Happy Friday to all of you. It is hard to go to work and still be under the weather. I just can’t seem to kick this cold, flu whatever it is I got. My ambulance was pretty slow all day, so I did my blogging and I am almost done with an afghan that I am making a friend. At around eight forty five pm I decided to close my eyes just in case we would be up all night. But the tones went off at nine pm and we were up all night doing calls. So needless to say, I am exhausted. I did sleep for three hours when I got home, but how am I suppose to get rid of this cold without the right kind of sleep. I am looking forward to a good night’s sleep tonight before going in again in the morning for another twenty-four hours. So on with my story.
Alzheimer’s is a very strange and disturbing disease. This disease takes the mind of the loved one you know and love and slowly melts it away so that soon they don’t remember anything. Just like in a twilight zone movie they are lost. I was still under the impression I could help bring dad back. So I did things like take out the photo albums and have him tell me who the people were in them. The sad part to this experiment is whenever he saw a picture of his wife he would ask me where she was and why did she leave him. I tried my hardest to remind him that she died and that they were very happy together. I would question him making him tell me his name and birthday, which I found he could tell me his birthday but not how old he was. Then he said something profound, he said that sometimes he does not know who he is.
Dad was lost in his head, and my name now was Lady to him. Hey Lady, he would say, give me the phone so that I could call my son. That would break Jimmy’s heart. Oh yea, Jimmy was working full time now and I went part time. I tried to put dad on a schedule so maybe that would help him. He didn’t want to take a bath so I would trick him by telling him that I just finished my bath and drew up water for him. He couldn’t understand that if he fought in WWII and they didn’t make him bathe, so why should I make him. This disease was progressing so fast he even forgot he was now in his own home. He would tell me that he was sorry he was working so late and could he stay the night and go home in the morning. Sometimes dad would argue with us, telling us that we were stealing his money or why are we putting him in jail.
I could see the reason Jimmy and I had to resolve our problems and we did. We needed to be strong for each other as we took care of his dad. It hurt to see Jimmy upset when dad would be in his sun downing moods, and not very nice to us. I needed to comfort dad, get him in his p j’s and put him to bed with a kiss on the forehead, then I needed to comfort Jimmy because of his little patience with his father, he would be so down on himself.
I did find that life was really a learning lesson taking care of dad. I would find myself short tempered with him sometimes also and would get discouraged. I ran and prayed daily and finally decided that dad needed to go to a day care center for adults. Yep, there really is such a thing. I called the faculty in the phone book and made an appointment. I figured that maybe he needed to be with some people his age sometimes and I could use a little break to sleep, clean or even just read. The idea was for dad to be gone for two afternoons a week. They would be the days I got off my midnight shift so that I could sleep. It only took a couple of times at the day care before I saw another side of this disease. Dad was now showing physical violence. He yelled at the day care workers and when I went to pick him up he would not let me put his coat on him. He simply didn’t recognize me and yelled “No you are not taking me back
to Germany. You are all Nazi’s. You are all trying to kill me.” It took me and two other people to get dad in the car and dad was kicking and swearing.
Well Christmas couldn’t get here fast enough. My friend Evett and her kids came up for a visit and helped trim our Christmas tree. All my kids came into town, and I really needed the feeling of family and children and not to have an empty nest for a few days. I found I was missing my younger life when my kids were small and dependent on me. I missed the laughter, the noise and the cuddling. Christmas Eve was great going to Aunt Mary’s house like we had been doing for the last couple of years. Christmas day was even more fun with all the kids in this small house opening gifts. Even dad seemed to enjoy himself. Oh yea, that is when I found out my oldest daughter was going to have a baby making me a grandmother again.
I love the museums in Chicago and so before they all had to leave to go back to their own lives, we ventured to the Museum of Science and Industry. Of course we took dad with us, and it was cute watching my kids take turns pushing dad in his wheel chair. This was a learning experience for my kids also as they watched this disease take their grandfather away from them.
OK that is enough for today. I know you are wondering how I call this a romantic blog. I am telling my life and it has to do with all kinds of love and how love is a choice. Have a great day. Remember to love with
your whole heart. Don’t put off telling someone you love them today.
I am the Author
a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and still believe in the power of love &