Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Caregiving and painting closets

A few days ago I posted proudly that I'd got the lid off the can and the stuff out of the clothes closet, and I was ready to paint. First paint job I've done since HP was in the hospital, two years ago now,and I was wondering several things.

One was that my increasing creakiness might make it a bit more difficult. And my balance might not be as good up my little stepladder. And trying to fit in the work to the needs of HP, not always predictable these days, might be a puzzle.

Anyway, I finally realized the closet was a small job, the paint was ready, and why not take advantage of a low humidity day. I had two segments of about 45 minutes in the afternoon, and there was a soccer match on for HP to be entertained by. Soooo. I did it, and I have the pictures to prove it. I did about three quarters of it, and can easily finish it tomorrow.

In the process, I also found half a gallon of a nice peachy color which I need for a downstairs wall,and now I'm on a roll!

And none of my fears about my hands, pain, balance, etc., worked out in practice at all. It was just fine. And I feel just fine, too. Impossibly smug, to be exact.

I haven't written very much about HP lately, and have had some inquiries, so here's an update. We have had a few health scares, which seem to be okay now, but his confusion grows and his memory is very patchy. Difficult to have a connected conversation which stays in the realm of the real, rather than fantasy. And that is one of the hardest things to cope with Sometimes he gets all agitated when I'm attending to him morning and night in his bed, and can't understand I really can not stop until he's clean and changed.

In the daytime I can't trust that he will sit without trying to throw himself forward, risking pitching out of his chair. He's impulsive and can not remember he can't walk now. I've always seated his chair at a table, which is in front of him no matter where he is, largely so that he has his own dining space, and room for newspapers and glasses and other impedimenta. But it also acts as a safety buffer.

I always work in the kitchen where he can see me, through the pass through, and we eat lunch and supper together, with me next to his table, so he has company, which he likes.

And yet there are many times when he's lucid and content and friendly and things are good. He continues to enjoy some things about his day, loves the cooking around here, enjoys parts of the morning paper. Mornings are likely to be the best times for him, so it's good if he wakes up cheerful, not so good if he wakes up angry and agitated.

I'm thinking I may talk with HS about giving me another couple of days in October to get away. For me it's four days of heaven, for him a couple of personal or vacation days. It doesn't conflict with his own plans, since he likes the rest of his time off in the height of the summer, just when he loves the shore and I don't! but it's getting wearing, and I think I need to somehow find the money to put into a second trip. Anyway, that's on the front burner at the moment.

Particularly since both his doctor and his physio have suggested I think of more respite. They're good observers and I am listening!

Meanwhile, it's very joyful to paint my surroundings and admire it! and then realize each newly painted bit makes the thing next to it looks shabby...

but I have to say, it's very good to have got it done. I like jobs that stay done!


te_roti said...

I'm pleased to hear that you are heeding the doctors and physio. I hope you are able to manage a second break when you need it.


m said...

I second Minimiss - so important for you to care for yourself. I will send vibes to help manage a break.