Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Smoking, Burning and Hand Care

Today was pretty much an okay day with only a small amount of angst. I used the new smoker for the first time. Dad started a fire without anyone's knowledge. It rained, thankfully. Mother opened her musical birthday card and music box countless times tonight. TCM has earned it's advertising rate in this home today. Dad filled the cat food bowl to the rim all day.

We got our normal start this morning. However, I slept a bit later than I like and meds didn't get given until 10:30 a.m. rather than normal 9:30 a.m. Dad both slept and putzed a bit today. I got the smoker started at 12:30 p.m. after giving him lunch. He sat out and watched it smoke for about an hour, then got tired and wandered around.

I finally woke Mom at 1:30 and got her into the living room and eating Rice Krispies with sliced bananas. A storm was coming in and I needed to run to the store before it hit.  I left Mom eating and watching TV and went into the garage to get in the car. Dang it, both the mower and the golf cart were out of the garage, a storm was coming and Dad was gone. This happened while I was taking care of Mom. I crammed my stuff in the car and went out back and found him behind the workshop, you guessed it, with a fire burning.

Considering dementia, it boggles me that a man who worked in a uranium enrichment plant as a safety officer loses the ability to figure out the wind is blowing far too hard to start a burn-pile fire. Makes one wonder whether important things go first and leave only junk behind in the mind.

Fortunately, it was starting to rain, so I steered him to getting the vehicles back to the house and made a quick run 1/4 mile down the road to the store. When I got back, the mower was near the garage, and the golf cart was MIA. At least he got the mower in the garage before the rain hit.

Tonight for supper we had the chicken I smoked, corn I froze from last summer and butter beans. Dad ate all of it and asked for more chicken. That's a first in all the time I've been coming here.  Mom had cold chicken salad since she won't eat hot chicken.

After Dad went to bed, I did the normal check of the doors to the den (3) and found that although he told me he'd dealt with everything out there (waving in the direction of the den), he'd not done a thing. The TV and heater were still on, and not a door was locked.

Tonight when Mom cleaned her face, she balked because she's come to dislike the cold cream under her fingernails. When she was through, I asked her if she needed to go to the bathroom, which she did, so I told her to wash her hands while she was in there and get the cold cream out. When she got back, I asked her if she'd washed her hands (I knew the answer) and she hadn't. Five minutes and she forgot the most pressing thing on her mind.

I got a basin of warm water and had her wash her hands in it.  It had her shaking by the time she was through. That mostly was caused because of my language. I told her to keep her rings on because her rings could have piss and shit on them.  Too rough language. She liked pee-pee and poop better.

Then I sat down and clipped and filed her fingernails for her. She cannot do that anymore, either. May I say there's a reason I'm not working in a nail salon or beauty parlor?  I don't like doing it. Even though I tried my best to be gentle, she cringed like I was going to clip her fingers off. Rather than having any understanding of that, it simply irritated the fire out of me.

At least they're both in bed now, the dishes are done, and I can stop watching over my shoulder.


Cherizac said...

Exhausting. Terrifying. Your Dad is a handful.

I'll look into seeing if there's behavior mod for perseveration; maybe it'll help. Oy.

Jola Gayle said...

LOL, thanks for the chuckle.

Cherizac said...

Many of the articles I found dealt only with verbal perseveration, or were clinical abstracts that were so sciency and non-helpful, but here are a few that had helpful tips:

for possible medication treatment:

Jola Gayle said...

I plainly misunderstood what you meant. I thought you were talking about a mod for *me* to persevere.

Interesting articles. Thank you!

Cherizac said...

LOL Hazard of being in the medical profession; I use words in ways 'civilians' don't get. Sorry. =]

Perseveration happens in dementia, anxiety, after strokes, etc. Sometimes it's psychological, sometimes it's mental. Can be verbal, repeating a word or phrase over and over, or it can be fixation on an idea, such as I must burn that brush in high winds.

You, are doing amazingly well in an inhumanly difficult situation. I honestly admire your fortitude.