where the writers are
unemployment = abuse of time

Ambushed by an old woman today. Never saw it comming. 

My 83-year-old mother has wanted to get her knee replaced for some time. The cartilage is worn and bone is rubbing on bone. It must be awfully painful. She should have had it done years ago. Problem is, she refuses to go to a rehab/nursing home afterwards. She hates them and won't go. Can't blame her, but there must be good ones around somewhere.

My 63-year-old brother and his wife live with my mother. He cannot lift any longer as he has a severely injured back. His wife, too, shouldn't be lifting. I'm in my 40s and even my back hurt like hell for weeks after lifting her off the floor last time she fell and couldn't get up.  

She asked me yesterday to take her to the doctor today. A new orthopaedist she's heard about. When I asked if her x-rays would be ready yet, she asked of what. Your ankle x-rays. Won't he need them? I never thought of that, she responded. Should have been my first clue. Whilst I thought this visit was to follow up on a twisted ankle from a couple of days ago, in reality it was an appointment she had scheduled as soon as she heard I was laid off. 

I read my book in the waiting room, the nurse entered and asked me to join my mother in the examination room. Ok. I notice the ankle x-rays are in the basket outside the exam room door, untouched. I enter, greet the doctor and he proceeds to tell me about how a knee replacement works. Huh? Knee replacement? On an 83-year-old with an electric wheelchair? On his computer are x-rays of her knee that must be several years old. The nurse tells me not to worry, knee replacements are this doctor's specialty. That's all he does, and he does it well.

 You have to give her credit. She wanted the operation without the required rehab stay. Now she'll have me waiting on her hand and foot for a couple of weeks. So much for my gift of time.  Guess it's her gift now.  

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Jodi, I wonder if fate has

Jodi, I wonder if fate has something to do with your situation-in that you were destined to lose your job so that you would have time to care for your mother.

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say it isn't so

Ah, that fickle finger of fate!
She just now called me to tell me that there's no way she could possibly be ready in time for the surgery. She read through the binder they sent home and it says she has to get shorts. Shorts?! Really? THAT's why you can't be ready in time?
You have to understand that my mother buys incredible amounts of clothing. For a child of the depression, she has compensated for her measly wardrobe during adolescence a million times over. She has three closets or more filled to the brim with cheap, unremarkable clothes. At least one-third of which is short pants, I'm certain.
If this is what fate has in mind for me, Mary, I don't care for this fate one fig.

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Jodi, my own experience of

Jodi, my own experience of caring for my parents when they needed me in their difficult times, is mixed. On the one hand I resented it because I appeared to be the only one, from a family of six, that they could rely on and make requests to. I felt that I had my own challenges to deal with, kids and coping with my own lot but looking back I suppose I am glad that I was there for them because they were always there for me even though at the time my giving to them was a huge challenge and did not appear in any sense to enrich or enhance my life. It is only now in retrospect that I feel I did what was needed to be done...........Everything passes in its own time.

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thank you for your voice of reason

I understand and appreciate what you're saying, Mary. Really, I do. Just in the midst of it, it all seems to be too much. I'm resenting it right now. I wouldn't mind as much if the requests weren't so manipulative. I prefer straightforward requests.
BTW, I too, am one of six. Thank you for reminding me to keep it all in perspective. I will try.