The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Tag Archives: caregiver

WOW!!!! Thank you everyone. (and an update).

Serendopeity has had more than 5000 hits since starting last year.  Thank you one and all who have been faithfully hanging with me.

I know that there are periods of time when I am very quiet – it gets tiring day after day making sure mom and dad are safe.  It is getting more difficult by the day if the truth be known.

Although physically healthy mom’s mind seems to be fading, however, not nearly as quickly as dads is.  For whatever reason he is beginning to hallucinate and refuses to sleep at night.  Instead he naps all day – I cannot for the life of me figure out how to reverse this process.  If we wake him during the day he gets all pissy with whoever it is that wakes him and when I try to explain to him at night that I cannot go to sleep until he does, he apologizes, tells me he is going to sleep and then proceeds to stay up.  It is few nights when I manage more than a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep.  I do manage to catch up a little on weekends when Craig makes sure that I get to sleep in.

Alzheimer’s is a most horrible disease. It robs you not only of your memories but also your dignity.  I can only hope to hell that the gene if there is one, stops here and that neither of my brothers or myself are afflicted with it.  Having EC has nothing on Alzheimer’s that’s for damn sure.

In other news, I haven’t heard back yet from anyone in Afghanistan on whether the packages have arrived.  However, I did get an explanation on why it could be taking so long.  The packages I send are addressed to Camp Mirage.  For those who don’t know, Camp Mirage is a top-secret location of a Canadian Military Camp in Afghanistan.  So, the packages I send go from the base in Trenton, to Kandahar and then are forwarded to Mirage, wherever it may be…that could add quite a bit more delivery time to the original 3 weeks I was told.  So at least I feel a little better about knowing if the packages have arrived.  It would be nice to know that they at least got there.  I also heard through that “amazing” grapevine that some contraband got through (not in my packages).  That being the case, it is also possible that the packages are being held up longer so that they may be inspected – inspectors are going to be a little disappointed to find mainly junk food in the one I send.  I did manage to find a supply of silly string so at least that got send in the second round.

Bottomline, somethingfromhome is going slower than I would like – the corner of the dining room is piling up with items to send.  I have never had an overabundance of patience and sometimes, well, it shows LOL.

Spring is on its way and with it comes mud…I hate mud and refuse to wash the floor until it is all gone.  The dogs track it in so we have paw prints all over the floor LOL…it doesn’t make sense to wash it 10 times a day.  Not only that, I don’t have the energy for that kind of work.  Getting 4 loads of laundry done a day on top of everything else taxes me pretty much. 

The real estate guys were here last week.  It looks like the owner is putting the property up for sale.  Not that I blame him, but, I really don’t want to move again.  The price has been low-balled but even so I don’t know how long it will take to find a buyer.  The house needs loads of work, the store needs work and the duplex – well that In reality though who wants to spend all that money and then tear it down.  I wouldn’t – but maybe that’s just me.

Thats about it for now – again, thanks for sticking by me.  I do appreciate it.  5107 hits is not even close to some other blogs, but it is a milestone for me and one I am proud of.  I never thought that my blog would get 100 hits let alone over 5000.  Keep it up and one day, just maybe, Serendopeity will the fastest growing blog on WordPress.

Have a good one



Good news…

Now that Craig has returned to work full time I am back to being a caregiver for the most part.  My job in itself does not bother me, it’s just that I am so damn tired all the time that bothers me.  But there is good news on the horizon.

We (mom and dad and I) have been approved for 24 hours a week of respite for me and essentially them too.  What this means is that I can have someone come in to our home for up to 24 hours a week.  This is great news because I am hopeful that I will be able to return to work part-time and finally feel like a productive member of society.  Not that looking after mom and dad is not productive.  Au contraire – the longer I can keep them at home the better off they are. (Although there are some that think that them not living here but rather somewhere  else (read institution) would be a better quality of life for them than I offer here. But I am sure that has nothing to do with Ron and Carol’s well being but rather someone’s financial future).  OOOOps did I say that out loud, my bad!!!!!  However, until the time comes when I am unable to care for them any longer and it would not be in their best interests to stay home, they are here for the long haul.   Don’t misunderstand, I totally know that there will come a day when I can no longer care for either of them here and I do not look forward to that day at all.  But for the time being, even when we have our bad days, we are fine.

We try to keep busy – day programs, seniors groups, BINGO, bowling and tomorrow we are off to the beach with my Aunt and her 4 grandaughters for a day of picnicing and fun.  I am not sure how cold the water will be – but that matters not anyway.  The girls went in the water at the lake the other day, much to the “adults” chagrin.  Don’t they get it LOL.  The water could have ice on it and the “kids” would still go in!  That’s just how it is.  We will also be joined by Craigs’s daughter Desire.  She is a lovely young lady – in addition to be highly intelligent she is also very cute – so it might be tough keeping the boys away at the beach.  Between the 5 girls – oh my LOLOLOL.

That’s ok, dad will be there to protect them.

Somewhere in all of this I was trying to make a point. Oh yea, so insomuch as we all suffer from some affliction – Alzheimer’s, side effects from cancer, arthritis and a host of other age related stuff, we are still able to go out for a day and enjoy ourselves. 

This is what living is all about.  Having fun, spending time with people we love.  How can that be bad? 

Have a great day


Update Time!

I spent most of the day sleeping today, a luxury usually unknown to me.  I did get up this morning but mom and dad had aready been fed so I made something to eat (grapefruit, peanut butter and toast, coffee) and then went back to sleep. Not intentionally, my breakfast didn’t sit well so I thought I would just lie down for a minute and it would pass.  No such luck, lying down for a minute that is the next thing I knew it was noon and it was time to make lunch.  But I didn’t have to do that.  Craig is fitting in so nicely that I could sleep while he fed mom and dad. I got to stay in bed with the dogs – both of them – and sleep some more.  When I finally did wake up it was 3:00.  I asked Craig to make sure that I was up by 4 but I really didn’t need to as I didn’t fall back to sleep. Took my shower and then it hit me!!!  I felt like death warmed over.  Stupid me, in all my glory of sleeping the day away I forgot to eat.  By suppertime my stomach was in total revolt having nothing in it other than bile.  Not a pretty picture I know, but that’s what happens when I don’t eat. 

See a normal person can go without food in their stomach with not much trouble.  I, on the other hand, need to have something in my stomach at most times – otherwise the bile.  You would think that I would know this by now but no, I totally forgot.  Making dinner was a chore.  I was so out of energy that I had to sit down every couple of minutes or wlse I would have fallen down.

I truly believe that the reason I was able to slep is that I am finally getting comfortable in my roll of co-caregiver and that my body is finally catching up on all the sleep it has missed.  Thank God for Craig.  He has saved my bacon so to speak.  He is always right there when I need a break from mom and dad and it is so nice to not have to worry that they are not getting into trouble or danger.  Having him come in here and help me with them is the best thing ever.  Thanks Sue for suggesting it !  I am also going to bed earlier at night.  Last night it was 1:30.  That is about 4 hours earlier than I am used to.  Holy Cow!!!!!

Maggie (the dog) and Bosco are getting along famously.  I was a little worried at first.  Maggie is so adorable but as a little dog she was very intimidated by Bosco on the ocassions that she ran into him.  Now it is really cute to see them together.  Bosco, for the most part, ignores her,  but then he goes and does something chivalrous and I have to laugh.  He no longer stands directly in front of his water dish. Instead he stands to one side so that she can drink too if she wants.  I think he purposely leaves a little food in his dish so that she can have it.  The first time she stuck her head in the water dish I had to laugh.  She looked at me, looked at him, and then started lapping at the water. LOL.  He just looked at her as if to say, ya, whatever LOL.  She is also really cuddly. I have put off having her in my lap too much lest he get jealous, well more jealous than he is but today when I was laying down he jumped up on the bed, settled in at my feet, ok so on my feet and before I could move she jumped right up and snuggled in beside me.  I thought he would get annoyed but he didn’t.  LOL.  When you rub her stomach and stop, she takes her paw and paws at your hand to keep going.  She is just like Bosco was when he was young LOL – only about 1/20th of the size.  Which by the way, Bosco is shrinking.  He is on a diet (well as much of a diet as he can be around here) and so far has lost 2 pounds.  He has a wayto go but this is a good sign.  He is also on medication now for the rest of his life as his thyroid is not working properly.  I am glad to know this because I thought his weight issues were just because of the litany of food that mom and dad were feeding him but apparently not.  Taking his pill twice daily is one of the few times he gets people food.  To get him to take his pill I have to put it in liverwurst LOL.  Tonight I put it in a little piece of meatball and lo and behold I got the stare and the bark until I brought the liverwurst out.  He certainly does know what he wants, especially when it comes to food. The barking is driving me crazy but I know it is just because the poor thing is starving to death. LOL.  He will survive but I don’t know if I will.

Two weeks today and I will be in sunny (I hope) Lake George, New York for Americade’s Bike Week.  Right now I wouldn’t care if I was going to the next town over as long as I got some peace and quiet and a vacation.  I haven’t really been on a vacation since having cancer.  It will be nice to get away for a whole week.  I have also made my plane and hotel reservations for the end of June in Minneapolis for my cousin Kate’s wedding reception.  There is no turning back now.  I have to get a dress and shoes but will do that in Lake George.

I get my tattoo this week. Friday night to be exact.  I am looking forward to this.  It will be a permanent acknowledgement of being a survivor of cancer.  I go see Gastro Guy this coming Thursday for my annual scope and heading into the summer I see Rad Onc in Aug after a CAT scan in July.  The good news is that unless I hear back from Gastro Guy I won’t be nervous waiting to hear about the CAT scan from Rad Onc.

Things are most definately looking up…at least for me. However, my favourites on Dancing With The  Stars might not think so for themselves.  I really want Shawn Johnson and Mark Ballas to win and before tonight I thought that they would be the ones leaving tomorrow night before the winner was announced but…Melissa and Tony didn’t do as well in the Free Style as I thought they would so it could come down to Shawn and Mark, and Cheryl and Gilles.  If that happens then I really think that Cheryl and Gilles will take it but who knows what will happen in TV land.  All I know is that next Monday night will be a “What do I do tonight” night because DWTS will be over 😦

Bowling is also over for the season.  We won’t be back in the lanes until September.  So, what the hell am I going to do on Thursday nights?  I won an award this year – the “Best Effort/Least Reward” award.  I get a nice placque for the wall and I netted some coin.  Basically the award is for the person who tries the hardest but still sucks at bowling – that would be ME!  But that’s ok, I had the best time this year and will most certainly be back in September.  My team tied for First Place, which is an acheivement in it’s own right.  Consider, I am a bad bowler – avg of 96; we lost one of our best bowlers when she had to have surgery (2) for breast cancer (Jean).  So net net we did pretty damn good tying for first.  My team is obviously very awesome and carried me most of the time LOL.  Thanks Guys, it was an honour playing with you.  See you in September.

Amazingly enough I am quite tired now so I am going to bed and it is only 12:30.  A couple more nights like this and I will be a “normal” sleeper once again.  I am not looking for miracles though, sleep was never one of my strong suits.

Have a great week.



Help is on it’s way!!!!

I have taken some initiative and I will have live-in help coming soon. This will ease my stress levels immensely and will also allow for me to take some time off when I need it.

My ex-neighbour Craig’s job was cut short, as are many others in this economy, and it looked as though he would not be able to stay in his apartment much longer.  He is not from around here, but would like to stay in the area as his daughter is near by and he she’s her every other weekend. I have an extra large room available (it’s almost as big as the living room, except it has 5 feet cut off for a large walk in closet. It’s about 17″ x 15″)  On Friday I took Craig out to lunch and asked him if he would consider moving in here.  I will not be charging him rent or board (until he can find a job), instead we are trading off.  He gets a place to live and I get help with mom and dad.  Additionally we get another dog and a Gecko lizard LOL.  The dog is so cute, and I know that when I tell my neice Jamie she will be thrilled LOL.  I think she will also like the lizard as she used to have one of her own!

This means that I will be able to go out for an evening and not worry about what mom will “put away” while I am gone.  It’s not so much the “putting away” that aggravates me, it’s that she doesn’t remember where she put anything except that “if I did it” (which a common response) it would have been put in an “approriate place”.  Since mom’s cognitive function is, at best, non-existant, appropriate takes on a whole new meaning…

I already fell as though a tremdous weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  I realize there will be an adjustment period – change is a big deal to anyone with any form of dementia, but I am hopeful that within a week or two, his living here and being here all the time will the “norm” for all concerned.

I never thought that I would need help with mom and dad.  Hell, I am 48 years old, I should be able to do most anything.  Unfortunately surgery, chemo and radiation for Esophageal Cancer has left behind some issues that make things impossible for me to do.  I am confident that now that I have help things around here will be alot smoother, less arguments and a whole lot less stress for me. YAY!!!!!

I wasn’t too worried about my trip to Lake George.  I had enlisted in the help of my Aunt Betty who lives here in Brighton and she had agreed to come and stay with mom and dad while I was gone.  She will still spend time with them while I am away, but she will be able to sleep in her own bed at night and rejuvenate for the next day LOL.  For someone her age, 77, she is awesome.  A year or two ago she went skydiving!!!!!!!  And loved it !!!!!!! LOL.  Each winter season she drives to Tennessee to her daughter Sandra’s.   It used to be Florida but Sandra and her family moved to Tennessee, a move that Aunt Betty claims “ruined her life” LOL.  She likes the warmth and the sun and from what I have heard, this past winter in Tennessee was anything but. Oh well, I think 40 degrees is much better than -40, but that’s just me.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about my trip to Minneapolis the end of June.  I hadn’t gotten anyone to look after them for that period of time.  It is very difficult to ask anyone to do it, I know what it is like and what it entails and it isn’t a fun job.  Craig is well aware of both mom and dad’s condition and is confident that he can do this.  I am too.  And if, when I return the poor man has left for parts unknown I will understand LOL.  However, I don’t think that will happen.

SO, it is a beautiful, sunny day here.  Still a little cool, but the sun makes it not so bad. 

Have a great week


Sometimes you fell like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

And sometimes I feel like writing and sometimes I don’t.    The last couple of weeks have been a “don’t” period.  I am not sure why but perhaps the fact that I hate the month of April might have something to do with it.   Fact #116 on my  164 Things about Me List is that I hate the month of April.

Why, you ask?  Read this and throw in the fact that it was also a year ago April 3 that I found my Uncle dead in his chair and it pretty well sums it up.

I am also suffering from Caregiver Burnout.  I will be remedying this in the very near future – June 1st to be exact – when I will be vacationing in beautiful Lake George, NY and participating in all the fun that Americade and Bike Week have to offer.  Click here to see what Americade is all about and why I will be having the most fantabulous time ever!!!!!

Additionally I am having more help come in to help with mom and dad.  I have come to the realization that,  try as I may,  I cannot be the chief cook and bottlewasher, laundry maid, and all round General Domo around here.  My caregiver role is a 24/7 job and even when I was a workaholic I didn’t keep those hours.  It may have felt like it at the time, but I was young and naive back then.  At least I got to go home and away from work everyday, had weekends to do whatever, had a life. That is not the case anymore. 

So, more help, a week pretending to be a “biker chick” and I think that I will be ready to write again.  Oh ya, after returning home I will be heading off again at the end of June.  I will be going to Minneapolis, MN to attend the wedding reception of my now famous cousin Kate Harding.    I haven’t seen that branch of the Family Tree in many many years so I am very very excited about going.  My only regret is that Mom and Dad will not be able to go with me.  They don’t travel well these days and I am afraid that too much change and excitment would not be a good thing for them. 

The livingroom is almost complete now.  Still have the trim to paint, but I am so glad I went with the traditional colours that a house this old and “stately” deserves.  I will post pics as soon as I get the patch cable from my nephew.

Hope your week and your month of April is going/has gone well and one last thing – no matter how chilly it still is, I have spotted my one true confirmation of spring being here.  This week, I saw my first Magnolia Tree in bloom.  I love Magnolia Trees and I know for sure that spring is here when I see the first one.

Wow, I guess I had more to say than I thought I did.  LOL.  Ya, Ya – what did you expect?  Afterall it is me we are talking about and I am not usually at a loss for words.


Update Time

I haven’t had a whole lot of time to spend here lately so it’s time to update.

Everyone is finally over the 48 hour bug that lasted a week.  It wasn’t pretty and I am glad it is over and will cross my fingers that it never returns.  The fallout has been minimal, however it took me getting sick to realize that I cannot do all this on my own – I need help.  The pre-case worker from Community Access called on Saturday to get some prelim information.  She says that my situation sounds like I am eligible for some help – perhaps a Personal Service Worker to help with Mom and also someone who can watch mom and dad while I get to go and run errands.  Fun wow – but it is easier than always having to take them along.  She told me there are only 2 case workers for Brighton which is kind of ridiculous considering it is a town of mostly old people who need the service.  But I guess Government money only goes so far.  Hopefully a caseworker will contact me this week and we sill be set up within 2 weeks.  Let’s see how that goes.


Landlord Man update – the news we have all been waiting for.  It was not as good as I had expected but I will be getting back all the money that was overpaid in illegal rent and the cash I spent to have the dryer repaired.  He has until March 6 to repay or I can take it off the rent going forward for the next couple of months.  I know he won’t be sending me the cash anytime soon so I guess that means reduced rent.  This is a good thing – I can save more money for my trip to Lake George and Minneapolis in June.  Madam Chair hd some comments for him – mainly that he needs to learn the Residential Tenancies Act.  What really burns my btt is that although she even says in the Order that he has a “blatant disregard” for the Act she did not fine him.  Nor did she allow my request for compensation re the hydro and gas as “it is not a matter of maintenance or safety and therefore not allowed under the Residential Tenancies Act”.  So my next step is to take him to Small Claims Court.  However, I am also looking at having him charged under the  Criminal Code of  Canada for Theft.  I am waiting to hear back from some Police buddies on that one.  The gas bill for last month was almost $600.00.  It has never been that much – the most was last year for a month at $360.00.  The furnace is running all the time because the heat is being sucked into the next building.  I also found out last weel that he had the hydro shut off in that building because he didn’t pay the bill.  The basement apartment flooded when the snow began to melt and he had to hook up to my hydro to pump it out.  The sump pump is still hooked up to my hydro – he doesn’t know that I know that but I have the pics to prove it now. 

I went through a phase last week when I thought I was becoming the tenant from hell but then realized that I am not doing anything more than standing up to a Bully and a thief.  I am not the bad guy in all of this – he is and quite frankly I despise the man and everything he does.  So perhaps I am becoming a little vindictive in my old age but I think not.  I am just sick to death of being taken advantage of because I am a nice person.  Enough is enough.  Had he asked to use the hydro for the pump chances are I would have said yes – however, instead he just went ahead and did it.  Not a smart move in my opinion.  This is a man who broke the law on numerous occassions and then had the audacity to tell Madam Chair that the reason that I hauled him up in front of the Landlord Tenant Board is because I was mad that he “fired” me and my friends from his store.  That is another point of contention – he has told people that we stole from him. When I confronted him on this issue and said – “Ok well you have the surveillance tapes lets see them.  Show me where I stole from you”.  He shut right up and said that those tapes were none of my business.  So I further baited him “Ok, then have me arrested for stealing and the tapes will be your proof in court”.  Again I was told that it was none of my business. So, how does that work.  I am accused of stealing, he has the tapes to “proove” it, yet they are none of my business???? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  I know I did not steal anything from him so I also know there is no tape showing me doing so.  So I guess, this could be another one for Civil Court…

Bosco has an ear infection as per usual although this one sems to be a bit different than the ones he normally gets.  It almost looks like more of an allergy than the usual ear infection.  We are off to the vet later this week.

Now that mom and dad are back to being well (?) their normal activities this week will resume.  Mom is off to her Woman’s Group tomorrow afternoon. Bowling is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, Dad’s Men’s Group Thursday morning and BINGO thursday afternoon.  Somewhere in all of this I hope the caseworker can make a visit and get us on the right track with some help. 

I am tired all the time.  At first I worried that perhaps my EC was rearing its ugly head again but I don’t think that anymore.  Looking at my sleep habits and my full schedule it is not surprising that I am tired.  I am getting too old for all of this LOL.  I need a break and am so looking forward to June when I can get away and have no responsibilites for a  couple of days.  How nice it will be not to have to get up,  make meals, do the dishes and spend the day doing it all.  If only I could win the lottery…

That’s it for now.  Hopefully I haven’t left anything out.  It’s time to get dinner ready – what else is new.

Hope your week is filled with fun and frivolity.  Life is short, eat dessert first.



It had to happen sooner or later

Today I started on a new path.  I made a call to the Community Care Access Centre.  It will be a case worker from the CCAC that will start the paperwork to get me some help around here.  Maybe someone who can come in a couple of hours a week so I can get out and not be afraid of what will happen when I am gone.  This afternoon I headed out to do some shopping – not Nancy shopping but shopping for mom and dad.  I find shopping with them too stressful and well, slow.  I can be in and out of the grocery store in 20 minutes tops and thats with a full cart of groceries when I am alone.  Throw them into the mix and we are looking at an hour easy.  And most days I don’t have an extra hour to be out and about.  I have always wondered what stay at home moms do all day.  I could never understand it – I was never one so the concept was a little foreign to me.  However, after over a year with mom and dad I can fully understand what stay at home moms do.  Between trying to entertain and feed them, break up their petty arguments, settle the stupid disputes and keep peace in the family there is not alot of time to do much else.  Additionally there is trying to keep their bathroom clean, which, these days is a full time job in itself, laundry, and meal prep. 

Anyhow, this morning I went grocery shopping.  Didn’t need a whole lot but ended up with more than I had on my list – what else is new???  I picked up some bannanas – we were down to one and I try to keep fresh fruit here at all times – it saves on the cookie consumption.  I think there was about 7 or 8 in the bunch I grabbed.  Brought them home, set them out in the fruit bowl with apples and oranges and then went about my day.  Mom was still sleeping when I left – a normal occurance now.  If we don’t get her up then she is in bed till around 2:00 – 3:00.  When I got home I was a little dismayed to say the least.  There was 1 bannana left in the bowl.  So I went on a search mission.  Don’t misunderstand – I would never begrudge my parents food.  My problem is that I would rather they eat it then me find it next week somewhere hidden and smelling…I buy it so they CAN eat it – but mom has this habit of squirreling away stuff and you never know where you are going to find something from last week’s dinner or lunch.  When we first started this journey  she carried a purse.  We had to give that up because she kept losing it.  The problem wasn’t the purse it was to time consuming to have to replace her ID every week so we got rid of the purse.  Anyone who has ever had to deal with government agencies will understand when I remark about the total inefficiency of said government agency.  If you lose your OHIP card be ready for the Grand Inquisition in addition to having to produce other pieces of ID.  Ummm…she lost her purse all the ID was in the purse.  If we had the purse we would have the damn OHIP card now wouldn’t we.  Zippy the Wonderslug and Zippy’s family who have cornered the market on plum Government jobs have no clue as to why replacing ID is such a big deal. 

But I digress…

Upon finding said bannana peels in the garbage I felt better about them – however there was the pill issue.  Every morning I place mom and dad’s pill packets on the table at their seats at the table.  Dad has his when we have breakfast together.  Mom’s sit there waiting until either she gets up or I take them in to her, wake her and wait while she takes them.  Today I left hem on the table.  I come home and the pills are gone – but so are her morning pills for tomorrow morning.  I am back to hiding the pills.

So late this afternoon I took the plunge and called the CCAC.  A intake worker called around 7:30 tonight, took all the pertinent info and said a case worker would call within the next couple of days.  We will have to wait and see what happens from here out.  Will I chicken out re putting mom (and possibily dad too) on a waiting list for long term care?  Who knows?  I would imagine it will depend on my mood when the case worker calls.  All I know is that it is getting progressivly more and more difficult to try and take care of them on my own,  I need help, I need a break. I am getting to the point of burnout and I know that if I get to that point then I will be ineffective at best and perhaps something other than I want to be to them.  I can’t be a caregiver when I need caregiving myself.

It has taken me a long time to admit that I need help.  I thought I could do this and I was wrong.  I can do most of it, not all of it and it is time to rely on some outside help.

When the Caregiver needs Caregiving (warning graphic descriptions herein)

It all started Saturday morning.  I woke up early to get ready for a Relay For Life breakfast at the local high school.  Unfortuneatly my body had other plans for the day.  After almost choking on a piece of toast I grabbed some oj to try and wash it down.  When that didn’t work I hightailed it into the bathroom to try and throw the little sucker up.  Lo and behold, instead of throwing up I was faced with a different problem.  I headed upstairs to shower and change.  I spent most of Saturday sleeping on and off and running to the bathroom about every 15 minutes.  Most times I made it, some I didn’t.  I tried to make dinner for mom and dad but didn’t have the energy to do much more than hold my head up and try to tell mom how to warm up some chili I had made for dinner on Friday night.  After dinner I grabbed a ginger ale and some plain cherrios thinking that I needed to put something in my stomach.  I wasn’t sure what but I needed something if I was going to stop the endless stream.  The cherrios and gingerale stayed down and Saturday night passed almost uneventfully.   I had one or two runs (to say the least) to the bathroom but I had ample warning and no more messes.  Sunday morning I got up and had a piece of toast and 1/2 cup of coffee. Anyone who knows me well, knows that 1/2 cup of coffee just doesn’t cut it for me but I wasn’t going to take any chances.  As the day progressed I felt better and better.  My jaunts to the bathroom slowed considerably and I was drinking more and more ginger ale and eating cherrios.  I felt that we had averted a real crisis and we could get on with it.  That changed in a New York City minute.

I was in the kitchen trying to clean up when Dad yelled at me to come quick.  Mom had fallen in the bathroom.  I literally pushed him out of the way and ran in.  She was lying on the floor.  When I spoke to her to ask her if she was hurt in anyway, she could barely speak, speech garbled and very incoherent.  She thought she was sitting on the toilet.  She was clammy and sweaty and by the time we got her up off the floor she was able to speak.  I got her into  bed, where she said she wanted to go and she drifted off. 

The next alarm came when I was called downstairs by a frantic dad.  As soon as I hit the ground floor I could “smell” what the problem was.  Great, she now had what I had previously.  We got the bathroom cleaned up as much as possible.  While doing so it became apparent that the bathroom sink was leaking. I mean apparent by the pool of water forming on the floor.  Dad was a real trooper, cleaning up what he could.  I, on the other hand had to leave the room several times.  The smell was overwhelming and in my already not feeling well state it seemed exaggerated 100fold.  I got mom into the tub and showered her off, redressed in some clean clothes and back to bed.  About 15 minutes later it happened again. I asked her how her stomach was feeling ans she said she was hungry. This is always a good sign from mom.  I have always said that if mom or Bosco stop eating there is a problem somewhere.

Not be able to cook a real meal I popped a couple of TV dinners into the oven.  The third time I knew we were in trouble.  I asked dad if he was ok on his own and headed out to the drugstore.  If we were going to get through the next 36 – 48 hours (based on the length of time I was not well) then I needed reinforcements.  It was 5:40 pm.

For what ever reason the closest drugstore was closed. The door said they were open til 6:00 but I guess in a small town, 6:00 pm comes early on a Sunday night.  Keep in mind I was in my pj’s and slippers with my winter coat thrown over top.  Quite a sight.  I jumped back into the car and headed for the next drugstore – ok, they were closed, but their sign in the door did sayt 5:30.  Off to No Frills.  Finally somewhere that was open.  I picked up the needed supplies and headed home.  Damn, I’m fast, 20 minutes and I was back in the house.

I loaded mom up on Imodium while dad ate his dinner.  She tried but couldn’t get anything down and went back to bed.  So far, so good.  I wasn’t eating but told dad I would have a coffee with him after dinner. 

It didn’t take long before mom was back in the bathroom.  She was pale, clammy again and had not quite made it in time.  However, the adult under garments I had gotten at the drugstore helped to stem the mess.  We got her cleaned up again and back to bed.

Dad and  I sat down to watch some television.  Everything was ok – mom was sleeping, Bosco was sleeping with her, dad and I were watching CSI:Miami.  At 10:00 I made us some toasted crumpets and coffee.  He went to bed and I went upstairs.  I had slept most of the last two days on and off so I was far from tired.  And since I haven’t had any real food for the same amount of time I didn’t think it was a good idea to take my meds.  I will probably pay for that in the long run.  So far my stomach isn’t too bad but the pain is. 

At 2:50 am I heard movement from downstairs.  By the time I hit the stairs running and got to the bottom I heard retching…I knew that sound – many times I had heard it coming from the bathroom when my father had a migraine.  This is wonderful – now him too.  When it rains it pours.  Luckily enough dad is still in some control of his facilities.  Aside from some memory failure and an arthritis problem he is, overall, not even close to the level of mom’s decline and/or progression of Alzheimers.  I got downstairs in time to help him into the bathroom.  He had the presence of mind to grab something when he started throwing up so there wasn’t a mess to clean up.  However, by the time I got back into the bedroom mom was up and throwing up.  She did not have the same quick thinking process and most of herself and the carpets on the floor were covered. 

The floors of the house are hardwood so I have strategically placed throw rugs all over the place.  I picked up the last 2 on the floor in their room and took them outside to put into the bag.  I think I will be spending sometime at the laundromat tomorrow.  Between mom, dad and myself there are 3 garbage bags full of dirty laundry…and it still isn’t daybreak yet.

So, it’s 3:45 am.  I am wide awake, afraid to even lie down in case mom and dad need me downstairs in a hurry.  I made Bosco come upstairs with me and he is sleeping soundly on my bed – straight across it – I couldn’t go to bed if I tried.

I can’t do this.  I feel totally out of control and like a complete failure.  I made a solemn vow to myself that I would do whatever it took to help mom and dad and today I dropped the ball big time.  I got angry, yelled at mom, wished I was somewhere else, anywhere else.  I cried to dad that I was sorry that I wasn’t taking care of them like I told them I would.  The house smells so bad that I am not sure if m own stomach will last until morning without revolting. I have washed floors, cleaned toilets, tried to maintain dignity for all concerned and failed miserably. 

I need help – the caregiver needs caregiving. For the first time in a long time I miss Jeff.  I miss having him to hug me and tell me that it’s going to be ok, his shoulder to fall asleep on.  I need a break, I can’t even get sick and it’s only some stupid stomach bug.  What happens if my cancer comes back?  Who will take care of them ?  Or me?   I must have been some nasty mofo in my last life, because I am sure paying for it now.