Friday, July 1, 2011
A Three Story Life: Caregiver Blues
Scott was unhappy and mad at dinner tonight. It was one of his favorite meals, but it didn't please him. I went upstairs after dinner to ask if he was okay, to see if there was anything I could do. He wasn't playing music, which he loves to do. His equipment wasn't working last week - there was a tape stuck in the tape player. I fixed the CD player part. Something else must have gone wrong because Dad took the whole unit up to the repair shop that is never open, while the repair guy takes months to fix anything. Dad has shopped on the computer for a week solid for a tape player standalone. It came in the mail today. Dad's got it next to him on the couch, and I thought he was checking it out for Scott. Scott's little Sony Walkman (I think it was Mom's) wasn't working tonight. I took it down to Dad. "This isn't working," I said. He figured out it was the batteries, and replaced them. Dad said "I asked him if the batteries were okay, and he said yes." I took the player back up to Scott, he put on his headphones and nodded thanks. Back downstairs, I asked Dad "who did you buy that tape player for?" He said, "me." My heart took a hit again tonight. I have nowhere to turn, no help on these issues in the family. The support group at the Senior Center is no more. I can't make Dad think of more than himself, can't get him to understand once and for flipping all that Scott has Alzheimer's and it takes more than one question to find out what he needs. I cannot make Scott's life better. I know all this. But I sure as hell want to get some relief when I feel this bad. How do I do that? Anybody out there got a clue?