Crotchety Old Man

June 7, 2011

Oy. I’ve been AWOL from the blog and twitter again. And all I can say is OY. Right Guy leaves in less than 3 weeks. The movers come in just over 3 weeks. I need to pack. And Pops is going nuts.

Apparently it is relatively common among the dying to go through a sort of “manic” phase where all they want to do is plan trips and projects. There’s just a frenzy of activity. A desire to live life to its fullest – or at least think about something other than your own impending death. It can manifest in different ways for different people. It can last a day, a week, a month. Or longer.

Unfortunately, I’m discovering that this phase is hardest on ME. I don’t mind so much that I’m not in the driver’s seat anymore. But I do mind that he drove the train off without me. So now I just get to put the pieces back together after the inevitable train wreck.

Pops wanted to buy a power weheelchair to better get around his small house. After 24 hours with one he wants to get rid of it due to a hole in the door, a bloody knee and other such damage it caused. We all warned him against this idea but he did it anyway. And our predictions came true. However… he does not consider it a BAD idea so much as an equipment failure. So he wants to sell this one and get another one that’s better suited for tight spaces. Oy.

He also has come up with the notion that installing a walk-in tub will solve all of his hygiene issues. Never mind that he can’t walk. Never mind that the tub, plus grab bars plus installation will be about $10k. Double Oy. I’m conspiring with the Hospice workers to stall him on this one.

His latest idea is that he needs to add a storage shed to the house. He says he doesn’t have enough space for all this “medical equipment.” He needs to store it because everyone says he might need it one day but he doesn’t need it now. In his opinion. Never mind that he has lung cancer and he made someone move the oxygen tank to the spare bedroom.

Getting rid of things is apparently not an option – logical though it may be. He likes knowing that his old paperbacks are in boxes in the garage along with his old Air Force uniforms from 1964. Things that are designated to go to particular people when he dies… can’t give them to those people now. He wants them in the house with him until he’s officially gone. I can’t say for sure how I’d react staring down at my own impending death, but I think at the very least I would like to see people’s reactions to my bequeaths BEFORE I go if I had the opportunity.

I have to keep reminding myself that you can’t know how you’d react until you’re there. So I try not to judge. But jeebus he’s driving me freaking nuts! He’s like a kid in a candy store. With a big fat wallet. And I can’t play Mom anymore or he has a HUGE tantrum about no one letting him do what he wants to do. EVER. I strive to see the humor in all this. If I lose the ability to laugh I will lose my sanity as well. But I think I can cope better when he’s sick than when he feels well.

Mind you, he FEELS well. But the disease is progressing and taking its toll. He has so much swelling he can’t wear shoes or fit into any pants that don’t have elastic waistbands. He thinks this is temporary and will just go away on its own. So he’s refusing to elevate his feet or take the diuretics. He is almost constantly agitated and cussing about something. The nurse says that may be due to low oxygen. Remember that oxygen that he says he doesn’t need? Yeah. THAT oxygen.

So… essentially… I got my wish. I have a child to care for. Except he’s 71 years old and not so cute anymore. And he’s WILLFUL. Be careful what you wish for….

**UPDATE: My apologies for the timing of this post. After posting it I checked in on twitter and found that too many of my tweeps, and my tweeps’ tweeps, have had miscarriages recently. My heart goes out to them. **


One Response to “Crotchety Old Man”

  1. barrenlazza Says:

    Wow, your life just goes at a million miles an hour! Sorry to hear your Dad is becoming more sick but it sounds like he’s making a last ditch effort to pack a lot in to his life – loads of energy!

    What with coping with his illness, your infertility and moving interstate, it must all be very crazy for you right now. But it sounds like you are taking it all in your stride, as usual.

    Best of luck with everything and keep facing towards the sun.

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