Changing The Guard: Caretaking Your Parents

When Dad Gets Depressed

Dad was really depressed yesterday.  One of the things that helps me get through this is that Dad seems to want to be alive and there are things that he looks forward to, from his date nights with Rose, to ‘I hope I live long enough to see if this Obama stuff works’, even though he doesn’t think it will.

But when he is so depressed it makes it harder to hold on.

He had had a bad night, not much sleep.  That his meds are making a lot of drool is embarrassing to him, and I have to admit, unpleasant for me.  His new assistant  thinks its the meds.  I have no doubt about it.

“I am going to tell the nurse that I am going off all my meds, except for 3, the heart, blood pressure and ..”  I don’t remember what else.But he didn’t say it with strength, but anger and depression.

I am actually with him on this.  I am suspicious of too many meds.  The doc says he must have each and every one.  In which case Dad is saying, ‘I won’t live this way’.  I am not going to fight him on it.  I am staying out of it. Its his choice.

He was better by evening.  Queen had given him one of the baths that he loves so.  Rose came over and talked about her problems with her girlfriend.  Dad loves to help her with he love life.

But, damn its hard when Dad is depressed.  Its harder to keep my spirits up and that scares me.

June 30, 2009 Posted by | Joys and Frustrations, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Dad Learns New Skills at 92.

Dad is frustrated that he isn’t learning his new Hoveround instantly.  Never mind that the guy who delivered it, a young, perfectly sighted man with no shaking hands, took two full days to master it.  Dad is frustrated.

Me?  I am proud of him.  In three days, but with a hour or so of practice, he can get it through narrow doorways, from his living room to his bedroom.  He says that walker is faster.  “Dad, this isn’t about speed”  And I smile.  He does laugh at it though and is begging to feel better.

We got him this, because the nurse doesn’t want him walking or standing when he is alone in the house.  We are supposed to even get urinals for him to use from the chair, but I will be surprised if that happens.

There was work for me to do, though.  The tech who delivered it left heavy, metal foot rests laying in the middle of the floor.  Bad enough at all, but since the macular degeneration has Dad nearly blind and his balance is off, well, its worse.

I put them to the side and called to complain.  I was told that he would call us back.  Two days later I called back, not as nice as the first time.  I was transferred around, got really mad at the 3 person and called back.  The fourth lady was worth it, she put in a complaint, gave some suggestions that would make it easier for him and set it up for someone to come back.  Dad would have given up long before I did.  Me?  I just got angrier and angrier…

Until the fourth lady, who helped us.  I felt taken care of and I need that sometimes.

June 28, 2009 Posted by | Joys and Frustrations | , , , , | Leave a comment

There Is No Place for Me to Be Angry

I came home early today, my neck was killing me. I got an Icy Hot Patch, but it still hurt.

I came home to find Dad’s new ’sitter’ with him, she announced that she wouldn’t be back next week, but had two other women who were interested. It was ok, she was nice, but I really had someone else anyway, but I still have to tell her that.

I called the other one, good discussion, but Dad got mad (such a rarity) because I was talking without him. It was his decision. I had been advocating for that. I just wanted to get it done and forgot the sensitivity.

He said he didn’t want anyone. The nurse tells me, accusingly I think, that he should have more hours than we are hiring for. I get cross right back at him.

I know that a big part of my problem is feeling like the clearing house for everyone else’s concerns and feelings.

I have to always be cheerful in front of Dad because he is so sensitive about being a burden. Any break would just convince him that it is too much for me; that he is worthless.

I have to be strong in front of the nurse who comes weekly, she cares about Dad, not me.

I can get angry with my brother, but he just turns it into his being a victim and maybe he is. I don’t know.

There is no place for me to be angry and all I know is that this is my life for the foreseeable future.

So I am starting this blog as a place for me to be totally honest and to help others who are in similar situations.

I want a community where we can let it all go. Where we can help each other, laugh, give tips. Bitch. Be happy.

I hope you will join me.

June 24, 2009 Posted by | Joys and Frustrations | Leave a comment