Monday, April 18, 2011

"Are you taking me to the Doctor?"

What a weekend! Mom and Gwen went to Utah to go get David from Provo. This would leave Dad and I alone for the week. As some of you know Dad is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's. We found out Friday that he needs to have another eye surgery since he didn't follow directions the first time. So this left little old me alone, and I still have to work and go to school this week, with a man who needs surgery, and can't remember what a doctor told him two hours ago. Needless to say I broke down and Mom came home last night. This was the first time I had spent some really time at home with my dad in a long time. I knew the diagnosis I knew he didn't remember things day to day. What I didn't  know was that his short term memory is basically gone. In order for things to go into long term, they have to make it through short term. This means all new events,  will most likely never be remembered. During the 2 days I was with him he has asked me about every hour "Are you taking me to the doctor?" This was heartbreaking to watch. But every time I said with a smile "No Dad, mom is coming home and will take you."

With Alzheimer's there are usually personality changes. My father who is a very calm tempered man was getting very heated over how to start a DVD. Which remote, which channel, when to hit what button. He kept yelling for my name then he would yell that the company was an idiot for this design, etc. Finally we got his DVD playing and he was content. After this I knew I couldn't do this without help and mom started to reschedule flights. Both his parent's had dementia. Since Dad is the oldest of four boys, the brothers have been watching their oldest brother follow the same path as their father, and see what could (and most likely will) happen to them.  I recently read a book on Alzheimer's called "Finding life in the land of Alzheimer's" If you have a family member with this disease then I HIGHLY recommend this book. This woman's mother had Alzheimer's and she did everything she could to stay out of the way, after she died she starts working at an assisted living facility for Alzheimer's specifically. While none of the characters "are my dad" I saw bits and pieces of him in each.  Here she makes the statement that while it's painful to watch and stand by their side, it must be done. Unfortunately I couldn't stand by his side this time. But I plan to next time.

To learn more about Alzheimer's go to: Alzheimer's Foundation for Ameica


1 comment:

  1. Julia, you are an angel! And so is your mother. I am so happy she was able to rearrange her flights. I was thinking of something Elder Holland said in 2008 in Conference:

    "I have spoken here of heavenly help, of angels dispatched to bless us in time of need. But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day....Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind. "

    Thanks, too, for the link and the book recommendation. I am so glad you are blogging, and that you are, indeed, a woman with opinions! :)