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...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Written Memories and Updates...

This morning I have been sorting through my books and putting them back in my bookcases.  I found Dad's Bible.  I flipped through the pages to help in the process of dusting and cleaning out the books and noticed there was a verse written on a scrap of paper, dated March 17, 2009.  The verse was John 14:13-14, "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

I am not sure whether Dad wrote it down as his promise to God or a prayer to God for himself...I remember some of our talks when he told me he felt very confused and was under so much stress...
Last night I was cleaning out our large master closet, where I had stored some things in preparation for the floors.  I found an envelope Mom had given me last May.  When she finds one of Dad's notebooks or notes from her daily calendar regarding Dad, she forwards them to me for my blog.
She included some notes from  Friday, January 1, through Sunday, January 3. 2009. She writes about getting up early to watch the Rose Parade, and Dad was already up, watching the parade and eating his breakfast.  We used to live a few blocks from the parade route in Pasadena when I was a child.  Every year for most of my first eighteen years of life, were spent drinking cocoa bright and early sitting alongside the curb, watching the Rose Parade...
Dad fell asleep after eating his breakfast and snoozed in his chair.  Mom was checking her emails after fixing her breakfast when Dad came in to see what she was doing.  She attempted to show Dad how to email, but Dad was frustrated trying to find something in his desk.  Mom offered to help him look and to organize his desk, but Dad was too distracted and left the room.
Mom went into the living room to take down and put away the tree and Christmas ornaments.  Dad was watching the Rose Bowl game, USC vs Penn State, and fell asleep again.
Saturday, Mom went out with one of her girlfriends for lunch, came home and she and Dad went to Sam's Club for groceries and each of them got new tennis shoes. While they were gone, my brother K_____ came by and mowed and edged their front yard.

Sunday, they went to first service for church.  After the visited with friends from church on the church patio for coffee, then treated everyone to breakfast at Marie Calendar's after.   When they got in the car to go home, Mom noticed Dad had brown shoes with no shoe laces!

Mom needed Reynolds Wrap and was sure she had some, but could not find it before leaving for church, so they stopped at the store on the way home to buy some.  After they had been home awhile, Dad brought the old Reynolds Wrap out to Mom.  She asked where he found it and he told her he found it in his top dresser drawer...

Dad had to fast tonight for a blood test tomorrow, so Dad was sitting in the chair making a list of questions and complaints for his doctor.  The next time Mom entered back into the room, Dad was asleep in his chair.

She woke him at 5pm for dinner but he did not want the Chicken Chow Mien she made so he made himself two bean tacos then retired to his room to finish his list of questions and complaints.

Often when Dad had a doctor appointment, he would make a list or talk about his complaints and get himself so worked up, he would end up canceling the doctor appointment.

Just reading this notes, it is so obvious he was suffering from dementia.  Mentally he was worn out most of the time and slept a lot during the day and then was up half the night, making him sleep during the day.  It was four months later in May, 2009 when he collapsed on the floor when I was watching him. 

His health issues would not allow him to fly and both he and Mom were going to Ohio to see their grand son graduate.  I volunteered to stay with Dad.  I awoke early one morning about 4am to find Dad curled up by the front door, cold and grey, mumbling about "the enemy attacking at dawn's light."

Three of my brothers, my sister and I all waited in the emergency room while they examined Dad.  It was then we found out his brain was so atrophied the doctors were shocked Dad could even form a sentence and speak.

I just received a call from the nursing home.  They want to do biopsies on Dad's lesions on his eye, forehead, upper lip and temple.  They know how we feel about it.  I was also informed Dad's Doctor did the Cryrotherapy yesterday on Dad's toe.

I have this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach...I am not looking forward to my trip to California this weekend...but I have a very strong gut feeling I have to go...

7 comments:

Mari said...

Dementia is a terrible thing - and I often think it's harder on the family than the patient. I have no words, but to say I'm sorry and I'm praying for you.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, I will really be praying for you. Find your strength in the Lord. He is there with you no matter what happens.

Jeanie said...

This is all so poignant, Donna. I'm sure reading about those days in 2009 brings back a lot of emotions. I am glad you have so many good memories of his younger years.
I hope you return from your trip to California with a sense of peace.

That corgi :) said...

(((Donna))) You got to go and you got to be prepared and say "goodbye" in your own way, whatever that may be. How neat you guys lived so close to the parade to enjoy it like that! I have come to wonder if people suffering from dementia actually realize it before it gets diagnosed or perhaps those around them realize it after the fact but try to cover it up with other excuses or don't want to admit the reality of memories going. I think I mentioned this before that looking back, we realized hubby's mom was exhibiting signs of memory loss back in 2004 when we visited and she kept repeating the same story to us throughout our whole visit, almost verbatim, but like we had never heard it before. We chalked it up to her being excited to see us.....but now....in looking back.

hugs to you, Donna. I know it will be a tough time for you all......

betty

wildbanshee said...

I would like to tell you that I really feel that feeling of scaredness (is that a word) when you say that you are not looking forward to the trip to California, just try to remember, and hold onto the memories, I lost my mother 22 years ago, I look in her Bible occasionally, she had a piece of paper with my cousins names written on it, and a statement that is very sad, "Somebody help me" that makes me feel as if she was afraid. The comments that you make about your dad does not seem as if he is afraid. Thanks for letting me share with you.

Linda O'Connell said...

Donna, Know that other have been where you are, can relate and care. Blessings and hugs.

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

It is nice to find written things in a Bible...and the notes describing ordinary things in their life is so touching