Sundowning has hit. The darker evenings has meant that once twilight arrives, Sundown affects Mom so that she is unsure of whether it is morning or evening. Sundowning is such a strange condition. Mom will not go to bed, even at 1 am because she thinks it is early evening. At the moment we are running at every other night in bed. I was expecting this; we experience a similar situation in Spring when the clocks change and the lighter evenings take over. We go with the flow, I ensure Dad is in bed as he has to lie down at night due to his heart condition and associated issues. I can cuddle up on the sofa and keep an eye on things with Mom keeping the door open so I can check on Dad.
Yesterday Dad’s right knee became more painful than usual and started to swell. We thought this was arthritis inflammation as a similar thing happened in June on the left knee; it took one day to flare up and almost nine weeks to resolve. Thankfully the stairlift is in now which it wasn’t in June when I had to flex my muscles to help him on the stairs. The doctor prescribed some strong anti-inflammatory gel yesterday and although the joint is still extremely painful and he still can’t put weight on the leg, the swelling has not increased so far. Again I am flexing my muscles to help him in and out of his chair.
Yesterday morning I had a hospital appointment for an ultrasound, abdominal and internal. I was supposed to come home and rest but I couldn’t do that. I was on high anxiety the hour I was at my appointment even though our lovely carer was covering for me. When I returned to find Dad totally immobile I had to take over the jobs he usually does. I just left a lot of chores and concentrated on the needs of Mom and Dad, you just have to go with the flow. It was difficult as I was in a lot of pain myself, but you have to just keep going, there is just me.
Trying to cope with both of them at the same time was so hard, negotiating Mom’s changing mood, helping Dad in and out of his chair, bathroom visits for both of them, cooking, medication, helping Dad to bed and then an all nighter with Mom.
It made me think a lot about self care, about how important it is for me to stay healthy in order to look after them. It also made me think about contingency plans should I fall ill and also about making a will just in case. I need to be as sure as I can be that they will be looked after properly, with love and attention should I not be here.
Being a full time carer gives you a lot of food for thought, worries and anxieties. It is also very rewarding and I’m loving this time spent with my parents as challenging as it is at times.
I’m behind on reading your wonderful blog posts, I promise to catch up soon and as usual I have loads more I want to write about, I never know when to stop!
© @aurorasparkles 2017