So today the Home Health Care Aide came to help me with Dad. It's definitely nice to have someone around with me during the day. John, the HCA, assisted me with getting Dad into and giving him a shower (a feat that has become next to impossible with just one person and Dad). 1st shower in a week, which makes me feel awful that he's been without, but how?! So, after the shower, Dad was completely worn out and we put him in bed (remember, he can't FEEL his legs let alone move them, so the poundage of dead weight is incredible). He looked a lot better but was exhausted from the whole ordeal. Was it just a week ago that I and Anne were able to do this on our own? How? Oh man...
Then visitors. Which, though I know in a way they keep Dad going, are exhausting even for me and I think hard for Dad to see because people are seeing him. Now. Reality. I sat down for a minute and the Hospice nurse, Julie showed up to assess Dad during her first visit. He asked repeatedly if he "could go off of Hospice" if he got better. Of course he can. BUT he probably shouldn't with his rate of deterioration. He's unable to get out of bed without tons of help. AND, Dr. Rothstein, HIS FRIEND, was the one that recommended him to Hospice. Good. I think he was in the state of mind that I had called Hospice because I "think he's more critical than he is." Unfortunately, I've just been reading the obvious signs and am with him so often, I know this is bad. (For those of you who don't know, I did go through a year of nursing school and was a CNA at The Lindley Inn, an assisted living home locally). I've seen this sort of thing before whether Dad wants to admit it or not.
AND, now, for my selfishness...Thank you to all who have sent Dad cards, flowers, etc. AND thank you so much for those of you who have thought about and sent ME kind words cards and gift certificates! I'm not being strong to win an award. I'm being strong because THAT'S what I OWE this man. I (ME) owe this man more than I could ever put in words and for that I can only repay him this much. LOVE is what makes me wake up and go to his house every day. NOT faith, not guilt, not responsibility. He deserves the best treatment he can have, and, even with the HCA's and Nurses, the best treatment he can have is from family.
Find yours and know that you are loved.