Tag: Dad

Moods, Good bad or Indifferent

Moods, Good bad or Indifferent

I’ve been pulled back in, or at least the attempt is being made, and it’s the tug of the blog and not clutching of a tired swimmer struggling to survive. The last week or so has been hard, and not sense that my days have been full of onerous tasks. There has been some of that but moreso I had lost my drive to journal, to write my thoughts and to verbalized my fears. In short my mood toward writing, and other things, sucked.

Today had to be the day, I told myself, the point where “damn the torpedoes” I have to pen something.  It helps that another book I’ve taken up reading, called ” the Right to Write”, is describing that very situation. I’ve mentioned this book before, it happens to be the one that “jumped off the shelf” at me, figuratively not literally.  That really would have been cool, wouldn’t it.  The current paragraph describes how we just have to begin, we need only to promise ourselves that we will write for 5 minutes, only 1 paragraph, and the act of starting to write will unleash the torrents of words that are held within us.  Seems to have worked so far.  That part of my mood has lifted somewhat, like the curtains parting on a new play.

I don’t know what my problem has been, although my mind is full of speculation. The ideas of why, the reasons and/or excuses are in plentiful supply. to separate the wheat from the chaff is the challenge.

Certainly the issues with my Dad are ongoing.  The current situation is generally revolving around his scooter, and the lack of battery life.  He cannot go far without the scooter power dropping significantly and he is concerned (rightly so I must admit) of becoming stranded somewhere.  You think that’d be an easy one to fix, and it should be, but in a town with only one scooter supply store and a technician that “seems” to be run off his feet it has become a bit of a cluster f***.  Still no repair done, and the weather is great now where a spin outside would still be ok.  Soon, very soon, that will not be the case and he will be house bound, like a trapped animal, looking out from their cage wanting to be free.

Could also be my retirement plans, or strong desire for them to come to fruition.  I yearn to retire, I also feel like the trapped animal.  I’m fortunate that I can exit my cage but I am still held on a too-short leash. It’s only fear and common sense that are holding me back, fear of taking that step and common sense telling me I can’t afford it.

The passing of Andy Rooney, of the television show “60 Minutes” fame, has made me think as well.  Here’s a man who has made his passion his life , the art of crafting words.  He was described as a curmudgeon among other things, due in part to his talent for saying it like it was.  He pulled no punches and said what he thought.  His knack was also saying what many of us felt inside but were either afraid to say or unable to articulate.

So perhaps Mood can be a good thing after all, something that can drive us to say what needs to be said, if only for ourselves.  I do feel better.

Where do I begin?

Where do I begin?

It was an eventful day yesterday, running the gamut from dealing with Dad’s care, to full-on socializing, and being on the listening end of a full on bitch session regarding work.  By the end I felt beat-up and somewhat overwhelmed.

Dads doctor called in the afternoon, the results had come back from his blood work and his INR (International Normalized Ratio) was too low.  Essentially the INR is a measurement of the effectiveness of blood thinning drugs, in this case Warfarin.  If I understand correctly the low results indicate his blood has a slightly lower ability to clot.  In itself not too serious but the potential is there if left unmonitored or treated.  So between the doctors office and myself we got his dosage increased for a couple days and a further blood test this Friday.  The bus at the home will take him down to the blood clinic and he can get re-checked.  I have to say I’m a bit sceptical of this process, the whole “let him take the bus” routine, I see it having the potential for him either getting lost or missing the bus back, something that will require extra attention.  Call me a cynic, I just don’t feel all warm and fuzzy about it.

Next phase was visiting with Bruce, who was in town to do his service, so we were able to sit and have a couple scotches before going to dinner.  Unfortunately we didn’t get to commiserate as long as I’d hoped, nor about more interesting topics as Wally came with us and while he is generally fine to be with today he wasn’t so much.

He must’ve been feeling especially frustrated because when he began talking about work and how things were going the torrent of verbal distress came forth.  It pretty much dominated the conversation after that and by the time dinner was over I felt anxious and depressed.  Doesn’t really have a lot to do with me directly but Wally was hired to replace me and he’s having some challenges on the job himself.  Personal reasons have driven him to hand in his notice and he only has another week or so before he leaves.  I’m sure the work issues have impacted his decision in no small way as well, end result is he’s going after being there only a year or so, and no replacement has been selected that I know.

Bottom line when I got home I disgorged to Mo somewhat myself, poor thing.  I’m having some challenges getting my head around all the issues, both personal and work.  I’m sure it will come together, it’ll just take some time.

Happy Birthday Shawn

Happy Birthday Shawn

All is done and we’ve survived another one, at least I have to this point anyway.  Mo is still cooking though and likely won’t be done until later tonight.  She upholds her Grandma’s commandments, all 37 or more of them, this one being that no turkey shall be cooked without the bones being boiled for soup.  She steadfastly soldiers through the day completing this task, not saying “done” or “I give” until the last container has been filled and there’s no leftovers left over.  She is a trooper for sure.

We both made it through yesterday without any emotional upset, and although I wouldn’t have been surprised to have shown, or seen, some I’m glad it didn’t come.  The reason?  Oct. 9th was our son Shawn’s birthday and he would have been 29 had he still been with us.  Sadly he left us suddenly over 10 years ago and although we think of him almost daily his passing was not more painful to recall yesterday than on other days. It’s always sad no matter what, Thanksgiving or not.

Dad stayed over last night instead of going back to the home, he was happy to do that and I think enjoyed his time with the family.  As Mo said he hasn’t had that much family contact for years and that will make his last years in the area much happier I’m sure.  On the way here before dinner yesterday I drove him by the seniors home here in town and he mentioned numerous times how It would be so much easier for him to be here in town instead of his current location 20 miles away.  I have to agree, and that was why we initially wanted him here, to be closer to us.

Dad's condition stable

Dad's condition stable

I called Dad this morning and his slurring seemed more pronounced.  I wonder if it is a result of having additional strokes, or just the dementia taking it’s toll.

We have an appointment with a doctor this afternoon and I’d like to find some way to talk to her privately before or after our joint visit.  It sounds like they have still not gotten his records from the doctor in Langley, or if they have the admin assistant was not aware of it.  The new doctor needs to be aware of the various tests that were done and the results of each if she is to provide good care.  I did make my concerns known when I phoned in and I’m hoping that information has found its way into his file.

The whole circumstance of Dad and his condition is very trying on me, I just want to hide and avoid it all.  Sad think is it will get worse not better, until he finally passes.  He is getting more and more forgettful now, he didn’t remember he had a bank account in Trail and he thought we took his scooter home when it is still there.  It makes me wonder if he should even be going out, if he gets lost he may be a danger to himself or others.  He could end up being one of those people who just walks away never to be found.  Unlikely but these are some of my fears.

Dad on the Decline

Dad on the Decline

We took Dad out for dinner last night, we being Me, Mo, my Mom (Dad’s ex), and of course Dad.  I called him in advance to see if he was free and he was very “befuddled” on the phone.  And that’s his exact word, “befuddled”.  When I queried him on what he was getting at he asked me to help him find something out, specifically what happened to the house?  To make a long story short he was wanting to know how we moved him out of his house (not sure which one even now) and why he didn’t see any papers or have to sign anything.  He wondered what happened to all his things such as tools etc..  I tried to calm him and promised we could talk about it when we picked him up.

I was a bit distracted after that and thought about what may have been happening to him as we drove into Trail.  It bothered me, made me sad, and talking about it to Mo and Mom didn’t really help.  I think Mom still bears him some grudge after all these years, even though it’s not overt or malicious.  She seems to have little patience for his condition and that bothers me on some level as well.

At any rate we arrived at his place and picked him up from his room, he was still a bit addled and shakey, but we collected his things and took him out to the car.  On the way he began to weep silently, saying he didn’t know if he’d be here (there) tomorrow, inferring he may die that night.  I think between his realization his memory was going and his loss of identity at the moment he became overwhelmingly sad and his grief came through.

Dinner went well for the most part and his mood improved.  He was still at a bit of a loss regarding the move from the house but that occured over 25 years ago and even I couldn’t remember how it went down.  We took him back to his place after and Mo took him up.  On the way out she discussed it with the on-call nurse and they would check on him later to see how he fared.

I called him this morning and he still seemed to be a bit at a loss but much better on the whole.  This is likely just the beginning of the end.  It hurts my heart but I guess it’s just life, sad but true!

Move, Phase 1 complete

Move, Phase 1 complete

Friday 16th

Well we’ve done arrived. The first phase of dads move has begun. We have come to Kelowna to overnight and then onto Langley tomorrow to load up his things and bring him home. Not home literally but to a new home for him.

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Tuesday 20th

I began the post above on the first night of the move, rather the first leg of our trip.  I had every intention of putting more “ink” to paper and wanted to diarize the events over the succeeding days but did not have the heart, nor the intestinal fortitude.  I was tired even at that point.  Even as time went on I thought I’d feel more communicative but such was not the case.  As I update this after it’s all over (I hope) I can see that it had only just begun.  Maybe it’s my age, maybe it’s my disposition or the make up of my character but my head was swimming and somehow maintaining the blog was a distant desire.

Foul mood, 2 Strikes and a Home run

Foul mood, 2 Strikes and a Home run

Boy did I get into a funk yesterday afternoon.  I was in a pretty good mood during the day, all things considered, but when I got home I just felt plain ugly.  Perhaps some of the issues regarding my Dad came to roost.

I’ve received news at last that he can get into an Assisted living complex in the area, in fact we can move him any time.  I spent a chunk of my time yesterday trying to come up with some plan and schedule as to how we can do that in as short a period as possible.  I had a couple meetings later in the afternoon and felt somewhat harried at that point, in fact I had to leave my last meeting a bit early to get out of the building in time to go to the airport.  I had to pick up my bag that had gone AWOL after my trip.  Unfortunately it was not early enough as I saw the airline counter people leaving as I was just driving up and there was nobody left there that could give me my bag.  Strike one.

Next stop was to the shop where work was to be done to my truck last week.  They still had my keys.  They also explained why they didn’t do the work requested, another mis-communication.  Strike two.

Then to home finally, where my wife went through the litany of things she’d done, mostly for me.  It just overwhelmed me for some reason and I got all uptight.  No verbal exchanges took place, instead I had a glass of wine (or two) chilled and had some smoked salmon for dinner.  All’s good, home run.

Still not sure what the cause of the stress/funk was but I felt better this morning.  Still have a whack of things to do for Dad, to accomplish his move in a relatively stress free manner, but we are making headway.  Just have to remain calm and collected.

Dad's Saga – Hopeful move

Dad's Saga – Hopeful move

Still continuing to work on getting Dad here, it seems to consume all my time and most of my focus.  In reality it doesn’t consume ALL my time however it feels like it.  I struggle to blog about how I feel, or how I’m doing as it feels like all I am revolves around helping Dad.  I know he needs me, now more than ever.  My sister offers frequently to help me but I tell myself it would be too hard to bring her up to speed, and it would be easier for me to do.  I’m second guessing that and perhaps I’ll allow her to help by giving her the project of setting up his HandyDart pass.  It may be a challenge for her, it may be quite straightforward.  At any rate it will off load me and allow her to feel she can contribute.

I’m continuing to read a book on Procrastination and aspects of it mirror excerpts from the book on Emotional Alchemy.  Awareness of one’s emotions, or in this case your/my situations involving procrastination, are key.  Seek first to understand I believe is a quote from Stephen Covey and where he uses it as part of a improvement for communication I think it applies here too with understanding why we do things like procrastinate.  If we understand something (that is a problem for us) we are miles ahead in understanding what is needed to resolve it.  Oh I hope I continue to learn and retain.  I think my memory is improving, I want to continue to grow and learn.

Whew

Whew

Well I just finished cutting the lawn and cleaning up the edges among other things, I’m “all in” as they say.  Not sure who “they” is but “they” know their way around sayings.

My sister Br texted me telling me she’s talked to Dad tonight and he had no home care workers come today.  Not sure what that’s about.  She also said he was getting more pills from the pharmacy and she was curious why he had to get them, usually they deliver.  When I talked to Dads case manager yesterday she indicated he had to take his pills back to the pharmacy and get different ones.  Sounds like he (Dad) is not quite clear about what’s happening or Br misunderstood.  Possible  a combination of the two.

I really am avoiding this whole thing I think, I should likely be more involved in his care, albeit from a distance but this is likely when he needs me the most. It pains me to think about what is likely to happen to him.  The sooner we can get his assessment finished and bring him out here to live near us the better.

Been Away, Back from Camping

Been Away, Back from Camping

Wow, I didn’t think it was this long since I last posted.  We finished our camping at Kikomun and returned home.  The camping was great although the weather let us down, it was still good to be away.  I so got into the routine I forgot to take my meds a couple times.  No ill effects thank goodness, likely because of low dosage??

The drive home was a bit stressful because my truck had to work extra hard to pull the trailer over the pass(es). Thought I might not make it up a couple times, and going down I was stressed that my brakes wouldn’t hold us back.  Thank God we made it without event, although I see a new(er) truck is in our future.

Arriving back the task of dealing with my Dad took over.  We now are in the midst of making arrangements to get him tranferred from where he currently lives to somewhere closer to us.  At 80 he requires more attention and his health is failing him, as well as some of his mental accuity.

I’m still unhappy in my job.  In discussing it with a friend Dan E. I think part of the issue is that I believe I can see the “big picture” regarding my role here and what the outcome will be of many of the decisions that are made.  On the whole the operation of this place seems poor, with short sighted decisions and lack of follow through.  I don’t think I’m smarter than the average bear, although in reality I am, but I just don’t get why they can’t see the reality of their decisions.