Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My blog isn't always a happy place

Another honest post.

Another hard week.

Yesterday was Jordan's birthday and although the party was a lot of fun, putting on a birthday party for a child is a lot of work. Unfortunately, I've set a standard for myself and I'm the type who goes all-out. That makes it all the more fun for him (he told me again that this was his "best birthday EVER!") but it also makes it stressful for me.

On Sunday I had gotten home from an afternoon of swimming with my boys and Dorothy looked AWFUL. Her face was kind of gray-ish and she looked very haggard and without a sparkle in her eyes. She is usually fairly spunky (or, as one of her friends likes to say, "plucky") so this was somewhat concerning to me. Dorothy's son Sean is here visiting right now and he had called me a few minutes before I got home to see how far away I was. I told him I was just minutes away and he said that Dorothy needed another dose of cough syrup when I got home.

A little while after I got home, the phone rang. It was the Home Health nurse, calling back to check in on Dorothy because Sean had called her. Hmm. Sean called? Really? BECAUSE HE APPARENTLY DIDN'T FIND IT NECESSARY TO TELL ME THAT!

Also on Sunday, Heather and Sean had left the house for a few hours after putting Dorothy in bed and getting her all situated with her breathing mask. Terry (S and H's dad and Dorothy's ex) was there and was "in charge." Dorothy had a choking spell while wearing her mask and those are extra scary because the air is being forced into her lungs while she's trying to cough and she often can't get the mask off without help. She activated the alarm on the breathing machine but Terry didn't hear it. Then she rang her call bell (the kind you see at an unattended desk) over and over and he didn't hear that either. She finally pushed her Lifeline button and when a voice came over the call box in the den, Terry heard that and came to help Dorothy.

No wonder she looked like she'd been oxygen deprived. She had.

The other reason that I'm very frustrated this week (like I need another reason, right?) is that Sean is somewhat oblivious to the routine that we are used to. Our routine is important to us. The Home Health nurse told me today that Dorothy needs to eat at the same times every day of the week (which means getting up at 6am on Saturdays - yaaaaaaaay). I have a very set morning routine and on days like today, when somebody jumps in the bathroom and stays there for 15 minutes, things are VERY thrown off. When someone causes us/me to stay awake until midnight, things are also very thrown off.

I am ready to go back to having no company. I am ready to get back into our normal routine where everyone knows what to expect and there are very minimal disruptions. (I am also at a point where I am ready to put a sign on the front door that says, "Did you call before stopping by? No? Then don't touch that doorbell!" Rude, I know, but it almost feels necessary.)

I have to be honest, there are things that I don't even say on my blog because I don't know who is reading this and I don't want to offend anyone. And maybe I shouldn't feel that way because this blog IS my journal. I WANT to be able to look back on this chapter of my life and remember how I felt about things. But I also don't want people fussing over me and worrying that I'm not staying healthy. I am healthy. I haven't lost any weight. The only thing I would change would be the amount of sleep I get but my body has slowly adjusted to less and less. I get an average of about 6 hours a night, plus an hour (or so) nap in the afternoons.

I like what I do. I like helping Dorothy and I like the friendship that I have established with her and with her other caregivers. But this job has also made me realize how ready I am to have a family. To LIVE with Steve and Jordan instead of just seeing them two or three days a week. That's HARD. It's hard having to say no to friends who want to go out or to activities that I want to attend. I feel like a huge portion of my life is on hold.

Caregiving is hard. It's worth it, but it's hard. And this week, especially.

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