Sunday, December 16, 2012

A "Little" Housework

A visit with Dad today found him once again sitting in his usual chair with the laptop on his lap.  He was playing solitaire.  He enjoys the game and will spend several hours a day playing that and a few others.  Any attempt to teach him new ones is pointless at this time.  He isn't interested in anything else but his games.  That's not a bad thing right now - at least he still remembers how to start and stop the computer and play his games.

We talked for awhile and then I took his vitals. I bring over a red medical kit with me everyday now.  I take his blood pressure and check his blood sugars three times a week.  A routine check of his feet showed excessive drying and some cracking so we spent time soaking his feet and working on them.  Then we covered them in bag-balm and stuck socks on them for awhile.  Tomorrow we'll soak them again and then get in to a daily routine of checking them and making sure we keep a fine line between dry yet moist enough. That can be a battle for most of us.  I'll call the nail clipper person this week and make an appointment for them to stop by Dad's and clip his nails for him.  He can reach them but he doesn't clip them.  I'll let a professional do that although I'm fully capable - some things you just want to leave to the professionals.

A shopping trip two weeks ago brought him, among other things, a dozen hamburger patties.  He typically eats one a week if we're lucky.  Today they are no where to be found.  He didn't eat them.  They just disappeared.  I'm assuming he didn't know what they were and just tossed them out.  I am now committing to being at Dad's for a meal so I can make sure he's eating more than sandwiches.  The home delivered meals was a complete bust but he'll have a harder time saying no to me when I'm cooking it for him and sitting there eating it with him.

The reality is setting in:  Dad will not be able to live independently much longer.  I am now taking care of two households and that will break me after a while.  Cooking, cleaning, shopping, bill paying, health needs, medications...the list goes on. I feel like a doctor when I go over to his house, checking everything from his feet to the top of his head (but leaving personal areas to the doctor, of course!).  You might recall Dad had some skin cancer removed from his face and back two years ago.  So we need to keep up with that at least weekly.

In an ideal world my father would be living with me right now.  Working out the details to that is actually pretty tricky but we will find a way.

We talked about the horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT today.  He was heart-broken, as we all are.  He just couldn't understand it.  He said, "Well, maybe Mom is part of the welcoming committee up there and helping them to feel welcome".

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