Blissfully Quiet Night

My father turned off the television a little after 10:00. He went to sleep pretty much right away. My mother turned off her television a little before 11:00 and seemed to be asleep a short time later. I had my CPAP machine setup and the lights were out around 11:30 but I didn’t get to sleep until just after midnight.

I woke up at 4:30 because my mother was up and walking around the kitchen. She was making breakfast. I got up to check on her and she was fine. She told me to go back to bed. I tried, but I couldn’t sleep. So four hours of sleep is it for me today.

It’s worth it if things keep up the way they did last night. Fingers crossed.

I’m not working today but I have set myself up at the dining room table as if I were. The home health worker is coming at 8:00, and I assume my mother is going to want to chaperone (I’m only kidding a little) so they will all be spending most of the day in the living room. There isn’t really enough room for four people in there these days, so I will bow out. I’ve got lots of music to work on, and lots of The Orville to watch. The Red Sox are on at 1:00. I’ll probably try to find a way to sneak myself into the room so I can watch the game with my father. Other than that, I hope I can be a fly on the wall today and just be here to help my mother with whatever.

After I closed my exercise ring last night I sort of made the conscious decision to go to bed without finishing the laundry so that I would have an excuse to go downstairs and sneak in some walking in place today. It’s 7:23am and 71 degrees outside. Inside I think it’s already around 80 and the humidity is at about 99.9%. I haven’t even started walking yet and I am already drenched in sweat. Hooray.

My mother is watching local cable right now. I think she might be asleep, but the TV is on. It is the Tewksbury Memorial High School Senior Awards presentation. I graduated from that school in 1989 and I don’t recognize any of the voices of the staff, but every time someone comes on to sing the praises of some TMHS athletics program I just want to vomit all over the house. They are still the arrogant pricks they were 30 years ago, and the team name is still the insulting racist bullshit too. Some things never change.

Okay, laundry and exercise, then pills and letting the health care pro inside. Talk to ya’ll later.

The Ravioli Incident

My mother made a bowl of ravioli for my father for dinner. He ate about half of it and then dropped the bowl. Ravioli everywhere. Some of it splashed onto his foot so we had to get him a change of socks. Mom grabbed him a pair while I cleaned up the mess. There was a moment there when I thought he was going to have a melt down. It was like all of the shit he’s been going through was about to overflow, but we talked him back from the edge.

Selfishly, the upside to the ravioli incident is that there is laundry that needs to be done tonight. He only has two pairs of grippy socks and one of them is covered with tomato sauce. That means I have to go back and forth to the laundry room in the cellar. The laundry room is really the only place in the house that I can do my walking in place “exercise” without feeling like I am going to collapse the entire house. That means there’s a good chance I am going to close all three AppleWatch Activity rings today. I’ve already got two of them closed. Nine more minutes of exercise and I finish them all.

I really want to go home. I really need this to end. I don’t want to have a nervous breakdown, even though for all I know it might be fun. I just don’t wanna.

The Weekend… Finally

It is Friday. I have logged out of work for the day. It’s finally the weekend. You’d think that would be good. It’s not. The stress is still through the roof. I have to come back here tomorrow evening. I don’t want to, but I have to.

My mother hung out in the living room with my father and the healthcare worker. No animosity like there was this morning. She was fine. Actually, she slept in the recliner quite a bit. My father slept in the hospital bed. Sometimes that leads to a difficult night, but not always. In fact, I think more often than not it’s not a big deal.

I really need all of this to be over. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but is it close or is it far away? It’s so hard to tell when you’re buried in the pitch dark.

A Literal Note to Self

We have had a home health professional in the house for three days now. When we first talked about bringing in help we discussed it with my parents. They were both on board. Given my mother’s memory issues, someone came up with the idea of having her write a letter to herself detailing how she felt about the situation at that time.

I had to use it today.

A literal note to herself.

It was rough. We were in one room and she was telling me how she wanted the woman out of the house and she didn’t like her and she liked the woman who was here yesterday and she wanted to know who allowed this to happen and can I call them and tell them not to come back. All through this, the woman who is helping us today, dare I say heroically helping us today, was in the next room hearing every word.

I had forgotten about the note to self but when I let my siblings know what was happening they reminded me. Mom wasn’t happy when she read it, but said she remembered writing the letter and she’s been okay ever since.

I made sure to tell the woman that she shouldn’t take anything my mother said personally, and that it was likely by the end of her shift my mother would be her best friend. That’s kinda how it goes. She was nothing but understanding and professional and I am so thankful for her attitude, not to mention her help.

Now though, my group at work is short handed this afternoon and I just had a task mailed to me. I’ll get on it.

Here’s hoping it will be a quiet afternoon in the house and at work. I need me some weekend.

Song Number 16

Here’s another new song. This one is better than most if not all of the others. At least I think so right now. I’ll likely change my mind later.

Both of my parents are asleep. They both fell asleep with a TV on. Dad is in the living room. I need to sleep in the living room. I can’t find the remote. I think he might be laying on it. I can’t sleep with headphones on. Insert the sigh of frustration here. At least he got up and walked around on his own, including a trip to the bathroom. No assistance from me was needed at all. That is huge. Super huge. What a relief.

Granted, he fell asleep with the news on, and this network ran the same 30 minute news program at 9:00, 9:30, and 10:00. I think I am going to hear the same things maybe five times before the talk shows come on. Gross.

I’m Here

I’m here at my parents house again. Mom is here. Dad is here. I am here. Everything has been okay since dad came home on Tuesday, but I’m sitting here patiently waiting for the other shoe to drop. Or, I’m waiting for the hammer to fall. However you want to put it.

HBO Max has released The Suicide Squad today. Tonight, actually. I think they brought it live at 7:00pm. The reviews are good. The first movie was… eh. Nothing special. This one was made by the same guy who made Guardians of the Galaxy so maybe some of the magic will rub off?

18 minutes until meds distribution.

Jen and Harry are out college supply shopping. Jen is worried about Covid. We’re all worried about Covid, but she and Harry are both vaccinated. Frankly, all the non-vaccinated people can suck it. Take the friggin’ vaccine, you selfish pricks.

What was I talking about?

Oh well, I think I’ll go make sure all of the door alarms are set and get them their pills. Dad needs a snack with his.

Right then, I’ll talk to you later. There might be a new song to share. We’ll see where the night leads us.

I miss Jen and Harry and Bellana and Patches and I want to go home.

I’m freaking Out

Dad is being discharged at 3:00. The home health aid is coming at 2:30. I am freaking out. Totally freaking out.

Shit has been going on all day at work. None of it is freak-out-worthy, but all of it is freaking me out. I tried to go to lunch at 1:00 but I had 45 minutes solid where I got call after call after call and couldn’t stop.

I am totally fucking freaking out.

Good Morning

Last night at the parental abode was okay. She was asleep before 9:00pm and didn’t wake up until a little before 5:00am. I didn’t go to sleep until crazy late. It’s just so damn hard to let my guard down. I woke up when she got out of bed but I was able to fall asleep for another hour or so. I failed to hit the five hour mark in total, but what I got was probably okay.

Normally when I get up for the day I switch the alarm on the front door to chime mode so I can open the door during the work day without setting off the end of the world level cacophony. Now that I know she’s bolted twice this week I don’t think I can do that. I have to remember to switch the alarm off when I open the door for the regular 9-10am delivery. If I forget… that’s going to suck.

I did manage to close my three activity rings yesterday. That’s good. Two days down, infinity to go. It’s going to be tough to do it today. The only place I can do it without feeling like the house is going to collapse is the cellar, and I can’t really sneak off to the cellar while working/nana sitting.

My father is coming home today. I’m scared shitless. I can’t even believe how scared shitless I am. Why am I not happy? He’s coming home, I should be happy.

Overnight Shift

It’s pretty quiet tonight. Possibly because the memory issues shit hit the fan before I got here. A few weeks ago she tried to leave the house and ended up walking down route 38 for a while before turning back. Magically she made it back to the house without getting lost.

As a result we installed alarms on the doors. When they go off they ring at something like 110 decibels. You can probably hear them from space*. Apparently, twice in the last two days, including just before I got here tonight, she has left the house and set off the alarm and didn’t even notice. Yesterday she went outside to get the newspaper. She told my sister she had no intention of ever leaving on her own. Today she went outside to see if the car keys were in the car because she wanted to drive home**. Note, the car keys are not in the car, they are locked up in a case inside the house and she doesn’t have the combination.

After that she came back inside and went to bed. I woke her up for her 8:00pm meds and she stayed up for half an hour or so and then went back to bed. She’s been sound asleep ever since. Fingers crossed she continues to have a quiet night. My father is coming home tomorrow. His insurance has shut him off, but the rehab place says he’s ready anyway. My brother and sister have both seen him and say he’s infinitely better than he was when he came home last time. I believe them but I am still terrified. I guess I have to see it with my own eyes.

The potential for a shitty day tomorrow is high. The potential for a good day is also high but I am in full on glass-half-empty mode and I may never recover from it.


*I understand that sound does not travel through a vacuum. Come on, man, it was just an expression. I got an A in Physics in college, thank you very much.

**She says she needs to go home, but she is home. This house has been her home for 52 years. My sister was told by a memory care professional that for some reason the idea of “home” is a common theme for memory patients. Oh goodie. Shit.

It’s Monday

It’s Monday, and Monday sucks.

I mowed the entire lawn yesterday, front and back. My body will likely never forgive me. I just vacuumed up the lake in the cellar. It wasn’t as bad as it was last week, and there was a whole extra day worth of build up so I think there is improvement. I had to empty the wet vac and carrying that out of the bulkhead is painful. Carrying the dehumidifier tank is painful too, but not nearly as much.

Suffice to say, I’m a hurtin’ red head today.

It’s a nana sitting night tonight, and tomorrow’s nana sitting work day will also be a papa sitting day too as we’re expecting him to come home. The last time he came home we were all so happy, right up until the moment when we realized how much nursing care he still needed and from there it was awful. Not to imply that we weren’t happy he was home, just to say that none of us are trained health care workers and it was incredibly difficult. I am seriously hoping it’s better this time. Fingers crossed.

I wanted to do car music this morning but had too many other things to do. I have one song ready to mix and I’ll probably do it at my mother’s house tonight. It’s a 12-bar blues and it’s not good. Not good at all. It’s a song though and it counts.

Okay, going to work now. Mondays suck.