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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Dealing with Parents and Their Health

If you are a faithful follower of this blog, you know that I finished up my series 30 Days of Farm Mom Tips and then have been pretty quiet.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to say or show, it’s that the health issues with family have seemingly overtaken my life.  Over Thanksgiving, my father was having breathing issues and ended up spending a week in the hospital with 2 blood clots in his lung and pneumonia.   This is totally separate from my father in law with cancer. 

As I have said before, my parents have a separate farm, but we help each other when needed.  With my dad in the hospital, my mom needed help to do chores on mornings when it was 9 degrees, (even though she didn’t think she needed help).  My parents are the first to offer to help on our farm or with the kids, but the last to ask for help when they need it.

I don’t know about you, but when one of my loved ones is ill, I have a hard time concentrating and keeping on task with what needs to be done.  I have also been a wee bit short with some and maybe (as my friend Carrie says) snarky.  I am sorry if I offended you during my stressful weeks.  In our situation, we were short handed and stressed.

My dad is home doing better and helping with chores again.  I have learned much during the last few weeks about me, our parents, how we all deal with hard decisions and some interactions that will never change.

#1.       No matter how old you are…
No matter how successful you are in your job…
            No matter how proud your parents say they are of your intelligence and successes in life…
You are still their child and nothing will ever change that in their eyes and they can downplay the seriousness of a situation with the skill of an Emmy Award winning actor.

#2.       Your parents are the ones that teach you to do research, to question EVERYTHING, and to never take anything at face value, but when it is they who are questioned they don’t like it.  Your parents love to give medical advice to you, your friends, even to friends they don’t know, but when you offer a suggestion these may not be welcomed with the same openness as you take their information.  Refer to #1.

#3.        After talking with many friends there are 2 types of parents:
A.      The ones that don’t want you to worry and think you worry too much, so they try to tell you as little as possible.  (FYI Mom, I can now detect that tone of voice that says you aren’t telling me everything.)
B.      The ones that need you to know about every ailment and quite possibly think you should take off from work for every doctor appointment they have scheduled.

#4.       Sorry for the language on this one, but I have to quote my Grandpa directly, “It’s hell to get old.”  He told me this many times before he died.  I would like to add that it isn’t any fun to watch and suddenly realize that your parents are getting older as well.  The Farmer and I have had a double wammy of a reality check with our dad’s health issues and now that it has sunk in we are fine with it, but it took some time to get where we are today. 

#5.       Farmers and Ranchers are some of the toughest people on earth.  They have battled Mother Nature for years and if you think a little thing like a blood clot, cancer, or a heart attack is going to get them down you better think again.  These guys may not be in church every Sunday, but they have more faith than most congregations combined and probably have more talks with God on a daily basis than we will ever know about.

-A Kansas Farm Mom (and will always be a farmer/rancher's daughter)