Friday, October 14, 2005

49 Paranoia...

I took my dad with me to the vet today. I really needed the help--I brought 4 of 5 my surviving birds, plus I can barely get in & out of the car (if you've been reading my other blog, you know about my fall last week and my smashed coccyx).
I asked my parents to come over my house (usually on these excursions I pick up my dad) so they could help me catch birds, if necessary (I can't bend over either), and I actually asked my mom for help cleaning. My father just stood there, his coat on, his hands folded before him (his favorite new posture) fretting about how much gas I have in my car. And why couldn't my mom drive instead of me (because she was staying at the house to clean). And we should leave soon so we could come home soon (he can't comprehend an APPOINTMENT anymore, I guess). So we ended up getting there about 1/2 an hour early. Luckily they were able to take us right away. My father always asks for the cut feathers and the vet assistant gave him a whole bag of lovely feathers, macaw and Amazon and cockatoo.
We had gone out to lunch before that. My mom put my dad's coat, her coat, and her purse on the back of her chair. (We were at a table cuz it's too hard for me to slide in and out of a booth.) He kept turning around the check the coats. He wanted the coats across from him, next to me "so I can see them"--even though I could see them, I guess that wasn't good enough.
He was so upset that my car only had 1/4 of a tank left. He's seen how much trouble and pain it is for me to climb in & out of a car (that's why he didn't want me to drive). I said, "If you will pump the gas, I'll stop." but he can't do the credit card and I have no cash. So my tank is at 1/4 (slightly less now) which is completely unacceptable. The tanks on my parents' vehicles aren't even allowed to get to HALF. (I noticed that on vacation but thought it was an abberation--I guess not.)
So now I've seen my father be paranoid about money ("did they take off the coupon?" "Put some of that money away, that's too much.") and gasoline, and my mom's purse and their coats being stolen in an almost-empty restaurant with no one even sitting near us.
I can't imagine his frustration when he can't talk, either. Because he knows. He says, "I can't talk right anymore" or "that's not right." We try to correct him gently, without making a big deal. It's not like he can learn from his mistakes, like a person learning a new language. He's forgetting his only language.
But I've noticed that when he talks to my birds, and when he talks to the cats, that he talks okay. I wonder if he doesn't try as hard to be correct with them, and not being nervous about being right makes him better?
He also thinks my husband's name is Rick. I guess that's from his friend Rick, and Rick's son Rick. Too many Ricks, not enough Wills. He hasn't called Will "Rick" to his face, but when he refers to him and Will's not there, he calls him Rick. He also mixes up Joanne, my mother in law, with Janet, my mom's best friend.

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