Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day "One" with Daddy

Since I'm here to "whip him into shape", as it were, here's our baseline:

The bff neighbors leave, officially tomorrow. Daddy will haz a sad then. (I think he already haz a sad, but I'm expecting it to potentially "worsen" over the next few days, so I'm focusing on physical changes I can "Drill Sergeant" for him.)

Yesterday, I awoke to his throat clearings. I'd managed to get to bed/sleep at a reasonable hour, even though I had traveled forward in time by three zones. Went to bed somewhere in the 11-ish hour, Thursday night. So Friday morning was following a decent sleep. Yes, I'd awoken "in a strange place" a few times, but returned to slumber straightaway & got up with Daddy's "noise" at a reasonable hour, as well (8-9 "ish").

Neither of us had any particular agenda for the day, so we determined together what we planned to accomplish. I want to get him walking in his neighborhood. Number of steps don't matter; speed doesn't matter; time spent outside doesn't matter. Let's just put on our sneakers and take the walker out, walk as far as we can until he gets winded, and then rest by him sitting on the walker. He also figured we'd visit with Uncle Dan and his bff neighbors. That was all the plan we had for Day One.

So we each checked our electronic devices for news or notifications or whatever we checked 'em for. We ate breakfast. He called Uncle Dan, who sends him daily text messages re: how he's feeling, but then he follows up by phone, to see if a visit is in order for that day (especially if he's got a "ride", i.e. me driving a rental car). No visit yesterday; Dan was not "up" to it.

He called Uncle Leroy, just to see how he was doing. He called Uncle Terry, for the same reason. I'm here to make sure Daddy's doing all right, and in the meantime, he's making sure other family is also all right. Apparently, the caregiving apple doesn't fall far from the RN tree. ;)

We put on sneakers and went for a short walk, with the walker. He hated it, because he can't not hold the handles of the walker, and the position(s) of them makes walking feel too much like "work" or physical therapy, or possibly just "looking old". So we discussed "Jerry-rig" improvements, like somehow attaching a long strap so that he could drag it along behind. We stopped at the third shade tree (counting his own), and he sat down to rest. Then we returned to the house to sort some of the ideas we'd had, and set back out again. Made it as far as the third shade tree, having failed in "Jerry-rig Attempt #1", & returned to the house with more ideas.

He'd gotten a bit winded, so he was sucking on a very small, portable oxygen canister. Like, really small. This is the sort of thing that hikers pack for high altitudes, I think. Ánd no, he wasn't actually "sucking" on it. He depressed the button long enough to "spray" straight-up O2 into his mouth and down his windpipe, once or twice.

This action, of course, generated a conversation about his Rx Albuterol. He'd been the one to most clearly explain the delivery of Albuterol into MY lungs when I got my inhaler, with prescribed spacer thingy; why wasn't he using his Albuterol? It didn't work, most likely because he'd had to "Jerry-rig" a spacer... so we planned to stop by CVS to see about getting him a proper one.

So... "baseline" walking distance, check. Convo re: each of our motivations/goals, check. Hopped in the golf cart for the short jaunt over to CVS (no, you need an Rx for a spacer, and glucosamine/chondroitin is NOT CHEAP if you're having joint pains) and Publix (we needed milk and lunchmeats and some crackers and of course, ice cream) and back home, after he'd introduced me to everyone he knows. It was interesting, meeting "his people"... because I'm an extrovert, of course I have "my people" (at my Trader Joe's and Costco, at least), and it made me feel good to know that there are local customer service peeps who would look for him, even if they couldn't necessarily find him... they'd worry as much as family does.

FINALLY got a visit with his bff neighbors! Now, I had met the female half of the couple, and we're in long-distance group convos with the rest of Daddy's progeny, when we need to be. But we hadn't spent much time together. I decided yesterday that she was to be my new bff! Later, we had a separate visit with the couple, when I FINALLY (after all these years) got to meet the male half. My greatest shock was discovering that Daddy's bff neighbors all these years are MY generation, not HIS. Whatever.

Daddy and I wrapped up our pretty-productive (baseline-setting and deep conversation-having) first day together with him going to bed well past his normal bedtime. I grabbed whatever I needed to occupy myself in my upstairs bedroom, tried to hit the sack ~midnight-ish, and found that I Just Wasn't Sleepy. Or Tired. Or able to sleep, for whatever reason.

So I replied to some snail-mail I'd brought with me, and I completed the page I was coloring on my flight. Got to bed/sleep shortly after 2 a.m. just by forcing myself to it. The coloring had in no way calmed me or made me sleepy or relaxed or anything like that. It gave me a stiff neck, frankly, because 1) this is my first experiment with adult coloring and 2) I was sitting/lying in bed, trying to make it work. However, I was pretty damn pleased with the end result, so after posting the photo to Twitter, I did some easy sleep math, and planned to awaken no earlier than 9 a.m.

Easy Peasy, Right?


  1. tell me everything. i mean it. always. ever. whenevs. totally.

    1. Well, I mean, I'm trying... without opening closet doors or anything online. If you need more info than I'm able to divulge here, you can always call me or him. I'm sure he'd be thrilled to hear your voice, especially now that you've semi-landed!

  2. Sounds like you have a lot of patience. So is your Daddy going to be living with you now?

    1. I have my share of patience. I'm living with HIM, until I feel like he doesn't need me as much; at which point, back to California for me. He's a pretty tough guy, for 73.


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