So I recently learned that my dad has a "mass" on his lungs that his doctor fears would be dangerous to diagnose without killing him -- but it's a safe assumption that it is cancerous.
He was placed on 24 hour oxygen Friday, and it appears that he is going to need 24 hour care in order to manage it.
He's legally blind and has dementia. I am not sure his IL facility will even let him stay with the 24 oxygen, so I'm faced with a MOUNTAIN of dilemmas (in addition to determining if I should sign DNR papers)
I moved him out of IL for a short time in an effort to save money. We tried a small apartment and part time overnight nurses while I unsuccessfully tried to take care of him about 4 days a week. We both HATED it, and it wasn't much less expensive than putting him back in IL (except for the priceless guilt of hating every minute of caregiving--I'm an awful person)
So, I put him back into the private pay only facility he loved but barely uses due to going to an adult daycare facility Monday through Friday. We looked at other places that were about 1/2 the cost, but he HATED them.
So... with paying someone to transport him back and forth to the Adult Day Center and in-house companions morning and night to help administer medicines and the IL costs alone, his VA benefits (though great) aren't enough to cover his care. I have the burden of trying to make up the difference.
PRE SICKNESS: I had a cushy six figure job that required extensive travel. I had a home, a fancy car, and freedom. Even after a layoff, I still had priceless freedom.
POST SICKNESS: The house foreclosed. I sold the car BEFORE they repossessed it. I have had to work 2 - 3 jobs at a time to make a FRACTION of what I made before all with the need to take care of Dad.
I've had to drag him to work with me when the Adult Day Center is closed (I hate holiday seasons because of this) or try to find care because he hates to be alone which is expensive... I've cycled through several less-than-stellar jobs because I've become a total B**** because I'm stressed all the time.
I hate having to work multiple jobs only to barely make my ends meet (I sleep on an air mattress while Dad lives in luxury) only to get MULTIPLE phone calls from Dad every night because he's "afraid". He has panic attacks.... I have to be out of work for multiple doctor's appointments, I have to leave work when he's not feeling well... I suffer the mental / emotional / social ramifications of a lack of sleep (and a helluva lot of resentment over this whole thing)... I get fired.
With the addition of the oxygen, I really don't see a reasonable, affordable alternative. If IL won't let him stay there, I could move him to the full Assisted side, but there's no way we can afford to have him in a private pay AL facility AND Adult Day Care (which he loves).
The only alternative (MUCH to my dismay) is to move to share a two bedroom apartment (flat / one level) with him and take care of him myself.
Feel free to shoot me for this, but I don't WANT to do it. I LIKED my job. I liked hiking on Sundays and working out 4 days a week (25 pounds ago). I miss my friends that slowly dwindled away because I couldn't meet for brunch or happy hours. Being hand cuffed to a cranky senior doesn't do much for a sex life.
Making this choice would be financial and would mean: I will MELT from his constant 85 degree temperature requirement (he doesn't like electric blankets or space heaters - may be an oxygen hazard). What semblance of life I try to have now would be GONE.
Much to my Dismay I'm tired of getting fired. I want my old life back. Maybe my family's right. As I type this it does sound pretty selfish... SIGH.