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Trip to LA - Difficult and Expensive

March 26th, 2016 at 07:27 pm

For the past several weeks I've been calling my mom several times a day because her shoulder has been hurting her (she has frozen shoulder and it's on the mend, but she's been sleeping in weird positions, and now other muscles hurt).

We had planned to come out for Spring Break to visit my parents. I figured I could help out with things (dishes, etc). And I did a ton of housework, even changed out a broken dimmer switch so they didn't have to call a handyman.

What I didn't count on was that my mother would be in a super terrible mood (I get it, she's in pain). And the day after we arrived my dad's brother died (he was old and had dementia and wasn't doing well, so it wasn't unexpected).

My mother had all of the shutters closed so it was like night-time in the middle of a sunny Southern California day. She didn't interact with F at all. She went for a walk and I said, "Oh! Can I go with you?" and she said "It won't be hard enough for you." And I said "I just want to go hang out with you..." and while I was getting F a glass of water before I went with my mom, I heard the door open and slam shut; she'd slipped out without me.

The first night we arrived, we went out for dinner, and my mom was so agitated, she nearly got into a fight with another driver. F said she would never drive with my mom again.

I did all of the dishes the entire time, but my mom said she'd do them. I said "Is it because you don't think I'll rinse them well enough?" and she said yes. So I told her I'd do the dishes and if she wanted she could watch to make sure I rinsed them really well, and she did, and that seemed to work.

I made all of the food, but we weren't eating early enough, and she wasn't happy.

It was difficult.

Oh - and did I mention expensive?

I wanted to make sure that F wasn't shut inside that dark, dark house, and my parents didn't heat their pool. We played some soccer outside, and went to the park, but in my (probably misguided) efforts to make this a real vacation for F, I took her to the zoo and paid for the carousel and a churro and all sorts of other stuff. And we got her some clothes (which she needed badly and were budgeted for) but also got cookies and a lemonade while we were out (partly to extend the amount of time we were out).

Also - airport parking and the dog boarding place. We do have the money set aside, but it feels sort of sad to spend that money on a vacation if it's not pleasant.

We did some fun things (including the Broad Museum in downtown LA - super cool! It's free except parking, and you should definitely go if you're there). But F still declared "I am never visiting them again." Grandma was super short with her, and not very nice, and just wanted to watch scary news programs in bed. I explained Grandma wasn't feeling well.

We went to a nearby park, and I asked my parents if they wanted to go and just sit on a bench or something. They said no, they just wanted to play games on their ipads at home. But about 10 minutes after we arrived at the park, my dad showed up, which was great! I got a really sweet photo of him and F, and we got to watch the ducks and turtles together.

When we left, my mom sort of air-hugged D, tapped F on the shoulders as a hug and then kind of push-hugged me (hugged me and pushed me away at the same time - weird). When I called her to say we were home, she said "we're missing you already!" Really? I guess it's possible that she was happy to have us there, and really unhappy about her shoulder.

I'm chalking it up to that. Thanks for letting me vent!

Now - on to April, and hopefully a better month financially!

12 Responses to “Trip to LA - Difficult and Expensive”

  1. ThriftoRama Says:

    Oh my. Hugs to you. That sounds like a tough trip. Is it always like this? Or, was it the confluence of a million bad things all happening at once? I want to give you a hug through the computer. Sounds like you need it. Here goes! ( )

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    That sounds like a really difficult trip. {{hugs}}

  3. scottish girl Says:

    Hugs. I can actually imagine my mum behaving the same way.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    ((Hugs)) That was probably really difficult, and sounds like she was in quite a bit of pain. And I'm sure it is hard for your dad to live that everyday! Will her shoulder improve?

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Is this a personality change? How old is she? IMHO, pain shouldn't cause that much anger toward others. I would watch for other cognitive issues.

  6. MonkeyMama Says:

    Bummer. Trips like that, it feels good to get home!

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    I'm sorry..it sounded awkward and uncomfortable. Chalk it up to one of those things you really can't explain and hope things get better.

  8. Buendia Says:

    Thank you, everyone! I really needed the support!

    She's always been sort of difficult (Scottish Girl - does your mum tend toward difficult, too?), but this was pretty terrible. Her shoulder is much better, but I guess the way she's sleeping, and also mostly lying in bed and not moving has affected other muscles, so the rest of her body feels worse.

    My mother is 76, but pretty youthful, quick, strong mind. I think having a health setback really freaked her out. (So I don't think it's cognitive, but I do think it may be more and more common). As my brother commented, when she gets nervous, she gets mean. He used to be married to someone like that (patterns!) and they got divorced about a year ago.

    But I also think that the visits are hard on her because of that, and maybe next time we should get a hotel, even though it makes the financial situation harder for us. It would be so much better for everyone!

  9. snafu Says:

    I'm sorry your vacation went awry. Did you know your mom had a frozen shoulder and was under treatment? Is your dad able to manage mom and all the work involved in operating a household [up to mom's expectations]? Is your mom entitled to community services?

    I've ripped shoulder tendons and rotor cap retreated so I can vouch for how painful and frustrating it is to lose arm movement. I'm assigned a group of exercises to repeat as often as possible but to cease if they cause more pain. Just raising my arm to start is shrieking pain and getting into position to use the pulley has me reduced to mush. Worse yet steroids often prescribed mess with your head. I suggest your dad check the side affects noted for the specific RX your mom is using. The cumulative effect of living with pain 24/7 cannot understood to those pain free. I'm surprised your mom was driving. I'd be terrified I couldn't react fast enough if something unusual was happening.

  10. ceejay74 Says:

    Ugh, sorry to hear all that. Glad you have us to vent to. Anyway, it sounds like your mom was glad you visited, even if she wasn't able to enjoy it in the moment.

  11. livingalmostlarge Says:

    Could it also be depression with aging?

  12. starfishy Says:

    bummer, sorry your trip was not what you had hoped for. i hope your mom's pain decreases. yes, maybe a hotel in the future would be worth the money if it provides a less stressful visit for all involved. family!! Smile Frown

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