How can one person generate so much laundry, mess, and (disgusting) ickiness? It's as if a troll crawled it's sticky, slimy self out from under its bridge and ran amok through the house when I wasn't looking. Giggling all the way. A very big troll.

You'd think with five cats I would be used to cleaning up ick (it is amazing how often kitty yark ends up everywhere, and oh so much fun to step in barefoot) but nope, does not work that way. Litter boxes are wet beds and poop filled underwear. I don't have to wipe their little butts or threaten and plead to get them into a shower once a week. They get into something awful and I can just scoop that particular happy kitty butt up, plop it into the sink and wash it. Not exactly fun but not that complicated. People are a whole other story.

As I may have mentioned before, I have no experience with children - absolutely no frame of reference for dealing with poo, wetting beds, soaking underwear in bleach water for a half an hour before washing them (twice usually), cutting food into tiny bits and still worrying about choking then fishing food out of a person's mouth before they choke, butts that don't get wiped, noses that are incapable of blowing/being blown, stickiness.... Oh. My. God. I HATE stickiness. I was that kid who could be covered in mud and insist that my sticky hands get cleaned off. I can not deal with sticky. Hate it. Hate it. Hate it. I'm the aunt who sends educational and whimsical presents (faerie wings and unicorns anyone?), encourages tree climbing and curiosity then stuffs them full of ice cream and sends them home. I don't clean up after them. I don't clean them. Mom is a LOT bigger (and messier) than them.

Last night I ended up doing five loads of laundry, one of which I had to dry today. Tonight had to do three more - would have been two but after changing PJs that were soaking wet somehow - I really don't want to know how - another one got added. I typically do five to six loads of laundry a week. For two people. I used to do two loads a week. I have found that Dreft pretreatment gets a lot of the stains out, but the white (undies) I have to soak in bleach water and typically wash twice to get completely clean. I go through two bottles of that a month. I also use OdoBan in the wash to kill the bacteria. It now comes in a lavender scent. I wash her things separately from mine.

It's a bleeding miracle that neither of us has gotten sick yet.

The dishwasher gets run twice a week now plus dishes done in the sink (plastics) that can't go in the dishwasher.

I run to the store every other day for one thing or another. I used to go to the grocery twice a month. The food bill has tripled. And yet I end up throwing things out a lot - that she used to like and eat and now won't. Frustrating.

Have to keep the house warmer in cool weather and cooler in hot weather not so there goes the electric bill despite energy saving lightbulbs and appliances. Not sure what more I can do about that. Find someone to re-caulk all the windows would be good. Finding a caulk that the cats would think is a fun toy, hook a claw in and pull out (then eat it) would be awesome. Stupid fuzz-butts.

I work a full time job - one that doesn't include a paid lunch, so that's nine hours a day. I get home and spend the next five hours cleaning. Despite having a caregiver come in four days a week for a few hours. I know she does some cleaning (I have a camera I can check). Every surface has ick on it. Why? Because she eats with her hands and doesn't wash them. So food bits are spread everywhere, so... stickiness. Some of which hardens and has to be scraped off. You have to keep up with it otherwise it becomes permanent especially cereal. Since she doesn't wash her hands - at all ever - you do NOT want to contemplate the petri dish that is the space under her fingernails.

I have a penchant for research, a scientific curiosity about everything... not this. I was NEVER curious about this kind of thing. Oh, I've researched it, this disease. I have binders of information, websites bookmarked and yet NOTHING prepares a person for this stuff. It just doesn't.

I know I am doing the right thing having her here. I know this. I have to do this, it's family and what has to be. You don't toss family aside. You take care of them as long as you can. The thing is although it has barely been seven months, I'm not sure how much longer I can do this - she starting to need more looking after than I can do. Scary thing is the one place I hope to place her won't be open until next year. The back-up (which really would be choice #1 if it were closer) is over $8,000 a month plus additional fees based on level of care. What the bloody hell?

So every day is anger, resentment, and stickiness. Have I mentioned how much I hate stickiness?


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Thank you Debbie, yes writing helps a great deal actually.


Oh CatK, it's so hard, the caregiving job you have. I hope you know how brave you are to keep showing up every day and every day. You deserve a medal.