Sorry it's been so long since I've posted folks but I've kinda had my hands full out here in the desert. I extended my stay out at The Sundance Center in Scottsdale from the typical four week stay to seven weeks and am very glad that I did. Through the course of my stay at Sundance I became aware of how deeply depleted I was of everything mentaly, physically and spiritualy at the end of my nearly six years as the sole live-in caregiver to first my Pop then in latter years my mother as well who underwent spinal fusion surgery earlier this year and a complete knee replacement this summer and also suffers from other progressive conditions as well...I had lost my very soul. I quite literally went mad through the process which well know eventually is a losing battle we can never, ever win in the end as much as we give, and fight, and do and don't and fight some more we can never stop the process of aging and it's ultimate eventuality. In the beginning I was johnny on the spot springing into action everytime he rang his litle wireless doorbell I bought him now six years ago; an act I later came to regret. I swear I will forever jump at the sound of a doorbell's "bing bong" for the rest of my life and the first thing I'll do if I ever buy another home is rip the damned doorbell out with my bare hands and install a door knocker! LOL Who's with me on that one?? If not, trust me, DO NOT GIVE THEM A BING BONGER!!!! That's caregiver rule #1 ok?
Ok so, while I was in Sundance my sister was out from NY helping Mom with her post knee replacement recovery at home and running back and forth up to the Freedom Inn 20times a day becuase she foolishly replaced the "bing bonger" by giving Pop a cell phone so he could "bing bong" her via the remote airwaves from 2 miles away thus driving her mad in very short order to the point she and Mom stopped answerng the phone and let it go to the answering machine. I personally heard 27 separate messages being left by him in less than one hour one afternoon while I was out on pass from Sundance.
Caregiver rule #2 is DON'T GIVE THEM A CELL PHONE!!
Seriously, come up with some other means of communication other than a bing bonger or a cell phone or you will go frickin crazy!! Ok, so you got that?
If I'm 100% honest with you all I have to admit to chuckling a bit as I told my sister..."Ok, my pass is up...I gotta get back to Sundance before curfew...keep up the good fight!" as she sat there with her head in her hands about ready to pull her hair out getting a taste of what my life had been for the past six years, fulltime, every damned day and she's getting a taste of what it's been like and starting to lose it after only a few weeks. Lets not even talk about my two older brother's who each have only visited Pop once apiece during the entire six years for a few days each and never had to bathe him, feed him, dress him, cut his hair, q-tip his ears, trim his nails and literally be covered in every bodily fluid and excrement the human body produces on a daily basis. Do I sound bitter?? Nahh, not really but let's just say I no longer take ANY crap from my two "older" brothers about anything.
I "coined out" as they call it from Sundance on September 16th on my 50th birthday barely a "human being" again. Detoxed from a two year daily crystal meth addiction which started because I needed "something" in order to keep up with the folk's nearly 24 hour demands. At first I started just slipping a little bit in my coffee as a kickstart after being up until sunrise reacting to a steady serenade of "bing bongs" for a glass of water or depends change or to fix the cable on the TV because "somebody" hit the wrong button on the remote and the 4:00am "Mash" was comng on any minute!!!
Note: I hate "Mash" and that stupid "da doo da dee da dee dee" song!!! I'm also not too fond of "The Golden Girls" that was in constant rotation in the back bedroom either, in fact I haven't watched TV since I went into Sundance on July 29th other than a bit of the Olympics this summer....gotta love that women's beach vollyball eh guys?? LOL
Sorry, I digress, but I haven't had much of a social life these past 6 years either so forgive me.
Back to what's been going on. While I was wraping up my stay at Sundance I had regained enough self esteem to not only say no to going back to the way it was but I finally had to say "Hell no....I quit...I'm taking my life back!" and you have two options. Either you go into nursing homes or assisted living homes or get a live-in professional caregiver or move back to NY with my sister and she can take over but I'm not sleeping one more night in that house and that's all there is to it.
Note: They bought the very best long term nursing home care insurance known to man many years ago backed up with Medicare as well as a very good seconday healthcare insurance plan through both of their retirements plus an additional 1 million dollars or so tucked away for a rainy day so I informed them..."Guess what? It's raining and I'm packing".
So my sister packed up the house called the movers, got it painted inside and out and listed it for sale and drove them all the way back to upstate NY with the help of my nephew five weeks ago and I'm writing this at the age of 50 (just got my own AARP card to prove it!), living in a small furnished studio apartment, nearly broke, unemployed with a 6 year employment gap, still in private therapy once a week and 85 days clean and sober and starting to regain the life I lost six years ago this coming Thanksgiving Day.
It's not "over" yet and I'm sure I'll have more posts to come but I've got some stuff to catch up on out here....be well and I'll talk to you all soon.