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...

Friday, May 28, 2010

A man of few words...

Mom went to visit Dad.  Dad was in the dining room, finishing his lunch.  He had not finished his spaghetti and did not want anymore.  Mom helped him with his ice cream, but he stopped, telling her he had enough, because it was too cold.  She fed him his custard with no complaints and then watched him woof down a fruit plate.

She wheeled him down to the alcove and they visited for awhile.  Mom told him about her retirement luncheon, and the thank you card from his sister's granddaughter.  Mom had sent a small check for her college graduation from both of them.  Dad smiled and said it was nice.

Mom's job was abolished after fifteen and a half years.  She was in charge of attendance. She would call all the parents of the high school kids who missed classes.  She works for a second chance high school, for kids who became pregnant in school or caused trouble.  When school ends for the summer, Mom's job ceases.  I wonder who will take her place and follow up on the attendance? 
Or will they just stop checking?

Mom told Dad about her plans to do some things around the house and Dad asked, "Which house?" 
Mom repeated, "our" house.  He asked again, "Which one?"  Mom described their home by the street name. Dad asked what about his mother's home in Pasadena, where we lived when I was a child...  Mom told him that house was sold and Dad smiled and said he didn't think so.

Dad talked about his "friend" and what funny stories they told each other. Dad chuckled as he thought of it.  He started sliding down in the wheel chair and Mom asked if he was tired.  He agreed, and said he was ready for a nap. Mom told him she would put him down for a nap.  He asked her, "Where?" Mom explained she would get help to put him in his bed.

She wheeled him back to his room, stopping at the nurses station to find out who his nurse was.  Doctor-Doctor is off on Fridays, so the assigned nurse immediately helped Dad into bed.  The nurse told Mom Dad had been up since 9am. They had been helping him walk in the hallway, so he was probably tired.  Mom kissed Dad good-bye and left his room.

I finally got through to Dad later in the afternoon, around 4:15pm.  He sounded tired and weary. I asked about his visit with Mom.  He told me she looked glorious, as usual.  I was concerned about his confusion and was concerned about him not finishing two of his favorite foods...spaghetti and ice cream.  I keep wondering if that hole from the lost filling on his upper left side, will be a problem. Medi-Cal refuses to fill it.  They prefer to wait and pull it "if" it bothers him.  That is the dumbest treatment plan I have ever heard...

Dad cut our conversation off short.  He told me once again he was tired and wanted to go to sleep.
I worry about that bleed on his that why he seems to be sleeping so much? I still have
not heard back from his primary care physician....he has not answered my email or called me.  Tuesday, I will call the social worker to have an x-ray of that tooth to make sure it is not abscessed or decayed to the point of an exposed nerve; and call Dad's doctor about the monitoring.

I spoke with the charge nurse after speaking with Dad and left her a message to ask the social worker to call me, since she did not answer her page.  I also asked how often they check Dad's wander guard and she told me "daily".


Mari said...

I love hearing some of your Dad's descriptions. Today it was the fact that your Mom looked glorious. He's a special guy!

Wander to the Wayside said...

I'm trying to remember how long you said your dad has been in the nursing home, but am drawing a blank. However long it is, it must really be wearing on your mom - on all of you - to deal with all these fluctuations of eating/talking/sleeping/memory/ medical patterns. I know it did me with my dad. I think the hardest part is knowing that there will be no 'getting cured' or going home again.

Dental care on an alzheimer patient is probably a tricky business! To get them to keep their mouth open long enough to work on it, I think they would have to be sedated? Surely you should find out if it is abcessed or just painful and he is just not verbalizing the discomfort. If they are unwilling to fill it, maybe you could get some of that temporary filling stuff you get at the pharmacy, though there again they would have to cooperate to do it, but maybe his angel nurse could help with that. I used it a long while back when I didn't have money for a dentist and a filling fell out, and it lasted quite some time as it hardens like concrete. Of course you'd have to be sure there was no infection or further decay first!

septembermom said...

Beautiful how he said, "She looked glorious." Hope all turns out fine for your dad.

That corgi :) said...

this has to be hard for you dealing with these issues and not being in the same city as your dad; you are a good daughter for trying to take care of these issues long distance

I liked how your dad said your mom looked glorious.

It has to be hard dealing with dementia issues. I know with my MIL, I'm not ever sure where she is when she is talking, past, present, imagined, etc. I find myself going with the flow in talking to her and trying to piece together the best I can with what she says with what is going on. It is truly a sad disease

hugs to you for your efforts


Anonymous said...

It's tough that your Mom's job has gone. Organisations often don't appreciate how much is involved in some jobs, and then when they let these jobs go, things fall apart.

That's worrying about your Dad's sleepiness - I'm not knowledgeable about medical matters, but there would be other symptoms, wouldn't there if there was a bleed?
And I hope the tooth is OK, how strange that they'd rather pull it. Pulling it is going to need sedation, so will filling it, so they should just x-ray it and fill it and be done.

Your Dad has a wonderful, caring family!