Oct 6/12 Round 3 at emergency last night. Saw ½ of Bourne Legacy then “I need to get out of here”. Almost out of the theatre and down he goes. A few twitches, maybe a loss of consciousness for just a minute. 3 hours at emergency, blood work, EKG, urine test, xray. Yep, looking good on paper. But he was his usual cordial self at the hospital, and right as rain by the time we got home. But I’m beat.
The fact is I don’t think I was really prepared for this. I guess I thought by the time certain things were happening he would be in care. They are happening, and he is still at home. He knows when to go to the bathroom he’s just not any good at cleanup. So after one small catastrophe out on a day trip (some people are truly amazing “don’t worry about it, no problem”) he is now in Depends every day. And every day when he and I both get home at 5pm and he goes upstairs to the bathroom he is SO disappointed. Why does this happen all the time? Not to worry honey – just hit the shower and you will feel better. And he does, without complaint.
One day he is putting his sneakers on and he comes into the kitchen with one shoe and one sandal. T shirts often on backwards. Needs help shaving. I know he is frustrated often, he doesn’t want to be helped all the time. But he accepts it. And he has gotten turned around a couple of times and found himself not quite at home but not sure of where he was. But when I phone him and ask him to read the sign on the corner, he does and in 5 minutes I have him. But again last week, walks from A (where he volunteers) to B probably 10 city blocks no problem. Walks home every day – couple km, no problem. So despite a few problems I still can’t imagine that I would have him in care. That would just be awful for him. He is downstairs now unloading the dishwasher. So a few minutes extra fun for me – where will those cups be now?
I don’t know when I stopped helping him as much. Basically I tell him twice (sometimes 3 times) and then I just go and do it myself. 2 placemats. 2 placemats from that cupboard. Take out 2 placemats and put them on the table. Never mind. And then I do it. And then we are both frustrated. He so wants to help, to be doing something useful. But he isn’t. And that is what wears a person down. Its not doing the task, its doing it twice, or 3 times.
If I just let my attention stray for a minute…he’s watering and it looked like he was barely passing the hose over everything so I told him to give everything a “good drink” – now he is trying to drown everything. There’s no differentiation, no subtlety, no detail. And the things I do, I have to do again and again because he is helping – putting things away right behind even though I am not done with them. Leave the bikes out of the way so I can access the work bench, and then I move the bikes again, and 10 minutes later, again. And I am sick and tired of looking for his phone, his wallet, his glasses, his keys.
Sometimes I think he will just wreck everything. The lawnmower had to be repaired twice last summer. Now, had to get new bolts for the handle and then brace them cause he just reefs on that handle. And he has run over the air filter cover. But if I don’t let him mow the lawn, what is he going to do? He wants to help but how many times can I fix that mower. It’s the time to look for parts, go get parts, fix it. And the whole time he’s drowning plants, closing every door/window when I am trying to cool off the place, leaving tools in the middle of the lawn, behind a bench, in this corner or that.