Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Lazy Sunday with Robert

6:45 a.m.:  Robert and the dogs sleep in!  Woohoo!  I go downstairs to let the dogs out.  From the sofa bed in the family room, Robert says “good morning!”  Good morning, Robert.

6:46 a.m.:  I give morning meds to Robert. 
6:50 a.m.:  Robert sits up and takes his soaking wet night shirt off as he tells me it’s dry. 

6:55 a.m.:  Let the dogs in; dry their paws since it’s raining outside.  Robert moves on to taking off his socks.
7:05:  Robert puts on his helmet and pushes his walker to the bathroom.  He takes his wet pajama bottoms off and I grab a pair of disposable gloves.  Note to self: invent a better diaper.

7:10:  Wet briefs are placed in the garbage bag I hold out for Robert.  Robert uses the bathroom while I strip the bed and throw a load of sheets, pajamas and blankets (just for good measure) in the washer. I turn the sofa bed back into a couch.
7:25:  Fill the sink full of soapy water and give Robert a warm washcloth to wash off.  I help as needed.

7:50:  Washed and dried, Robert starts to get dressed.  It’s Sunday which means he’ll wear a white shirt.
8:05:  Hubby starts making blueberry muffins.  Yum!  I throw another load of bed linens in the washer. 

8:15:  Robert finishes dressing and pushes his walker to the couch.  He takes his breakfast meds and starts to watch a church program that I’ve recorded for him.
8:35:  Muffins are ready!  Robert enjoys the muffins and makes sure he eats every last crumb.  Hubby asks if he wants another.  You have to ask? 

9:30:  Robert finishes with muffins, banana, cereal, juice & milk and returns to the bathroom to brush his teeth.
9:55:  Back to the couch to finish watching church.  I have another church program recorded for him so he’ll be busy for a while.

10:30:  Robert is sleeping through church.
12:30: I give Robert his lunch meds and start to make grilled cheese.  It’s a rainy day so grilled cheese and soup sound fabulous.  I find some sort of meat & pasta soup in the cupboard that teenage son hasn’t yet found so heat that up for Robert. 

12:40: Robert tries to eat half of his sandwich in two bites.  I scold him as he tries to shove bite #2 in his mouth.

12:50:  During lunch, I work on completing the paperwork for Robert’s neuro-psychologist appointment in the morning.  I have to ask Robert several questions and one exchange goes like this:

Me: Do you have blurred vision?
Robert: No.
Me: Do you have double vision?
Robert: No.
Me: Do you see flashing lights sometimes?
Robert: Yes.
Me: Really? When?
Robert: On police cars.

1:15:  Robert finishes his lunch and returns to the bathroom to brush his teeth.  He is very good about grooming!
1:25:  I decide to run errands while hubby is home watching the 49er game and doing homework.  The turtle needs food, Robert needs wet wipes and hubby needs a pair of jeans.  I say goodbye and check on Robert in the bathroom on my way out.

1:26:  I put my keys down and assist Robert in the bathroom.  I put off getting the wet wipes a bit too long.
1:45:  All cleaned up, Robert returns to the couch.  I tell him what I’m doing and review how to use the remote.  He chooses an episode of “Law and Order” and I leave.

2:00:  Hubby gives Robert his afternoon meds.
3:30:  I return home to Hubby telling me Robert got chocolate ice cream from lunch on the sleeve of his shirt and wanted to change. 

I told Hubby Robert didn’t eat chocolate ice cream.
3:31:  Give Robert a new shirt to wear.  Start another load of laundry.  Make use of the wet wipes.

4:00:  Play cards with Robert.  He wins two games and I win one.  Typical.
5:00:  Give Robert his dinner meds.  He drops two pills on the floor and Hubby and I scramble to find them.  Hubby spots them before the dogs realize anything is going on and Robert successfully swallows them on the second try. 

6:20:  We sit down to dinner.  Robert enjoys homemade macaroni & cheese, canned peaches and cauliflower.  He drinks his milk in seven drinks and his water in five (he likes to count).   I work on his neuro-psych paperwork and call Other Brother to help me remember how many grades Robert repeated as a child. We think he only repeated one.
7:30:  Robert polishes off some Rocky Road ice cream (his favorite) and prepares for the trip to the bathroom (helmet on; walker unlocked).

8:30:  Robert has finished shaving, brushing his teeth and changing into his pajamas and settles into the sofa bed and works on his word search puzzle while watching "Criminal Minds."  I finish up his neuro-psych paperwork.
9:05:  I give Robert his last dose of meds for the night (no mishaps this time) and tell him he has to go to sleep very soon since he has to wake up early for his appointment.  He tells me he has one more word to find and then he’ll go to sleep.

9:15:  Word has been found and he’s ready to sleep.  He will spend the next 30 minutes or so saying his goodnight prayers. 
Good night, Robert!


Anonymous said...

Just a day in the life of being a "shadow"...:-). If you find those " elusive" Depends that really do work w/o leaking all the time, let me know. One difference between Jason and Robert, is, Jason eats s...l...o...w...!!, a lot of time, he tends to seizure about supper time with food in his mouth....very scary.

Have a great Monday and start of a new week.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Good morning, Linda! I don't know how Robert does it but he takes giant bites and is super slow at the same time! :-) It usually takes at least an hour for him to eat a meal. That must be scary to see Jason have a seizure with food in his mouth. Robert tends to have a seizure while he says grace before a meal. I'm on the hunt for a leak-proof brief! Lots of claims out there but I haven't found a leak-proof one yet. I'll let you know if I find one. :-)

Unknown said...

I know I've praised you before for what you do for Robert, but seriously, God bless you. I know you may not believe in something like that, but you are an angel on Earth. And if more people were like you, this world wouldn't be so effed up. But now you're making me crave tomato soup and grilled cheese. :)

Unknown said...

You are such a superstar, Trish! Robert is one fortunate man to have you as a sister. I assume that you were talking about a typical day The level of love, loyalty, and commitment it takes to do what you and your husband do is so inspiring. I love you for being such a rare and wonderful woman!

Austin's Thoughts

Heidi Alberti & Atticus Uncensored said...

You embody love and service, Trish! I am so thankful to know you --- you inspire me! In addition to all you do for your family, we know firsthand the support you give to your friends, and for that I'm thankful.

Your attitude has become a touchstone for me -- seriously. I wish you, hubby, Robert, kids & pets a spectacular Thanksgiving! I look forward to the next time we lunch together (over giggles & snorts!) :)

Heidi & Atticus

keepupweb said...

Trish, First, 6:45 a.m is sleeping in? "Do you see flashing lights sometimes?" - "Yes. On police cars." - hysterical. I've looked forward to going shopping just to get out of the house but you just put my reality into focus. You're amazing. I had no idea what a typical day is for you.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Sherryl, I loved Robert's answer about the flashing lights! As his doctor said after I relayed the story, it's good to ask follow up questions. :-) Robert isn't here every day so this is just a typical weekend day when he is over. Once he lives here full-time, I'm hoping we can get into a routine and we won't have quite as many bathroom mishaps.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Heidi, Your support means the world to me! It's helpful to find humor in these situations and I try as much as possible. Of course, we'll have plenty of laughs at lunch! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well. :-)

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Bill, Thanks for your kind comments. Robert isn't full-time with us yet so this was a fairly typical weekend day (although we don't always have doctor appointments to prep for!). He'll be over for the long Thanksgiving weekend so we'll see what other adventures we'll have!

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Dennis, Don't you just love tomato soup & grilled cheese? That is the ultimate in comfort food. :-) What I found so remarkable about that day is that he didn't have any seizures! (He had three the next day but who's counting.). LOL. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!

Unknown said...

Haha you too, Trish!

Franziska San Pedro said...

Oh wow what a day! Trish you are amazing!!
And you told us just about this one. You are a superhero for having Robert and taking care of him with so much love and dedication.
Thanks for sharing this one day with us!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!!
Franziska San Pedro
The Abstract Impressionist Artress

Judy, The Reflective Writer said...

I don't know how you do it, Trish, but you certainly demonstrate what it means to love in service. This post is remarkable for giving us a feeling for what the life of a caregiver is. There must be a lot of love flowing in your household to sustain you! I will also say I have never heard grilled cheese and soup sound so enticing!

Judy Stone-Goldman
The Reflective Writer
Personal-Professional Balance Through Writing

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Judy, Robert is only here on weekends right now but there are a lot of caregivers out there that do this (and more) every single day. Love & chocolate sustains me. :-) I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Judy.

Trish Hughes Kreis said...

Thanks, Franziska. I wanted people to see what caregiving is like and, believe me, other caregivers do so much more. I think I have it easy since Robert is only here on weekends. I am certainly no superhero but appreciate your support. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!