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The End of an Era :)


SandyCaregiver

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Well, before I was going to the house 2-3 times a week, but when we got the bid on it at the end of May, I began going everyday, staying around 4 hours. Toward the middle of June, I'd come home to find Bob had managed to stuff his feet in his jogging shoes and get out of bed and to the porch, in his depends and t-shirt, fortunately, no one can really see him out there and the weather was still pleasant. I knew something had to give because he was not sleeping as long as I was working, and I couldn't cut back. Because of there being a date I had to be out by, I HAD to stay there and work until I began to fall against the wall and could no longer work. Then pick up drive thru food on the way home, every day - wow, bad, but no help for it.

 

So, one of the big problems of him getting up by himself is he can't change himself - this is worse in the morning, I mean he is one big squish and would squish on everything if he sits up before I pull his pad. I actually change his pad around 6-7am, but those morning hours he goes more - a lot. So we decided that he would take his nap in his pull-ups, guard, and then one of those belted guards - which are like pull-ups, without the rest of the panty part. The belts are not wearable - Bob is thin and they nearly cut him in half. Then he has his normal clothes and sock and shoes, and the hemi-walker. Although he uses a cane when I'm here - the hemi-walker is more balanced for when he is on his own.

 

So, I'm at the house, taking apart a MONSTER entertainment center for the old square TVs, while my neighbors slip in and out of their house, thinking they are not seen - because their screwdrivers don't work. They knew my handicapped husband was laying home waiting on me, and never came out to help. It took me 3 hours in the hot blazing sun to take it down, during which time I cried, prayed, and fell down a few times. When nearly done, my cell phone rings. Did I tell you Bob is now able to dial me if I leave my phone number for him and the phone on his desk. When I hear this, I know he has gotten up and is in front of the TV. I also put a phone & my number on the floor, incase he falls, he can call me from there. Well, he asks what I'm doing, and I say I've been working on this for nearly 3 hours and almost done. He replies, 'don't use all your energy, save some of it'. I found that curious and asked why he said that, and he meekly replied, "I fell".

 

So, I finish and go home and spend the next hour getting him off the floor. Our stroke neighbor falls, but just gets up. Bob is not like that, he is like a turtle on his back and cannot get his foot under him nor push like this or like that. I have to drag him around till I GET him in position to where he can get up with my help. He does have thinning bones from taking gerd meds for years. You probably remember when he fell and hurt his hip some time ago and I was so afraid our life together was over. For a senior with a broken hip, even without a stroke, this can be a lfie changing event.

 

I worked to exhaustion everyday, but can't complain, because in the morning, I felt like a phoenix rising from my ashes! Closing was Monday the 15th, and I took my last load out of there Sunday. I was very relieved I was not having to go back Monday. As I unloaded the last load, I got this unexpected feeling, like _I_ had just bought a new home and you know how you feel so excited about getting to work & doing things to your new home. It wasn't just because there are boxes litering every room in this house, either! It was because I've spent so much of my energy working on the OTHER house, and now, I can dedicate myself to THIS one! WOOT!

 

So, Monday was closing and I expected to wake up Tuesday relaxed and happy - not having to go out and work. Unfortunately, I noticed something. I was wobbly and felt stupider than usual. Enough so that I called the doctor and scheduled an appt for myself, during Bob's therapy - just a few minutes away. So, then went back & got him, did a drive thru for Pretzel Cheeseburgers from Wendy's, and put Bob to nap - and I TOOK A NAP TOO! So long, since I got one. The dr didn't really have any clues, did some test, didn't see nothing, but I did get a cream for a strange red rash on my ankle that looked like a fierce posion ivy or some such, but was smooth as the rest of my skin - there was no bumps there, it was all smooth and it was all under the skin - whatever it is. So basically, I've been wobbly and stupid all week and I'm hoping it is just all the driving myself to work, resulting in exhaustion and it will clear off. If not, I scheduled another appt Friday and will go back and ask for more tests. I hope to be able to cancel that appt, when the time comes.

 

When Bob get us from this nap, he starts carrying on about his pull-ups and saying something about women wearing his underwear. I'm sitting there going, "well, great, I leave you one time a therapy by yourself and you come home saying women are wearing your underwear". Then he looks at me like I'm crazy when I bring him a casserole for dinner, and says he needs that bread thing (making a circle shape with his fingers)& coffee. Then he kept asking if a big storm was coming and if it was raining. I said it's just getting dark. He started complaining that they were re-running the Tour de France stage he saw yesterday, & I kept saying, you are probably seeing the repeat of what you watched this morning. Finally, he realized it was NIGHT! When he woke up, he was not used to seeing me asleep there too, and thought it was morning, he couldn't understand why he was wearing his daytime 'women like' pull-ups, and was ready for a muffing and coffee. He kept saying how he couldn't believe how he thought it was the next day.

 

He had had a down swing in the middle of June where he wasn't eating, his stomach was off, and his mental processes and speech worse. I know there were sometimes I came home from working on the house and he didn't want food, so I was happy enough to give us to ensure plus (walmart brand) and just go to bed. But, the last week he has had an upswing and is eating normally and speaking better again.

 

I hope to lose the wobbliness and get 'smarter' in the next few days :)

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If it's as hot there as it is here in NY, you might have heat exhaustion or dehydration. It is a weird feeling, not something you can put your finger on.

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honey you are wore out- tired, ( but probably still cant sleep if i guess correctly) ... and Keyed up --- by god you did it - you made it !! congrats !! i get dumber everyday..

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Nancy, the funniest thing is, at first, I couldn't believe it was really over. But it only took about 2 days for me to begin to feel like I can't believe I ever did it, and couldn't imagine getting in the car and going there to work again. It felt like a whole different lifetime, so long ago... already!

 

You know, I used to have these dreams when I was younger. I dreamed I found a wonderful house that evertime I went into a room, it opened into another room, then another, and I was charmed and bought it. But then I kept driving back by the old house (same house I just sold). I would drive by and cry my heart out, to have lost my beloved home. I told my sister about the dream and she said it actually happened to her mother in law. They had built a new home and after selling the old one, she grieved for it so much that she made her husband go back and buy it back, at a much higher price, as they were not happy to move again. So that cinched it, I didn't dare think about ever moving.

 

But I realized we had to move, when my hubby who traveled constantly nearly fell down the steps carrying his huge suitcase, which was always going up and down the steps. I had to move to save his life. And that's the way it worked out. We live just a few minutes away from where his job was, and he had his stroke 2 minutes after getting home. If we had still lived at the other house, he'd have been going 50 miles an hour, still driving home, when he had his stroke. That, and the grueling work I put in that I was glad to be over, caused me to be able to kiss my old home a fond good-bye, and not be tore apart by my sentimental character.

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Sandy: thank you so much for blogging. I can't tell you how many times I looked at a calendar and said, she only has two weeks, two days!

 

It is probably common that you are still winding down and trying to figure out how to just relax. Please do consider napping with Bob for another week or so, just to get your brain and body adjusted to the new situation. And I am so thankful you are out from under.

 

But Sandy, as an aside and this came from your response to me, but do you realize the lengths Bob has come since you HAD to do this? Such an inspiration! He gets out of bed by himself, WCs himself to a safe and comfortable place - Amazing. You did well honey. He had all the basics down when you had to leave him and bless him, he stood up and took care of himself! What amazes me is that he fell, did not panic, did not insist you come right now. Thankfully he was not hurt, The getting up will come in time, when you finally have some time to work on it with him.

 

But again thank you so much for sharing. Am so thankful you are in one location and yes I know there is work to do, but now you are under no pressure, you go at your own pace.

 

Kudos as to Bob's recovery. Such an inspiration! Debbie

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I don't know how you kept up the pace for so long but I celebrate the end of it along with you! I'm sure it will feel so good to just be able to stay home. It sounds like Bob held up his side of the bargain quite well. Good for him. ~~Donna

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