Primo left this morning for Florida again. (Nope. Don't care if Sly finds this blog. Didn't want Doris to find it because it would have hurt her and that would have been mean, even if she was not the nicest person in the world. But Sly. No quarter.)
He was home for only a few days. In that time, he did a ton of work around the house, although the garage and the window trim are still not being painted and the stove and the microwave are not being replaced. Those were going to be his summer projects, but now, Sly is his summer project.
I would like Sly to put Primo on the payroll, at least.
We woke up at 6:30 this morning with the intention of leaving for the airport at 8. At 7:40, Primo still had not taken a shower, which made me anxious. I had to remind myself that I DO NOT CARE IF PRIMO GETS ON THE PLANE. If he misses his flight, oh well. Then he comes home.
So deep breath. Exhale. Relax.
Except right before we left for the airport, Ted emailed. I will not copy the entire email because Ted is all blah blah blah and takes ten words to say what normal people say in one.
Jack and I decided that all these hard things need to be done for dad, like tearing out the carpet in the house and smoothing all the rough spots on the floor, and we want you to do it. And make dad stop drinking and make him lose thirty pounds.
But you have to see these words - this is what he actually wrote (part of it - a very small part):
My top-line observations, a few conclusions, and action items for you two: 1. Obesity is his greatest obstacle. All else devolves from that in terms of his well being for the remainder of his days. Meds and surgery have ameliorated his cardiac, joint, and gastro issues. He's not going to like to hear that absent a duodenum, one shouldn't drink alcohol. The goal of living in this house again is positive and potentially realistic--if he progresses optimally. 2. Need to translate his verbal determination into rehab performance milestones.
1. He assigned action items for Primo. Because Ted is the boss and Primo is the flunky. And wants milestones for Sly.
2. He says it is "realistic" for Sly to live in the house again - and then goes on to say, "If he comes back to this house, it must be retrofitted for an almost immobile person and skilled nursing."
Primo asked for clarification about the apparently contradictory statements.
Your most surprising statements were these:
- "The goal of living in this house again is positive and potentially realistic--if he progresses optimally."
- "If he comes back to this house, it must be retrofitted for an almost immobile person and skilled nursing."
You and Jack felt very strongly last week that Dad should never go back to the house to live. Have you two discussed this and come to a joint conclusion that is different from what we talked about last week, or are these thoughts yours alone? It is hard for me to see how he can live there by himself without some serious retrofitting and without significant home care -- i.e., some help with cooking, cleaning, etc. daily or at least multiple times per week. I was prepared to investigate a transition to assisted living ASAP. Extensively retrofitting the house -- e.g., removing the bedroom carpet (which. of course, requires completely clearing the room) and removing all bumps on the floor -- for a very short-term stay does not seem worthwhile, and his return to live there as a long-term (or even medium-term) arrangement seems unwise to me. My thinking during the past several days has been that we'd focus on getting Dad into an assisted living facility and then work on getting the house ready to sell.
Yeah Primo we're on the same page. However he is very determined to get back into that house and the carpet is going to have to come out sometime anyway Jack and I have discussed all this this morning on the way to the airport with a good half hour with dad and the house does week of cat urine it is a factor believe me alright I know you'll do the right thing & make the right choices
Ted delegates. "I know you'll do the right thing and make the right choices."
As in, Ted decides, Primo implements.
UPDATE: There is a letter in the Washington Post today about dealing with an alcoholic, widowed father, which made me think of the emails Ted sent to Primo. I decided we needed more detail. Here is more of the email from Ted, edited so it is not incomprehensible:
> 3. Less linear directives here: ... Safe still locked out; security should open with Primo present. Only wallet inside. I'll leave MacBook Air manana. Cross-talk is key. By that I mean one of us telling the different disciplines of health care providers his story repeatedly. As a master of repetition, I have slain that dragon multiple times the past 3 days. May need to rinse and repeat when necessary.
[Sly's lawyer] will contact Primo but frankly get on him. Said that Dad should "revisit the trust language from 2005 with Primo."
Dad working on Doris' obit and thinks June 21 service works at funeral home. Understands that it's Father's Day. He MUST drink more water.
I garbaged all of Doris' meds on her dresser and confirmed with him. No flushing away.
House reeks of cat urine and his bedroom carpet should be stripped and discarded asap; also the LR carpet. The slightest bump on the floor could result in broken limbs and catastrophe (pun intended). If he comes back to this house, it must be retrofitted for an almost immobile person and skilled nursing. De-cluttering is of course a process but to date, for fully understandable reasons, only nibbling around the edges has occurred. ... Crucial to improve circulation, which, with water, will rid his body of toxins and adipose tissue.