Temper, Temperament, and Temperature

My life continues its bizarre and zigzagging path into chaos. I finally got my car back from the auto shop, and like a human, it paid me back for the kindness with a temper tantrum. (It is strange how often people treat badly those who do them a favor.) The accelerator cable got stuck when I was out doing errands today, and I had to drive back to the house at 5 miles per hour in second gear. It was almost humorous, actually, but it wouldn’t have been so humorous if I’d gotten reamed crossing a busy street at such a miniscule speed. The mechanic will come look at it later. Old cars are temperamental and have such peculiar things going wrong. This time it’s probably a spring. Or at least I hope it’s that innocuous.

fireBesides that, I’ve been getting into fights with everyone today, especially the men in my life. They think I should blindly accept whatever they say, and I don’t think I should. I suppose it’s possible I’m at fault, but it’s hard to believe that no matter who I talk to and about what, I’m in the wrong. I should be right about something, don’t you think? It seems impossible to be wrong in everything I say. (That’s why I like this blog. I can say whatever I want, and blithely continue on my life without everything turning into an argument.)

My father is still in the hospital, and he’s being more temperamental than usual. Every time I talk to him, he’s castigating me for something. Yesterday he was accepting of the possible need for a catheter for the rest of his life, but he was insistent that I get him out of there at that very moment. Wasn’t happy with me at all when I said we had to wait to find out what was going on. He did acquiesce to staying a bit longer when I reminded him that there were no pain medications at the house.

Today when I went to see him, he was upset with the idea of the catheter and refused to go home with it still inserted. He’d been having troubles with incontinence, and he said he didn’t mind my having to change his diapers if it got to that point. (Of course, he didn’t ask if I minded.) When I reminded him that the catheter was to drain his bladder, and that it was the full bladder that caused him pain, he got mad at me. He also said he was willing to stay in the hospital longer. Yikes.

I understand that he wants to be in control and that he thinks having a catheter means turning his body over to a machine, but he doesn’t seem to understand the realities of a 97-year-old body — that the body is in control. If it’s not working, it’s not working. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that he will get the use of his bladder back. And maybe he will — luck is generally on his side.

Hundred degree temperatures don’t cool people’s tempers, but I’m trying to be as patient as I can. I hope the people I see are giving me the same courtesy.

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

10 Responses to “Temper, Temperament, and Temperature”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    It’s common for people that age to be upset about losing their independence. Your father’s just mad at life, but he can’t take his anger out on life, so he’s taking it out on the nearest targets. In this case, you. Hopefully though, he’ll accept the inevitable and live with that, and get a bit less temperamental too. My thoughts are with you, Pat.

  2. cicy Rosado Says:

    I know the feeling aboutcars I just picked up my car cost me $575.00
    and then the door is going to cost me $220.00 the closer I bought for $150.00 was faulty so I have to take it back thank goodness he is going to refund my money. and the garcinia cambogia pill are what caused my feet to swell I quit them and the feet are fine now! oh and they are going to refund my money! WHAT ELSE? LOL

  3. Carol Says:

    I’m sorry about your car. I think “Murphy’s Law” must be in effect. (That’s one law I wish someone could ban!)

    Orneriness seems to escalate as temperatures rise. It was 34-1/2 degrees celsius here today, and I was hot and cranky enough to complain and shirk all my usual tasks!

    I’m sure caring for your father is a challenge. I’m not in your situation as a caregiver, but you have my complete sympathy. My aunt is 93 and still semi-independent, but still, I know she is frustrated by her increasing limitations and each time we visit we hear about them. I think they just have to bounce their frustrations off whatever family member is in closest proximity.🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      My father keeps telling the doctor’s they have a problem, not able to face that the problem is his — his body is breaking down. He seems to have expected to feel like a young man all his life, and he says he did so until he hit ninety. I’m trying to be sympathetic to his plight, but he had ninety years of a charmed life. Most people don’t get that.

      • Carol Says:

        I just realized I said my aunt is 93. She’s 91. It’s my irritating neighbour that’s 93! In either case, I don’t think our minds ever feel our chronological age, and we expect to continue feeling as we always have. I suspect my aunt and neighbour (and maybe your dad) are feeling betrayed by the bodies that are now letting them down… probably also bewildered and annoyed that the doctors can’t do what they’ve always done in the past, and just fix everything. I don’t look forward to that aspect of aging. I’m already frustrated by the limitations of escalating arthritis, although thankful that it isn’t anything more serious.

        • Pat Bertram Says:

          My father’s main problem is that he, too, never thought his mind would feel his chronological age, and he is quite upset that he no longer feels the way he always did. I explain to him about his vast number of years, the way the brain needs blood and oxygen, both of which are in short supply in his body, but still, he’s aggrieved. It’s teaching me to be more accepting of life’s not-so-funny pranks.

  4. Kathy Says:

    Loved this – lol – “Besides that, I’ve been getting into fights with everyone today, especially the men in my life. They think I should blindly accept whatever they say, and I don’t think I should. I suppose it’s possible I’m at fault, but it’s hard to believe that no matter who I talk to and about what, I’m in the wrong. I should be right about something, don’t you think? It seems impossible to be wrong in everything I say.”


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