Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dear Dad

Just a few more days til Thanksgiving Dad, and I don't know if you will be alive then or in what condition you will be in if you are alive.  You are dieing.  I know this.  You don't know it. Even so, you sense that something is wrong.  You express your anxiety by talking about the traveling bumps in the back of your head or the scab on your leg necessitating an amputation.  You've had the dementia for many years now Dad.  

We've got plans for Thanksgiving together Dad.  I'm to come and eat with you and your buddies at the assisted living place.  I hope you will still be here, but it's okay if you won't be.

My heart is breaking in pieces every day now.  I watch you struggle to do as much for yourself as you can.  I watch you fight for your words, your ideas, your desires.  I don't know if I am even one tenth as brave as you.

I never thought in a million years that things would end up this way.  Every minute that I spend with you is a minute that I treasure.  I am privileged to be able to spend this time with you.  And when you do die Dad, I hope you die when you are sleeping before the real misery sets in.  You've been through more than enough.

                              I will always love you.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Short Term Memory Loss

My Dad is getting worse now.  His short-term memory is going.  I took him to vote on Tuesday.  I talked with him Wednesday on the phone and I said something about Obama winning.  "He won?" he asked. 

When I saw him yesterday, he again didn't know who won.  When I reminded him that Obama won, it was like he hadn't heard that before.

Today I brought him some toothpaste.  A few minutes later, he asked me to bring him toothpaste.  I said, "Dad I brought you some today."

Dementia sucks bad.  It sucks to watch my dad deteriorate and lose bits of himself.  But he is the one who is deteriorating.  And I am losing one person.  He is losing everyone.

sapphoq on life

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Dad and Voting

I took Dad to vote on Tuesday.  When he had registered, the clerk asked him if he wanted a mail-in ballot.  "No," he said, "I want to go to the polling site."  And we did.

Dad is a staunch Republican and remains so in the midst of his dementia.  He can still talk politics and very much aware of what is happening on the news.  He was disappointed when John McCain and Sarah Palin didn't win last time.  He can identify certain news commentators as ones that he has listened to.  He can also identify the issues of the day and what each candidate stands for.  And he is very open about not liking Obama.  Dad actually knows more about politics than many people who don't have dementia do.

So we went.  Dad was given the same ballot sheet and a black marker-- he declined to use the fancy machine-- and I was allowed to help him.  His fine motor is bad enough that even with the marker, he was unable to fill in the squares.  After the first one, he allowed me to do it for him.  He was able to tell me which candidates he wanted to vote for.

After Dad voted, I encouraged him to sit at a table so we could have the free cup of coffee being offered to voters.  A nice lady came over and gave us our choice of donuts from the box.  The donuts were not free, but for us they were.  

Dad's dementia is difficult for me at times.  I get worn out and frazzled.  Yet the little kindnesses of people in his community keep me going.

I am proud of my Dad for voting.  He is the only one in his adult assisted living home to even express an interest in the election and in voting.

My Dad, a true American patriot to the end!

sapphoq on life