I don't think my dad's getting better at all. His language skills are just dropping away. And he KNOWS it. This is horrible to watch, and too horrible to look away.
Sunday night when we were leaving my grandmother's, he came outside to ask us to fix the tv for him. Neither Will nor I knows anything about fixing TVs. But it became obvious he meant the computer. My mom's been having this weird problem where she can't get onto any secure sites on IE. And Netscape can't log onto ANY sites, secure or not.
While we were at Grandma's, my mom said she and Dad were going to come to our house and work in our yard in the morning. I suggested they stay for lunch and we'd make hotdogs and hamburgers, and I invited Grandma, who said her usual "my mornings are so bad" (but she never says HOW they are bad). She refused to eat the lovely pizza I'd made, saying she it would make her sick. Instead she had a salad with a single piece of bacon. Will, mom and I all tried to tell her she needs to eat more protein, that's why she's weak and dizzy. But she said she "can't" that she's got no appetite. But of course she ate an entire piece of cake for dessert.
The next morning, I go off to Walmart to get some Rustoleum for the birdcages and my car, and I called my mom to tell her there was a truck on route 5 being loaded for Katrina victims. I bought 3 bags of stuff--baby food, baby washclothes, soup, kid's water with flourite--and dropped them off on my way home after checking out gas prices, which seem to be stablilizing at around $3.19 for "cheap" gas and $3.49 for expensive gas.
I was outside washing a birdcage when my parents drove up. I could hear them yelling at each other. Obviously not a good day. Because our neighbors have at least 7 vehicles (no lie) they had parked one of them in front of my house, and both our cars were already in the driveway plus I had set up a bird cage washing station in the driveway. But my mother wanted to park in the driveway, and she wanted to back in, and no one likes to back into our driveway (it's very narrow). So that caused all kinds of commotion with my dad trying to tell her how to back up and me just standing there with my lovely new jet-sprayer in my hand hoping I wouldn't be run over.
My father comes up to me and says that he didn't know he was coming here (we had told him last night) and that he had other things do to, but he couldn't tell me what those things were. I am thinking that he wanted to go to the dump; my mom had put some branches in the back of the truck which she dragged to our brush pile behind the garage in the woods. His constant refrain is that nobody tells him anything. I think we need to start writing things down for him, with a date and time: Sunday night at 6:00: You are going to Bert's house tomorrow to work in the yard and eat hotdogs.
Our black cat, Zen, was outside on his leash being loveable, and when it was time to eat I also brought out Lance-bird (in his cage). My father sat right on the ground with a handful of potato chips to talk to the bird and try to get him to eat a chip (he doesn't like them; he takes a courtesy nibble and drops them). We had just finished eating when the phone rang and it was grandma; she was making the laborious 3 mile trip into Wallyworld. She hasn't been for years and it turns out she really didn't remember where we lived! But she found it okay.
During our conversation, my father was just zoning out, so I asked him to go get Zen, who was way up by the garage. He said that Zen doesn't like to be picked up and scratched and bit him. Zen LOVES to be picked up. He didn't want to go get the cat, and finally came back carrying him under his front paws, back paws dangling, way out in front of his body. It would have been funny if it wasn't so sad. Zen is a much nicer cat than his stupid Jasper.
After we finished painting the bird cage, my car, and the bulkhead to the basement, we went to my parents' house to fix the comptuer. Since Will wouldn't listen to any of my suggestions, I went upstairs to read and talk to my dad about butterflies. I noticed that he was talking to himself (or to the butterfly) and he sounded fine. But when Will fixed the computer (it was some stupid Norton setting) and came upstairs, my father said the butterfly was "swimming" in the garden. he's losing more words every day.
He said that his head and should hurt from the infusion and he doesn't want to be in the study anymore. My mom says he got the placebo even though she was convinced they'd give him the real stuff. She doesn't understand "double blind". Sigh.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A CAREGIVER?
12 hours ago