I just got dad to bed. It's 9:20pm, and he is just a'spinnin'.
The routine of today was broken, because daughter has moved out of her house and into another, and I went over to the old house to help her clean it. Only took two hours, but dad had to get up 15 minutes earlier, eat his bacon and eggs and toast in sandwich form, and chose this very moment to have a complete cow because I wanted him to wear his Depends. I won, but it was a hard fought battle.
So we got home, and it was lunch time, and I still had not shaved him and he was plenty mad about that, so I tried to get caught up. Got him all shaved, fed lunch, teeth brushed, and then it was time for me to figure out what I was going to cook for supper and throw a load of wash in. Well, wouldn't you know it, I forgot to check pockets, and he had a load of rocks in the pockets from daughter's driveway, and apparently, 468 kleenex. I fished the rocks out of the dryer, but missed the kleenex, so that load was totally covered in shredded tissue. Slows a body down when they have to de-shed all the clothes in the dryer.
At supper time, he refused to eat. He was so grouchy that I didn't push the issue, and I HAD to run to the store to get stuff for DH's lunch tomorrow, so I left the 13 yr old in charge and took off like a rabbit for the store. I got a text from the son, "Gpa just ripped the blinds down in the living room. Love, Patrick." Terrrrrific. I bought the apples and lunchmeat, raced home, and while reattaching the blinds to the window casing, said, "Dad? What happened to the blinds?" BIG mistake. He was clothed in his favorite outfit (Depends, tshirt, black socks and loafers), standing in the hall, and just went right the hell off on me. "DON'T YOU..."SONS A BI**HES...DAMN ******..." Oh. Well. That clears that right on up. The 13 yr old is laughing (silently), I am sweating bullets that I can get these things back up before DH comes home, and there is my demented father, madder'n a wet hen, mostly undressed.
I did get the blinds up, got the boy to stop laughing, albeit silently, washed the supper dishes, and then DH came home. Guess what? He's had a rough day. Not a particularly happy camper. And now, I had a new issue...how to get DH out of his funk, so the entire house doesn't end up grouchy. I warmed up his supper, served it in the front room so he could watch the playoff game, and now...guess what?
Dad decides it time to go outside. It was 8:30, and he stripped off all his pjs and depends, fully dresses in slacks and shirt and jockey shorts, and heads out the back door. I tried to get him to cut it out and come back inside, but to no avail, and frankly, I was sooo out of gas, that I figured, what the hell. I left him outside (gathering those damned rocks) till pitch dark, grabbed the maglight and went out after him. He came in peacefully enough, and I redressed him and put him to bed.
Now. After all that, I do have a question: Is there a medication that can be given to dementia patients on a PRN (as needed) basis that will settle them down when they are spinning like this? Please tell me yes. Or maybe...it's ME that needs medication.
I am headed to the shower and bed. I have had enough of this day, and pray for a better one tomorrow...
The simple answer little deb is YES!!!! Both my parents have a prn med that they get only when they are spinning out of control. Right now they are both on Ativan. It works a lot better for Dad than Mom... 1/2 pill and he's out like a light. There are other meds that work as well. You need to call your Dad's doctor and ask him for something that you can give Dad only when it is necessary. some days it is just too much to deal with. Remember, you are not super woman.
As for hubby, I tend to ignore mine or either get just as grumpy as he is. He tossed a drink box at me the other day and barked that I needed to pick up my trash. So I marched right in the house and tossed 3 2 liter pop bottle at him repeating just what he has said to me. In the last 30 years he has never put a pop bottle in the trash but sits them beside the trash can. I have always crushed them and disposed of them. He shot back... "thought you liked to crush them". I looked him straight in the eye and said... "Nope, I just do it so that our kitchen will not fill up with pop bottles!". Guess what, there has not been another pop bottle beside the trash can since!!!!! ... and he's stopped barking at me about simple stuff In dealing with Mom and Dad, I have learned an important lessons. Nobody else's grump is any more important than MINE!!
It's been a long day here too. Mom's hearing aid is defunct because she bounced it off the wall at the hospital a few times and I had to take it to the hearing aid office to have it sent off. Then I was late picking up Mom for her doctor's appointment but the facility is great and had her and her papers at the door when I drove up. We were in time for the appointment and all appears to be as well as possible. Then back to the facility for Mom's care meeting. They added plus care and incontinenance care to my bill. She needs help with everything now. Her latest trick is putting soiled pull ups in drawers and the closet and putting dirty clothes in the trash cans and toilet. She is having continence accidents daily now. Her speech is a little better but not much. She will get out half a sentence and only responds to what she sees and nothing she hears.
My funny story of the day. The aid went in to help Mom and Dad get up and dressed this morning. It was Dad's bath morning and he went willingly into the shower. The aid had laid out his clothes and went to check on Mom. When she got back she ask if he had on clean underware and he assured her that he did. She ask again if he was sure and he said yes... want to see? he was right, he had on clean underware... he had on MOM"S!!!!! He agreed they were a little too tight and willingly changed I got home at 4 PM only to discover that my desk top computer will not turn on. I am on my lap top. Then I had to write e-mail to the sisters with all of today's information in it. Hubby worked late and I have been plowing through piles of bills and long ingnored papers for both Mom and myself. I'm ready for bed!!!
Thanks Martha. I had to belly laugh when I thought of you stepping in the imaginary pile that was not Mom's. It's nice to know I am not alone in the poopy world. We did remove all the trash cans yesterday since Mom was mistaking them for toilets. The wonderful caregiver was concerned that Mom would fall off the little plastic trash can!!! I assured her the other side of the story was that she should have to clean that up if it could be avoided. The caregiver just smiled!!! Every day it is something new and different.... and you HAVE to keep your sense of humor!!!
Lil Deb, no rocks or towels for you today. Instead, here's your Superwoman Cape, along with a big heart shaped trophy that says, "A+ Caregiver."
What a day! I hope your dad calms down and gets back into his routine quickly. I understand that Ativan and other similar meds may not work in Alz patients, but I'd sure give it a try! You might want to ask the doctor what the maximum dosage would be if one pill doesn't do it. I'm not at the point of asking for it yet, but I certainly will when the time comes! We did try sleeping pills, but they didn't have any effect whatsoever on her.
Oh my gosh, Deb. I canNOT believe you posted about mom using the trash can for a potty! Just yesterday, I went in at wake up time and grabbed the plastic trash can liner in his little trash can, picked it up, and it was full of pee! All I could think was WHAT THE HECK? I quickly took it to the bathroom, dumped it out, scrubbed my hands and arms, threw the can away, and figured out that we need to do more yet as far as toileting goes. So? Now there is a commode in his room. We have reviewed its usage, and will do so again before bed. We'll see.
He is wearing a depends (under duress) at night, and just yesterday, I bought him some "scrubs" to wear as pants. He wears slacks every day of his life, and the fly is his way of extracting...um...you know...and the depends were not compatible. So since I want him in depends full time, I thought the scrubs were a good idea.
He likes them! Not as "outdoor" clothes, but here in the house, he is wearing them just fine. Of course, I had dh and son just gush over them, how nice they looked, how comfy they look...and he just ate that up.
But of course, there seems to be negative progression every single day. As I was helping him into his bed for his nap this afternoon, I noticed that he had feces smeared on the back of his thigh. I ran for the Wet Ones, cleaned him up, and realized that now he needs toileting assistance for bowel as well as urine. Terrrrrific.
I feel like I am up to here with pee and poop. The idea that they become toddlers again is so right on. I remember with my 2 yr olds in the toilet training transition how it seemed I was buried in pee and poop. And now...I am right back to it.
We have developed a fun game, though. Since he lived next door, and the estate sale is not till next weekend, he has still had full access to his shed and all the stuff in there. It keeps him busy, and frankly, when I have yard work to do, or housework...I know he's safe, it takes him 15 minutes to even GET to the shed 20 feet away, and as long as he stays hydrated, I just don't care what he's doing over there. But he is clearly aware somewhere in his mind that he is moving (he's done moved, actually), and he keeps dragging stupid stuff over here. A drill. A hammer. A shovel. All instruments of his profession back in the day. But we don't have room for another blasted thing, so he stacks it outside the door. When he goes to bed, Patrick (the 13 yr old) takes it all BACK to the shed and replaces it. Tomorrow it will all be back. Tomorrow night - back to its point of origin. Fun game.
Caringsister - thanks for the trophy! I will put it right here on the computer table to remind myself that this is a job not everyone can do. Of course, all of US do it all day long in one way or another. But there are a ton of people out there that cannot. Like my brother.
If they do, go into your closet and get one of the many duffle bags people give out for advertising or a cloth book bag and tell him its his special 'rock' bag. let him put all the rocks in that and it'll stay out of your washer and dryer.
also remember the dishpan or bucket to let him wash those rocks while you're cooking.
When he's no longer here, I know you're going to go into the yard and pick up one or two 'special' ones. They'll be your paper weights, you may make them into ear rings. You'll have one on your keyring and then you'll have some as tie backs for your curtains. We'll just start calling you the lady that rocks!
Okay everyone, games on -- let's give her all the ideas to use those rocks for! Come on it'll be fun.
Last edited by caringsister54; 05-28-2009 at 08:08 PM.
Seriously, Lil D. , how long are you going to try to do this on your own. It just seems so overwhelming. I stand and applaud you but Oh MY!
And about the depends...I think I remember someone saying a long time ago on here somewhere that they wrapped the depends waistband with duct tape and that would help to keep the Depends on. You need help, girlfriend.
And by the way, your 13 year old sounds like a gem. I can just picture him in twenty years or so telling grandpa stories... like the time he pulled the blinds down or the time he peed in the kitchen or in front of a little girls' party next door or about how he had to be frisked or the time he moved the same shed tools over and over and over.
Very funny, caring! If I never see another rock, it will be too soon!
I actually solved the rocks-in-the-washer problem. I hold him pants up by the hem...and they all fall out...even the ones I missed manually. Then they can go in the washer. And the dishpan of water for him to wash his rocks in while I cook dinner - ingenious! He loves it! Like a little kid, playing in the water, using an old toothbrush to clean his rocks. It's kind of endearing, actually. Makes me get all warm and mushy inside watching him study each and every rock.
His "rock can" is the empty Folgers Coffee can. And of course, he fills it daily. Not to worry - Patrick goes out every night and dumps 2/3 of the can right back out again. He even kicks them around so dad has something to "find" the next day. You know what's weird? I see the same rocks often. There is something special about certain ones, and that specialness seems to be absolute. But the rocks get redistributed every night. Dad doesn't know, and it keeps the rock population workable.
Meg, you are quite right. Our son is a special one. I know you have heard the story of how he came along when I was 42, and during my pregnancy with him, our oldest daughter passed. I'm not one of those people that actually "hears" God, I mean, He never walked in the front door or anything, but I knew - I just KNEW - that this child was gonna be a real keeper. God was gonna see to it. And he is. Of all of my children, he is the most generous of spirit. He really feels what other people feel, and he knows when I am tired, when I need help or when I just need a hug. He still hugs both me and my dh, and his sensitive nature is a pleasure to live with. When gpa peed in the kitchen, when I frisk gpa, when gpa pulled down the blinds...Patrick was completely blase' about it. Nothing gpa does shocks that boy. A few months ago, gpa called Patrick a little bast**d. One of gpa's angry outbursts...they are over now, and we are into new things, but Patrick's reply was, "Nope, gpa. My folks were married." DH and I cracked up. Gpa looked confused. Patrick looked proud of himself. Yep. He's a great kid. BTW - He got student of the month for his Jr. High for the month of May! Out of 486 kids, they chose our son! We are proud of him for sure.
And he will have gpa stories. And he will also have a heart that "knows" stuff that other 13 yr old hearts don't know. He will be a fine man, with a wonderful heart.
And Meg, as far as how long we will do this? We have talked long and hard about it. For months. And daily now. And this is what we decided:
We will do this as long as : 1. God will have us do it. 2. I hold up. 3. We can manage to do the best for dad that we can 4. Most importantly - as long as Patrick is not negatively affected by this.
I know we will continue to do this for today. Tomorrow? No promises. But for today...
Lil deb, you wound like me and the newspapers today. Mom and Dad received two copies of their home town newspaper today. Dad had one paper and Mom had the other. Dad was actually reading articles and flipping pages. Mom was just looking at whatever I opened for her. Then another resident wanted to share in the fun so I took the sports section that Dad never reads and gave it to her. Then another resident shows up. I slip the sports section out of Mom's. Then Dad finishes his and I start swapping papers. None of them knew anything they had seen so if they got the same paper twice in a row it was no problem. But I kept 4 occupied reading and 2 occupied laughing at the musical papers for over an hour LOL. It's the simple things that keep them occupied and give us a great
Too funny, Deb! I do that same thing with puzzles for MIL. I have a stash of the 24 piecers and keep swapping them out. She has never yet realized that she's doing the same puzzle for the umpteenth time!