Since February 5th, when I picked up Bill from his two week stay at the rehabilitation center in Dover, I've been caregiving full-time for Bill.
I've left my job at the hotel, which I loved.
I no longer make my quarterly trips to travel with Pat for the foreseeable future. Of course COVID has had a say in my travel plans but COVID is now receding as an impediment to travel. I won't be able to travel as long as I'm caregiving for Bill.
I help him dress. I help him shower. I cook for him. I clean up after him after his accidents (and he just had a really messy one a few days ago).
I give him his pills twice daily.
I take him for a ride at least once a day.
I take care of maintaining our home including mowing the grass and performing small handyman chores that Bill used to do.
The one thing I have asked Bill to do is not to pee in the sink.
I didn't realize he was peeing in the sink until he first came home from the rehab facility. At first he was using the guest bathroom on the first floor. After couple of days I noticed "that smell" (urinal) coming out of the guest bathroom. That's when I discovered Bill was peeing in the sink. I confronted him about it. He said, "What difference does it make? It all goes the same place." Uh, actually not. When one pees in the porcelain toilet one is not peeing in a sink with a metal pipe. That's why the metal pipe of Bill's sink in his basement bathroom is all corroded.
Bill, because of his failing eyesight couldn't do a stand up pee so we agreed he would pee in the hospital jug. He did that for about three months. Only problem there was he wasn't quite getting all his pee in the jug requiring me to clean up the tile floor. I talked to him about it and discovered he couldn't hold the jug the way it was supposed to be held because of his reset broken arm wouldn't permit it. Don't ask, but that's what he tells me.
He said he would use the toilet. He would sit, thus saving me the daily chores of wiping the tile floor three, four and sometimes five times a day and also emptying his urine from the jug.
Tonight, on a hunch, I opened the bathroom door to his bathroom because I had a suspicion he was using the sink again. He was.
Now, I don't want to hear from a blog reader about "He's just an old man and let him do this." I say no.
It's not just the cleanliness issue but its a respect issue. He tells me multiple times during the day how much he loves me and appreciates what I am doing for him. I told him tonight "You can tell me you love me over and over again but you have to back up your words with actions. Show me you love me by showing respect for me and pee in the toilet like any civilized person."
He said he was sorry and asked me to forgive him. Yeah, right. Here is the truth folks, Bill is lazy about his personal hygiene. He always has been. That's why he came home with fungus medicine from his two stays in the hospital. That's why I insist on washing him with Dial anti-bacterial soap every three days. He complains, and complains but for the first time in years he doesn't have body odor and is clean.
Maybe the problem is me. From the time I was nine or ten years old I remember being concerned with the cleanliness of myself and place were I lived. Growing up in the Fifties one took a bath once a week. No shower, a bath and make sure you clean the ring around the bathtub once you get out. I remember my father mocking me for wanting to at least wash my feet daily (me and my brothers didn't wear shoes in the summertime). Then in 1958 when he moved to a small ranch house with a shower, he mocked me for wanting to take a shower more than once a week. Oh I had a "loving" father, he speciality was to mock me whenever he could. Not a whole lot (actually NONE) of encouragement from dear old dad. By the way, I never called him "Dad".
I cleaned our apartment, I washed the dishes. I cleaned myself. That's just me.
My biggest problem here is literally keeping the shit out of this house. And the pee out of the sink.
I probably should apologize that this blog post wasn't one of my uplifting, happy and joyous posts. One good thing about Bill's recovery is that the edema of his legs has settled and we're in a routine of appreciating each day we have together. Except for his bowel accident a few days ago, all has been going well even though he's getting weaker by the day. But he's happy and I was settling into a routine of caring for him.
Today was a setback. So discouraging. I feel betrayed. Lied to. I've sacrificed so much to make Bill's final days comfortable and happy and he can't do this one little thing for me? It's not only about the cleanliness issue it's about respect.
I'll go on. I love Bill and want him comfortable. Tomorrow he gets his near hearing aid. He lost his other one two months ago. He doesn't know what he did with it. Even though I told him not to touch his hearing aid when he had it on his side table to change the battery. Again, he lied to me and tried to change the battery even though he can't see the battery. And you remember the projects? He said he wouldn't do any more projects? He's still doing them. I gave up on that one, figuring it's best that he doesn't something besides sit all day and doze off. I try to keep and eye on him that he doesn't do too much damage during one of his projects.
There, I've said it. I'm not trolling for sympathy or confirmation. I'm venting. As I have said many times in this blog, this is my therapy. I don't need to go to a therapist. This blog is my therapy.