I Have Seen the Future! Got Poop?
Posted on February 8, 2013
Guess what yesterday was? Correct! Thursday. And guess what I didn’t complete on time? Right again! My blog post. Now, I could make up some really incredible excuses that would blow your mind and delight your senses, but it would be a lie and that’s what you buy my books for. That’s why we call our work ‘fiction.’ So why would I just give that out for free? Girrrrrl, please… Instead, allow me to hit you up with the truth of things at the moment. Also, allow me to say that this isn’t me complaining or objecting or crying for help or looking for pity. I’m not. I’m simply, at the moment, acknowledging my limitations as a human being in this particular set of circumstances at this particular juncture in my life. And yes, there really is poop involved.
My schedule since the hubby flew back to work has been a little…well, exhausting and has influenced my mood in a less-than-desirable way. I’m crabby. I’ve been crabby to the point where I’ve taken it out on a few people who just didn’t deserve it. Khan’s desire to inflict pain on starship captains not using the intergalactic blinkers when changing lanes looks less angry than I do lately. I’ve apologized to the folks I’ve crabbed at, looked at why it’s happening and am in the process of trying to figure out how to relieve a little bit of the pressure. Here’s where the explanation comes in.
I get up in the morning and allow myself about an hour to do anything that needs immediate attention, then set up any social media when I actually do manage to get a blog post written, then head for the shower. Once I’m remotely clean and smelling like a properly groomed gay man, I stop by and pick up the mail for my father-in-law-who-doesn’t-know-he’s-my-father-in-law, take it to him at the rehabilitation center, spend about an hour with him, then head over and pick my dad up. Dad and I go for a walk at the mall, a drive, run an errand or two if I’m lucky (dad is unable to do much walking at all after the mall), then take him back to my place for tea and a snack. He works on a puzzle or word search while I clean, make out bills or catch up with e-mails for a bit, then I drive him home and head back up to see the father-in-law. Visiting hours end at 8 p.m., so by the time I grab some dinner and make it home, It’s typically about quarter to 9.
That’s it. That’s my day. Every day. Running errands is a luxury because dad can’t take the additional walking around and he has zero patience. I promised the hubs that I’d help get his dad’s mancave (aka house) picked up and carpets cleaned, so I started on that on the first day I didn’t have dad. On the second day I didn’t have dad (a couple of days later), I did several hours of shopping for items the Hong Kong Grandmother requested for my hubs to bring during his trip for the Chinese New Year…which he wasn’t going to take until she did her black voodoo magic thing on him.
Again, not complaining (about anything other than Ralph’s Grandmother wanting him to head there for the Chinese New Year when she knows perfectly well what’s going on with his dad, plus the amount of time he’s already taken off of work). Just setting the scene for you. I run a pretty tight ship here with the amount of time I have to work with. It may not be pretty, but it’s functional. The schedule is. Me? Not so much.
Anyway, so there’s that. Now, unfortunately, my father doesn’t quite know how to articulate when he’s not feeling well and we believe he had some digestive issues yesterday. He asked to use the bathroom at the mall, so I took him in and waited. And waited. And waited. I asked him what was taking so long and his response was “Poop…poop…poop…” Okay, so now we have that. We left, ran a short errand and came back to the flat. He worked on a puzzle for a bit, then headed to the bathroom again. Seems normal, right? Dad went into my bedroom and worked on a computer word search after that, then came out to put some more time on the puzzle. That’s when I noticed the smell.
I figured somebody was cooking something a bit off in the building. It happens, so I lit a candle. Dad walked around to relieve his legs, then turned and started towards the kitchen table. That’s when I noticed the seat of his pants. Not pretty. The short of it is he knew something had happened in the bathroom, but didn’t want to say anything because he didn’t want to complicate things; i.e. he didn’t want to get into trouble. This is the future of Alzheimer’s with him. It’ll get worse.
I very calmly asked what was going on with his jeans and he played the whole thing off as if nothing was wrong. I had him go into the bathroom and I asked him then to please just bring his jeans down so we could see just what we were dealing with and he refused. I suggested he take a shower and he refused. I suggested I give him a set of fresh clothes to wear after he took a shower and he refused. He wanted me to take him home and I explained that wasn’t going to happen given the current state of things. It turns out we were at an impasse and he believe that mom would back him up 100%.
Well, not so.
I called mom, explained the circumstances to her and let her talk to him. He refused her suggestions of a shower, too, so she drove over and had him do it anyway. Dad was much more open to the idea once she arrived. And while we waited for her, I spoke very calmly to him and told him that he shouldn’t be embarrassed about what happened, that he wasn’t going to get into trouble and that we weren’t angry. But if he doesn’t tell us something like this has happened, it makes us more difficult to help him and that’s what we’re here for, to help him.
As silly as it may seem, the whole thing was extremely draining, especially because I couldn’t get him to see it wasn’t an issue, he wasn’t in trouble, and that all he needed to do was take a shower and put clean clothes on. He was NOT going to do it and wanted no part in it. And, I’ll own this, I’m sorry, but I wasn’t about to sit in an enclosed vehicle with him for a twenty minute ride home in the middle of winter smelling poop. Not gonna happen. Does it make me a bad person? I don’t know, but I liked my solution better.
The hubs flew in late last night, so I had just enough time to swallow some dinner before picking him at the airport. We came back, he packed, we slept for a couple of hours and then I took him back to the airport to catch the next flight to Hong Kong. And yes, I picked dad up, took him for a walk and a ride before coming home to write this, which I’ll be loading shortly before taking dad home and heading up to see the father-in-law again.
This is the way of things for a little while. Got poop?
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
10 Responses to “I Have Seen the Future! Got Poop?”
February 8, 2013 at 10:42 am
February 8, 2013 at 11:35 pm
The problem with a cryptic response, D, is that I never know if you’re sighing because I’ve completely missed an obvious answer and failed to see what an ass I’ve been or if you’re simply relaying an “I don’t really have a response other than this ‘sigh’ that escaped my lips.”
Lloyd Songal says:
February 8, 2013 at 12:33 pm
Being a care giver/helper is not an easy job given evan the best of situations. I hope your situation improves. Sounds like you could use a little help but I realise, having a Mother; soon to be 88, people can be a little stubborn and set in their ways. It’s unfortunate that this takes so much of your time. You maintain your cool and best wishes and regards. Hugs, Lloyd
February 8, 2013 at 11:37 pm
The scary thing is the Hong Kong Grandmother is starting to show some signs of mental fading. This does not bode well since the hubby has said he plans on living with her for a while when she gets bad enough.
I did tell him the other night that once his father is out of the rehabilitation center and things lighten up a bit in terms of schedules that I’m going to take a trip somewhere for a couple of days, relax and just get my head together. It’s a nice thought. Let’s see if it actually happens.
Patricia Logan says:
February 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm
I’ll just add to Dorien. *sigh* oh, and a little “I love you” and another “been there” (((((hugs)))))
February 8, 2013 at 11:38 pm
Thank you, Patti. Some days a hug does wonders. This is one of them. =)
sue hughes says:
February 8, 2013 at 2:00 pm
I literally have no idea of how you cope. I know its because you have to, but I am in awe and admiration of your humanity and generousity of spirit. A difficult thing but please try to take a moment or two for yourself. Take care and strength to you
February 8, 2013 at 11:40 pm
Sue, there are days when my temper is far too short with others and with my father. I’m finally at the point where I’m recognizing my limitations, but you’re right. I do this because it needs to be done. And if I don’t help, it’ll fall onto shoulders who can’t take the extra weight of this either. That and I care greatly for all parties involved. When the hubby is gone, I’m his eyes, ears and helping hands here. And with my folks, I do it because I know they’d do the same for me in a heartbeat.
I mentioned to Lloyd above that I’d like to take a trip in a month or two for a couple of days and just rest, relax and get my head together. I hope it happens. It gives me something to look forward to either way.
Katy Trick says:
February 8, 2013 at 5:26 pm
I wish I had a man servant I could lend you indefinitely. You could really use one. Oh, and a house keeper, a cook and a maid, too. If I win the megs millions, you’re golden. 🙂
PS- I’m gonna ask around for a Face of Gay story for you. I have a few people who might want to do one.
February 8, 2013 at 11:42 pm
Thank you, Katy. =) I had a good chunk of the day to myself today. I got up a tiny bit late, watched an episode of Mrs. Brown’s Boys, shopped for a couple of things for the hubby’s dad, went grocery shopping, changed fish tank water and did some other chores I’ve been neglecting. Only got about half what I needed done, but it felt so good to do.