I think my heart rate and blood pressure are down enough to write. My ex-mother in law had Alzheimer's, and we were fortunate and made enough that we could put her in a beautiful live/heath retirement home in Denver. I used to get calls about her just going out and wandering to "king sooper" grocery stores because that was one place she always remembered. No one really knows how she got there, but she would then become confused where she was, and then the manager called the expensive nursing home, and they would pick her up. I remember my ex being so upset with me, as I would eventually start giggling.
"what so funny! this is bad!"
"of course it is bad, but I have to admire your mother’s cowboy spirit!"
"Oh shut up, she just likes you cause you let her smoke and cook bacon omelets for her!"
There was the day when my ex-mother in law couldn't remember where she was. It was that day I knew the reality that we were going to have to put her in the locked up Alzheimer's ward was the reality. Perhaps it was I knew she would no longer be allowed to let her wild west spirit go free. No more cigarettes, bacon, and whiskey drink.
I think my dad just had his "wild west moment" he has been in almost a coma state since we are medicating him to the max for pure comfort. In his defense,, I knew giving him a double dose of that anti-anxiety stuff would f*ck him up, but mom was doing the best she knew and was panicky at 4 am with no sleep.
It appears that the dosage wore off. The nurse, aide, social worker were all here today. For moms sanity, we are trying to teach her to get away from the house every day. She was fighting that but actually went out. So I give dad his medicine, talked to him, he is in a sleep coma. I am turning his body every three hours with some pillow technique to keep bedsores from forming.
then I hear this "shuffle shuffle" sound.
that was it, but I knew that was the sound that feet make walking on the bathroom tile floor.
I get up from the kitchen table and walk-in, and there is dad, standing at the toilet. He walked himself in from the bed to the bathroom, no walker, no oxygen.
I think I was close to shitting my pants, and my heart rate was like, "warning, this could be really bad."
It was terrible, dad was all happy and smiling that he got to the bathroom all by himself (I guess a few angels helped him and kept his steady) and I am like, "shit, can I get him into bed before mom comes home? she is going to shit."
so I am trying to have a conversation with a man that has no idea where he is, and the reality is, he used all his energy to get into the bathroom, and he didn't have any strength to hold himself up so I could wipe him. (make not about future space – no small rooms or doorways)
It was then that I knew I was f*cked. I could either lift dad or let him fall on the floor to wipe his ass.
then I heart mom backing in.
"well dad, sorry, but the shit is really going to hit the fan now."
"what? what did I do?"
"pops, you can't do this again, it is dangerous to you, and to us. We can't help you, and I will have to call the fire department or ambulance to help get you to bed. then hospice will find out, and they are shipping your ass to the nursing home."
I didn't get to hear his thoughts on that as I met mom, ad the door to try to ease the blow of what happened when she was gone.
she didn't fall over in shock, she didn't have a heart attack, I think her blood pressure went off the pressure Richter scale, and I said, "Listen, I need your help – I will hold and lift, you wipe.”
From then I think it took us 20 minutes to move him from that toilet to the door with his walker to the wheelchair. At the last few steps was the futility of trying to common sense into a man on drugs. It just isn't going to happen, yet, he wasn't helping or cooperating.
We did get him to bed, have tried to explain what happened. but it is like talking to a drunk the day after when he doesn't' remember anything and is asking, "what did I do?"
so he has been threatened with hospice getting a call, and from here, he either behaves, gets full bed rails, or we ship him to a nursing home.
That's the update. This morning if you told me dad would live long, I would have laughed. This afternoon dad has had a surge of something, and I have to wonder how long will this last?
I have to ask mike where the duct tape is, as instead of holding his sheet, I might use it to duct tape dad to the bed simply.
any suggestions for this update?
Ok, my blood pressure is somewhat normal. I am going to the gym. Now the baby monitor has to be carried wherever we are.
I give dad credit for his cowboy spirit, but that was his last walk around the range. I have the duct tape handy, and if that doesn’t scare him, “we will call the hospice nurses!”
after talking to two friends who’s parents are in similar situations, in nursing homes or care facilities – if you can keep your loved one at home and take care of them. just do it. the hospice here has been amazing.
Todays photo – meet dad. this was the day we took him to the emergency room in July. I have to smile because I have lots of images I never really remember taking. this is one of them. I like the image. it is goofy, has funny composition, and it sort of is like what dads smirk was like yesterday when he walked himself to the bathroom (yet, when I help him he is like dead weight – go figure)