Today, my family is getting a break at Great America Amusement Park. Great America is practically in our own back yard and once a year, my husband and children spend the day there, riding death-defying roller coasters and yelling at the top of their lungs. Robert and the kids really look forward to making memories, but not with me. I have neurological issues that prevent me from joining them (thank God), so every year I am spared the self-inflicted punishment of having my body thrown about as if it were a sack of potatoes.
All this to say, since I wasn’t going with them, I became the designated Grandpa sitter. We had be at his house around 7:00, and Grandpa doesn’t usually get up until 8:00, so Eric had to wake him up early. By the time we arrived, Eric had changed and dressed him, and when I walked in his bedroom, Grandpa was already going back to bed. He had woke up around 6:00 and was still sleepy. Grandpa usually takes a power nap after breakfast, but being an hour off, he was not ready to eat breakfast yet.
Months ago, our neurologist said that if we needed to, we could give Grandpa some Carbidopa before he gets out of bed in the morning to give him a little jump start and warm up his muscles. We usually don’t have to do that, however. Eric is strong enough to lift Grandpa around and help get him going if he’s not moving well. But today I thought it might be best to give him one tablet to help him want to wake up and not sleep the morning away since he was already a little off schedule.
Obviously, I’m not as strong as a 19-year-old and my spinal cord issues make lifting and pulling an issue. I have to help my dad past the one spot where gravity is pulling him backwards, and I need him to move forwards. It’s not fun, but I have no alternative when I am here by myself other than to try and pull his 160 pounds up to a standing position. Along with his pill, I gave Grandpa a piece of cheese and bread so his stomach wouldn’t be upset, and he slept until 9:00 a.m.. If he misses any of his medications, he gets exhausted and way off schedule for his next meal, so we try to keep everything running smoothly and not forget to give him his pills on time.
So far today, I have cooked Grandpa breakfast and lunch (and will cook dinner,too), changed his diaper, walked him to the kitchen (pulling his wheel chair behind me for his comfort – he’s been worried today about not having his chair nearby for some reason), sat with him through his nurse’s visit, and worked on getting some of his old credit debt straightened out with a credit counselor. As well as writing this blog, I managed to get a nap in on the couch. One thing I learned from being a mommy, when the baby sleeps, you sleep. That’s true when I’m taking care of Grandpa, too.
Grandpa quote of the day:
“I have to get back to work. Enough playing around.” Grandpa on practicing Chopin at the piano and needing to go back to his bedroom to write on his book about the nursing home.