Feeling guilty.

We made it through Christmas.  

That phrase keeps repeating through my head.  We made it through Christmas.  Like it has been an impossible task.  A chore. Something to just get through.  Since August I did not believe my Dad would make it this far.  Yesterday (the 26th), my Dad was discharged from physical therapy.  While I didn't think he needed physical therapy because he can move around pretty well on his own, I have to admit that I think it has done him some good.  He can now walk to pool deck and back unassisted, but it's not the day time stuff that has me worried.  It's at night when he's super confused.  

I don't think Kacy quite believed about how bad he can get at night, but due to Ace being sick with the nastiest head cold I've seen in a while (no, it's not covid, we checked), and me being pretty much a bitch to deal with during the day because I'm not getting good sleep, Kacy is sacrificing her night and took over as night nurse last night.  This morning when she crawled into bed, we chatted briefly about my Dad last night and she was definitely shocked that he was as bad as he was at night.  

The term the nurses used was sun-downing.  I'm more than familiar with it.  What pisses me off the most, though, is the fact that he completely tries to pull the wool over the doctors and nurses eyes and sits there telling them that he's not in pain (which, you can tell especially in the evenings that he is very much in pain) and he also stays jovial, chatty and I have to sit there next to him and say "Lies, deceptions!" 

The nurse would look at him, then look at me, and my Dad will give me this look like I completely betrayed him in some epic kind of way and then the nurse is like "what's going on..." and I have to tell her everything that's going on.  The fact that he fights me on taking medicine, the fact that he gets very confused at night, the fact that his left arm and his left hip have been hurting more and more, the fact that he is now down to 136lbs and when he got here to Florida he was in the upper 150lbs range.  He's a shadow of what he once was and Kacy has to keep reminding me when I get upset that all he has the capacity for is to repeat the stories that he's told over and over again or sit and stare at the wall.  Good days for my dad mean he can read one of the books we got him for Christmas (he loves reading and took over my kindle with wild abandon after I showed him how to download books from the library). 

The words burned out keep repeating themselves over and over in my head.  "Jess, you're burned out." Yes, I'm aware.  I am fully aware.  I can't do a damn thing about it.  It sucks.  It wasn't enough that the candle was burning from both ends, it's in the middle as well.  So, what do I do? I don't have the mental capacity to do my job to the level that I want, but I feel like I'm letting my family and co-workers down.  I get ridiculously angry over the smallest thing not going the way my brain wants it to and my expectations are way way way to high.  Yesterday, the only thing I wanted to do was cry.  I finally succeeded on that front around 3:30 in the afternoon when I had a right, proper meltdown.  

At least I don't feel bad about having a meltdown now?  Is that progress?  I just feel guilty for having the meltdown in front of Kacy.  I feel guilty because Kacy has been my support and my rock through this whole process but she doesn't really have anyone she can lose it in front of.  I try very hard to shift into the role of caregiver but that's not who I am.  I'm more of the type of person to give you solutions to your problem.  In fact, I have to actually ask my friends and family - do you want to just vent or do you want solutions before they start talking to me about whatever problems they have.  It sometimes feels like I have to physically flip a switch in order to function in the "care-giver" realm.  

It's extra funny to me because I will give someone the shirt off my back or do whatever I can to help whomever needs it but it seems like organizing that is more of what I do than just be able to sit and put my arm around them.  My Dad, oddly enough, is the same way.  I remember one time I was not having the best of times in college, was living at home with him, and I was having an epic meltdown.  I got ridiculously pissed off because my Dad offered me a root beer.  I was sitting there, crying, and he wanted to give me a root beer.  

The thing is, I understand this now.  It's taken me 20+ years to understand what he was doing - he was trying to offer me comfort.  He knew that I loved the IBC root beers, he had specifically gone and bought some for me and thought it would help.  He was trying to comfort me.  I just wasn't in a position to be comforted.  Correction: I wasn't READY to be comforted.  I wanted to let my emotions out, have a nice cry, maybe scream at the top of my lungs and then probably go to sleep and tackle whatever problems I was having in the morning.  

It's taken me 45 years to realize that sometimes that's what I need.  Now, I'm setting out and letting the world know that sometimes I need that.  

Dad woke up about 20 minutes ago (he's back in bed now) and asked me if we should call the cardiologist about scheduling his catheter procedure.  I told him no that they can't even do that until they get the holter results, which the office that did the holter is closed this entire week until Jan. 2nd.  I have explained time and time again that we need that and can't get that done until they get back from their vacation.  I know he's anxious, I know he's ready to have this done, I know he's losing hope by the comments he is now continuously making.  But I can't make the machine move any faster.  I have no control or power over it.  The only thing I can do is say "Hey dad, fake a heart attack and let's get you to the hospital."  But then I would have to deal with my Dad in the hospital and he doesn't want to go back to the hospital.  He is deathly afraid of going to the hospital.  I don't quite know what to do anymore... I feel like I'm spinning my wheels.  I have my roadmap for what comes next, but next hasn't happened yet.  And that's part of the problem.  

Today, I'm going to work on switching my mindset.  I don't know if I'll be able to, but I'm going to try.  I'm going to attempt to flip that switch and be "fun Jess" but even that is exhausting.  Let's see how it goes...


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