Dad04 Nov 2016 12:28 pm

Freaky thing my mom mentioned last time I talked to her, which was before Halloween:

“The big thing now,” she says to me, “is I have to remember to stay neutral toward your dad.”

The ways in which my dad’s care is increasingly like a horror/circus side show , with each new act increasingly bizarre, is undeniable at this point.  But I bite, because what else are we gonna talk about?  Plus, he’s my dad, why not know everything there is to know?

Except even as I’m nonchalant, I’m also wondering if this is where he starts hitting her.  Guess that’s likely as things progress — the verbal goes, the logic goes, and he’ll get frustrated.  So like, 70% blasé, 25% crash-position-shoulders, 5% weirdly sweaty.  “Neutral how?”

“Well, say I have a bad day and snap at him, or we have a good day and we’re laughing,” she tells me.  “He’ll go to sleep, and when he wakes up, he doesn’t recognize me as the same person as the day before.”

Dad not recognizing her has been going on for a long time, and in varying format.  Sometimes, he calls her on the phone to figure it outOnce, he fell back in love with her after he forgot her.  For a long time, she was ‘that woman’ who wouldn’t let him drive.

“So now,” she says, “If we had a good day the day before, he’ll wake up and want to know what happened to the nice lady.  He enlists me in the job of helping him search the house for the nice lady.  Sometimes it takes half the day for him to let go of the idea she’s around somewhere, happy, without him.”

I start to make a joke about finding herself, when my mom adds this: “And if I was irritable the day before, the next morning he’ll wake up and beg me to find the other lady, to tell her that he loves her, and he’s sorry for whatever he did, and to please, please come back.  He’ll tell me how much he loves her, and how lonely he is without her there.”

It’s a Hall of Mirrors, Alice in Wonderland Easter Egg Hunt of heartbreak.  Honestly, at this point I’m just documenting it all so when it’s over I can make an assessment on whether there’s anything at all to gain from living with dementia or long walk off a short pier is the way to go.  You know, in case this whole thing is heritable.  And, whoa, I bet you didn’t think this post could get darker, huh?  But here we are!

PS:  Please enjoy this shirt via a Beyoncé video, which I totally want to buy and wear forever, except I don’t have the balls to wear it anywhere, not even in my own house alongside kids who read, and so  this inanimate object proves itself cooler than me, which means now I really want it.

beyonceshirt

5 Responses to “Update on my dad, because I’m bored and maybe if you are here, so are you.”

  1. on 07 Nov 2016 at 10:01 am Rosie

    After the last time I visited my mom in the nursing home, I decided to stop advocating for the Alzheimer’s Association and start with the Right to Die movement. I also calculated that I have about 15-20 years left before my symptoms start kicking in, gauging by when hers started.

    Most days, I try not to dwell on it. The rest of the days, morbid humor gets me through.

  2. on 07 Nov 2016 at 5:03 pm bon

    Uuuuuuuuuuugh. Sure wish I had a joke or funny story or dumb fact. ANYTHING to distract from the weighty-ness of it all. Okay! Here is one! When I was in my early 20’s, Soundgarden came thru Albuquerque and played at the Atomic Theater. I don’t think their performance at that venue could have been any more awesome or trippy if I had been dosing, and I was stone cold sober. At the show, for their Louder Than Love album, they sold t-shirts that said FUCK HAPPENS on the front and Soundgarden on the back. Purchased and wore the HECK out of that shirt, and I am glad I did. Even if nowadays I say things like “I wore the HECK out of it.”

  3. on 07 Nov 2016 at 5:05 pm bon

    It should be mentioned… it actually said:

    FUCK
    HAPPENS

    in four inch high font. Bold white on black.
    Amaze-balls!

  4. on 08 Nov 2016 at 11:21 am anne nahm

    bon

    The more I know about you, the bigger a mystery you are to me. Seriously, I would meet you in a coffee shop sometime and just listen to your whole history, and then like three hours of follow up questions. Who are you?! Why aren’t you blogging your autobiography? Who is this person who dares wear a FUCK HAPPENS shirt and then comments they wore the heck out if it?! I need answers.

  5. on 08 Nov 2016 at 11:22 am anne nahm

    Hugs, Rosie. The thing that makes me the most mad is wondering, “hey, I
    just did X…. is that the start of it?”

    Every weird thing my dad mentioned
    in the pre-dementia years is now suspect as an early indicator.

    I saw a FB
    post before my dad got sick that said something to the effect of, “You, and
    everyone you know will get sick and die. They will suffer, and so will you.
    But not today, so do something with it.”

    At the time I thought, Wow that is
    depressing as hell. Now it seems more inspiring.

    Thanks for your comment. Clearly, it got me going!