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...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Dad Is Re-Enlisting In The Marines...

Mom battled the heat and went to visit Dad.  She found him sitting in the hall by his room, in his wheel chair, with his eyes closed. Dad recognized her voice, opening his eyes to greet her with a pleased expression on his face. 

The Skin Angel was just beginning to treat Dad's big toe.  She is very concerned with his lack of circulation in his left foot.  She suggested we take Dad to the vascular surgeon he used to see before being admitted to the nursing home.  I know the vascular surgeon will ask why Dad is not wearing his compression stockings.  When I took him to his appointments, he would always stress the importance of putting them on Dad BEFORE he even stepped out of bed, and only when he retired to bed for the night, should we remove them.

Dad hates to wear them and gets very agitated when the staff try to put them on his legs.  Mom and the majority felt it was not worth upsetting him.  I worry it may lead to amputation.  I know that would be devastating to Dad, as well as the rest of us who love him...

She also discussed Dad drinking more water with Mom.  Again, we all know this, encourage him at every visit...but Dad fights it because "what goes in, must come out" and I don't think he will ever completely adjust to having the staff change his pants. She also told Mom Dad has a rash around  his "privates".

God, some times I don't know which is worse, lingering away your health and dignity in a nursing home or dying suddenly without a chance to say good bye...Despite the excellent care Dad receives, I think I prefer the fast exit...

Mom wheeled Dad into the dining room to await his lunch.  Several of the "regulars" were there, and walked or wheeled their way over to Mom and Dad to visit.  One white haired lady asked Mom if she knew her.  Mom smiled and told her she had seen and talked with her before.  The lady smiled and seemed happy.  One of Mom's favorites, wheeled himself over and grabbed the white haired Lady's left hand. They held hands and talked softly to one another while Mom listened to Dad tell her he was thinking of re-enlisting in the Marines...

Dad told Mom he needed cash for some trips he has planned.  He keeps talking of getting a job in sales.
Mom told Dad both he and she had earned their retirement and he should just relax and enjoy it.

When the CNA brought the lunch trays, the gentleman still doing the hand holding with the white haired lady, began to complain loudly about the "same ol' food being served here every day".  Oblivious, Dad complimented the food as he stuffed his face with a meat burrito, salsa, green beans and Spanish rice. He told Mom how much the food had improved. Meanwhile, in between cuss words, and never letting go of his white haired lady's hand, the older gentleman had cleaned his plate.

Mom showed Dad a bowl of fresh oranges and bananas, which he reached for, smacking his lips with anticipation.  While Dad was drinking his coffee, "nice and hot and good", Mom mixed his ice cream in his second glass of milk, just the way he likes it and he drank it right down.  We all marvel how Dad never gets "brain freeze".

Mom shared some family news telling Dad about talking with his sister. Dad looked a bit confused as if he was trying to put a face to her name.  Then, as if it came into focus, Dad said he was sure she was busy watching her grand children. When Mom reminded Dad her grand children were all grown up, Dad looked at Mom with a strange expression.

The CNA put on a video of various "oldies but goodies" tunes and everyone was tapping their feet and singing along.

Mom said it was a great visit.


One of the nurses called Mom around dinner time.  She wanted to know if we would mind moving Dad back across the hall to the room he used to have.  Mom told her it was fine, as long as it was OK with Dad.  I think Dad will enjoy the extra room and being near the window.


Mari said...

I had to smile while reading your description of meal time. That could have been written at our place. There are those who love the food and others who will say something bad everytime, even though they eat it all.
Watching your loved one decline and go through these different things has to be hard. Both my Mom and Bob's Dad passed suddenly of a heart attack. They were both too young when they passed (52 and 69) and it was very hard on the family. However - I think I agree that given the choice it is easier in many ways.

That corgi :) said...

I think too, Donna, that your dad would enjoy being by a window, gives him a chance to look outside and enjoy what he might see

I am with you wondering if a quicker exit out of this world would be so much more better than a slower departure, losing dignity and health along the way. My MIL is withering away slowly and I honestly am so happy that my mom only had about 6 weeks of not feeling well before she passed at 85 years old. I kind of like how my SIL's mom passed, after a church service at church, had a massive stroke. I think God was very merciful in that her husband had fought a hard battle with cancer before he passed. I guess God's timing though is always right

It is very hot and muggy here.

hugs to you all since I know this is a very hard journey you all are on


Rose said...

i was a caretaker for both of my parents. it's so hard to see them go downhill. as much as I loved them I wanted them to have peace in Heaven. When my Mother began to lose her memory, she was able to recognize that. If we asked her a question ex do you want an apple or an orange, she would say "you decide" none of this may appear with your Dad, but I'd thought I'd share. I hope you don't mind

Donna B said...

Mari: I get the biggest kick out of many of the residents. I have come to know them from visiting Dad. They alwasy flock to all of us when we visit, because they don't have family or friends who visit them. I cannot imagine. That is so sad. We joke and chat with them, and often have to take Dad some where private or we can't get a word in edgewise...and Dad gets irritated if too many conversations are going on.

I hope and pray one of Dad's medical issues takes him before the end stages of this insidious disease.

Happy Friday...have a great weekend. hugs to you my dear friend.

betty: I pray Dad will not make it to the very end stages of Alzheimer's. That happened to my MIL. She was so healthy, but her brain was gone.

Dad has so many medical problems...I hope one of them takes him home to God. None of us want to see him on machines, existing that way.

It is triple digiits here and I can feel the humidity, which we don't usually I know it is going to rain. This is our Monsoon season too....

Hang in there...drink lots of water! hugs

Rose: Thank you Rose. We are blessed with so many supportive and helpful people who have or are now going through what we have been through. I don't mind at all you sharing your experiences with your Mom.

I think many Alzheimer's patients forget the long term, short term and go through the paranoia and delusions at various and different times and how the disease effects their brains are as unique as their personality.

Dad was always very introverted, proper and quiet. He used to be very close minded and judgmental, like if we were all watching a TV program, and it had Jane Fonda in it, he would not watch. Things were always black or white with him. Now, he is extroverted, says what he thinks (and that can be x rated) and will sing aloud in front of anyone or everyone. Very interesting to me and it makes me happy to see him so "free" instead of so "uptight".

I appreciate your input any time. Thank you again Rose

Donna B said...
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Donna B said...
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Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Donna, is it easier or harder for your mom just to go along with your dad when he says that he wants to be a salesman? I guess I'm thinking about my dad and how if he said that he was going to be a shoe shiner even, I'd tell him, "That's good, Dad, be the best one ever." I know that tomorrow, he may want to be a lion tamer so it's not worth trying to correct him back to the present. I think it would be more confusing.

I'm glad that the food is enjoyable to your dad. That's a good sign that he's eating and I love how your mom put his ice cream in his glass of milk! Oh to not be lactose intolerant....that sounds so good!

I hope he has more good days, especially since he will have a window view.

Donna said...

As I was reading through your blog and you made the comment about a quick exit from this life. It made me think about what I have told my kids and that is if I die of a quick heart attack, count that as a blessing for me. As I am aging my biggest fear is to linger on with maybe what your Dad is going through, and being a burden to my family. I would like to keep my dignity the diaper thing scares me to death, let alone needles, surgeries, and the pain that goes with all of it. So yes, I agree with you, a quick exit would be best.

gayle said...

Glad your mom had a good visit!!