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...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Round and Round We Go...

Mom got another phone call from Dad last night.  She was over at my brother's house for dinner.  Her recorder logged in Dad's call at 5:10pm.  That's a lot earlier than he usually calls.  We think it is due to new part time staff.  Apparently they had to take down the note above his bed and placed it back on the front of Dad's chart.  Guess whoever called for Dad, did not look at his chart.

Mom said Dad sounded "normal" and thought he was calling my brother.  He left a message saying he could not get reach Mom and needed to come home and pick up a few things... These kind of messages upset all of us, but especially Mom.

I called Mom this morning before she went for her weekly visit with Dad.  I called earlier this morning and spoke with the charge nurse at the nursing home, about making sure the night staff know to call me first.  ( How many times do we have to go through this???) She assured me she would.  (Yeah, we have heard that before...)

I wanted to talk with Dad, but the staff was still getting him up and he would be getting his shower, so I was asked to call back.  I intended to, but with everything going on, I feel like I have been spun dizzy on a merry-go-round all day...Here it is almost 8pm....so I will try again tomorrow.

I assured Mom I did not think Dad would remember, and for the most part, I was right.  She found Dad waiting for lunch in the dining room.  The residents had just finished a rousing game of Bingo.  Dad was in a jovial, peaceful mood.  Mom was relieved...

Dad looked up at her, after giving her a hug, and said,

"I think we should take a trip up north, to where we used to live..." (Dad meant, Bremerton, WA...back in the 1940's.)

"Most of our friends are gone or moved,"  Mom managed, starting to get a bit nervous...

"Don't you still work there?"

" It was a long time ago."..(not to mention it would be a long commute!)

"Where did you work again?"

"Rhodes Department store as a fashion illustrator for the two Seattle newspapers.  It was torn down long ago and something else is there now..."

" Oh yes....well, there's a big lawsuit going on in Kitsap County (where Bremerton is) and you will be receiving a big check for a lot of money.... I don't need any money, because I am 'well to do', so put the check in the safety deposit box and DON'T CASH THE CHECK!" 

Mom cringed as Dad yelled loud enough for everyone to hear....she gave everyone in ear shot, a double shoulder shrug and an apologetic smile...

"DON'T WRITE ANY CHECKS EITHER!" Dad commanded..."I am happy here.  I help with the research and testing."

Mom just nodded and smiled, acting impressed.

Happily, his lunch was served, so Dad sat back in his chair, folded his hands in his lap, and opened his mouth, waiting for Mom to shove the food in his mouth...

Another tasty lunch, as Dad began to salivate admiring the .fish fillet, cheesy scalloped potatoes, beets just the way Dad loves them, cucumbers in balsamic dressing, apple walnut cake, ice tea, wheat bread, butter, coffee, milk and Ensure.  Dad piled it all together, dunked his bread in his milk and began to suck it into his mouth.  He inhaled every single crumb, and announced he was ready for a nap.

Doctor-Doctor was his nurse today, so when she came to wheel Dad back to his room, Dad was laughing,  flirting and enjoying her company.  Mom kissed Dad good bye and waved to him wishing him sweet dreams...

One of the other nurses stopped Mom in the hallway, asking if she would like them to remove the phone from Dad's room.  Dad cannot make calls himself, he has to have someone dial the number for him.  Mom told her we would all discuss it.  Mom knows I would not be a happy camper if I could not talk with him... so she told her we would get back to her...

When Mom got home, my youngest brother called.  He told Mom he was near Dad on business, so he planned on stopping in to visit with him.  Mom told him she had just left and he may be taking a nap...
Knowing my younger brother, he will not allow Dad napping to deter him, nor would Dad want him to....

9 comments:

Thisisme. said...

They certainly seem to get good food where your dad is, Donna! How many times have you got to tell them to CALL YOU FIRST!!!! Unbelievable really, isn't it? Hope you're okay and taking care of yourself xx

Painting Tips and Tricks said...

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Poddys said...

I have had several people I know suffer from alzheimer's and dementia, and it's a cruel disease, where they imagine that they are back in the world they lived in 50 years ago.

Enjoyed my read, lovely blog.

Linda O'Connell said...

I found the best way to deal with delusion is to meet the person where they are, their reality is not ours, so nod and smile a lot. It confuses them more when you tell them the places and people are gone. Smile and nod.

Mari said...

I can't believe that everyone in that place hasn't got the message to call you first!
Glad your Dad seemed to get over that quickly and hope he had a good visit with your brother.

That corgi :) said...

Darn, I thought the note over the bed was a good idea about the phone calls. Sorry one "snuck" through to your mom. I agree, it would be hard to completely remove the phone from his room; makes you wonder if they could get some kind of a sticker to put on the phone, especially if someone has to help him make the calls, that would alert them to call you first.

I know with my MIL's dementia, I try to meet her where she is at in her talkings, but I think it has to be harder dealing with a spouse, I am sure it is very difficult for your mom when she goes to visit your dad; like another commenter said, it is a cruel disease

(((Donna))) I hope YOU are doing okay!

betty

gayle said...

So glad your dad is doing well!! Have a great weekend!

janis said...

Hi Donna~
Janis here from Indianapolis Indiana. I went looking for bloggers from Henderson...
Hubby and I are considering a transfer to Henderson in a couple of years. I have been trying to get familiar with the area...long story wont bore you with details..
Anyway...glad I found your blog.. you had me interested and understanding.
I spent 6 months caring/visiting my Aunt in a Memory Care wing of a very wonderful nursing home. She then went to live w/ my cousin in OK where she passed away two months later.
My Dad has Dementia and most likely Alzheimers, beginning stages on top of a mess of health issues. Its a frustrating cluster...
anyway~
look forward to reading more & following you.
come visit me @ JustBreatheJanis.blogspot.com

dana said...

This is SO sad. My daughter is an RN and works with alzheimer patients. Some of the nurses try to remind the patients that they AREN'T where their mind tells them they are.

My daughter has great success in JOINING them, wherever they think they are. She says it soothes them. If she has to pretend she's waiting with one of them at the bus stop for their parents to show up (40 years ago) she does it gladly.

Could that help?