I’m pretty much going nuts the past few days due to my grandfather, I’m around him 24/7 and as much as I love him to pieces, it’s seriously getting to me. It’s not that I don’t enjoy being around him, it’s the fact that his memory is fading and he’s getting worse by the day. It’s been nearly 3 weeks since I’ve looked after him alone (without help!), my aunts who are seriously pissing the hell outta me either come once or twice a week and make me feel like shit (my aunts are another blog post though!). In those 3 weeks, I’ve only had around 4 hours break away from everything, I desperately need a whole weekend away to rest, have some ME time and see my friends. I feel evil for even wanting some ME time but it’s seriously hard look after someone on your own when they are really ill. Thank god my mom is back next week, she can take the burden off me a little bit!
Here is what I’m currently coping with:
I was on the phone to my grandfather’s siter updating her on his condition, my grandfather was sleeping on the sofa, after I closed the phone I heard running water… I ran to the kitchen to find the sink overflowing and water everywhere. My grandfather forgot he had the tap running, so I had to clean all that up.
At the end of last week, my grandfather was screaming at 7am. I rush out of bed to find him in the bathroom shouting that the toilet is blocked. My grandfather has to wear sanitary pads (male versions of the female ones) and he put it down the toilet by mistake. So at 7am I had to try unblock the toilet, get the pad out of the toilet using my hands (thank god for gloves) and keep throwing water down the toilet to try flush up any blockages. 20 minutes later it was working
Yesterday, my grandfather took an overdose of his medication. He is supposed to take 3 pills in the morning, 4 throughout the day and 1 just before bedtime. In the morning, he ended up taking 4 of 1 pill along with the other 2. He forgot that he took them just minutes before. Luckily my aunt was over at the time and she called the doctor for advice as my grandfather was getting really scared. Thank god that he was okay and didn’t cause any damage!
Last week, my grandfather’s car wouldn’t start. He doesn’t drive anymore but he runs the engine daily to ensure it starts and works. My grandfather’s car has been in and out of the garage for various problems which resulted in my grandfather thinking that unscrewing the car battery after every use and then reconnecting it before use is a good thing. Anyway, his car would not start last week so he ended up using jump cables and this box thing he has. The result? he ended up putting the cable the wrong way around and now the car will not start at all. This morning to attempted to start the car again and now you don’t even hear the engine attempting to start, all you hear is crunching noise. When I told him to stop trying and to call the road side maintence people (The AA) he told me “arrgh just go away and leave me alone”, so I did. I went back to bed and left him to his own stubborn ways.
When you talk to him, he doesn’t register what you’re saying. He wears a hearing aid but even with that he doesn’t hear you. He thinks you are whispering when infact I’m nearly shouting at the top of my lungs. My mom called the other day saying she’ll be back here on the 17th instead of the 14th and when I replayed that information to my grandfather, I had to repeat it 5 times, slowly… like I was talking to a kid or someone that didn’t speak a word of english e.g. Muuuuuum *pause* saaaaaaaays *pause* thaaaat *pause* ssshhhhhe *pause* willlllll……
There are tons more examples of things I’m going nuts with, but I guess you all get the jist of it. He gets confused with everything that goes on around him, has trouble reading the time and repeats himself all the time, starts sentences without finishing them, or comes away with things that don’t make sense at all.
Just as I’m typing this, he just woke up out of his many sofa naps and says oh it’s 8pm already? How long have I been asleep for? I say “no it’s only 12:40” he goes “is neighbours on yet” (australian soap opera) and I’m like “no it’s not 1:40 yet, remember” then he says “what about the news” and I say “no that’s on at 1pm”. Then he rubs his eyes and asks “what’s the time?”.
I know he can’t help it, but I just feel bad that I’m going nuts, but you seriously don’t understand how hard it is to look after someone who is nearly 82, memory is fading, can hardly walk and you’re on your own.