I receive frequent emails from relatives about in-laws’ health decline. Lately one has been diagnosed with dementia and another is clearly on the way to that diagnosis. Last year someone had a kidney hospitalization about which everyone was informed, complete with info about lab reports. With these folks, almost every doctor visit produces an update for family and friends and requests for prayer. Sometimes it's downright depressing. My husband and I prefer to keep our medical issues private, but what do you do? Do you feel the need to inform family of every little thing? Just curious about how others handle it.
The other good thing about CaringBridge is that the people who are invited to read the site get email/text notifications when I post an update, and I get notified when new comments get posted.
Half of them lived out of state so there wasn't much they could do realistically at the beginning. As soon as I figured out this was going to be a lot of work almost every day, I decided to send out regular emails to the family, but they were categorized in the subject line: Daily Update-FYI Only, Update-Please Read and Respond; Urgent: Need Input ASAP; and after that it would roll into texting. I did this because I was the daughter-in-law, and step-DIL so I never wanted anyone to be able to say "I didn't know..." or "You shouldn't have done that..." for any of the decisions that were being made on their behalf. For 1-1/2 years I performed almost daily care or management, chauffering, coordinating, researching, decisioin-making (even though I was not the PoA but the actual family PoAs allowed it), etc. Maybe your in-laws are doing it for similar reasons, or they feel under-appreciated, or it is a passive-aggressive way of wanting help?
I've decided the phone rings both ways...my kids ask about their Grandparents. The others do not.
My husband has a myriad of health issues, mostly stemming from exposure at the World Trade Center. Frankly, it's more uncommon for him to go to the doctor and NOT have them found something else. Most times, at least to us, it's minor, but to his sister AND our children? I would rather tell them about every "little" thing than risk NOT telling them and then that "little" thing morphs into something much bigger and I get accused of *not* telling them.
My daughter yelled at me because when she was in college, and my mom took a fall, we didn't call to tell her. Well, mom was falling every other day, and I didn't think it was a big deal - mom had no injuries - but my daughter was upset that I kept her "out of the loop". In her mind, anything that precipitated a trip to the ER was something I was supposed to notify her about.
And don't even get me started on telling some people and not others!!
Sometimes it's just easier for the person disseminating the information to just put all of it out there to everyone and let THEM decide what's worthy of worry and what isn't.
I get what you’re saying. I think everyone has to decide what is best in their particular situation.
You have to do what is best for you. It’s becomes exhausting repeating things over and over too.
I know what you mean about the ‘falls.’ My mom fell quite a bit. So, every time she fell, her alert service called the people that I placed on the call list so I didn’t have to make phone calls about ER trips with my mom.
But then, my phone was blowing up while in the ER while trying to handle the situation at hand. It was always a constant balancing act. Sometimes I was sorry that I had added people to the call list.
Oh gosh, they wouldn't actually do that would they???
As a caregiver, I have sent email updates to the woman's son who just "adores" his dear mother, but refuses to assist with her care or even the decision-making about her care. The last thing I need his him showing up at the last moments of his mother's life asking whether such-and-such drug or procedure was ever tried. I would also cc two adult grandchildren on the same message. One grandchild asked me to stop. The other grandchild would occasionally thank me for the info. The son asked me to stop emailing updates and would rather I communicated differently (i,e. text, message in a bottle?, telegram?). He said he doesn't like checking email, but a text message pops up on his phone. I found this hurtful. I have vision problems, and email is much better for ME than text. I think I can choose the mode of communication since I am caring for the mom? So, I still write the emails, but I send them to myself. That way, I have dates when things occurred and the specifics and I would not have to remember off the cuff when "dear son" frantically started asking questions one day. He has never once asked me why he does not receive updates anymore. Granted, my updates could get lengthy. But, even the longer updates were only hitting the most pertinent things. Writing up every single thing would fill a novel on a monthly basis.
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