A Week in the Life of a Caregiver: Saturday
She Asked Me if I Thought She Was Crazy
What a long day! I treated myself to a little more time in bed this morning. After I bathed, dressed and came downstairs, I hit the ground running. Everyone seemed to get up at the same time. As soon as I finished giving Mom her breakfast, it was time to give breakfast to Christina and then Charlie. The morning flew by and before I knew it, it was time to give Mom her bath. She didn't want a sponge bath, so we made our way slowly up the stairs and Charlie helped out by standing on the second floor landing, waiting to support Mom's right side while I supported her left side to get her from the top of the stairs into the bathroom. Of course, she wanted to have me rush through her bath, but I explained to her how important it is to be extra cautious and take our time. As soon as we finished with her bath, we started the discussion of what she was going to have for lunch. She seems to want to rush her life away.
I received an e-mail from my best friend, and she mentioned that she was "volunteered" to take care of her mother-in-law today. Normally, her sister-in-law cares for her mom, but she had an anniversary party to go to and decided to leave her mom with my friend. Her mother-in-law has Alzheimer's and has a tendency to wander off if she's not properly supervised. I should feel very happy this does not happen with my mom because then I would really go crazy. In this family there are two daughters and one son, my friend's husband. The youngest daughter usually takes care of her mom, so I don't blame her when she tries to get another of her siblings to take over. Since my friend's husband is always working, it is left to my friend to take care of her mother-in-law. I'm sure their mother would be very upset to see how her kids get upset when asked to care for her.
Christina wanted to go to the park today to play with one of her friends. I really didn't feel like going, but I preferred to take her rather than listen to her complaints all day. We went to a neighboring town's park and saw its mini-zoo. It was a lovely day, and we really enjoyed seeing the deer, ducks, geese, roosters, bunnies, emu and pot-bellied pigs. The animals are well taken care of and their surroundings are very clean. We went from the zoo to the playground and the girls played basketball. After bribing them with ice cream, I got them to leave the park by 3 p.m. That left me with enough time to take them to the bank and clothing store with me. I had to pick out a gift for Sal's birthday tomorrow. We finally made it to buy ice cream, and then we came home so I could start dinner and relieve Sal and Charlie so they could go to the movies.
By 6 p.m. Mom started getting very agitated and demanded to know when dinner would be served. When I told her 7:30 p.m., she complained that she was going to starve. I tried pacifying her but to no avail. She asked me a few times if I thought she was crazy. I did my best to allay her fears and convince her that, since she was sick, it would leave her very confused and it was not her fault she acted that way. She ate her dinner quickly and finally went to bed by 9 p.m.
My "third" day began at 9:01 p.m. when I washed the dishes and pans and made out the collection envelopes for church tomorrow. I try to prepare a few things that need to be done the next morning so I am not so rushed.
See you in the morning, diary. My eyelids are closing and I am beat!