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 blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Monday, December 28, 2009

It sure doesn't feel like Christmas to me...

My husband, my youngest daughter and I all went to visit Dad on Christmas.  We brought him ham, macaroni and cheese (from scratch), monkey bread and fudge, all made by the loving hands of my eldest daughter.  We also brought photos of my grandsons, and a print of Winter Walk, the painting Dad refers to as "red man".

Our visit was late in the day, almost his dinner time, and my gut told me it would not be the visit we hoped it would be...

Dad was sitting in the dining room, dressed warmly in jeans, sweater, and knit cap.  He seemed happy enough to see us, and told us we were "life savers", and then instructed us to get him out of there...

I wheeled him out on to the patio, with him telling us to take him to Jack n the Box.  I revealed the food we had for him, and when he complained about everything, I shuttered, knowing what we were in for.  He proceeded to tell us how horrible they treat him and how they lock him out of his room.

My youngest daughter is 30 and has not seen him since she talked him back from his coma, shortly after he was placed in the nursing home.  We called her the Grandpa Whisperer.  She was working two jobs up until a few months ago, and has been really looking forward to seeing him.  I had forewarned my daughter and husband that since it was late in the day, he may not be in good spirits, but when you love someone, as we all love Dad, we always tend to hope for the best...

We all tried to stay up beat, and both my daughter and husband forgot not to mention it was Christmas and wished him Merry Christmas.  As I was trying to feed him, he announced to us all, "It sure doesn't feel like Christmas to me"...

He was cold on the patio, so we went back inside.  We hung his painting, cards and pictures up on his wall of love, and through brief smiles, he apologised, telling us he was tired.  With the help of the attendant, we got him transferred from his wheel chair to his bed.  As I tucked him in, helping him to get cozy, I noted he was out of breath.  Just getting into bed is exhausting for him.

He began to keep his eyes shut, telling us he was so tired, and apologised again for falling asleep in our faces, but we assured him, naps were good and he should not worry.  His CNA came in with his dinner, which he refused.  He had only taken a few bites of the food we brought him, so it concerns me, since the doctor took him off his appetite enhancer medication.

As we walked outside his room, my daughter broke down and was visably upset, promising both my husband and myself, she would NEVER allow us to be in a nursing home.  It is sad, but unrealistic, to think of trying to care for elderly parents, especially, in Dad's condition...

I guess I had hoped that because Dad did so well at Thanksgiving, he would be OK for Christmas, too...but I found myself regreting our visit.  I did not want this negative visit as my last memory with Dad. I must remind myself, again, we have to take the bad days with the good...

3 comments:

Mari said...

Oh Donna, I'm so sorry this was such a tough visit. Evenings are always worse, I can often see a change after 3 pm. I'm hoping a good visit happens soon.

Donna B said...

Thanks Mari...I would have loved to have one more visit, but we were physically exhausted from all the traveling and visiting.

Cindi said...

donna so sory to hear of your day with your dad...even tho he was grumbling im sure he felt your love...