Thursday, July 05, 2007
My dad did VERY well in surgery, and he is doing great. Plans are to send him home tomorrow.
EVERY thing is ready. 3 in 1 bedside commode/elevated toilet seat/shower chair is on a heavy plastic mat (no trip hazard) in the master bedroom. Next to it? peri wash, the neatest gadget for cleaning yourself after a bowel movement, wipes, and so on...next to the bed? tongs, spill proof cup, flex straws, bell, cordless phone, remote control and tv guide. Elsewhere? Every gadget you can imagine, cleansers, pillow, foam wedges, etc...There is nothing I have missed...at least I cannot think of anything. So we are as ready as can be....
My mom. She is doing terrible. Way worse than two months ago. Part of it is the change in routine, the tension in the house beforehand, and her worry about my dad. She is unable to verbalize these things, but she will stop everyone that passes to tell them she is afraid her husband won't make it...that he is VERY ill...his heart...and will probably die very soon... Whew! Tells me she is very worried.
She became very violent with me this afternoon, when I was tryng to give her a desperately needed shower. It was beyond horrible.
On the other hand, I took her to an Alzheimer's day care center for a few hours yesterday to test it out. She loved it. And my dad is agreeing with me now, that 24 hour in home care is NOT the answer, but getting her out of the house for several hours at least 3 days a week may be...with perhaps 8 hours of a home health aide (once he is stable again) to make sure that happens, and that the house is clean, errands are run, and dinner is ready. Then my dad could have "adult" conversations and time with his friends...or time to just "be" without watching my mom's every move.
If anyone has seen a family member decomensate, they will understand. I found her shoes in a kitchen drawer. My clothes were taken from my room, folded and I found them in the linen closet. I found dirty dishtowels folded in her dresser...and so on...I knew it would be difficult...but it is more than I thought. How DOES my dad do it??? No wonder he sounds exhausted all the time.
I am eating like crap. Totally reverted back to comfort foods...ice cream, chocolate, and so on...part of it is convenience. Part of it is my own less than perfect coping skills.
I am still thankful I am here. NO one else in the family could have come even close to doing what I have done in the past few days...and NO one else will set up a plan like I am capable of doing. God blessed me with the insight, the training and the experience to know what needs to be done...and my health to do it. Last year was my year...now it is theirs.
It is a difficult thing to see two people you love so much in the late autumn of their lives...