Thursday, April 4, 2013
The 36 hour day
So here I sit, day 3 of an eight day stretch taking care of Dad.
The thing is, I know this disease. I know the ropes. I know why they call it the 36 hour day. I do.
And yet...I still try to reason with him. Why do I do that?
He was up twice last night making coffee...used almost 2 cups of half and half in the process. Made himself toast as well. And because this is a nightly ritual, I used ear plugs last night just to be able to get some sleep. If I don't get sleep, I can't take care of myself, much less him.
I woke up to toast remains in the garbage, that is how I know he had it. And his diabetes numbers are high. Try as I might, I can't get a handle on the numbers and I am lost.
He wanted a hamburger for lunch. I told him he had one the last two days in a row. I need to watch the white bread ( sugar) he ingests. He gets so angry with me insisting he has not had any hamburgers for forever! Then he goes into child mode and tells me he will not eat anything I make or get. He is mad at me for trying to protect him. I think I have to give up. I cannot handle diabetes and alzheimers together. Not without counting me as a casualty.
I do whatever I can...like getting him a skinny frappuccino instead of a cappuccino blast from Baskins and Robbins. No ice cream, less sugar I figure. But he can't remember having one and insists I go get him one at least twice a day. When I tell him his cup is in the trash as proof he had one, he gets angry.
I know this is not my Dad. I do. But when he is yelling at me, it's easy to forget.
He tells me to go home, that he can take care of himself. And then expects me to walk out the door.
Then he gets even angrier because I am hanging around. So he retreats to his room to call his wife. And he sounds fine on the phone. He asks the same questions...where are you at, when are you coming home...etc. etc. But he sounds jovial.
Man, I wish I had THAT guy with me.
He wants to sleep a lot. Problem is, he sleeps for about 10-15 minute stretches and then wakes up. You would think that would cause him to sleep thru the night. Not so. He gets up and makes coffee an hour after he goes to bed. Then again in another hour or so. Then searches for whatever in the kitchen.
He is mad right now because there is no half and half. He used it all in two cups of coffee. But if I try to tell him that, he gets angry at me. So I just gotta stop. Stop trying to explain. Stop trying to justify to him.
And then when he tells his wife I am not taking care of him, I just have to let that go too.
This 36 hour day just might have turned into a 48 hour day.
would think that