Well another episode for my “Sandwich Generation,” vlog. My dad went back into the hospital. I broke him out already as it turned out not being serious. I was noticing the change in my reaction and behavior to this “Health Emergency” as opposed to 18 months ago when his health first hit the skids. (this picture is from right before his decline) Back then, the moment something occurred involving my dad’s health the muscles on my back and neck would get as taut as the cables on a bridge. It was all I could do to focus on Vivien, who was farmed out quite a bit to other caregivers as I raced around town for my dad, or made calls on his behalf.
This time, I took a deep breath, more calmly assessed the situation, and was again reminded how grateful I am that I am not an only child. My sisters, mom and brother-in-law Kevin, have all pitched in for my dad over the last couple of years. Before if I was more involved with my dad one day I might get resentful, now I know we all take our turns. I have it down.
I know how to be sweet as honey to the nurses—“HOW THEY DO THEIR JOB I DON’T KNOW.” I also know when to be direct and take notes when speaking with the doctors. Now when we speak to doctors we only have one family member talk to them and then have a telephone chain explaining the conversation with the rest of the family.
This go around, before I went to the hospital for the second day of this health emergency, I worked out and got my nails done. Giving over my life to health issues doesn’t seem to be a winning formula for me, or my life.
The part I can’t get use to is seeing my father so diminished. I can’t get use to the crazy guy in the hospital room next to him who WOULD NOT STOP SCREAMING. I had a flash of understanding elderly abuse. I can’t get use to being that close to my father’s personal self and then having to say to my dad lying in his hospital gown, “Hey dad, cover the franks and beans will you?” I’m not use to the smells, when I drop my dad back at his assisted living “home” almost gagging at the smell in his bathroom, “um, excuse me, can someone please come and clean this place?”
The thing about it is, I don’t want to get use to it.