This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday... definitely NOT a day of rest...

This morning, the facility where Dad is, called me. Dad was outside in front of the building, agitated, refusing to take his meds and yelling his head off. His wander guard set off the alarms as he stormed out the front doors.

The nurse wanted to know if I could try talking to him so he would take his medicine. She handed the phone to him and all I heard was Dad screaming HELP!!!, HELP!!! over and over as loud as he could. I had no option but to listen to him rant and rave and scream and yell.

I couldn't help imagining the disturbance in that quiet residential neighborhood on this Sunday morning. I could hear other nurses trying to calm him and he yelled at them too. One of his favorite nurses was trying and he quieted down long enough to tell her he thought she was nice, he loved her, but he was NOT taking his medicine because it was poison!!!

About 2o minutes later, he took a breath, and I asked if I could speak. He gruffly told me to TALK! I explained I was in another state, 4 hours away, so I could not "get over there QUICK" like he was ordering me to do. I ask him to take a breath and to calm down so I could talk with him. He was concerned I was "being bothered" and I reassured him it was no trouble. Just then he started barking orders again to call my brothers and get them over here "QUICK! And I mean QUICK! DO YOU HEAR ME?"

He would not listen to my suggestions to go back in out of the heat or to get something to eat, and asking if he would take his medicine sent him screaming HELP again! The nurse took the phone and I told her I was calling my family.

This has been a very traumatic week with Dad continually stuffing his freshly ironed clothes in a plastic bag, lying in wait for anyone who comes to visit, insisting the visitor take him out of there. Both my brothers, my sister and Mother have all had to do all they could to talk Dad down and get him back in his room.

Mom and my sister had planned on visiting Dad today. Neither of my brothers felt equipped to say or do anything that would help Dad. Another brother was out of town. Neither of them knew what to say or do, except tell Dad he had to go back and take his meds. So much has happened in this past month, it is tough to barely catch our breath, let alone, learn how to comprehend and navigate the hell-hole known as Alzheimer's. They asked if the nurse had called Dad's doctor. HE would be the logical choice!

I know the time is not too far away where we will become the stranger or the enemy to Dad. Eventually, he may not even know who we are.

It tears our heart out seeing this crazy man that has inhabited Dad's body. I never thought I would wish for him to have a quick heart attack. Anything, other than this torture we must all witness and endure. This psychotic behavior is not our Dad... I fear it will swallow Dad whole and in our grief push us further from our beloved Father.

I called back the nurse and assured her my sister was on her way. Talked to my sister and we both were afraid Dad would be sent back to the Psych ward! She told me her plan was to take him two strawberry shakes and to give him a manicure. Dad LOVES her manicures!

Meanwhile the nurse was telling me she took Dad some tamales and something to drink. He wouldn't touch it. I could hear him yelling at everyone in the back ground. Is this how it is going to be from now on??? Mom was still in church so my sister rushed to Dad on her own. I called Mom and finally got her on her cell. She was on her way.

It is so difficult and heart wrenching to sit back, so far away, and wonder what is going on...To not be there, like I feel I should be. I trust my sister and all my siblings to lead with love and treat Dad the way they would want to be treated. If one can even imagine such a scenario.

I paced and wondered until I had to call. My sister told me it was "going terrible" and she had to go, because Mom had just arrived. Within the hour, my sister called to tell me she had got him inside to the courtyard and gave him a manicure. Dad wanted a camera, walnuts and carrots, so she was on her way to Walmart to get them for him. Anything to calm him...

Meanwhile, my husband and I tried to watch a movie to distract ourselves. News flashes constantly broke, reporting Steve McNair getting shot. Eddie George, his team mate obviously upset, tried to speak of their friendship but was too choked up to continue. The heart ache so many families are going through these days is like an open festering wound. May God be with his wife Michelle and their family. May God give us all, the strength we will need.

My sister called to tell me Dad was happy with the disposable camera, the walnuts, the carrots and the box of Cheerios she bought. The facility had done a bar-b-Q and Dad ate two hamburgers, Fritos, potato salad and a coke. Both she and Mom had to cry to get him to take his medicine. She was on her way home because Dad was finally asleep.

What a trooper she is. She did what professionals couldn't do! Even the shrink came and Dad verbally sent him packing. My sister is the last of us to see Dad "act all crazy". She was so riled up, she doubted she could sleep or eat...

We can't help but feel we are walking in a mine field. Each of us dread the phone ringing, for what the disease is making Dad do next. WE have to live moment to moment, forget day to day! We can't help wonder what will happen when Dad wakes up...

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