April 4, 2012
Yesterday I went to see my dad and accompany him downstairs to the beauty salon to have his nails cut. As I walk in, he has collapsed in front of his walker with the caregiver standing behind him. Soon after there are two caregivers, a nurse and myself trying to figure out how to lift him up and put him down. So much for the beauty salon.
The rest of the time is spent lecturing him on why he has to eat to gain some strength, how he can't get out of his chair without help, and a bunch of advice on how to make it through the day. Dad will pay attention to none of this. He laments that he is "a pain in the ass." "No, Dad," I say. "I just want you to feel better."
My panacea: First I try abortively to visit a nursing home as yet another alternative to care of Dad. Then I go home, drink wine, bury myself in a NYTimes crossword puzzle that's way too hard for me, attempt unsuccessfully to talk to Dad, go to dinner, turn off the phone and attend a somewhat vapid musical revue of the life of Johnny Cash. Tomorrow's another day. We'll take it as it comes along.
I'm afraid I'm not the ideal caregiver example.