Sunday, July 09, 2006

82 going downhill

I was only gone a few days and I'm shocked at how much my dad has gone downhill. I mean, I saw him on Sunday and then returned on Friday--not an unusual amount of time to go between visits with my parents.
My dad has almost entirely stopped talking.
I don't know if it's because he CAN'T talk or doesn't want to. I suspect the latter.
I called my parents a couple of times from Vegas and once my mom put my dad on the phone and it was like talking to the cat. I can't even remember what I was telling him--just that he didn't really respond. Did he even know it was me? At the end of the conversation I said something like "Okay, I'll see you in a few days" and he gave his standard response "here she is" and obviously started to hand the phone back to my mom and she said "Hang up, she said goodbye!" and then the phone hung up.
My mom said she thinks he's really gone downhill in the last month. He locked her out of the house twice and wouldn't let her back in, just stood in the dining room and looked at her through the window as she banged on the glass and yelled for him to unlock the door. I told her to hide a key outside. One time she had gone for a walk and the other time she just went to hang laundry. Who brings a housekey to hang out the clothes?
She is trying to get him into some kind of program at the Senior Center and she said it seems like the woman doesn't want to let him in, and from the questions she asked my mom, it's apparently because she doesn't think my dad really has AD. My mom said, "I'll tell her to call the doctor" and I said, "no, have her spend five minutes with Daddy and she won't doubt it." The problem is his age--no one believes someone as young as him can be so bad.
We stopped for dinner on the way home from the airport on Friday and I don't think my dad said anything. Yesterday we went to Red Lobster for my birthday lunch (happy birthday to me). I was over the house playing with Ace and singing with him (he likes to climb up onto my head and we howl together--it's silly and fun) and my dad got very upset, overreacting as usual, putting his hands over his ears and swearing. Then my mom couldn't get him to come outside and get into my car--he got sidetracked locking the door 350 times. He did tell me "happy new year". I said, "it's happy birthday, thank you." The next few times he said it I didn't correct him.
They have a new menu item at Red Lobster, a mega shrimp cocktail dinner. My dad LOVES shrimp cocktail. We were going to order him that and then my mom remembered that he had really liked the shrimp pasta he'd gotten there before so she ordered him that. When it came he wanted to know where his shrimp cocktail was and we said we got that instead and he was angry. He got passive-aggressive, cutting up the linguini violently and slamming his utensils around. Then he decided that my mom's shrimp scampi was the same as shrimp cocktail and he ate most of it on her, saying "this is what I like". I also gave him half of my mashed potatoes. I don't know why I go out to eat; I never finish any of my food.
For dessert I got the chocolate cake with ice cream to split with my dad. I know he likes that because I brought home half a piece a couple of months ago and brought it over on a Friday night and he ate most of it. He also ate most of this cake. My mom had some kind of banana cheesecake, yuck. But he didn't speak to the waitress at all (my mom asked for more napkins) and I don't remember him talking except to complain about getting the wrong shrimp and getting upset that the credit card was sticking out of the top of the black leather folder.
When we got back to my parents' house, he thanked me several times for lunch. Which my mom paid for, since it was my birthday. Sigh.

In possibly AD-related news, yesterday an 89 year old man from Wallingford ran over 27 (or 29 depending on the source) people in New London including that Ned Lamont guy who's running for political office. This is why I'm glad my dad stopped driving on his own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a true account of Dementia very interseting read thank you.
Dian (London uk)