Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sometimes, You Just Don't Have Any Weapons

I can't tell you that this blog will be funny or entertaining in the near future. I'm crawling into this internet hole and writing every now and then just to try to keep my skeleton inside my body. The thing with my dad is devastating, and far more unpredictable than I could've imagined.

Dad's usual daily routine for the past year has included about 16 hours of sleep. When he isn't napping, he wants to be. He starts begging to go to bed for the night in the late afternoon. As though his battery is incredibly low and he's half conscious.

When he first got to the nursing home 13 days ago, the sleeping continued. This was a bit of a blessing, because we could tell ourselves that he's getting to do what he wants to do: sleep as much as he wants. Most of the time he won't even realize he's not at home.

Today, when Mom and I got to Shiny Meadows, around 1:00, everything went tilt. Dad started in on Mom, and he did not stop. He did not take a single nap, he talked NON-STOP all day, from when we got there to when we left at 8:00. And I don't care HOW melodramatic this may sound, but it was as though the Devil himself had written the script for Dad to directly torture Mom. These were Dad's repetitive lines:

"I was beginning to think you weren't coming today."
"Why can't I go home?"
"Why won't you let me come home?"
"I thought I was a good boy. I must be a bad boy or I would get to go home."
"Don't you miss me through the night? I miss you all night!"
"I don't like it here. I want to come home with you."
"Why can't we sleep in the same place again?"
"Who determines when I get to go home?"
"I don't want to stay here the rest of my life. I need to go home."

And it Did. Not. Stop.

I had to get out and go to the "Y" to get away from it, to get on an elliptical for awhile, and had to pull the car over twice on the way back to the nursing home, from panic attacks.

It felt like I was watching Dad put cigarettes out on Mom's skin. I feel so sorry for him, ache for him all the way to my bones, but I wanted to duct tape his mouth shut.

Mom was stunned by exhaustion and guilt and grief when she fell into bed tonight.

This is what the spouse, left behind, endures. Left behind at home, living on their own, trying to make loving decisions, trying to find a reason to go on. Left behind in lucidity.


  • At 11:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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  • At 6:39 AM, Blogger EB said…

    Candy -- I keep waiting to post something about this because I have nothing helpful or comforting to write. I can commiserate. But I have nothing to make it all better. . . no silver linings, no rosy perspectives. This is one of those times when it feels like (or at least it felt for me like) someone is wringing your heart out, taking every last drop of you. The only good I am at this point is an example that proves that you will heal and recover and eventually make peace with all of it.

    And if I could be there, we'd sit down and have a good cry over the unfairness of it all and then stuff ourselves full of giant peanut butter cups--the kind that come in paper cupcake cups. That would totally undo the elliptical work, of course, but that's what friends are for.

    Love you and miss you so much!

  • At 8:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    That is the worst part of the nursing home experience. The patient puts all blame on the person they love most. I my case it was directed at me. Luckily - it only tends to happen on "bad" days and not every day.

    Hang in there and just be as supportive to your mom as possible. And take care of yourself as well.

    Sending a big hug,

  • At 9:27 AM, Blogger planbreaker said…

    this is just terrible on top of terrible. It doesn't do much, but I'll be thinking about you and your family.

  • At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your poor, dear Mom! Why do my prayers of late devolve into clinch-jawed fist-shaking rather than humble entreaties and worship? It's because of stories like this - the "lucidity of those left behind," and the inherent, innocent suffering and unfairness of it all. Thanks for sharing this Candy. Just thanks...

  • At 11:31 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    EB and mle, thanks for commenting. It really does help when I think of others I know who have been through a similar thing.

    EB, you also had to handle it from a distance and you know how rough that is. mle, I do remember you saying how your mom got really angry with you and how much it hurt.

    I don't know how humans get through anything anymore.

  • At 11:32 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Thank you, planbreaker. It does more than you might think.

  • At 6:02 PM, Blogger Citlali said…

    ditto what EB said. utterly unimaginable. inconceivably unfair. heartbreaking. my heart goes out to all of you.

    love and hugs. = ]

  • At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Prayers, prayers, and more prayers, dear one.


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