Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Case of the Melting Caretaker Brain

My brain is melting.

It's been roughly six weeks since my wife and I left our jobs and moved down here to help care for my father, and, little by little, my brain is melting away. It's not all due to the Florida heat, either.

I have fallen behind in posting my #wws and #ffs on Twitter. I plan to read books to my wife after my parents go to bed, but instead I collapse in front of the TV or harvest imaginary crops on Castleville. I sort out my dad's pills and handle his refills, but forget to take my own meds OR give my wife hers, either.

My life used to be highly structured. Weekdays: Get up, go to the office, have lunch, work again, go home, fart around on the Internet, watch TV, complain to my wife that I should be writing. Weekends: Sleep later unless at a con, run errands unless at a con, write, promote books, fart around...

There is very little structure here. We exist at the demands of my father's daily needs and, to a certain extent, my mother's as well. These change from day to day and week to week. Mom needs someone to haul the trash to the curb. Dad needs help transferring from the wheelchair to his recliner. Nurses and therapists must be shown in. Prescriptions must be refilled and picked up. Bess has proved to be an enormous asset, hauling the family to doctor's appointments and carrying tanks and wheelchairs in the back.

I take Mom out for walks to help her manage her diabetes. I take my wife out for walks to help her manage her cabin fever: as the expert on the oxygen equipment, she rarely gets to leave the house.

Writing? Every time I begin to string two thoughts together, someone here asks me to do something. For example, Dad just asked me if I could trim his nails. He has to be careful not to cut himself due to the Coumadin. I'll do it later.

If I remember.

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