Thursday, August 2, 2007

Wild and Crazy Guy

Tuesday evening at one point Dad's behavior was so strange. It was after supper and he would not lie down nor would he sit in his chair. He would not answer me. He took one of his old greeting cards and hit my arm with it which was just his way of telling me to let him be.

So I sat in his chair and watched him. He would almost doze off sitting on the side of his bed. Sometimes he would lean one way and sometimes the other. His leg would occasionally twitch or tremble. I have noticed some trembling when he is standing, too. I wondered at the time if it might be a drug reaction. I wondered if it might be that his dreams were too frightening to endure and so he didn't want to meet them again in sleep.

No fever at least so I guess he is over whatever caused the fever in the first place. It will return.

I felt so sorry for him that I tried to encourage him to recline on his bed by gently pushing him towards the pillow. His eyes got that really wild look and he kicked and hit at me. So I withdrew and he yelled at me as I was leaving.

This is not the first time I've witnessed this and I am pretty sure it will not be the last. But sometimes it scares me that one day there will just be some sort of total break and he will be entirely lost in madness. I pray that does not happen. I know I can deal with it if it does but Lord I do not want it to happen.

Then I wonder about myself. Will I become mad like this some day?

I know so well that there is so little that separates sane from madness. It isn't exactly a thin line. There's a lot of shading of sanity. But there is a precipice and once over the edge I think the chasm is unfathomably deep and wide. That precipice frightens me.

But by early Wednesday morning everything was back to "normal" and Wednesday was a nice day. No fever. We sat again on the porch.

Only really bad thing was that my wife came over to take a nap before church and dad picked just this time to want to be my shadow. It would have been nice to have spent a few minutes alone together.

Today is my lunch day with my lovely bride. And I have an appointment to get some car work done. A benefit of caregiving is driving very few miles.


nancy said...

i too have experienced times and even entire days when my dad acts pretty much like you described and it is very frustrating. i can tell something is bothering him yet he is unable to verbalize it and it becomes a guessing game; is he in pain, hungry, infection, dreaming, or somewhat lucid so that he is aware that he can't remember and just scared.

i'm glad to hear that your dad was feeling better yesterday and that his fever has disappeared for at least the time being. have a nice lunch today. you deserve it!

~Betsy said...

I hope you have better days on the horizon and that your lunch was relaxing. The days where you feel so lost and unable to help them are the worst.