Tonight is my dad’s first night away from home with his illness. Since the drug protocols we’ve been following haven’t been entirely effective, our hospice nurse started the mechanism to have my dad admitted to the hospice in-patient unit (IPU) to work on finding a combination that would work.
I’m not entirely convinced that it was solely for his benefit. Every person from the hospice that has come by the past several weeks has seen me and my mom get increasingly worn down. I’ve mentioned to hospice personnel basically that she isn’t willing to let go. I wouldn’t be surprised if these comments have filtered through the system and a decision was made to take advantage of a previously discussed option and admit my dad so that we could get some rest ourselves.
We’ve left him in a nice facility full of a lot of capable and understanding people. I wouldn’t mind spending some time there myself. Sure, he’s a little nervous about it, but we’ve reached one of those stages where we simply ran out of options and needed help. If, at the end of this, Dad can be put to bed and we can be confident he’ll stay there through the night, then we can all start getting more sleep and stop wearing ourselves down caring for him.
It’s only been about six hours since we left him for the night, and already I feel a lot less stress. Mom is already asleep on the couch. It’s amazing how easy life can be when you aren’t being constantly vigilant about one person’s location and condition. It’s also great to not have to worry about whether or not a room has been mistaken for a bathroom… or having to give a constant stream of instructions of HOW to go to the bathroom…every time. That gets so old.
I know it’s selfish, but I’m almost dreading having to take him back. I don’t think anyone who hasn’t dealt this this particular flavor of dementia can appreciate how difficult it is (even the doctor mentioned how he wasn’t capable enough to go into an Alzheimer’s unit… the dementias are too different). For now, I’m just going to enjoy this small bubble of not having to constantly be on alert. I’m going to enjoy a nice long shower, and I’m going to enjoy a sleep where I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to find when I get up in the morning. It’ll almost be like having a normal life again.