Yesterday was a bad day. Emotionally bad for me is the best way to put it. I made myself take a good, long, hard look at myself. And I guess what I am going to say is that I am not happy with what I came up with. My whole role in this care-giving journey is to provide my husband with good care. I am supposed to make sure that he is comfortable, happy, and well taken care of. I am a take charge person. I am a 'control freak'. I am the fixer. And that is a bad illusion to have. Because I am not going to be able to fix him. Just ain't going to happen.
And that sucks!
Yesterday was a normal day. We got up and I got him out of the bed and into his wheelchair. We went into the dining room and I set him up to brush his teeth and then eat his breakfast. He did some of his normal complaining about his catheter and I did my normal reassuring him that all was well. But it didn't seem that all WAS well. So I laid him down in his bed and did some fiddling with the catheter and had a gush of urine into the bag. So, something was wrong with the catheter. Now all was well again and we went about our normal daily activities.
Towards late afternoon he was once again complaining about the catheter. This is not really unusual, but I have learned to always check, because sometimes something really IS wrong. So, when I went to check I found that he was wet. The catheter was no longer in place. It was out!! And when a person has urinary retention that is not a good thing. He was already telling me he had to gooooooooooo!!! So I got him up to his bedside commode and texted the Hospice nurse. Took awhile for her to send me back a message that she was not at work but that she would call the office and talk to the person in charge. And we waited. And Waited. And finally, I texted the person in charge. And waited and waited. After what seemed like an eternity to me (and probably even longer to Richard,who was the one with the bladder filling up) I got a call from the nurse in charge. She had been on jury duty and had not been getting any of the texts being sent to her. And she was less than polite to me! And I am not the kind of person that takes well to that. Remember, I am the take charge person. I am the FIXER! And this is my husband. And I was anxious and needing someone to put in a catheter. And all of those things made me not a very nice person either......
To make a long story shorter, finally, an on call nurse arrived at our home, placed a new catheter, drained a pretty full bladder and left me with a happier more comfortable patient. But I wasn't a happier caregiver. I hate being out of control. I hate not being able to fix the problem. I hate having to wait for other people to help me.
But what I started out to tell you is that I have to quit. I have to stop trying to fix everything. Yes, there is a pill for this and a pill for that! Is he having bladder spasms. Is the twitching because of a drug interaction or an infection. Why is he not eating. Should I try to fix something else. He sleeps too much or he doesn't sleep at all. STOP!
I HAVE TO STOP!
That doesn't mean that I stop taking care of him. That doesn't mean that I quit caring. But I have to stop trying to fix him. Cause what he has can't be fixed. It is the normal progression of the disease. That along with his age means that eventually he will die. And there isn't a damn thing I can do about it. I can love him and care for him until the very last breath but I can't make him better!
And that, for me, is a bitter pill to swallow.