the dad chronicles

I haven’t posted about Mom and Dad for a while. Mom remains about the same and probably won’t change that much until we reach the final stages. Dad continues to deteriorate mentally. He also has continued issues with his legs and feet. That really isn’t new. He went to several dermatologists and podiatrists over the years and no one ever really figured it out. They’re keeping his legs wrapped but he’s developed a skin condition causing severe itching and dry, flaky skin.

But what saddens me – and really kind of weirds me out – is how fast his mind is going. Most times when I visit, he will tell me about his job and how he had to drive to central Missouri twice this past week. And then tell me in disgust that he’s not sure when he’s getting out of the nursing home/hospital/prison. He told me on Monday that he’d been out to the house and wanted to know why I had a tunnel installed around the house. And he talked a lot about Petee and the cat show he was just in and how much everyone loved him. Perhaps he showed someone the picture book I made him with all the pets? He was at least up and rolling around on Monday and even joking with some of the other residents. He unfortunately thinks one of the women on his hall is Mom. They try to bring Mom back to visit sometimes and Thursday is family night so I will be trying to have dinner with both of them. It seems to surprise him when he sees her, he doesn’t remember how far down the road she is with the Alzheimer’s.

He seems to be a little more comfortable, although really confused. It doesn’t matter much whether he believes he is traveling or that it’s winter and his car is covered in snow. It’s just a little hard to believe when I look back on where he was a year ago. That, I guess, was really the beginning of this downward slide. At least so it seems. It’s a little hard to see the changes when you’re living with them day to day. They seem so much more dramatic when I only see him a couple times per week.

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “the dad chronicles”

  1. SO sad to completely lose the person to this terrible disease. In our case, it was physical more than mental, but there were some similarities. They are just the empty shell of the person we love. 😦

    Like

    1. In my view, grief is grief. Still, the grief of watching them slowly fade away is different and I don’t think prepares you the way you think it should.

      Like

  2. I’ve been wondering about your dad for a while and meant to mention it when I last commented and it slipped my mind (maybe I’m going the same way?). It’s such a cruel disease when the person looks just like the person you know and love, and yet clearly they don’t sound or act as they used to. Seems like you have some new aspect to deal with every time you see him. Wishing you well, this must be tough. xx

    Like

    1. It’s weird more than sad a lot of the time these days. It makes me sad, on the other hand, that I find it easier to deal with Dad and his more or less happy confusion than to deal with the more lucid Dad and his anger.

      Like

  3. Thanks for the update. I cannot imagine how weird it must be to watch these two people decline right in front of your eyes. My parents died decades apart so it was two separate experiences, but for you– all at once– it must be very difficult. Yet you’re doing a great job at keeping them safe. Good for you.

    Like

    1. It’s strange, I’m 50 years old and no one close to me has died yet. Even my grandparents were so far away and we saw them so infrequently that I hardly knew them. But still, my parents are in their 80s and you kind of expect them to die. It must have been so hard to lose them when you were younger and they were still supposed to be part of your life.

      Like

  4. It is watching them slowly slip away. My father-in-law was extremely angry and belligerent at first when he knew what was happening, then he became angry out of fear of not understanding. One of my aunts was just as happy and pleasant as if she was at a garden party ( even though she confused me with her daughter – or my daughter at times – but you could laugh and just let it go with her – she just smiled). My mom took years in the slide and I’m not sure she ever noticed. My dad was the hardest – he was so kind hearted and unless confused, very kind – it was painful to see him slip after being so strong and always dependable dad. We were lucky he slipped away quickly and peacefully. Dealing with diminishing capacity is not grieving – watching them slide doesn’t prepare you.
    Sound like they are safe and in a good location. All I can say is hang on and cherish the time you have no matter what the level of condition – they know you are there – really – sometimes it jumps out. It matters. To them and you. Good job kid.

    Like

    1. I am happy that we have a care center that does a good overall job. I know it’s a hard job and I really appreciate having people that care taking care of Mom and Dad.

      It is really hard to watch them deteriorate. I was just talking the other day with a friend about how we can talk intellectually about not wanting them to linger in this endless decline yet not being ready to let go either.

      In some ways, Mom took it better although she was really depressed during that period where she was aware of what was happening. Dad has mostly just denied there was a problem though last summer and fall he was having more depression, particularly as he was aware he needed more care than I could give him, at least part of the time. Looking back, I don’t remember Grandma being very aware – but I was only 11 so what did I know? The last time I saw her, she thought she was living in a resort where she played bingo and they gave her M&Ms. That sounds far better than how sad and betrayed both Mom and Dad have seemed during their adjustment to the nursing home. So sad that you, too, have so many in your family affected by this. To me, I’d rather deal with almost any physical problem than this slow loss of my mind.

      Like

Comments are closed.