When I got up and looked at my text messages I saw one from Rily (today’s caregiver), that he had sent at midnight. It said “I’m so sorry to text you so late but I fell off a roof a few hours ago. I got a little hurt so I won’t be there tomorrow. I’m so sorry.” Rily is the best caregiver for Michael and Chad and they love him. Rily usually arrives at 9 a.m. I erroneously assumed that he had told his company and that they would send over a replacement. When no one had contacted me by 9:40 a.m. to say that they had arrived I called the company, A Caring Hand. They were unaware of Rily’s injury but stated that they would do their best to get someone over to “The Brother’s” house (they call Michael and Chad “The Brothers” – which is more appropriate than “the boys”). They did inform me that it would take awhile.
Therefore, it fell on me to wake both Michael and Chad or let them sleep for who knows how long. It is a long process to wake them but I have learned how to do it without having to run over to their place. I call Michael’s cell phone first, then Chad’s. But who knows if their cell phones are in their rooms with them. So, then I call the house phone which has an extension in Michael’s room. I just keep rotating between calling each phone until someone answers. I started calling them at 9:50 a.m. It only took until 10:15 (tongue in cheek) for them to answer.
Should I pull my hair out now?
Stimulants are so important in their life. Chad takes ritalin and provigil upon waking, after I talk him through getting out of bed and getting it out of the safe (previous caregivers have stolen these street value drugs so they have purchased a safe). Michael takes extended release ritalin and provigil, again I walk him through waking up and getting it out of the safe.
After they get these medications into their bodies and I walk them through the process of getting into the front room they use their airway clearance vest. This is a device made by Hill-Rom that shakes the bedoogle out of them for 20 minutes. It’s really incredible because they can cough better and breathe better if they use it 2 times a day. But one of the percs of it is that it shakes them so much that they can’t fall back asleep (well, truth be told, Michael has fallen asleep with it on once).
Once they have taken their stimulants and been shaken for 20 minutes they can usually stay up to get breakfast and get on with their day. I have taught them to look out for each other because invariably they will fall asleep even after taking their stimulants. So, I keep in touch with them for the first half hour to make sure that they stay up. But after that half hour I am able to get on with my day.
Normally, when the cargivers show up at 9 a.m. and get them going then I don’t have to do all of this. You can see why I worship the caregivers 🙂