Category Archives: Dealing With A Chronically Ill Parent When You Are Also Ill


The last several days I have been locked in my room and on occasion locked in my bathroom. I figure at 73 my dad would have hard time getting through both doors.

My father, as good of a man as he is, has always had a short temper. He was the King of Road Rage and yelling at cashiers.

When he makes up his mind to dislike something or someone there is no changing it. When he quit drinking cold turkey he hated all alcohol and couldn’t be around anyone who had a drink.

He was the same when he quit smoking. Unfortunately for us he decided to do this at the same time he quit drinking. My mother joined him in sobriety but did not quit smoking. This caused some problems as you can imagine.

He is 73 years old, on Dialysis, has had a quadruple bypass, an aortic aneurysm, Internal Hemorrhaging from an unknown source, Temporal Arteritis, Peritonitis twice, and a various amount of other life threatening issues.

An ER doctor put him on Prednisone for his diagnosis of Temporal Arteritis without doing any of the diagnostic testing. The Prednisone made my father’s temper 10 times what it was. He had mellowed out in the last few years for my sake. The Prednisone brought it all back and then some.

The smallest thing will set him off. Today he couldn’t find the phone number for the Vet. The Pomeranian has Epilepsy and needed her medication refilled. I could see the storm brewing a mile away. I didn’t want to be caught in it. I didn’t move fast enough.

The throwing of notebooks and papers started. The “Goddamns” followed. I tried to give him the number and was yelled at. I grabbed some water and started to head upstairs. He asked “What do you think you’re doing?”. I told him I couldn’t be around him when he was acting the way he was. He responded “Maybe you should just leave then.”  I told him it was a bad time of year for me and I didn’t want to make matters worse for him so I was getting out of his way. He said not to bother he was leaving and didn’t I think this time of year was tough on him too? He said some other things that I either don’t want to remember or just don’t.

While I’m upstairs he slams the door so hard downstairs that the items on my bathroom sink fall over. I start to shake. I can’t type because my hands have a tremor when this happens. I try to call my sister but she doesn’t answer. She went hiking with a friend not far from our house. I did try to text but my tremor was too bad at the time. I would’ve used the Talk to Text but I found I was also stuttering. She would’ve received gibberish.

I took a klonopin to calm down and got in my bed for awhile. It’s the only thing that helps when I get really bad.

I shouldn’t have to live like this. I love my dad and I owe him so much. If I have to sacrifice myself I will. I don’t think he realizes that even though he’s been through so much he is actually the healthier one in the house.

There are a few things that make me extremely angry. He’s been getting off of the Dialysis machine early because he wants to go to a clock auction or a pigeon show. They have to change the schedule this week because of Thanksgiving and he would have to go on Saturday. There is a Pigeon Show on Saturday that he registered for to compete in. If they can’t fit him in somewhere else at dialysis then he will skip it.

The fact that he will risk his life to show pigeons pisses me off. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being the only one of his children that even talks to him or cares.

What I don’t regret is all the good times I was able to have with both of my parents that my siblings missed out on. I wouldn’t trade that for anything061156c9d31ef8bdf0c874b8f57da5f9

My dad and I try our best. Some days are a lot harder than others.

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