Posted 8/30/2007 1:20 AM (GMT -7)
Dear Lyn, Padraig, Linda and others,
It's well after midnight, and I'm still stewing about caretaking responsibilities. Eric has been in VGH for the past 4 weeks and it due for discharge in a few days, so his children inform me, although I've haven't heard it from a doctor, nor do the nursing staff have any record of it. His two daughters want him to come home for me to care for him. Even with 2 nurses working 12 hour shifts, I know, from past experience, he would want me to do the care. He's 87 with early Alzheimer's, a compression fracture of the coccyx (4 week duration), has a Foley catheter draining urine, and there is some incontinence of stool, plus a urinary tract infection. I have refused, saying that he would be safer and more comfortable in a private room at a private hospital. Also, it's cheaper: $6000.00 a month at the private hospital. $18,000 a month for the home nurses. I feel bamboozled! So I told them that if he comes in the front door, I go out the back. I'll rent an apartment if necessary. No one knows the toll it takes to care for someone around the clock, and I'm exhausted from the past three years. You would think that if they cared about their father, they wouldn't put me under stress; it only reflects back on him when I'm tired out. Know I can't change them. I think I'll go back to bed and try to imagine a warm, protective bubble shielding me from their interference. On a more practical note, I'm seeing my lawyer tomorrow about an amendment to our will, giving me the right to sell this old 3-story house (joint tenancy) - it's far too much for me to manage, but he has insisted we live here and not get something smaller - with his signed approval, now before he becomes more incompetent, and I'll get her opinion on how to handle his offspring and the doctors and social workers who want to do the expedient thing, leaving me out of the equation. I exercise regularly, go to physio., am on maximum pain medication around the clock - what on earth can they be thinking of??? At 77, I'm no spring chicken. Maybe when they see the white hair, they think I'm not too bright, either. When I talk to my husband about the arrangements, he thanks me for good planning. After they visit him, it's ,"I want to come home." Padaig would say to accept the good and the bad, and I will find serenity. I'm trying!