I’ve been redesigning www.Obsidianbutterfly.com—the had a dad section will be next. I sent not one but TWO books off to publishers (yay) and both acknowledged receipt so the waiting begins (again, on one of them, as I sent the book to them last January and they never answered any of my follow-ups until NOVEMBER when they admitted they didn’t have the ms. (Nice, huh?) So I stayed angry for a month and then re-sent it.
My dad has refused to do the mudras and exercises I mentioned. That makes me sad, but it’s his choice. I have gotten permission from the person who gave them to me to post them here. Maybe they can help someone else.
The new thing I’ve noticed about my father is that he’s mixing up his pronouns. He might say “they called” when he means “she called” –actually pretty much I think “they/their” has become his only pronoun. I’ll have to pay attention when I see him this weekend.
I read a book about water which said that chronic dehydration can cause and worsen Alzheimer’s. All my dad drinks, ever, is Classic Coke. Not diet, not decaffeinated, not Pepsi (he will drink Pepsi in restaurants if we tell him it’s Classic Coke). I gave up drinking soda last month and I hardly miss it. But I don’t know how I’d get my dad to stop drinking it.
On the one hand, it’s like when my great-grandpa (maternal grandpa’s father) was dying of emphysema when I was 11. He wanted to have a cigar. The family figured, he’s dying already, give him his damn cigar. My father’s losing all pleasure in life, why make him give up his favorite drink? On the other hand, what if drinking adequate water really could help his mind? Isn’t that worth giving up the soda? I am going to see my mother later today. I wasn’t planning on seeing her so I haven’t got the water book with me. I can only wonder how bad he would be if he WASN’T on the medicine. And then I know I’m just whining again, so many people have parents and spouses who are so much worse than my dad. But this is my world, my pain.
My father's 1253-day journey through Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and my feelings about it. Now my aunt appears to have dementia, so this is her chronicle as well. All material is copyrighted by Gevera Bert Piedmont (except where noted and where quoted from other sources); please do not repost without permission.
"The cost of Alzheimer's? Everything you ever owned, everything you ever thought you would get, and things you never even thought about."
"It's a long, slow slide into oblivion, with no brakes."
"If this was a paper journal, the ink would be running with tears."
"Imagine a really beautiful, perfect statue, left out in the wind and rain for centuries, to be worn away, until it’s only retained the shape of a person, not any of the individuality. That’s what Alzheimer’s did to my father. It wore him away, all the sharp edges and crisp points that made him Bob, who loved his family and his pets and his raspberry bushes, and turned him into a fearful person with a vague and confused stare."
"It's a nasty disease, surrounded by shadows and small, largely unseen tragedies."--Terry Pratchett
This is a reminder that Alzheimer's disease affects real people, real families. My dad wasn't a monster, just a man whose brain was slowly eaten by a terrible disease.