I know that’s where I am and somehow I feel that I’m in quicksand and cannot pull myself out. Every time I start to focus on myself, Riley has an issue that needs immediate attention. I drop what I’m doing or alter my focus and he has regained control of my life. I never intended for my life to be just about him. Yet, here I am – reaching for that branch that can pull me out only to have the branch break just as I grab hold.
For the past month we’ve had a visiting nurse. Riley likes her visits and he is always more agreeable for several days after. But, this is the last week we will see her. Unless I can get the doctor to request hospice, things will go back to the way they were before the visiting nurse.
Having the nurse has been great for me as well besides Riley’s improved behavior, she tells me about dangers she sees ahead. She’s not allowed to make a diagnosis or to predict any outcomes. But she does give me her opinion and answers my questions to the best of her ability by bending, but not breaking any rules.
Currently, the nurse’s concerns are about Riley’s erratic heart beat and blood pressure levels. The fact that he is constantly in pain in his entire right side, is an indication that he has had, yet another, stroke or even a heart attack. He has swelling in his feet and legs from fluid retention. And – although he did not break his wrist in a fall, she suspects he may have broken his arm.
Today, I’m attempting to get Riley into the van so I can take him to the doctors. It will take some fancy footwork on my part – but I’m think that maybe I can do this. Once he’s at the doctor’s office, they will take another x-ray of his arm, do an EKG and probably more blood work. While there, I’m going to see if I can get the doc to order hospice. I’m hoping for a productive appointment.
As for me – each day I will continue to try to diminish my own craziness. That’s why I write this blog and support other caretakers through the OARS support group. I try to keep my focus on today which is only as bad as I let it be. I’m only as crazy as I allow myself to be. I have managed to reduce Riley’s collateral damage to only one person – ME – and I will not go crazily before him and leave him to expand is collateral damage circle. My new mission is to OUTLIVE him.