Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Reality check

As most of you know, I'm now my dad's full time carer. After Mum passed away last year, we discovered Dad had a "silent" heart attack and two small strokes, one of which affected his memory. So our family (and doctors) decided it would be in Dad's best interest for me to take care of him full time. It's not so bad, in ways not as difficult as caring for Mum was. I do a lot though, I make sure Dad has his medication twice a day, I cook all his meals and make his coffee (we really don't want him using the stove etc, he may forget that he's turned it on, which he has done in the past) and if I do want to go out, I make sure he's set for the day. I take care of certain aspects of his personal hygiene also, which I can tell you is quite difficult for a woman to do, I have to shave Dad's beard once a day, and never having to do that at any time before, is quite a task. He gets swollen feet too, that's a side effect from the heart attack, so I massage his feet for at least an hour each night. There's lots more things I do for him, but in general, I just make sure he's OK.
I've often thought of getting a part time job. It's not easy living on a carer's pension. Example, last week I went to buy badly needed new underwear, $90 later I was saying to myself...what the fuck? These are things we can't live without. I rarely buy myself luxuries, so a part time job would have been ideal. Just a couple of hours a day, nothing major at all. Just so I can have a bit of play around money, and save for emergencies, all that stuff.
Well, today sure blew that right out of the water. My dad had his first full blown asthma attack. He's been complaining of shortness of breath for the last 4 weeks or so, the doctor put him on a puffer, he's never really had any major problems until today. He went for his shower and he came out 5 minutes later and nearly collapsed. I managed to get him on his bed and give him his puffer, I called his doctor straight away and they called a locum out. Luckily the locum was free at the time, so he came straight over, and fixed Dad right up. But I can tell you, it frightened the living shit out of me. Mum's illness I could always cope with, but Dad's never had a sick day in his life. 22 years he worked in the same place with never a sick day to his name. Now I know for sure I can't leave Dad on his own while I go out and work. I could never forgive myself if something happened to him while I wasn't home.


nenni said...

OMFG, Sweetie! I really hope he's ok and that you're ok!!!

I can imagine the scare you got. It's not the same..but one of my friends had a asthma attack once while we were on holiday with school. I was crapping myself but it must be 10x more scarey for you. I'm sorry to hear that =(

Is there not a job that you can do at home? There are a few jobs like that over here. Could be just putting letters into envelopes and then posting them. They give you everything and pay you to sit and do that. Would be that extra cash you would want but like I said..I only know of them doing that over here. Could be something to look into too.

LuNaMooN said...


Looks like another sleepless night. Dad's up again, difficulty breathing. We've found out its not asthma, but fluid on his lungs. He's on tablets to get rid of the fluid but it might take a while. Long story as to why he's got it in the first place, I'm just hoping this isn't an ongoing thing. Back to the docs next week and we'll see. I've just got him to sleep (thank whoever's up there) so I can have a bit of time to myself. Typical me spends it online lol.

nenni said...

I hope those tablets work! If it's not one thing, it's another =(