Living too close to seniors, yet not close enough

Update on Dad and the nonexistent life of his very tired daughter……. Left Dad’s Thursday night around 9:30-ish after setting him up with everything (I thought) he would possibly need in the middle of the night so he would not have to get up and then fall down. Sigh. Best laid plans and all that.

I finally doze off sometime around 1 am, wake up at 1:30 (thank you Cessna for informing me that your water bowl was bone dry), staggered to refill said bowl, let dogs out who apparently really really really had to go even though it was starting to rain, let dogs now wet back in, miraculously found way back to recliner where I’d been sleeping (what is a bed? too long to explain here) and dropped back off to sleep somewhere near 2:00 am.

Weird dream – someone is in trouble, I can’t reach them, I hear my name spoken right by my ear and I reach for my cell phone. I’m not awake, yet, but I’m holding the phone when the 3:30 am phone call comes through. Somehow I manage to hang onto said cell phone even though I actually tossed it in the air when it spooked me.

“This is lifeline calling for James Allen. Is this Ann?”
“Yes. Is he ok? Did he fall?”
“He has fallen and needs help getting up. Can you assist?”
“On my way.”

The Lord is with me as I stumble around attempting to get dressed (will have to wait until light to see if my clothes are right side out) and reach my car without tripping down the stairs and busting my face open. I race (amazing how fast it seems even when doing the speed limit) to Dad – only hit one red light which I considered blowing through until the fire truck crossed my path – zooming down his street at 35 mph though it feels like 50, not quite screeching to a halt in front of his house.

He’s in the bedroom, sitting on the floor between the bed and the wheelchair (which he’d used sometime earlier as I found an empty 2 liter of Diet Coke on the kitchen table). Nothing hurt but his pride. Somehow I’m able to lift him off the floor and put him in the wheelchair.

“Why are you out of bed?” I ask. “Where were you going?”
“To the wheelchair.”
“I know that Daddy, but why?”
“To get something to eat.”

I want to bang my head. Before I left I’d showed him where I put the urinal in case Mother Nature called, the slightly frozen half-filled 20 oz bottle of Diet Coke in case he got thirsty, his glasses and book in case he wanted to read. I thought I was all set. But HUNGRY?????? We’d eaten only a few hours before. Thank God he’s at least got his appetite back.

Fathers. Can’t live with them – can’t institutionalize them. I wonder if his doctor would prescribe some Valium – not for him but for me. I need it.

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