I'm losing it.

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So the caregiver that went yesterday said she found a burnt napkin in the kitchen (meaning my dad caught something on fire) and a soda can cut in half? wth? The ultrasound done on my dad yesterday showed he has a hernia (and I mean a giant one). He sleeps 20 hours a day or just lays there with his eyes closed. Im loosing hope, I'm going to see an assisted living place today. I feel everything is futile and that my dad is slipping further away. I wish this was easier. Feeling pulled in so many directions. I'm drinking a bottle of wine a night and waking up in a panic at 4am and reaching for the Xanax just to get the extra hour or two of sleep before I have to get up to come to a job I can't do because of the worry about my dad. It just seems impossible right now.

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thanks brendanboogie ,, yesterday I managed to eat. Trying to remember that. Also trying to put into perspective that most of the time my Dad is perfectly happy ,, drifting away in his sleep, or half awake half asleep state, so if hes at peace ,, I need to learn to be. The caregivers coming in will give me a much needed peace of mind and mental and physical break .. knowing someone is there is a blessing. I wanted to kiss the caregiver yesterday ,, when we were texting ,, she asked my dad if he wanted something to eat and he said "No" ,, then she told him " your daughter is going to fire me if you don't eat something !" .. so he had a hot dog ... now that was priceless ,, she really knows how to work him ! She is worth her weight in gold !
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Sorry to hear what you're going through!

Remember - self care, self care, self care. By taking care of you, you ARE taking care of him. You can't save someone else if you're drowning yourself.
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So it seems that the nurse recommendation is that my dad definitely needs more care giver hours in the house. So we are going to go to 6 hours a day split into 2 - 3 hours shifts. morning and afternoon ... its so heartbreaking ,, I don't think he will ever make it to AL
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Oh, I hope the nurses can talk some sense into him! I'm sorry your dad is going downhill. That hernia sounds awful. Elderly people seem to experience pain so strongly, yet many also let these things go untreated. It is weird. I would think the constant discomfort would be draining him of energy and maybe adding to his confusion.

Good luck with the family meeting! I hope your dad will consider your and the nurse's suggestions.
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update ,, evidentially the nurse went by sometime last night and told my dad that we all need to sit and talk about my dads case, including both nurses and me and my brother. so I am waiting for a call back now.. the sooner something moves the better. he's slipping away
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Hi all,, going to address each on in order

Jeanne - I don't know whats going to happen with his hernia as it was just determined to be a hernia on Monday when they came and did an ultrasound. So we are waiting to hear on that. I don't know when to call him anymore. it was like clock work for 1 1/2 years ,, I called him at 11am and 4:30 in the afternoon on my way home from work,, he knew what day it was what time it was what month it was. now its a crap shoot. so I call ,, if he doesn't answer ,, I wait an hour ,, and call again. We had a caregiver going in mon wed fri for 3 hours a day ,, we are now starting with daily caregiving. Last night when I called him he was sitting in the front room ,, he wanted a dr. pepper and asked if I could get him one,, not understanding that I was not in the house. I said why don't you go get one ? he said he didn't know how he was going to get there because he had left his walker in the kitchen ???? WTH ??? Thank you for reminding me that he is not in his clear mind and the 'have a good time" on vacation was not within his ability to state.

Lindylu - No wine last night ;) Yes I keep thinking I can fix things or make them better ,, just getting now I cant ,, and starting to let go a little after he snapped at me yesterday for wanting him to go to the hospital ,, he was very clear on "just leave him alone" ok pop.. ok .. I have tried 3 times to get the Nurse the health care partner and him into a hospital for tests, but nope .. no one is listening to me,, so we will end up with a crisis im afraid .. I do have to Put more into others hands ,, including God,, and stop trying to be super woman ,, its killing me ,, and I want to add that a lot of this comes from statements he's made to me ie. " your my whole world" " I don't know what I'd do without you" "your the one" ,, Tons of weight as my brother for the last year and a half only visited probably 2 times a month 3 in a good month,, its time for me to unload onto him now ,, he needs to step up. Your statement " They sort of put you in crisis mode, the adrenaline starts going, and it is hard to shift gears back into your normal routine. " is absolutely spot on

Mac - I am still looking into assisted living,, I have visited 2 facilities and liked the one I looked at yesterday. The nurse practitioner on Friday told my brother and I that dad could not be left alone ,, that it is not safe for him. That had we thought about AL ,, I looked at my dad and said Assisted Living, he said "NO" im not leaving this house ,, my brother has DPOA ,, but he is in such a state right now I don't even know how to get this rolling ,, I feel stuck. He cannot put on pants and walks around the house butt naked most of the time because of this hernia ,, (imagine a hernia the size of a 1/2 gallong of milk hanging between your legs) He has had this hearnia now for almost 15 years or something like that ,, the only way I discovered it was when I saw him sticking rags into his jeans ,, im like WTH ?? and then I saw all these rags all over the floor and the stench was horrible ,, I finally got him to confess that he was having leaky pee coming out he couldn't control and he was using rags ,, OMG ,, I told him ok this is a problem and we will solve this problem ,, so I bought him some depends ,, then he actually allowed me to take his pants off to put them on and it was a HOLLY COW moment. he had been wearing these super baggy jeans for years hiding this thing. So here I am ,, stuck with a man who walks around half naked ,, waiting on medical ??? whatever they are going to do ??? and im not even sure if he got out of his chair last night ,, im frantic ,, and feel like im getting tiny bits of help from the nurse and the in home care and my brother ,,, while working a full time job ,,, But yes ,, I would like to get him into assisted living ,, but not even sure hes capable of transport in his current condition. or if he ever made it out of his chair last night
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Digens, two weeks ago you posted several times that he needed assisted living and that you looked at one. What is going on and why did you change the course of your actions?
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Oh Didgens, I'm sorry! My grandpa was getting into a lot of trouble every time he was left alone. That's when we decided that he couldn't live alone anymore but it took quite a while to track down places for him to go: ultimately he fell and went to the hospital, then rehab, and into the NH.

I just wanted to tell you he had a hernia at age 90 too (some overly "helpful" neighbors encouraged him to do an activity he was not in shape to do, and we think that's what started it.) He had surgery under sedation and local anesthetic (not full anesthesia) and did great.  Then he developed another hernia in a different spot at around 96 and that one we let go and just kept an eye on because he was too frail for surgery at that point.

The stove thing is scary -- my mom just turned his electric oven off at the fuse, but that could make things worse with a gas stove. My grandpa was a people person and when his dementia got worse people stopped visiting as much. He was lonely too -- I think he might have been happier at AL.

I am sorry you are agonizing over this -- it is very stressful and if you are especially responsible and tender-hearted, it is even harder. I do think for some of us it becomes a compulsion. They sort of put you in crisis mode, the adrenaline starts going, and it is hard to shift gears back into your normal routine.
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Yes, definitely stop the wine. Too much wine can make you a nervous wreck, especially the next day. Wine is like that.

I went through what you are going through with my father. I think it is because I thought I could fix things or make them better. I was stressed all the time, watching him sit in his chair dying more every day. I was programmed to think that I could somehow pull him back up. One night sitting in the back yard I decided to just put it in god's hands. There was really nothing I could do but wait and make sure he had the things he needed. The rest was out of my hands. After I accepted that there was nothing I could do, I felt more at peace.

My stress about health matters is not as bad with my mother. I still dread the thought of having to go through her death since I am here alone. When we are going through this alone, it is so much harder. I know it would be easier on you if your husband was still with you for support. I know that everything will be okay, but I do wish it didn't have to be so stressful.
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What is going to happen with your dad's hernia?

If your dad sleeps 20 hours/day, how do you know when to call him?

Are you considering hospice care?

Your father has dementia. He is in survival mode. He is not in "be considerate of others" mode. He is not in "make this easier for others" mode. His brain is damaged. You would like him to say, "I hope you are having a great time." All his damaged brain can say is "I miss you." Dementia is an extremely cruel disease!
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