Sunday, May 18, 2014

Loud and clear

With my Dad, some years ago....
I've come to St Albans to give my sainted mother a couple of days respite looking after my father.  She's been loking after him since he was released from hospital, despite having divorced him forty years ago.  He's much better physically, but his short-term memory is completely shot and he is forgetting how to do some things he was previously handling himself like emptying his catheter.

My sister Amanda took the first couple of days.  Yesterday she left him his lunch and wenty off back home, and I arrived a couple of hours later.  My father seemed happy but surprised to see me at 2pm, and continued to be happy but surprised every time I came into the room.  If I asked him if he wanted anything he invariably demanded a cup of coffee, which meant that he'd had about six by 7pm.

He has a supra-pubic catheter, and therefore has to have a night bag attached before he goes to bed.  I've never done this before, as he was previously handling that sort of detail himself, and so I was a little anxious about it, but I managed OK and got him to bed without incident about 11pm.

Fortunately, knowing that he's an early riser I went to bed about an hour after him, and managed to sleep pretty well.  I fell asleep to the sound of his snoring and woke to the sound of a medley of musical favourites.  I shot out of bed, and hastened to his side with bowls for the changeover to day mode, and successfully detached night bag without incident.  (My mother found him dragging his night bag around a couple of mornings, with messy consequences.)

I was still celebrating this achievement when I saw the time.  5.06am!  He's refused to dress or wash and is now watching News24 at 90 decibels in the living room.  When he saw me, he was happy but surprised.  And demanded a cup of coffee.