.







Last edited by PSY; October 12th 2012 at 07:52 PM.
   
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Re: Grandmother - October 12th 2012, 09:00 PM

She hasn't been tested for Alzheimer's or Dementia, but a friend of ours has observed her for a couple weeks, and while she does exhibit some signs of dementia, our friend seems to think that she just doesn't willingly exercise her mind. In this case, though, she did the exact opposite - she called her church friend about it but didn't tell my dad (who she lives with and Dad also manages all of her doctor's appointments and makes sure Grandma mentions certain things because she does forget). That's what concerns me. My parents are right there.
It also concerns me that this church friend that she told never thought it was important to call my dad and let him know what she told them. I assume that this friend automatically thought Grandma was telling him everything, but that's not the case. I'm just so furious that she didn't bother to say anything. She wasn't feeling well, but didn't think it was important to say anything to the people who CAN do something about it. Instead, she reaches out to those who can only pray for her (don't get me wrong - prayer is great, but so is medical attention).

And thanks. I still feel a bit guilty that I don't feel sympathetic toward her - she's not a bad person; she's just annoying as hell. We never developed a relationship because she always lived 10+ hours away so visits were MAYBE once a year. I loved her when I saw her, but we didn't have a relationship. Now that she's moved in with my parents, she does nothing but get on my nerves when I'm there. I suppose that's why I don't feel as sympathetic as I feel like I should?


“Don't get too comfortable with who you are at any given time. You may miss the opportunity to become who you want to be." ~Jon Bon Jovi

   
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