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Getting nothing done

August 3rd, 2007

The past few days, I’ve been feeling like I’m going nowhere fast. I get up, take Maggie (the Lhasa Apso) out for a little walk and drop her off at the neighbors. I take a quick – sometimes completely cold – shower and get dressed. I check and answer a few emails, and by that time, it’s 11am and time to think about picking up lunch for Mom & myself. By the time I get to the hospital, it’s almost noon, and it’s hard to go much of anywhere after that.

This afternoon, I was supposed to get down to Wool & Company for the Knitting with Company group. I so wanted to go. I so needed to get a little break, talk with some other knitters, and fondle some pretty yarn. But, it’s now 1pm and I’d much rather stay with Dad.

He hasn’t gotten any worse in the past few days, nothing is wrong, but his spirits are down. He’s not drinking enough fluids, no matter how much we ask/beg/tell him to. No matter whether I bring his favorite Dunkin Donuts coffee or just pass him the bottle of water and ask for one sip. He’s not sleeping well, he’s in a lot of pain, and he’s generally pretty grumpy. It’s so hard seeing him like this. I don’t want to use the word “helpless”, but that’s how I feel the past few days. In addition to the hip and all the pain that’s causing, he has new dentures that are hurting the inside of his mouth so much that eating even soft food is a horribly painful exercise. He’s been to the dentist to get them adjusted a few times. Thankfully, the dentist’s office is in the same hospital complex. But, so far nothing has worked.

I’m exhausted, and I don’t want to go back to Calgary on Sunday if he’s still feeling this poorly, but it’s hard to stay here too, when there’s not much I can do. The latest is that he may get discharged into a care facility for at least a week, to try to get his strength and spirits up a little. The fact is that he still needs at least 2 people to help him get in (and out) of bed, turn over, go to the bathroom, and every little thing like that. As much as he wants to be at home, in his own bed, it’s just not going to happen until he’s able to do a little more for himself.

And yet, I see him giving in to being this helpless. I see him refusing to take a sip of water, refusing to help prop himself up in bed, refusing to even communicate what’s hurting the most. So yeah, I’m a little frustrated with him too. I want him to fight more, fight harder, work harder. He’s always been such a work horse. I like to think that I learned my work ethic from this man, you know? But I can’t fault him for feeling discouraged. After all, how would I feel? How DO I feel right now? I’m discouraged. I’d hoped to see him come home before I had to leave, and now that looks so unlikely.

It’ll pass, he’ll get better, and as soon as he starts feeling some improvement, his spirits will improve as well. In the meantime, there’s absolutely nothing I can do.

And I hate that.

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11 Responses to “Getting nothing done”

  1. Romy Says:

    Good luck — I feel for you guys, rehab after a surgery like that is always such an up and down affair. And even though it’s a physical thing that you’re healing from– the mental part is such a big part of it. Stay positive if you can!

  2. Kristine Boncer Says:

    Oh dear Amy, you said at the end that there is absolutely nothing you can do. But you are so wrong. You have already done so much just by being there. And he knows it. He does, he’s just sad for missed potential and opportunities and it hurts and he is maybe feeling a bit old where he hadn’t before. He will pull through, your strength will help that. Feel the discouragement but show hope on your face. He’ll get happy again. Even workhorses need a break. Phil has taught me that a work ethic is very important, but so is a play ethic, so go do something fun even if you think you should be with your folks. When you get back from that little break you will be able to help more because your brain will have rested. Keep on keepin’ on, you are a great daughter. xo kb

  3. darra Says:

    Any chance that he can eat soft foods without putting his dentures in? How about ice cream, popsicles, pudding, etc., which all count as “fluid” diet? Soup?

    Best wishes to you and your family for a quick recovery and an all-around increase in happiness. You are great for giving your time to help him out! Being a caregiver is one of the toughest jobs in the world, in my opinion.

  4. Carla Says:

    You were missed but we understand!

  5. haze Says:

    Hi Amy, I just want you to know that I’m thinking about you, your Dad, and your family. It must be extremely tough to see your Dad this way. We never like to think of our parents as being weaker than us for any reason. When he starts to feel better, I’m sure he will improve exponentially and be more like his old self in no time.

  6. Kat Says:

    My thoughts are with you, just being there can make the difference in times like this.

  7. Kate Says:

    Wow…just happened on your blog by “accident” and was blown away by the parallels in our situations. My mom is not recovering from surgery, thankfully, but she is nearing her 86th birthday and no longer able to do many things she once did so well–work, shopping, cooking, gardening, knitting, etc. She also has to be coaxed to eat and drink enough. I am currently living with her, and it hurts to see her flagging energy and diminished enthusiasm. I have been having those same feelings of loss of control, discouragement and anger from time to time, so I think I can understand yours. In my mind I know that this is part of life, but it’s still hard to bear, yes? The other comments actually helped me realize I don’t have to keep those feelings to myself–it’s okay to have them–and I thank you for sharing yours today.

  8. leanne Says:

    just a note to say that i hope your dad regains his strength and will soon, and that things turn around for everyone. your family is in my prayers.

  9. Melody Says:

    I’m really sorry to hear that he’s having such a rough recovery. I hope things are looking up a little bit now.

  10. canknitian Says:

    I’m thinking of you.

  11. Catie Says:

    Imagine how helpless your Dad feels? he is probably used to providing for and caring for his family – now he is stuck in a bed and needs nurses and his family to care for him. maybe talking to him about how you are feeling will make him realize that you all can work together to get him back up and running. (possibly literally!)

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