Welcome to my world!

My life's been crazy since my Daddy moved in with me immediately after my mother's death in October 2010. My one and only kiddo headed to college at Carolina at the end of August. So...I lived on my own, for the first time in my life, for a total of a blissful six weeks. Then, I started the parenting gig with my dad. He's a combination of a grouchy old man, a surly teenager and a temperamental toddler. Needless to say, I get very close to the brink of insanity sometimes. I get through life by finding the humor in difficult circumstances. And for some reason, I wind up in the weirdest situations. I couldn't make this stuff up. So I wind up having lots and lots crazy adventures which make great stories to share with my friends. Writing about my life is so therapeutic. My ramblings range from funny to sad to angry (full of cuss words) to sweet. While my focus is dealing with the trials and tribulations of being a parent to my Daddy, I have lots of random, totally unrelated posts. Whatever's on my mind. I love to make people laugh, and I'm happy to think my readers will get my strange sense of humor. And maybe, people who are in my situation will be encouraged. That's all I can hope for...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Care and Feeding of The Daddler

I read that the life expectancy of caregivers is shortened by four to eight years.  Elevated cortisol levels.  Stuff like that.  In other words, stress.  For the most part, I've got it pretty easy.  He can stay by himself during the day and the occasional overnight.  He fixes his own coffee and microwaves a muffin in the morning.  He pitches in around the house and yard.  Oops, I just realized I have to take over mowing now that Kiddo's back at school.

The Daddler has a bumper crop of cucumbers about to start coming in.  I have two small green beans.  It takes a hell of a lot of leaves to make a few little beans.  And the tomatoes have been a total flop.  Two tiny, hard little cherry tomatoes.  From about 20 different plants.  Not enough sunshine with all these big trees.

The D is very neat and organized.  He makes his bed every morning.  He gets the paper and reads it with his coffee and muffin and big-ass TV blaring Fox news.  He checks the mail and happily takes out any mail I need to send.  I call him my mailroom clerk.  He keeps an eye on the neighborhood.  He reminds me about garbage and recycling on Mondays.  Why is that a surprise to me every week?

In other words, he's pretty low maintenance and I shouldn't bitch about him.  It could be a helluva lot worse.

At the risk of sounding whiny, though, I am going to vent a little.  That's the whole point of this blog, after all.  He can be moody.  He complains.  Funny little aside.  I think he likes lots of people in and around the house, and Lord knows they come and go.  I kinda thought he liked JoJo because she's pretty.  So yesterday afternoon, when he was watching his 18th hour of news, I told him to wait outside with me until Jo got there in the minivan for me to take her to get her car from the shop.  I thought he'd bound out of the recliner like a puppy.  I went outside.  No Daddler.  I went back in and asked him if he was coming.  He said no.  I said, "Don't you wanna see JoJo?"  He said, "I don't care about her!"  Funny.  He does get excited about Deb and other family members. 

Back to complaining.  He bitches about Sarita.  He gangs up on me with Kiddo.  He bugs the hell out of me when he has a doctor's appointment.  Which is averaging 1.67 times per week these days.   I've already blogged too much about the pill dispensing, so I won't revisit that.  Oh, that reminds me.  It's time to reload.

Then there's the food issue.  I fix him lunch and dinner.  I spoil him.  I put it on a tray and give it to him in his recliner.  I've never gotten the hang of the family dinner thing.  Sitting down at the table together.  And I'm not much for routines.  No sense of time.  So just like garbage day, it's always a surprise to me when it's time for lunch or dinner.  Or when we're out of milk.  Most of the time I can pull something together at the last minute for lunch.  I try to make a hot meal for dinner three or four times a week.  I pick up Wendy's or Chick-Fil-A to fill in the blanks.  All this to say, feeding him is a big responsibility.  But it's my fault.  He could make himself a sandwich for lunch.  If he has chili in the fridge, he'll microwave it.  Sometime when I'm running out the door at lunch time, I tell him his choices and he fends for himself.  Still, there's that never-ending responsibility.  And it takes thinking beyond the next three minutes.

Then there's handling all the finances.  Major stressor.  After handling client shit all day long, the last thing I want to do is work on personal stuff.  So I put it off.  And it gets to be more stressful.  But I can't think about that now.  It's making my cortisol surge.

The hardest part, though, is worrying about him.  If he sleeps late, I wonder if he died during the night.  I think about peeking in on him, but he startles easily.  As for startling him, I try to enter the living room so he sees me approach.  I swear, he can jump two feet in the air sometimes.  And with his heart problems, that makes my heart skip a beat.  Sometimes he bumps into the wall, or hits it or something, and I shift into alert mode thinking maybe he's stumbling.  Which reminds me.  I still haven't had the grab bars installed in his bathroom.  Dammit.

I hate that he's having to get up three times during the night to pee.  I hate that he has to tell me about it and I wonder if that's hard for him to do.  I struggle with him when he's trying to find a word.  I usually finish his sentences for him.  He gets frustrated if he can't come up with the word.  I try to let him try, but it's just easier to help him.  It makes me sad that he doesn't get to see more of Deb and the rest of our family.  It breaks my heart that the Emotional Vampire (our new word for Evil Former Sister From Hell) didn't call him on Father's Day or his birthday.  She didn't even send a fucking card.  Fuck that bitch.  Whoa, I keep thinking I'm not angry any more.

Most of all, it tears me up to think how much he misses Mother still.  He doesn't show it, but he's got to be terribly sad without her.

Ok, this should've been cathartic, but I'm depressed.  So I'll stop now.  I think I'm getting sick.  I've felt feverish all morning and kinda nauseated.  But my hip dysplasia is somewhat better.  Still not sleeping much.  Talk radio was really weird (and therefore good) last night.   I'll have to blog about it later.  For now, I'm going to jump in the shower and start thinking about what's for lunch...

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