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...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Semper Fi...Dad is a Marine...

I was concerned with Dad's outburst last night with Mom.  We had company and my dry socket with lack of sleep, ended the evening so much earlier than I wanted...so when she called, in addition to her email, I knew she needed to talk.  Unfortunately, it was a brief conversation once she discovered we had company.

I called the nursing home this morning to check on Dad.  The nurse explained Dad was "out of sorts" yesterday, and "not being himself".  Dad was refusing any assistance or meds unless his Angel Doctor Doctor would give it to him...( I called Mom back after my phone visit with Dad to make up for our short talk last night...)

The nurse told me Dad was much better today and was in activities.  I asked if I could please speak with him.  She told me she would get him and then disconnected me.  I called back and when I got her again, she apologised profusely. 

Dad came on the line, "Hello Donna Dee".  I asked if he had been in church and he replied, "I am fine...I feel good!"... I let it go...

He went on to explain to me there was a special Marine Corps deal going on this week...He told me he could have been away a long time, and couldn't remember.  I told him, "It was OK...he was being honored and that was the important thing".  He agreed with me...

He sounded so "normal".  His voice rested and calm and he shared how "its all about the basis of love".  "Love has to come first."  "God wants us to know this and it is so important to share with others..."  His voice choked a bit when he told me, "Laying down my life for Him, is letting Him know how much I love Him."

I agreed, telling him how important that was to remember and how he had taught me so much about God.  I told him when we don't have the love of God in our lives we are lost and when we do have his love inside us, we are found and are saved.  His voice softened and warmed me from the inside out as he agreed with me and said, "That's right, Dear"...

He then told me about all the ladies and how happy they are to see him and how happy he is to see them.  He had a huge smile on his face...I could just visualize his face smiling and happy...

He told me, "Remember honey, we just have to TAKE IT EASY..."  I found that so ironic, that he does not know any of the turmoil going on in our lives right now, but his Fatherly advice was so needed and so apropo...

He suddenly began to make his growling sound...which we all know means he is urinating in his diapers...
I asked if he needed to have me let him go so he could get changed, and he was still growling, saying, " it stings when it first starts..."

Then, he was fine, telling me he wanted apples, because it was the best time to eat apples...

He wanted me to know both the day and night staff watch out for him and take such good care of him.  Right now, they were helping him to find his room.  He told me how he loves his room and gets along so well with both his room mates...

He said something about "Intercourse", which came out of no where, and I did not register what he said... because the next minute his voice perked up and he told me, "Here comes my love..." and I knew he meant his Angel, Doctor-Doctor (his favoirte nurse). Dad always refers to Mom as, "My dear wife, the most beautiful woman in the world."  I asked if I could speak with her...and he put her on the line.

I greeted her and made pleasantries as I have seen or spoken with her in awhile...then I told her what Dad had told me, so she could let the doctor know ao he could order tests for Dad.  He might have another urinary tract infection.  Getting him to drink water is only successful, when we offer it to him.  He does not seem to initiate it himself.

She assured me she would take care of him and make sure he gets plenty of fluids.  She asked if I would tell the charge nurse about the concern for the UI because she was assigned to another unit and had just come to visit Dad.  She got the charge nurse on the line and I told her, then she passed me back to Dad...

Dad told me he was "On a big flat top ship now"... I asked him, "An air craft carrier?"  "Yes! That is what it's called.  I always think of our dear friend G..., who is a pilot.  I am going to ask him for lessons..."  Dad referred to a close family friend who Mom corresponds with regularly via email.  I used to babysit his Father...

When G...was on leave and had come to visit Mom and Dad (before Dad went into the nursing home), Mom had written him about Dad being a survivor of the Battle of Tarawa.  G...has been a student of Marine battles since College and felt the Battle of Tarawa was the deciding battle in WW II.  He had never met a 2nd Division Marine (which is the Division of Marines who fought in Tarawa) who had fought this particular battle, until my Father. He was anxious to meet Dad for that very reason. 

When G...asked Dad about the battle, Dad held G...'s attention as he remembered his tour in vivid detail.  G...was spellbound.  When Dad finished his story, G...., now a Marine Fighter Pilot with Majors rank, flying in F-16s, who is now training pilots to land and take off on aircraft carriers; stood and saluted my Father and thanked him for serving our country.  As G.. stood in erect salute, he proudly gave Dad the Marine Corps motto, "Semper Fi!"  Dad returned the motto to him and they both hugged. 

I cried when Mom related the story to us....several of us did.  Dad has never spoken of the War, or Tarawa, but after sharing it with G..., he opened up to all us about his War experiences.... (That's another post, another day...)

Dad's mood suddenly changed again, and he told me of a group who sneaks in a night trying to kill them..."I can't see them, but I can feel them..." he told me. I knew our conversation about the War had probably triggered him to go back to his "combat mode".... Dad did that alot when he was first taken to the hospital.

I asked if his Angel was still nearby, and I could see him smile again by the way he told me his Goldilocks was still there and she would always take the best care of him...she is his Doctor-Doctor".

I wanted to keep him positive and smiling, so I told him my husbands sends his love and wanted me to tell him, he still has his "excellent fingers".  Dad's spontaneous laughter rippled through my heart and gave me such joy to hear him laughing so hard...(see post from 4-8-10 to understand...)

His voice happy from laughter, I heard him say, "Oh my gosh!  Here comes Holl Doll and S......" (my sister and second to youngest brother).  Dad told me my sister wanted to talk with me.  She got on the line and I told her their timing was perfect!  She said they had brought a game of Checkers to play with him.

I know they will have a great visit and I look forward to hearing all about it...

4 comments:

Jeanie said...

It sounds like today was pretty uplifting after yesterday. I guess the highs and lows are the nature of the beast he is battling

That corgi :) said...

you probably already know this, but sometimes elderly people can get more altered in their mental staus when they have UTIs (not sure of the connection but I have heard it on more than one occasion) so perhaps your dad does indeed have another one especially if he was having pain with voiding; good idea to mention it to the nurse

how thoughtful for your sister/brother to think to bring a game of checkers; bet your dad did enjoy the visit

betty

Mari said...

I'm so glad you had a good conversation with him. I didn't know he was a marine and in the war. He certainly does deserve to be honored for that!

Donna B said...

Jeanie: Any day he says anything positive and is not morose or down, I am thrilled!

Betty: Yes, I do know how the UTIs can effect his mental health. I am very lucky to have some nurses who follow the blog. They are a constant source of support and guidance.

Both of them usually try to bring something extra to engage him. I think it is so amazing he could still play Checkers, much less win. Almost a year ago, he had an MRI and the doctors told us they were "blown away" he could even have a conversation because his brain was so atrophied!

Mornings are always the best time to visit him. After he is rested. He is a totally different person as the day turns toward evening...

MARI: I know. It just makes my day when we have a good connection. Yes, he is a Marine. I will write more on that some day...