Monday, April 28, 2014

First day with New Transportation is Exhausting (for both of us)

Gary arose at 6:00 this morning and hopped in the shower.  He awakened me and seemed to be excited to go to the CLUB.  He got us up so early that we had two hours to spare, so we went to Breakfast.

Right before we left, he changed wallets to a different color.  As we drove to the restaurant, I asked him to pull out the cheat sheet I had made for him that showed his transportation pick up times and the numbers he needed to call if something went wrong.  "What are you talking about?", he responded.  Uh -oh.

When we arrived at the restuarant and were seated, I asked to see his wallet so I could pull out the cheat sheet and "coach him" to relieve MY anxiety.  Of course, it was nowhere to be found and he had left it in the other wallet.  So, I rewrote it and had him fold it and put in his wallet.  (Yep, I thought this was a waste, too.) 

After a delicious breakfast, we headed toward Rancho Cordova.  I had him dial the cell phone on the way attempting to make his reservations for the next two days. This process was a total fiasco and just on the first vendor, we were disconnected three times.  I finally got through to two vendors and made reservations for him to be picked up at the CLUB both remaining days this week and take him to Target in Elk Grove and then another pickup to take him home.  This took 35 minutes and I could have never done it by myself and still drove.  Poor Gary got pretty beat up before we got to Rancho due to not knowing how to use the phone and my poor directions.  Of course, none of the times either day are consistent so no routine is provided for him.  That stresses out ME knowing that every change is a chance for error and confusion for him.

I dropped him off at CLUB and explained what I had arranged for him.  They were not a bit concerned as their clients use Paratransit all the time. I ran through the times again with him in the car and reminded him how to use his tracking device to call me and reminded him that he could also call me on his cell phone.  I was a nervous wreck but gave it up and went to work. 

Since he had on his tracker, I started watching it at 1:45 (when they were supposed to pick him up).  No movement.  2:20, no movement.  He was going to be late picking up the transfer?  No, they gave a half hour window, Ada, 2:30, I still saw no movement so I called his cell phone.  It was turned off.  (FHOI*U&(*&F!!!EIH) Next, the GPS was activated remotely and he answered.  "I'm on the bus".  At that very moment, the satellite linked and my screen showed him moving faster than 35 mph.  I asked him to call me when he got home.  We had a bad connection.

He was supposed to be at the Target for a pick up at 3:30.  I set up a zone around Target which notifies me when he enters the zone.  Bingo, but at 3:45.  My phone rang from a foreign number.  It was Gary INSIDE Target calling me as he did not see the bus. He said Paratransit had just dropped him off.  I told him to hurry back outside because he was going to miss the connnection van.  I told him that I would call E-Van and ask when they could pick him up. Convinced he had missed connection.  The folder with all the phone numbers was in my car in the back parking lot of the school, so I Googled the number.  I found it and went through Interactive Voice Response System Hell.  After 10 minutes, it forced me to leave a voicemail.  One can't imagine the message that I managed to grit through my teeth asking for a call back and explaining the situation. 

After about ten minutes, there was no movement on the GPS so I called on the tracker.  Gary answered and said he was on the bus.  Said he had walked outside and jumped right on the van and the driver had only waited about 3-4 minutes.  Of course, he didn't think to call me.  How could I expect him to remember that I was stressed out-to-the-max?  I released again and waited on the signal that he had entered the "Home Zone".  Bingo.  Relax. 

I called him on my way home several hours later and he was busy watering.  When asked about his day his response was "I'll tell you when you get home as that will give me more time to settle down."  He was overwhelmed.

Upon arrival at home, he was busy bringing in the trash cans.  He seemed very irritated and the mood quickly deteriorated to exhausted and overwhelmed.  I started to fix dinner and he asked if he could take a Relaxation bath first.  OK.  He did not have the energy to run the bath so I did it.  He bathed for 20 minutes or so and I asked if he wanted dinner.  I finished it as he came downstairs.  With dinner on his plate, he looked exhausted, acted exhausted and when I looked at him, for the very first time, he looked like an old man.  The melancholy for me was overwhelming.  He could not eat and said he needed to go to bed.  He went upstairs and within 10 minutes came back down asking if I had any other supplements to calm him.  Valerian, Melatonin and Sedalia down the hatch.  He went to bed. 

Today was hard on us both....much of mine was as a result of caring about my husband and being a control freak. (Or, it could be said that I take my role as caregiver seriously :))  His overwhelm had to be related to the stress of a completely new process of transportation.  It was just too much for one day. 

I feel sorry for him.  Our evening prayer consisted of him thanking the Lord for helping him now and in the future to get through the changes.  He was thankful for having care and people who love him.  Thank you Lord for keeping him safe everyday.  For that matter, thanks for what you do for me, too.

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