Saddened

There is a pang in my heart that refuses to go away, try as I might. I don’t usually write sad stuff on my blog, but I think I will make an exception this time around.

My parents have been on my mind a lot, of late. Them, and my grandmother. There has been a spate of sadness, unpleasant incidents and bad health in their lives, and every time I hear of something like that involving them, it takes my sleep away for at least a couple of days.

Just last month, Amma had a severe pain in her shoulders that didn’t go away in spite of rest and OTC medication. ‘It’s nothing, it will go away,’ she kept saying each time I asked her about it over the phone. A lot of pestering later, she would reveal that she frequently did not sleep during the nights, as the pain kept her up. I had to literally shout at her and drive her to an orthopedist, who diagnosed her with ‘Frozen shoulder syndrome‘. A lot of medication and pain balms and physiotherapy and continued exercise later, she is now alright.

Then came Appa’s turn. Last week, he slipped on some wet earth near our house and fell, got up, only to fall again. Amma, who was walking ahead of him, came back when she found him missing and found him standing there, stunned. Luckily, his BP was checked and it came out to be normal. He did suffer a minor crack in his hip bone, which the doctor says will need a bit of bed-rest to heal. The obstinate man refused to be bed-ridden for more than 2 days, and has started going out on his several errands for a short while every day. Amma did not tell me of this till we returned from our Ooty trip, as she did not want us to feel sad.

The most recent incident involved Patti, the day before yesterday. In the midst of drinking her cup of afternoon tea, she suddenly lost consciousness, her body became cold and bathed in sweat, her neck hung and her mouth opened. She did not respond to Amma and Appa’s calls, and they thought they had lost her. A check by a nurse after 5 minutes (my parents are lucky to have a hospital right below their apartment) showed that her pulse and heartbeat were weakening. Apparently, she had got too hot in the sweater, shawl, scarf and socks that she was wearing and her BP had gone down. The nurse instructed my parents to remove all her woolen clothing and to put cold water compresses on her forehead. After a few minutes of that and a spoonful of sugar was placed in her mouth, she regained consciousness. My parents did not tell me about this till yesterday night so that I not get worried. I have been reassured, after a lot of needling my parents, that she is perfectly fine now and going about her daily chores easily.

Amma and Appa plan to come down to Bangalore to be with us for a while, and so, they insist that we do not come now to Ahmedabad. They have kept reassuring us that they will manage. Before they come, though, they want to sell off our house in Ahmedabad so that they can think of settling in Bangalore. Nothing has worked out on that front so far, and at this stage, all of us are worried about each other. I am worried about certain other things in my life too at the moment, which is causing them all the more concern.

Being away from your parents is a difficult deal. It is difficult to know that they are getting older by the day, passing through a rough patch, ailing, and not being able to do anything. I feel guilty. I am not at rest. I now dread the ringing of the phone. I miss my family. I do not know what to do.

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60 thoughts on “Saddened

  1. I know exactly what you mean. Watching the same people who were your comfort and protection yield to old age is tough. Very, very tough. Like you, I don’t know what to do either.

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  2. I hope now all of them are hale and hearty. And I guess you are visiting them soon, that itself will infuse strength in them. I have lost the count of times when I have yelled at my ma when she did not tell me about her’s or papa’s ill-health. The standard excuse always – We do not want to worry you.

    Here’s wishing your parents come to live closer to you very soon πŸ™‚ Also, may your concern go away like soap bubbles in the air and you get whatever you wish πŸ™‚

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  3. I know what this feel like and I feel sad too when thinking on these lines…seeing our parents grow old and fall sick is not an easy job,especially when we are miles away 😦

    Hope things get settled soon at your parents end and they relocate to B’lore pretty sooner…hoping for the best to come…

    also, concern at your end? What’s up? Need to talk? we’ll take it offline!

    for now, hugs!

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  4. TGND, it seems like we all face this concern with ageing parents, more so when we stay far away. I hope you can convince them to stay close to you, or with you, so you both can be there for each other. I know it is not an easy or a quick decision, since there are so many things involved. Hope everything falls in place for you soon.

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    1. @Chattywren

      I know, I know… most children go through this at some point in their lives. It’s sad and heart-breaking all the time. 😦

      My parents are ready to settle down in Bangalore, somewhere near me, though not with me. All we are waiting for is the house in Ahmedabad to get sold so that we can look for property for them here.

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  5. Hugs TGND…hope they recover fast. I can so well relate to you…living away from ageing parents is so terrible…It is such a catchy situation…i cannot leave this city and stay with them also it would be very emotionally taxing for them to be uprooted from our hometown and stay with us…. 😦

    But in your case try to convince them to come and stay with you…. with age people tend to become kids, so handle them accordingly!

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  6. I hope everything will be ine in the future TGND. We all go through this rough phase and it is really heart breaking.
    During the first year of my marriage when I was in Manchester with Geet, her mother was all alone back in India and she was not well. We somehow managed to scrap through that year but it was scary. She was alone and anything could have happened. That was one reason we came back to stay near her.
    I hope your parents come and stay near you. Believe me that will be very comfortable.

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  7. I saw this movie Baaghbaan ( the Amitabh Bachchan starrer ) way back and it raised some relevant questions on the topic. The solutions provided in the movie were stupid of course, but the question was what stares us in the eye. I would like to believe that there is a lot that can be done when such situation comes.
    Good luck !

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    1. @Tatsat

      Baghbaan was slightly different, don’t you think? It was about children not willing to keep their parents with them. Our case is different. The OH and I would love to have them with us, but they won’t come and stay. They are way too conservative for that.

      They insist on staying alone, and we keep worrying about each other. In any case, yes, there are things that can be done, however helpless you feel.

      Thank you!

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      1. Yes, you are right. What I meant was that these days, since we run short of tolerance, it gets difficult for two generations to live together. Call it a cultural thing. I am not saying this does not happen, but it has become an exception and not the norm.

        Ohh I know what you are talking about. I guess its a cultural backlog. My friend’s parents stay at their place for months but his wife’s parents do not even spend the night- not that my friend is inhospitable or anything.
        Can’t you get them an accomodation in the your colony ? So then technically they won’t be staying at your place and still be at an arms distance πŸ™‚

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      2. @Tatsat

        Oh, tell me about it! I had to literally pester my parents to stay with me for a while when they visited last year. That makes sense to me, since they are travelling such a long distance and spending so much on the flight, which is a big deal for them. But they don’t understand.

        Getting them an accomodation near my house is what the plan is. For that to happen, though, they need to sell off the house in Ahmedabad. That’s what we are waiting for. πŸ™‚

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      3. Awesome ! Thats the way to go then πŸ™‚
        Infact, this is why I want to have daughters myself. They always take well care of their parents, even after marriage ( statistically speaking ofcourse )

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  8. Gosh! you are really worried na…big hugs rey..why dont you just make a quick trip and come..may be over a weekend..it may be a bit expensive but at least your mind is put to rest…do let me know if you need anything…will ask RMB to go and check

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    1. @R’s Mom

      Thanks re.. I would love it if RMB could be in touch with them, but wouldn’t want to burden him, too. So, that’s okay. Anyways, I won’t be at peace till I see them with my own eyes and be with them for a while.

      Just talked to them, and they are planning to come down at the earliest.

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  9. Can understand very well. My parents are in Mumbai, and I’m here. They are both in their 70s. At least my brother is there with them. They stay together. This kind of worry is going to be more common in the future – there are so many only children.

    Hugs, TGND.

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  10. TGND, I think all kids go through this phase. I mena, we grow up and move out and find ourselves getting back to them often. And it is also that as parents grow older, the kid in them gets crazier. Why else will one refuse doc visits? I hope your family and you stay strong!

    Go visit them and be a rakshasi in demanding them to take care of themselves. Hugs πŸ™‚

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  11. Hugs, Sweetheart. I know exactly what you mean. That was the biggest reason we moved back to India. Knowing that we woukd be just hours away from parents. I worry constantly about my parents too. Wish I could get them to agree to shift with me permanently.. its so hard being away from them, when they need us the most.

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  12. Big hugs TGND!
    I hope everyon eis feeling better now… Parents’ health is always a major concern and even more so when we live far away from them.
    Take care !

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  13. It is a difficult situation but unless you hold yourself strong, all other in the family won’t be able to. I will also say you to go and visit them to be at peace. Don’t worry I am sure things will soon be alright.

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  14. TGND,

    Hugs….. I really really understand how you must be longing to be as near them as possible and how no matter how happy you are, you always wish they were within your reach. I also understand a lot of other things. Reading your post made me feel choked. Just go see them off TGND. Really, that’s the only way to stay sane and get some relief till they come down. I pray to God that all our parents, siblings, spouse and grandparents arevalways safe and healthy. It is actually all that we want to stay happy.
    They will get better, okay ? πŸ™‚ hugs πŸ™‚

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  15. Hugs. I can totally relate to this. I have to beg, plead and yell at my parents to go see doc if they’re experiencing any pain. They absolutely refuse to do it and I am put in such a restless situation.

    Anyway, many hugs to you. I hope the day comes soon when your parents come and settle down close to you. Take care.

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  16. I can imagine how difficult it must be for you while you are not with your parents and Patti. I hope they get well soon and things fall in place so that you all can be close to each other.
    Sending loads of prayers and positive vibes your way.
    Hugs!

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  17. I can so understand every emotion you underwent in writing this post. Its such a curse to be away from the ones we love the most, especially our parents who are aging and there is no denying there. I feel so bad to be away from them, we will never know when they need us and what kind of emergency comes.. and as soon as I get this feeling, I cant concentrate on anything else. 😦 I feel helpless sometimes.. I cant go away to Chennai leaving away my job neither can I leave my parents. I go every other weekend to visit them, though it has taken a permanent toll on my health as I cant stand the thought of being away for long. I know it would not have been possible if they were some where far off, like in your case.

    I know how it feels, to pick up the mobile with a fear.. I spent few months like that too. I can only give you hugs! I know nothing that I say helps 😐 We need to put a brave face and hope that everything would be fine. After all, we are staying away from our parents. This is what we can do 😐

    hugs hugs hugs TNGD, if it makes you feel any better.

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  18. I can understand this feeling of despair and guilt very well. The same happened to me when my mom had to undergo angiography with a possibility of immediate angioplasty, they told me on the eve of the day so that i don’t travel to Ahmedabad. I felt so scared, worried, guilty and everything.
    I hope your parents manage to shift to Banglore, all the best…

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  19. Ouch! I feel your pain and anxiety, TGND. Same thing happened here – both my grandmas live with my parents – ages 92 and 80 and both are bedridden. One was in the ICU for a few days last week and now requires round the clock attention. In all this, was I selfish to worry more about my parent’s health and the stress they were facing, rather than for my paati’s?
    I wish we wouldl move to bangalore so that we are closer to help them…and yes we also think all the time that we would make them relocate to bangalore too.
    Hugs! I am sure things will work out. Do all you can to have them near you. Good vibes your way πŸ™‚

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  20. Wishing everyone gets well soon. I know this feeling for living away from parents often I am sailing in the same boat as you are. Hugs!! Hope things work out soon and they are able to move to Bangalore soon.

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  21. I hope all settles well and quick. My best wishes are you. May be a quick trip to your home ( I know parents will tell you not to worry and not to come) will help to make you feel better.

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  22. Sorry to hear about all this..it is a difficult situation and I hope they are able to move to Bangalore faster. I agree about the dread in hearing the phone ring at unexpected hours.
    Don’t worry, all will be fine.

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  23. 😦 this is sad re. All this happening in quick succession is even bad. Hope three of them are better now and things take a turn for better. Till than keep your spirits up & cheer them πŸ™‚
    *hugs*

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  24. i agree yar.. i am not able to accept the fact that our parents are getting old day by day a nd suffering from some aliment or the other..
    and our parents have this dont tell her now, we will tell when everything is all right.. why dont they understand that what is the use after all is well.. we being their kids not being next to them when needed..
    my mom too did the same when dad had an heart attack and was taken to apollo.. b’cas i was 7 months pregnant, they didnt tell till i reached chennai the next day for something else.
    now dont worry.. everything will be all right.. my prayers are with u..

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      1. i know.. trying to change.. that time i was pregee na.. so my dad instructed her nt to to tell when he was entering the operation theater.. dad na..
        my hubby another great man, took me all way from vizag to chennai without reservation, yes i traveeled 14 hrs sitting with big stoamch and no leg space, and on the way hubby told tat my dad had some gas problem and is in hospital. then i go to apollo and find him there. i am not allowed inside the icu, again because i am pregee.. then i meet the doctor who gives me the chock saying dad had an sever attack. chk this post.
        http://ashreyamom.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/unexpected/

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