It isn’t easy to live with a parent when you are an adult. When you add illness into the equation it’s almost impossible.
Unfortunately, it isn’t just one of us that is ill. We make quite a dysfunctional pair. We probably even enable each other. That’s hard to admit.
My dad is 73 and on dialysis 3 times a week. He has never listened to Doctors or anyone else except for my mom. He used to call her “Serge” short for “Sergeant” because she gave the orders. He hardly ever listens to me. I’m just his daughter who is “mentally ill”, never went to college, drank most of her life, and lives with him. Somehow, I’m his favorite.
Watching the man who raised you go from Superman to a skinny, pale, cranky (crankier), old man is painful. He had beautiful hobbies at one time that have now become hoarding and dangerous to himself and what he hoards. He has loved birds from an early age and has always had them. I loved it when he had exotic birds that he was trying to increase the numbers for because they were threatened. He had a permit from the Government to do this. He would then donate a successful pair to a Zoo or Research facility that was trying to do the same. It’s the pigeons that have taken over. He hasn’t had exotics in many years. Having over 200 pigeons to feed and water up to 3 times a day is too much for him.
If he’s too sick then I have to do it. I have little to no immune system. I shouldn’t be out there with that many birds and their feces either. He isn’t able to maintain their environment. He refuses to admit.
Inside the house we have a Moluccan Cockatoo and an African Grey Parrot. We’ve had both for at least 15 years or more. The Cockatoo started to pluck out her chest feathers a few years ago and they never grew back. She was okay though. Until the other day when I went to say Good Morning to her. I noticed a big hole in her chest. It looked like a bullet hole. I started to cry. There was no blood which I found odd. I told my dad who sitting in his chair in the living room. He never got up to look. This killed me. I wanted to slap him. How could he just sit there when one of HIS ANIMALS was hurt?
He finally looked and said it would be fine. It’s been almost a week. It isn’t fine. She’s been digging in the hole with her beak like she’s trying to find something. It’s 3 times the size it was. It can’t even be sutured. Their is necrotic flesh which will have to be cut away, the wound flushed out and packed. I KNOW ALL THIS! My father continues to do nothing.
I told him this morning that if he didn’t take care of Rosie that I would. I told him she should probably be euthanized. (Most birds do not recover well from this type of self mutilation) I told him I would put her down myself if I had to or I would call a Vet I know that specializes in Exotics.
He screamed that he would “put me down” if I didn’t shut up. He told me to pack “my shit” and get the hell out of his house. He also had his fist pulled back ready to hit something. It sure as hell wasn’t going to be me. I’ve been there, done that, never again.
As usual there was no answer at my twin sister’s house. How am I suppose to feel? What do I do with all of the feelings I keep stuffing down inside. At some point I will crack and everything will come out like an exploding volcano. His dialysis doctor put him on an antidepressant that has made him worse. I know it well and knew it would make him worse. No one listened.