I remember as I grew up leaving Nana and Pops’ house being told “Call when you get home!!!” Now we never lived more then a 15 min drive from them. So if we forgot to call them the second we walking in the door a minute later the phone was ringing with Nana on the other end literally yelling at us for not calling! As we all grew up we learned to answer the phone saying “Sorry Nana!! We just walking in the door!!” it made the scolding not as long or as loud! Then as we become teenagers and young Adults it was still the same way. Call when we got home. Even if it was late at night. If you went out it was her you answered to, not our parents. She loved us all so much that she worried non stop. We never realized Pops was just like Nana in that way. Not until she passed away. Then all the sudden if he didn’t hear from you at the normal time on the normal day for your weekly call he would fret and worry then cry to you on the phone when you did call him. When I first moved in with him I was still young and partying with my friends. Dating people here and there. If He didn’t get a call from me by midnight of me telling him that I wasn’t going to be home until later he would sit up standing and staring out his bedroom window that faces the parking lot with a mean worried look on his face. Then after the birth of Bug it turned to worrying about me going and doing anything outside of the house. Including just a trip to the store! This worrying from his has caused him to have chest pains and has gotten him admitted into the hospital on numerous occasions. Not to mention the fights and arguments about me being a grown up. Those all happened before he needed any kind of assistance from me. I was just a screwed up kid who couldn’t make ends meet so he gave me a roof over my head. I’d get tired of hearing him complain about my young and stupid lifestyle so I’d hide in my bedroom anytime I was in the house. Anyway, He’s worried about every little detail in life that can’t be controlled, as well as all the little things that can be. I learned quick how to tell when he was having a panic attack because of a worry.
Now that he’s had to give up all of his normal household duties like fixing the clogged sink, or making any kind of minor home repair. He’s spent a lot of time fretting over these items. a few weeks ago we had a clogged drain pipe that took me 45 mins to unclog only to figure out that there was still more that I couldn’t reach because it was in the wall. Things like that are handled by the HOA here. So they called in a plumber and the whole time Pops sat in his chair straining to hear what the guy was saying and doing. Then spent the next 2 weeks asking me over and over again to explain to him what happened and how the guy fixed it as well as what had clogged it. Every day I would repeat what was done, and what the stuff was and how it was done. He would sit and worry that I had to handle that when he should have been the one doing it. And that we had to call in a plumber. I see him as the man of the house that he used to be and wants to be again. He even worries about problems with neighbors and their homes and vehicles.
Every other weekend Bug goes and spends 4 days with her Dad. While she’s gone I have to calm him and reassure him that she is fine and that he does take care of her. He normally won’t sleep a good nights sleep until she’s back home. He greats her with tears telling her how glad he is that she’s home, that he missed her with all his heart. She comes back refreshed and ready to jump back in on the helping with him. So she hugs and kisses and cuddles him to assure him that she’s glad to be home too. I on the other hand HATE when she goes because it means I have to spend the weekend defending my choice of letting her spend time with him. And putting up with a weekend long panic attack from him. He’s worried she’s going to be kidnapped, hurt or corrupted by her paternal grandparents that aren’t the nicest or loving people in the world. That’s a story for my other Blog.
Then there’s the worries about me and my health. Those I can understand and totally agree with. I have major depression, anxiety, recently diagnosed with Diabetes, Thyroid problems, a Smoker, suffer from insomnia, and I’m obese. I know his worries about me used to cause him to do more then he should have such as still trying to walk around the house after losing his eye sight, Not wanting me to help him with anything, Constantly asking me if I want help cooking or cleaning. The one thing he does that drives me insane is apologizing over and over and over again because he can’t help me. It took me crying and basiclly having a break down for him to agree to wear diapers a few months back because he was trying to help me by not having me help him to the bathroom in the middle of the night. I would spend DAYS without any sleep except for a few minutes during the day when I knew he wasn’t going anywhere. Since that break down he apologizes continually about having to use a diaper at night. Now with his new temporary catheter he’s sorry for me having to take care of that. I can’t get it thru to him that since he’s gotten that I’ve been so much more relaxed and at ease with everything in the house.
Last weekend I had to spend hours trying to calm him down for his pre op approval from his primary Doctor as well as the normal Bug’s weekend at her Dad’s. He didn’t sleep much all weekend long. he was to busy worrying about if he had made the right choice concerning that catheter. Worrying about if he can afford it, what exactly would be done, and the possibility of pain. By the time Monday rolled around he was in a total tizzy! He didn’t sleep the night before, didn’t eat anything the morning and afternoon of the appointment. He was so dizzy, and so out of breath I couldn’t even give him his shower, and shave. He just wasn’t in the mood or physical well being to tolerate it. When my sister arrived to take us he was stressed out and just wanted it all to be over. As did I! But it only got worse when we got there.
We sit in the waiting room for 30 mins past our appointment time. The whole time Pops is sitting in his wheel chair on the verge of tears and on the verge of getting up and trying to walk out of there! My sister and I had to keep him engaged in conversation to keep him calm. Once in the exam room we waited another 30 minutes for the Dr to come in. The nurse who took us back registered his BP at 98 over 70. As we sat there waiting Pops started his panic attack behavior, dizziness, chest pains, rapid breathing, and a look of utter discomfort on his face. Just what I must look like when I’m having a panic attack. Once the Doctor rolls in he takes Pops’ BP and it’s jumped all the way to 137 over 80. Since Pop’s has a tendency for low blood pressure the Dr was pleased with that jump. Until he notices all the other symptoms. He was worried until I explained that Pops suffered from worry wart syndrome and that he was just having a panic attack because of all the stress and waiting. The Doctor continued his exam to see if Pops was healthy enough to undergo surgery. We got the green light.
On the way home we could tell that Pops was feeling much better because he turned to my sister and said…….”Dinner is on you!! I just love it when you foot the bill!” So we got to enjoy Burgers and Fries on my Sister’s dime. Poor Pops passed out in his chair the rest of the evening, and spent all most all day today sleeping. He didn’t even notice that we made a run to the store. So glad he’s over that worrying. Now for the surgery worrying where none of will sleep until it’s all over and he’s safe and sound!!