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, January 8, 2013

GRANT 4404....

Yesterday was Mom and Dad's anniversary of the first day they met, 68 years ago.  Mom was working as a Fashion Illustrator at Rhodes Department Store. She and Jeanie, an Art School friend, had been hosting the opening of Mom's bosses' Art Gallery and they were walking up a windy hill in Seattle, on their way to the bus station.  As they walked they noticed three Marines following them at a respectful distance...

As they walked up the hill, they stopped to pretend to look in a store window to check out the Marines.  They noticed the Marines were checking them out as well.  A short distance later, the three Marine, one of whom was my Dad, stopped the girls and Dad made sure he claimed Mom.

After a wee bit of flirting, Mom informed Dad she and Jeanie had to catch the bus.  Dad asked for her phone number so he could see her again.  Mom gave Dad her phone number,  Grant 4404.  Dad never wrote it down and has never forgotten it...even now, despite his Alzheimer's.

When we celebrated Dad's 92nd birthday last November, he regaled us with one of his favorite stories of how he met Mom, and repeated her phone number from memory...

Since it was their special day, Mom wanted to visit Dad.  When she arrived at the nursing station, Dad's male caregiver let her know Dad had his morning shower, but wanted to return to bed and was asleep in his room.

When Mom walked into Dad's room, Dad was lying in bed with his mouth wide open...it startled Mom..he looked dead.  She walked over and kissed him.  He could barely open his eyes, but seeing her, he smiled.  Mom told Dad the date and asked if he remembered why it was such a special day.... Groggy, Dad asked if it was her birthday....

Mom told him it was 68 years ago they met on the hill in Seattle...

Dad smiled, but kept his eyes closed.

She attempted to start a conversation to remind him but it was obvious he did not remember....

Dad mumbled some nonsense and then began to snore...

Mom tried again to wake him, telling Dad how concerned we all are with him not eating his meals...  She asked him if he would promise to eat a good lunch...

Dad mumbled he would eat...

Mom patted his hand and thanked him...

Dad opened his eyes, looked at her and asked, "Are you still here?"

Mom's heart was heavy.  She sat and watched Dad snore. She had brought him a nice, warm, cozy jacket since he has been so cold lately...but as she started to put it in his closet, she realized she had not marked it.  The jacket is too nice to lose, so she decided to take it back home with her to mark it with permanent ink.

Dad was tucked in tight with several blankets over him and still snoring loudly...

Feeling depressed she decided not to wait until lunch time...

As she walked out the male caregiver came over to her and she told him how unresponsive Dad has been lately.  Mom told him she was concerned with Dad's lack of appetite.  He informed Mom about new orders to put Dad on an appetite stimulator and mentioned Dad was on a diabetic diet...

Mom was so upset she did not even realize he had said diabetic diet until later on the phone when she told me about her depressing visit.  I told her I would call the nursing home and find out why as Dad is on a diabetic diet when HE IS NOT DIABETIC!

It took me several phone calls before I finally could speak with someone because they were passing out medication and serving dinners.  The nurse told me Hospice had ordered the diabetic diet....  I could not believe it. No one informed me of such a change and both Mom and I remember me confirming Dad was NOT DIABETIC at Dad's last Care Conference.

I attempted to call the the Hospice LVN and RN and could not reach either of them....so I called the supervisor of Hospice and discovered there had been some new changes as of 2013 and only RNs would be visiting Dad from now on....and, a new RN had been assigned and she gave me his name and number.  I told her about Dad being on a diabetic diet and she promised she would get to the bottom of it and call me.

Right after she hung up, the male nurse called and he also promised to straighten everything out tomorrow (today) and would call me on my cell phone.

Today, they both called, confirming Dad's diet had been changed to NO RESTRICTIONS...regular diet and regular ice cream.  If they have been feeding him diabetic food, no wonder Dad has lost 13 pounds in the past month!!!!

Our family decided when Dad first went into the nursing home three and a half years ago, we wanted Dad to eat what he wanted.  He LOVES to eat, so with all he has to deal with, the last thing we wanted to do was deprive him of eating.

I called the nursing home after the Hospice staff called me this morning.  The male caregiver told me Dad had his shower and refused to go to the activity room for coffee, cake and music.  Dad wanted to go back to bed.  When the staff tried to persuade Dad, he got angry and told them he wanted to go back to bed.

I have talked to Mom and I think I may arrange a trip to California to stay with her and visit my Dad.  I think he needs some extra cheering up...

4 comments:

That corgi :) said...

I think that is a wise idea Donna to go and see your dad; glad it got cleared up about the diet; I can see why he would have lost that much weight (makes me want to go on one; just a small joke, I understand the seriousness of this all.....)

betty

Mari said...

I think a visit is a good idea. I love the story of how your parents met. I can almost picture it!

Darlene said...

It has been a while since I have commented but have read most of your posts. I am glad you are going to spend time with your Mom and see your Dad and hopefully get him eating once again. Nursing facilities sure have to be watched over and so much of the time even if you are there every day you do not know what is going on when you are gone. Went through stuff with my Dad in one and my husbands Mom in one. Sure breaks your heart. My thoughts are with you and your family. Take care and so glad you are keeping in touch as you are and blogging about it as so many do not know what can and does happen in homes especially once Hospice is involved.

Linda O'Connell said...

A visit will do you all good. I hope the diet change will help. Nutrition and hydration do have an impact. Blessings.