I Don't Know WHAT To Do

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I am in the middle of a SH*T storm, and have NO idea how I got here! I am currently on a week long trip for work, and I am so stressed out!! What I thought was going to be a calm day of preparations for a class I have to teach tomorrow has turned into a stress filled evening of nothing. I am SO worried about tomorrow's class. I can't even think right now.

Here's the crazy breakdown. I get a text from Dad's Adult Day Center driver. I call her back and she's yelling at me about Dad "going crazy" and "being out of it" and "not knowing what the day is..." I explained that I didn't appreciate the "going crazy" part, and confusion and panic are common symptoms of dementia. She proceeds to continue yelling at me, and I asked her to please stop (NICELY) and she hung up on me.

I call the director of the Adult Day Center to report her rude behavior only to find out that my dad was STILL THERE!!! 3 HOURS past when he was supposed to be and that someone from Hospice was supposed to be picking him up?!?!?!

I'm still not sure exactly what happened, but what I can piece together is... Dad arrived at the Adult Day Center with an empty tank again (hospice still can't get that piece of the puzzle right). The Adult Day Center called Hospice and I lose the story at that point.

All I know is that when I called the ALF, they said the nurse was THERE to replace the tank. Maybe she didn't realize she was supposed to go to the Adult Day Center? I have no idea. In the meantime, Dad has been left at the Adult Day Center.

When I tried to figure that out, the director said that Dad had a severe panic attack when it was time for him to leave and the driver brought him back into the center. I'm not sure why she left him there. All I know is that Hospice was supposed to be bringing Dad a fresh oxygen tank to ride home with, but didn't realize he did not have a ride home. They then had to call a transportation company to take Dad home.

I still have no idea WHAT happened, but Dad just got home about 30 minutes ago, and I have been on the phone for 2 hours trying to get to the bottom of what happened.

Meanwhile, my work performance is shot!!! I have no idea how I'm going to do this presentation tomorrow. My hands are shaking! How did this happen while I was away.

... and who's head needs to roll? Was it Hospice, the driver, or the Adult Day Center?

I have to teach classes all week. I DON'T HAVE TIME TO FIGURE THIS OUT!!!

I thought Hospice was supposed to make things easier. The only thing they have managed to do is get Dad the Ativan the VA wouldn't give him and keep me from having to take Dad to the doctor all the time. Otherwise, this whole thing has been a nightmare.

Yes, Dad needs to be moved, but that takes MORE TIME I DO NOT HAVE!!!!

I really just want to give up!!! My work performance is mediocre at best. I NEVER get to do ANYTHING I want to do. I spend more time trying to straighten things out than necessary. I'm tired of trying to fight for the life I SHOULD be having.

F*** IT!!! I'll just quit my job, find a shi**y one level house and become the caregiver I never wanted to be full time.




Are you okay, Tiny?
Chin up Tinyblu everything will be OK tomorrow.
Sort out what happened to Dad when you get home, today is over so let it go.
Go down to the bar and get a nice liquor or failing that go out and buy a donut. and then find a funny movie on the TV.
As far a whoose head should roll that I can't guess but I think several of them should get a kick up the rear
Since this SAME problem comes up regularly, so let them figure out how to solve it! That’s what you pay them for.

Also, ask your personal doctor to prescribe you a tranquilizer, a low dose Valium or Xanax. Go to bed soon and set the alarm clock. Get up and skim the material, eat breakfast and get dressed. Go do your classes and keep your phone off until classes are done.
Tinyblu: Your dad's in hospice, right? They are the ones who are supposed to care and supervise him, right? If that's so, then take care of you by taking deep breaths, and concentrate on what YOU need to do. If he's being cared for, then let them handle it. There may be days where there's a s*** storm going on, but that doesn't mean you have to dive into it, at least not when you're up to your ears with your job and taking care of yourself. It's harsh. (I know it's easy for me to type this note and very hard for you to back away, but please, for your sake, try to distance yourself.)
So sorry that the driver was yelling at you. How unprofessional was that!
The yelling, plus the lack of oxygen surely contributed to Dad having a bad day, spilling over to you.
These people as a whole sound incompetent!
I hate that they keep doing that to you!

After you relax, some simple solutions may come up. Like keeping an extra Oxygen tank at the day care center for Dad. Maybe they have lockers, personal lockers, or borrow an employee's locker.

Take your shower tonight, and do n' t forget to eat.
When you get back, heads are going to roll when you "teach" them a thing or two.!!!

Is there steam coming out of your head? Deep breaths.
Focus on your trip and do what you need to do to complete your job responsibilities & meet employer demands while ar your conference.

You can deal with all this father hoopla on your return home. The  priority must be you, where you are right now and how to complete what you are expected to do; to present/teach at a paid employer training & conference.
You have to keep your job right now.

Take deep breaths, go for a walk, whatever helps you to go to your “happy” place & then put your father’s care back in its compartment & away for now. Think the episode through and be ready to discuss with AL staff on your return. Make up notes here and there when you have a break.

Focus on your workweek. Turn the cell phone to vibrate or quiet if the calls continue to unnerve you. Speak with the AL maybe once a day around 4pm, or call 2x a day (no more). But I wouldn’t take those calls from the AL cause they are driving you bonkers. Let AL take care of him & you check in once a day (or twice max). 

I know this is so hard, Tiny, and you really work hard every day to make sure your father gets the care he needs to thrive as he gets older and declines. I hope for goodness sake the AL/Hospice have spoken to each other and the oxygen issue is resolved. It’s not rocket science but sounds like the entire staff needs an in service with training to include demonstration/evaluation of each staff member setting up O2, getting the proper flow, etc can be confusing for some. Save notes for a future status conference @ AL. 

Hang in there! It’s been very trying for you for several months and I hope it gets better for dad and you! It’s disheartening when you have care expectations that are not being met in the place you chose to place your father in an AL where often there is no “assistance” or accountibility. You are your father’s advocate when he needs assistance.

Focus on you & your work responsibility this week.  

You are a good daughter and are always fighting the good fight. Let his AL staff take care of him this week and objectively review how well the AL did or didn’t do on the plane home maybe, but while you are out of town doing your career thing, all this can wait until you return home. 

Tiny should be Priority One this week. Let calls go to VM. Shut off the ringer. Vibrate only. 
You can do it. 
Tiny, there should not be a need for you to answer calls from the driver. She shouldn't even have your number.

This is not your problem to solve.
Tiny, if I were your secretary I would already be there firing people.

You know what happened? Nothing at all. Your Dad went to the day center. He is now home, in one piece. That's all you need to know.

The POINT here is that you slog your guts out doing a demanding job SO THAT you can pay people to look after your father in the settings that are best for his mental, social and physical wellbeing.

All this fannying about with the oxygen tank and its maintenance, and the logistics to and fro, are NOT YOUR JOB. That is what you PAY other people to do. Why in God's name they can't leave you out of their incompetent half-assed communication and co-ordination I cannot explain; but again the POINT is that you must firmly leave yourself out of it. No harm, QED, will come to Dad.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if his panic attack was induced by the screeching rows and here-we-go-round-the-mulberry-bush mess his "staff" managed to make of the day. The driver couldn't take him back to the facility if he was unwell, even temporarily, that part I understand - she'll have rules to follow about it. But there we are. The fact is they did eventually sort themselves out, and did their bothering you all day long contribute one whit to the solution? No. It did not. It just distracted you mightily while they all did whatever they were going to do anyway, and DAD IS FINE.

For tonight, think these:

#1 Dad is fine.
#2 I am good at my job.
#3 [channelling Jack Lemmon in 'Some Like It Hot'] I'm a boy. I'm a boy. Oh God I wish I were dead... I'm a boy. Because you know what? If you were Dad's son, away on an important business trip, you think they'd be bothering you like you were the housekeeper? Not. In. A. Million. Years.
Compile a list of the key personnel involved in Dad's daily schedules - the day center manager, his care team leader at the facility, the driver services manager, e.g. - you know who they are.

Compose an email copying in these people who are responsible for providing and co-ordinating Dad's care.

Say "I am unavailable this week owing to heavy work commitments. To ensure that co-ordination continues in my absence here is a list of contact numbers: please liaise with one another as necessary.

[table showing Name, Job Title, Location, Telephone Number]

With many thanks/sort yourselves out you useless bastards/love and kisses [select preferred option]

You are a competent employee, and you know your subject matter, or you wouldn't have been chosen to do this presentation. It certainly would have been nice to have had more review time today, and it very definitely would have been wonderful not to have emotional stress thrown in! But today is over, and tomorrow you are going to do a good job, because you know how to do that!

Your situation reminds me of a time I was out of town to do some training at a branch office, and a crisis came up at home. And no one was answering the phone. (This was before everyone had a cell phone.) I finally wound up calling a friend couple and asking them to go to my house and check if everything was OK. I don't even remember now what the crisis was, or how it came out, but I remember the feeling of absolute helplessness and panic. I remember thinking I should quit my job.

But I got through the next day, and the branch office actually ended up trained. I was a professional, I knew more than they did, and I could do this. So I did. You will, too. This isn't ideal, but you'll manage anyway. And think how easy the next presentation will seem, when you can actually focus on it.

Come back and tell us about the presentation after you survive it!

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