May 12, 2010
When the parent and the child change places...
They released him, into my care, yesterday afternoon. Round 4:30 pm to be a tad precise. I tell you the time because it's important...
Every night he was in the hospital, five of them, he got batshit crazy and wanted to cold-cock anyone and everyone that was preventing him from walking out of the hospital, in his hospital nightgown and usually sans underwear.
It's called Sundowners Syndrome. Take my word for it...it ain't pretty and it's scary as shit for loved ones and nursing staff that have to deal with it. You can not reason with them, you can not control them and they can and will hurt others if it's not dealt with...usually by tying them to their beds when drugs fail to subdue them.
So...to say I was scared to death to take my father to his home at that hour, with just me myself and I to deal with him is an understatement m'dear friends. I was frantic, asking his doctor what to do if he went off on me.
Doc said...call 911, tell them to take him back to the hospital and pray they got there before he hurt me or himself. But Doc really believed he wouldn't go into that mode and I had no choice but to trust his judgment.
I am happy to report Pops maintained all evening and remained lucid, aware and thankfully as close to normal as he could get. He was tired but so damn happy to be in his condo with his beautiful grey cat and me. For the first time in almost a week he blissfully slept through the night.
I slept or tried to sleep, on the couch in the living room...to make sure he didn't get up and try to go for a stroll in his skivvies at 2 or 3am.
When he got up this morning, he was happy and relaxed and wanted to do his laundry at 6am. I said 'go for it Daddy' so he marched back and forth to the laundry room for about 90 minutes whilst I sat and pondered the huge changes that were coming to his life...and mine.
I can only care for him, here at his home in San Diego, for a month. My life in Bakersfield can be put on hold for that long. His doctor told him in no uncertain terms that he can no longer live alone because he isn't eating regularly, taking his meds daily and drinking too much booze for a man of his age (80) with medical problems like RA, high blood pressure and a host of other issues that affect the elderly. His drivers license has been suspended at this point and the chances of him getting it back are...well, slim and none.
The task at hand is to make him realize the reality of his situation and the options he has, which are limited to getting a live-in caretaker (which he can't afford) or moving into an Assisted Living home for the elderly.
Needless to say, he flat out refuses to consider the second option. I do not blame him. But I also know that is the best of the two options. I wish with all my heart I could bring him to live with me and the Ball n' Chain but our relationship has always been adversarial and our home is not somewhere he would be happy. Dad is conservative and I am a leftwing nutjob. I already have someone to care for...my husband who is 10 years older than I and dealing with his diabetes and other ailments. I have 3 blown discs that limit me to top it all off.....the excuses are endless.
I feel ashamed that I can not care for my father and his dementia. I am frustrated and angry that this falls on my shoulders. I have four other younger siblings who have a myriad of reasons why they can not take him. I understand their positions, believe me.
It's weighing on me and I see no light at the end of this tunnel. Thanks for listening.
Painting: Alzheimers the Journey Painting by Yulonda Rios
It's moving day!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have purchased a domain name. I have been meticulously working on a new site,Leftwing Nutjob. Please change your bookmarks people..this puppy will no longer be updated as of July 1st 2011.