Got my sister's email this evening. She and my second to youngest brother went together to visit Dad. They brought him a pizza supreme, bread sticks and sauce. Dad thought it was his birthday! He turns 89 on November 5th. Dad was very happy and excited. He chowed down while closing his eyes in ecstasy...
Each person condemned with his disease, is a unique story. My mother-in-law never talked gibberish like Dad does. Her personality changed more drastically. Normally, she was funny, cheerful and outgoing, with an obsessive-compulsive, cleaning quirk. She was an impeccable dresser, always stylishly accessorized with matching jewelry and purse. She became indifferent to hygiene and wore the same clothes day and night. When I would gently suggest we change her outfit, she would indignantly inform me she had just washed and ironed her outfit that morning!
Later, she would walk in her "merry walker" and purposely bang into other patients, spewing cuss words that would make a sailor blush. I can remember wheeling her down the hallway, one hand on the wheelchair handle bars, and the other hand over her mouth!
She was very social, always having something to say and would argue with us if she disagreed or did not like what we were doing. After her final move, she really slowed down. She began falling quite often, and the doctor wanted to find out why. Looking back, we learned we would never allow such a test to be done on an A/D patient again.. She could not remember to hold still during a CT Scan and had to be over-medicated. She was never the same after that, and not too long afterward, withdrew totally, and barely spoke at all.
Dad has always been a man of few words, yet now, he will talk your ear off, to the point you cannot get a word in edgewise. Such was the case today with my sister and brother, as Dad began spinning words from his carousel brain...
We have all resolved to write down what Dad says, despite it not making any sense. Today, Dad was fixated on the word, natural. He must have repeated it at least 20 times, my sister said. Dad would highlight almost every sentence with that word.
They checked and Dad's glasses were beside his bed in a leather pouch, labeled with his name. She said Dad's name did not appear to be engraved on his glasses, as the social worker had told me. She took a picture of Dad in his glasses. The new ones look exactly like his old ones. Let's hope he doesn't give these away...
They moved my painting to his closet door, from beside his bed, where I had hung it. Also on the closet door, are two photographs of each of my grandsons, (Dad's great grandsons) and a picture they had drawn for him. After they hung it, Dad commented by saying, "Beautiful colors".
It was clear from her email, that Dad seems to more confused as to the details of our family. He told my sister and brother, he had two sons and two lovely ladies. Dad and Mom had five sons (one died shortly after birth) and two daughters. Dad mentioned my second to the youngest brother, who is single with two sons, got married and had a daughter...
Other comments by Dad:
"Where we are now with the fact that this cold be a long time on the natural thing. The beauty of using your birthday, is a natural thing."
"It is a blessing wanting to keep in touch. Beautiful people taking statistics for centuries."
"Wake up on your birthday and see your son and daughter on the statistics. It is a personal thing. Be in control and the good Lord will guide my words."
"Trying to find out where in history have we landed because it is very obvious performance over a lifetime. Seems like it is going to be because of the natural control. Really that simple on my birthday."
"The family is fine. Everything is working out in a wonderful way."
"One thing to look at is the natural way. Going to Vegas and having fun. That's a luxury!"
"My life is at the point, where how much time do we have for a challenge...this is so natural."
Dad pointed to the photographs of his two great grandsons and said, "I have to be accountable for my life. My grandsons sitting up there. No question, that is my birthday present. And you are both involved in the natural way."
Dad broke out in song and sang this song to them...happily smiling while he sang:
"If you let the smile take visions,
that come to life in a natural way,
it's a blessing to saaaaay,
watch the pictures and don't forget to pray."
As they took turns, taking notes, Dad would call it statistics. One of the things they wrote down, was Dad saying, "Heard your voices in my life time, reviewing the spin." For me, that says it all to me. Our voices must be familiar and stir some memory within him. The "spin" reminds me of the word carousel, spinning around in his brain. Not that anyone can make sense or comprehend why he says what he says... I guess I am still trying in vain to connect to him and understand....
Both my brother and sister felt Dad looked good. His skin is smooth with a clean shaved face. It looks like the skin care nurse is putting maybe some vitamin E oil on his face. Dad was happy and cheerful. Dad asked my brother when he would be back, and seemed sad when they were leaving. Dinner was coming in 15 minutes, yet Dad declared, "I'd like to have lunch"...