Fair warning, I’m about to ramble. Due to recent events it is a little hard to write coherently….
Memorial Day evening, my daughter asks to go to her Mom’s grave. I take her.
Tuesday morning the nursing home called about a “walk-in” appointment for Dad with a Podiatrist. I was already on the highway with my daughter heading toward the site of my wife’s death (different location than her grave and much further away). It was another request of hers, seeking closure. I rarely miss a medical appointment for my parents but this one was unscheduled and I was already committed with my daughter. No worries, the facility had matters well in hand. I make plans to follow up with them the next day. It was not to be.
Tuesday night due to urgent medical problems, I rush my daughter to the ER, she is unconscious by the time we arrive. Another indicator of the urgency, even though I drove us in (no ambulance) we did not have to wait, we were immediately assigned a bed.
Wednesday morning, after an 18-hour overnight in the Emergency Room, I slip out for an hour and go home to see my son wake up and head off for school. Back at the hospital, my daughter is better. Longer term plans are made for her care and I slip away again to clear my work calendar, officially go on sick leave and put our dog in the kennel. Wednesday night, daughter is transferred to another hospital. Outside, Tropical Storm Beryl is pounding the area dumping rain. I hardly notice. I get my son from another family, we have a late take out dinner and both he and I collapse asleep.
Thursday morning, I sleep in. AWESOME! My son sleeps in, Uh-oh! He’s late for school. Real late, it’s okay. I drive him in. I pray, I go by my church. Both are vital for my support and health. Small things which have great impact. I visit several local offices to give my mea culpas on missed appointments from Tuesday and Wednesday. I finally make it to the nursing home and learn my Dad is fine. He had a toe nail removed but is doing great. Mom is her feisty self, happy to see her “brother” again. Head to the local Social Security office. They’ve mailed me a letter asking questions regarding my parents finances. I have a car load full of files and documents ready to back my position and claims if necessary. It is not. Ten minutes I’m in and out with simply a verbal explanation on my part.
I make arrangement for home and carpet cleaners to come in and clean the house on Friday and I do three loads of laundry (normally the kids do their own laundry). A clean environment will help my son and I and will be a great lift to my daughter once she comes home. I cook dinner for my son and I before driving the hour to my daughter’s new hospital for visiting hours.
As I drive I ponder what is the difference between a parent and caregiver. My daughter has significant medical issues which appear will be lasting. I already have Mom and Dad, am I my daughter’s caregiver now as well? It doesn’t matter, I’m going to be who and what she needs the most. Whatever any of them need me to be.
My son texts me, the toilet is stopped up.
Finally, a task I can do something about.