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...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Paranoia Is Slowly Creeping Back Into Dad's Brain...

Mom went to visit Dad yesterday, just before lunch.  She found him in the dining room and went to give him a kiss hello.  As she leaned in, Dad grabbed her hand and asked how their second the oldest son was.  Mom wasn't sure if she heard him right, as it was very loud in the dining room, so she wheeled him outside.

Clearly Dad was upset.  He thought my second to the oldest brother had been shot.  Mom did her best to assure Dad, my brother was fine.  Dad was convinced of the shooting.  Mom called my brother, who owns a trucking company and  coaches several soccer teams, rarely answers the phone right away.  Luckily, he answered his phone.  Mom passed her cell to Dad so he could hear his voice.
Dad was so relieved and happy, he wanted to talk my brother's ear off... Mom reminded Dad he was at work, so Dad let him go, satisfied his son was safe.

When Dad was first admitted to the hospital almost two years ago, he was very paranoid and imagined his children being beaten, shot, kidnapped, tortured and threatened.  We had to rotate in to visit him in the ER so he knew we were all OK.  My husband and I are going to visit the day after Christmas, and I think I need to have him re-evaluated again.  He has been taken off his medication for the paranoia, over six months ago... he may need to go back on it.

The nursing home was having a Christmas party with ham, turkey and all the fixings.  Mom had been invited, as were the rest of the family...  Mom commented on how good all the food looked and Dad told her he was not eating.  He told her the food was really bad and he had been ill all morning.  Mom spoke with "Pickles", Dad's nurse for the day, and she told Mom Dad had eaten all his breakfast and was fine...

Santa jollied up to Dad and presented him with two wrapped gifts.  Dad was thrilled and excited to open the presents.  He received two beautiful short sleeved shirts, an Adidas burnt orange one and a beautiful blue Guess shirt.  Mom said they were brand new and had no idea who provided the gifts.

Lots of families were visiting, with children running around and even a few dogs on leashes.  Dad was enjoying watching the children playing.  He told Mom how much he missed his grand children.  I wonder if he even is aware most of his grand children are grown up now... often he thinks my grand children, are his...

Mom turned around and was shocked and surprised to see her youngest son!  Dad was over joyed to see him and gave him a huge hug.  Dad dived into a non stop conversation leaving Mom and my brother very little room to get a word in edge-wise.

Dad went on about sailing on a yacht with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara and how he was one of the passengers on the Lusitania when it sank... Mom asked if he meant the Titanic.  Dad laughed and told them some times he gets confused...

Lunch was served and his nurse brought him a tray of turkey, gravy, mashed sweet potatoes, fresh green peas with red peppers, a roll, ice cream, milk, and a piece of iced cake.  Dad scarfed down every bite, including some molasses cookies my youngest brother had brought him.  So much for the "lousy food"...

My Father has always been very "black" or "white" with no shades of gray.  There were some movie stars he disliked for either their personal lives or a part he saw them play in a movie.  He intensely disliked Jane Fonda, mainly due to her "Hanoi Jane" reputation during the Viet Nam War.  He also disliked Barbara Walters and Paul Newman ( I can't remember why).

He would REFUSE to watch a movie or program with any of these particular movies stars.  We would all be gathered in the living room as a family, ready to watch a movie and if Jane Fonda was in it, he would storm upstairs or out to the garage until it was over.  One time, when we all went to the drive in to see SLAP SHOT, when Dad found out Paul Newman was in it, he got out of the car and walked home!

You can imagine how stunned my brother and mother were when suddenly Dad announced he now liked Jane Fonda.  As they stared at Dad with mouths agape, Dad added he admitted he used to dislike her during the War, but now he had come full circle 100%.

My brother asked him about Barbara Walters, but Dad could not remember her...

Then Dad, with furrowed brow, told them how the building had been evacuated yesterday during the rain because the roof was going to collapse... no doubt he had seen the news about the Minnesota Vikings Metrodome collapse from all the snow...

Dad seems to be more and more locked into fantasy than reality these days...

My brother left and Mom diverted Dad's distress by showing him the 2011 calendar she brought him.  Dad told her he wanted to come home for the weekend... Dad has not asked to come home in so long, so when he does it always knocks Mom for a loop... we all know if would be impossible for him to be home and for Mom to take care of him.

Mom told Dad she would bring some tape and hang his calendar for him next to his bed...

Like flipping channels on a TV, Dad told Mom how much he missed my brother's former girlfriend L----...  This is a girlfriend he used to date back in high school... more than twenty years ago.  Mom used her nick name to clarify who he meant...

Dad's mood went from sentimental to vicious when he snapped, "NO!!! I MEAN DOCTOR-DOCTOR!! YOU CAN'T REMEMBER ANY THING!!!

Composing herself, Mom attempted to calm him by telling Dad she might be busy due to her large family....

Again, Dad yelled, "WHAT FAMILY!!! SHE DOESN'T HAVE A FAMILY!  I MISS HER!!!"

Mom quickly comforted him by explaining she has lots of brothers and sisters she helps support....

As quickly as the storm moved in, her explanation brought out the sunshine, and Dad was calm and peaceful once again...

Emotionally exhausted, Mom wheeled him back to his room for his afternoon nap... Some visits are good, and others you wish you stayed home...

5 comments:

Mari said...

Those kind of visits are tough. It sounds like he does need to go back on his paranoia med, and you are right about the tv watching. Our residents often confuse it with reality too.

gayle said...

I am sure it's so hard on your mom! She really does seem to be able to deal with your dad very well! I really hope everything was perfect for you all on Christmas Day!

Chatty Crone said...

One visit she wished she had stayed home I'm sure. Hope she got a nap herself.

Just stopping by to say hello, Merry Christmas, and thank you for your prayers.

sandie

Jazzie Casas said...

Married… divorced… separated… never together… what does any relationship status have to do with a man's parental duty? Once you’re a father, you're always a father. There is no you in the formula of life anymore. There is always at least one other person standing beside you in that equation. Always. Own that. And never leave that behind.






Proud to be a Single Dad

Donna B said...

Mari: I talked to the charge nurse about monitoring him and preventing him from watching the news or anything negative. I agree, often he cannot tell the difference between reality and fantasy. He takes what he hears and incorporates it into his conversation as his thoughts...

Gayle: It is very difficult for Mom. It is much easier for her if someone comes with her. Often, because everyone works, she must go alone unless I am in town...or on the weekends with my sister.

Sandie: Having him yell at her is still something she cannot get used to... I know those type visits are emotionally draining...

Jazzie: I am not quite sure if I understand what you are saying...but thankfully, I have an excellent relationship with my Father and always been very close with him. I am indeed thankful he remembers each of us as his children because one day, with this disease, he will forget us. My husband and I went through this with his Mother. My husband is an only child and she thought he was her brother or her father. She forgot she had a husband after being married 65 years of marriage!

My Father's first and last concern as a Father has always been his children. As long as he is able in this evil disease, he will continue to do so.

I agree it is a powerful relationship and even when one might feel "alone", God is always there beside us.