Today was the day from hell. Seemed kind of climactic where my stress is concerned. All day I was unable to deal with Jr. I had Phil fill in for me a couple of hours so I could go to dr appointment and grocery store and liquor store. A bit later the 2 women from Hospice came by to bathe him and put him back together. I was so burnt out I couldn't even talk with them, so tired all I could do was lie down on the couch. In my burnt-out mode I'm mad at Jr for being so incredibly difficult.
Shortly after they left and Jr was settled in bed worn out, apparently sleeping, I went to the floor with a pillow and took a nap. 2 hours later I woke up. His wheelchair was out of sight. I saw a bit of the wheel in the little space by bathroom door he can't get the wheelchair in. I went and looked after lying there awhile reviewing how burnt-out I am, getting myself together to go see what mess he's made this time.
I went to look. He was sitting down in the toilet bowl, seat up. He had an arm between his legs up to the elbow with a finger up his ass digging for shit, of which there was just enough to make a mess all around the toilet and on his legs. His other hand was on the floor holding himself up. I said to myself I'm not dealing with this. I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and at least he was in place, could not move, and I was glad. I called Hospice at 5:05, after everybody has gone home, and nurse Mechelle, who had been there earlier, came back to help get him out of the toilet and cleaned up and back in the bed.
I had to deal with in myself being mad at him to the point I wanted to go home and never come back. She told me there is a "respit" deal where they can put him in the hospital for 5 days and nights to give me a break. I said, No, I'd be driving to town every day to see him. After the ordeal today I was ready. I'm at a don't know what to do place. I have to settle down inside before I go making decisions. I'm at a place in frustration and stress that I actually would like to never go back, but will. And will go on and on until who knows what. The nurses tell me how much worse it could be with examples of other people they're working with. You might say I jumped in a bucket of shit over the top of my head and it feels like I'm drowning in shit.
The Jr I know is almost gone. The nurses tell me it's going to get worse. I can't take much more of this obsession with shitting in someone who doesn't eat. Barking to hear my head roar, I say, You want to shit, you have to eat. You eat, you shit. You don't eat, you don't shit. What comes back is, I know it. And continues not to eat. I really do have a problem with seeing somebody sitting all the way down in a toilet bowl digging at his ass trying to get shit to come out when there's none in there except enough to get on fingers and legs and everything he touches. I really do have a problem with that. Didn't know it before today. Didn't care much for dealing with shit, but after the shit storms I've cleaned up, and it looking like that's the only way we do shit from here on, I'm having a hard time.
Don't know what to do about it. Sleep sounds good, but then I wake up. Getting drunk sounds good, but then I get sober. Taking a week off sounds good, but then the week ends. There's nothing to do but keep on keeping on. And I wouldn't abandon Jr to a nursing home anyway. I simply wouldn't abandon him. I have to break through my dislike for dealing with other people's, and my own, shit. I will go on and I will do what I have to do. Right now I have this to break through, get over it. I am not the only one who has had this to deal with. In a way it's comforting to think an awful lot of people deal with what I'm dealing with, but it's also not comforting at all. It's a learn as you go experience, like everything else.
The cats at home are stressed because I'm only here once a day and then I just feed them and sit at the computer a couple hours and I'm gone. I give them a few minutes apiece, hoping a little bit is better than none. They've been stressed a long time. They're getting used to it, like I'm getting used to my own. I will go on doing for Jr. There's no question of whether or not I leave caring for him. I know what the nursing home is and I could not live with myself turning him over to them. So I'll keep on keeping on.
Please don't take this too seriously and think I'm going to do something drastic. I won't. I'm just letting it flow, needing to express what I feel in a safe way that doesn't hurt somebody I don't want to hurt. The help of Hospice is so great it can't even be measured. Mechelle talks to him and cleans him and lifts him, takes care of him like a mother with her baby. All the time she was cleaning him and all that she did, I stood back and watched. Sometimes she'd call me in to help lift him. I was in awe of her ability to do as she does. In his severely addled mind she found the way to connect with him. I get frustrated and even feel myself getting mad, while reminding myself of the absurdity of that feeling in this circumstance, but I guess it's what frustration triggers in us, then we have to adjust it with the mind. I must remind myself of Jr's key word: patience.