There are no tears to cry, no place to run and hide. I must stay and face the music.
Everyone keeps telling me that God will give me no more than I can handle, and I think I can handle no more. To have to admit to myself that my time here is up, is the worst thing I have ever done next to filing my divorce papers, or maybe staring at my father in his casket, trying to burn his image in my mind, so that I will never ever forget his look.
My heart is torn because Al is doing his best, but I can not do it anymore. The stress of the headaches and wanting to pull my hair out one by one shaft, has almost put me over the edge of sanity.
I have heard others say place him, and others say don’t place him, and I have always been the fighter type personality, swearing I can do all things when it comes to making sure others are in the best condition they can be in, but tonight, I have a headache so big, it is scaring me. Tonight, when I am typing, the letters are being tossed backwards and forwards, not staying in order as they should, and I blame this on my stability of being able to think.
The caregiver called me earlier this evening to inform me that she would rather spend her time with her kids tomorrow, and so she didn’t want to come. She asked if this was alright with her, and I smarted off. I couldn’t help it, but it came out and for a few moments, I was ashamed of myself. She is a caregiver that gives showers only, no emotions involved, no talk is tossed between the two, shower and go, and always a wink to Al, saying make the best out of today. I say screw her! He does try to make the best out of each day, and then he starts crying because he knows he fails at this attempt all the time.
Al didn’t understand even what I said, when I told him she wasn’t coming. He asked me what I meant, and I said quite frankly, she isn’t coming! He started crying. I told him to go in the bathroom and start the water and get his clean clothes out, and I would give him his shower tonight instead of in the morning.
As he undressed himself, I noticed he had too long of finger nails, and I remembered how that must not be part of shower duties for the caregiver, so I trimmed his nails. I also trimmed the hairs off of his ears, and also trimmed his mustache. That was a job in itself, because of his tears, his mustache was full of liquid gook! I had to keep wiping his nose so I could trim. I noticed a strong odor coming from him and wondered how long it had been since he had a shower, knowing it truly was yesterday.
When we were finished trimming, I helped him to stand and to sit on the shower chair. This is a three-fold step process. Stand and back up until your knees can feel the shower chair, sit down, turn around and lift one leg at a time until completely on. He didn’t get it right the first time, so we had to do it over again, and when he scooted over, I noticed the color brown all over the shower chair.
I had mixed emotions about this, but just told him that I would have to clean his bathroom when done and he was safely sitting in his recliner. I had already noticed when I did laundry that morning, that there were too many yellows and browns in his under clothing, telling me he was beginning to struggle more and more with bathroom facilities.
Last evening he was so upset, because not only is he becoming obsessed with having his number two’s happening, he has begun the digging process, and now he is upset because he hasn’t gone pee for an hour. What? I don’t even pee every hour, but then I realized he is just carrying over his obsession from number two to number one and two. Oh my gosh, how am I going to deal with this.
So when I saw this on the shower chair, everything clicked inside of me and I knew it was over.
I have to admit, I don’t know too much about dementia. I know more about the Alzheimer’s disease. I just know that he didn’t and sometimes does not understand simple sentences with very few words, and he is struggling in the bathroom now. He cries at every thing I say.
Tonight after supper I went into his room and turned the fan on in his window. It was so much cooler outdoors than it is in here, and when each of us turn our window fans on and leave our doors open , in no time, the home is completely cooled by nature.
He went nuts, and without using his cane practically ran to his room, to close his bedroom door. I explained that he had to leave it open, that I was not turning the air on just because he wanted to keep Cali, the kitty out of his room. He was so stressed out, that this caused another outburst of tears and arguing. This was brought on because the first day we had our new kitty, she had lived outdoors and didn’t recognize her kitty box until the next day, then all was safe. I had told Al to close his bedroom door for that one day, and I would close my bedroom door also, until she was box trained, thank goodness there was only one accident, and she had the training all down in twenty-four hours.
Al would make remarks after that day, saying look, she is using her cat box, and we would both laugh and I would say yep, she sure is! But, when I told him to leave his door opened, he used Cali as a reason not to, and so once again I explained how it was safe now, that we both knew she was box trained, but he argued and cried.
With all of this and the knowing he is so sad and wants to die, and all the gravy dumped on top of the disease, I can not do anymore. It is going to cost me my health, maybe even a stroke or worse. I have to make the calls. I have to find a place for him where he will be happy, but my heart is torn in half, and this will be so hard. I am going to need all the positive support I can get, as there is no support here around me. Please help me get through this, I beg of you. It is like another death in a way to me. I know I will be able to go see him, this is not the point. It is another loss of a family member, like losing my own mom and dad, and finally the walls will speak no more, the ceilings will shed no more tears, and all around will be silence, until I build my life, opening the page to a new chapter.