I’m not feeling particularly amusing today. My corner of geriatric hell has been hotter than usual. I’m almost positive that the flames scorched my eyebrows yesterday. I may never have to shave my legs again. The hair has been burned off.
My 90 year old Dad has been out of the Rehab/Nursing home for a little over a week. My 87 year old Mother isn’t really capable of understanding the situation. My sister and I are running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to take care of our parents. AND I have my 93 year old Father-in-law here. This is week number 5 of his visit. He can kind of walk, can’t see very well and can’t hear very well but he is a dear sweet man. He count’s his chews. A teacher in the one room school-house he went to as a child told them you had to chew each bite a minimum of 25 times before you swallow. He chews soup 25 times. And his teeth clack in rhythm with the chews.
So this is a typical day. Get up, write this blog (otherwise known as therapy) while I have coffee. Try and get some work done in between fielding calls from caregivers and coordinating health care for my parents. Now this is happening while CNN blasts loud enough to make a sonic boom sound quiet (Remember, Father-in-law can’t hear or see so he is standing one foot in front of the 60 some inch TV with the volume cranked up). Get down to the parents house for my day shift duties (sister has the night shift) then come home to the counting of chews. The other night the man chewed a piece of steak 125 times before he swallowed. I know, I heard and counted every chew.
I love all three of them but my mind is getting numb. Second thought I’m losing my mind. In fact, I am beginning to suspect that I’m not as smart as I used to be. I now think my 6-year-old granddaughter is smarter than me and the rest of my family put together!
Last night she told me she heard that Pop Pop came home from the Nursing Home. You know, kids hear EVERYTHING. Any parent that thinks that they have had a private conversation within a quarter-mile of the kids is mistaken. Anything you said can and will be heard by the children and come back to bite you at a later date. Of this I am sure! Anyhow, this sweet child asks, can Pop Pop walk now? I say no, he is in a wheelchair. She says, well how does he get in bed and how does he get to the bathroom? I say, he needs help. We have people who come and try to help him and that’s why I go to their house every day. She says, he should have stayed at the place he was at. They were taking good care of him. Why did he come home if he can’t walk? Hmmm, good question, I think to myself. I explain that he wanted to come home and be with Grand Mom. She says, why didn’t Grand Mom just go and live with him at the place. She can’t walk either. They could have taken good care of both of them. That child is brilliant.
God bless you…..it’s not easy! I’ve had several conversations with friends this week about how difficult it is “getting old” and having to not only care for our children, but also now having to care for our aging parents at the same time. Your post could not have come at a more appropriate time. I actually laughed because you wrote what I was thinking. Best of luck to you……