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...

Monday, May 14, 2012

I Feel Like an Old Studebaker Without a Clock...

Mom and I went to visit Dad this morning.  We found him sitting in his wheelchair in the dining room.  When I walked up to him Dad was taking a snooze.  I gently touched his arm and he opened his eyes, smiling, but not with the enthusiasm he normally has...he looked tired and pale...

Dad and Mom, May 14, 2012

"Hi Donna....Hi Lynnie....I thought you both might come today..."

We wheeled him out to the patio.  The front of the nursing home was all torn up and in the midst of total re-landscaping... All the bright, pretty flowers, bright green bushes and trees are all gone, now in a pile of ruble and dirt.  I am anxious to see what their plans are in re-doing it...

There was only one table at the far end of the patio, so we settled there and put Dad's back to the sun.  I could see Dad working his tongue to the left side of his mouth...he obviously had some food stuck in his tooth and he was trying to get it out...must have been there since breakfast... Mom went to his room to get him one of his stim-u-dents while I visited with him.

Dad started in about the boat...going down to the water and how beautiful the beach was this time of year...(he has not been to the beach in years, same with a boat)...he told me he planned on renting one...

I noticed his right eye was scabby looking, not all goopy like it normally is...the nurses all tell me Dad swings at them, screaming and yelling when they put his drops in his eye.  His eye is his only complaint.

Dad nodded off and while he did, I looked at his left pinkie toe, which was bandaged with today's date written on top of the bandage.  I could tell how swollen his pinkie toe was...very noticeably so.

 I tried to show Dad some pictures of my grand sons on my phone and my camera, but Dad could not see them...

Mom returned and told me he was out of the stim-u-dents.  She told Dad she would bring some the next time...

"Do I have a watch?" Dad asked...

"Yes, you do." Mom replied...

"I feel like an old Studebaker with no clock without a watch..."

Mom promised to bring him a watch next time she comes.

Dad lowered his head and nodded off again...

I attempted to engage him in memories or ask about various plants, but he seems disinterested and worn out...

"I'm more interested in you".....Dad told me when I asked if there was moss on a tree near us...Normally he enjoys talking about nature and plants.

I touched his arm and he awoke, talking in gibberish...something about the girls running...


I saw one of the girls coming toward us with Dad's lunch tray..."Oh goody Dad...here comes your lunch..."

Dad is very stiff and cannot seem to turn left nor right...but he tried to look to the left with his good eye...

She set the tray down in front of him and removed the top to his plate.  Fresh zucchini, cauliflower, pea pods, and carrots, beef stroganoff on a bed of noodles, stewed carrots with onions, bell peppers and green beans. (Mom and I both salivated over the carrots...they smelled incredible and we could hear Dad crunching as he ate it.  Very fresh and aromatic.)  He had whole wheat bread and butter, ice cream, bites of watermelon, coffee, water and a glass of milk.

Dad reached for his fork and did his best to scoop up some meat.  His hands are so deformed with arthritis, I asked if I could help him...

"Yes, I feel lazy..."


I happily fed him, watching him close his eyes on each bite, as if to savor the taste.  All the food prepared there smells incredible and always, always looks fantastic!  My mouth watered as he accepted each mouthful like a baby bird...  Usually, Dad is voracious when he eats, but he was slow and deliberate as if he was fighting sleep, but still hungry.

I don't think his slower demeanor is due to medication, I think he is slowing way down.  He used to be on two anti-depressants but he is only on one now, and the same medications he was on before...he seemed so frail and tired.

Doctor-Doctor brought Mom and I some coffee and a cup of milk for me to put in my coffee...When Dad finished every morsel of his food and then drank the milk for my coffee.

I leaned toward his cheek, "Now for some dessert kisses", as I kissed his right cheek with quick, noisy kisses....I whispered softly into his good ear, "I love you so much Dad..."

"I dream about my girlfriend saying that to me...that was so cute...."

"The breeze feels so good," I said aloud...

"I was just thinking the same thing," Dad whispered...still sitting with his eyes closed.

Dad coughed...."I don't want to cough..."

"Do you have a head ache Dad?"

"No...I feel just fine."


Mom asked if he was thinking about a nap...

"Yes I am..." (Dad's voice was barely audible...)

I asked if he would like me to get him his toothbrush so he could clean his teeth before his nap.

"That would be good..."


So I wheeled him back to his room while Mom returned Dad's tray to the kitchen....she also wanted to ask the cook how she made those delicious stewed carrots.

Blondie got Dad's toothbrush and put the toothpaste on it for him...

I stood in the hallway, while Mom and Blondie helped Dad out of the wheel chair.  I watched as Dad got out of his wheel chair.  I could see he was not moving like he normally does.  He looked stiff, shaky and bent over.  His movements were deliberate and slower than I have ever seen Dad move.

Blondie got him all settled in bed and by the time I walked around the bed to his side, I could see eyes shut and hear him softly snoring...

I leaned over and kissed him on his forehead..."I love you Dad...sweet dreams...."

Tonight Mom, my sister, two of my brothers and I,  plus my brother in Ohio via speaker phone are going to discuss final end of life plans and the possibility of initiating a DNR order for Dad.  This talk has been put off enough, we are long over due to make these difficult decisions...

Please pray for us....

5 comments:

Mari said...

In spite of it all, he still smiles and is loving and happy to see you!

Jeanie said...

I'm so glad you have your family to discuss these things with, Donna. It is such a hard thing to do, but better now than when you are faced with an emergency. Even though your dad is seeming to be physically more frail, he seems to not be unhappy and that is a lot to be grateful for.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

My heart bleeds for you. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I see my future in your words. Ron is not bad - yet - but I'm afraid that day will come.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

My heart bleeds for you. Unfortunately, I'm afraid I see my future in your words. Ron is not bad - yet - but I'm afraid that day will come.

Linda O'Connell said...

My thoughts: life is precious, but why prolong what God intended just because we live in an age when we can keep a body alive with medical and artificial means? My heartfelt hug to you.