Monday, August 26, 2013

August equals Alzheimer's Anniversaries

August is a month of anniversaries relating to Alzheimer's for me. My dad's birthday. The anniversary of when his aunt died of dementia, right after my dad got diagnosed. My parents' wedding anniversary, and also the anniversary of the next-to-last time he flipped out (the next one being the one that got him removed from the house a couple of weeks later). Also the anniversary of when my dad's mother died, although she didn't have dementia that I know of, I believe she died of cancer (never met her even though she lived 1 town away and died when I was 16--long story). I lost a couple of pets in August too, my beloved black cat Zen and my sweet rainbow lorikeet Gwennie.  
So August, for a long time, has not been a happy month.  And when I was a child, before any of those bad things happened, it was dreadful because it was the end of summer.
August is a time of reflection for me, to remember all this stuff.  There's nothing to learn from it really, nothing to gain except making myself sad.
And because I've been thinking about my dad a lot, since it's August, it's not surprising that he popped up in a really weird dream the other night.  In the dream he came back to life, and he wasn't so dementia-y (is there such a word?) although he wasn't 100% back to normal, and he lived a few more years.  I was walking up Route 5 going from car dealership to car dealership telling everyone that my dad was back alive again.  Because it did seem like he had died and been cremated but somehow came back from that.  And in real life, there is just about every car brand known to man available on Route 5, from BMW on the North Haven line to Cadillac and Hyundai on the Meriden line, and my dad worked for a lot of them in his 40 years in the business.  Why I would walk that 10 mile line instead of calling people is another dream mystery!  Then he died again, in the dream, and we had to hold his memorial service all over again. 
And I woke up thinking, I never saw my dad dead.  When I got to the nursing home his body had been removed from his room, and if it was still there (I imagine it was, it had only been an hour or so) they didn't offer to show me.  At the funeral home that afternoon, the director went and got me my dad's Alzheimer's alert bracelet, and it was cold like it was in a fridge, but again, I didn't see him. 
Now I start getting all paranoid.  Did my dad really die in 2007?  Even though his bed was empty at the nursing home and he was in it 15 hours before, unresponsive, maybe they had moved him and it wasn't him who died...and he's been alone and unvisited for 5+ years in the nursing home...
Gods, how awful would that be?  I can't even imagine it.
I think it's a common wish-fulfillment kind of dream.  We're getting to the time that my dad SHOULD have died.  He was diagnosed in 2004 and they said he'd live 9-11 years and that was 9 years ago.  He should have still been with us.  And maybe if he hadn't hit his head twice, he would still be here, who knows?  Or he might have killed my mom or someone else.  No way to know.
If there are other dimensions constantly spawning off, the lands of opposites, maybe in some of those worlds my dad's alive and okay.
And maybe he's just in the Elsewhere Bar, having a birthday beer.
Happy birthday, happy anniversary, wherever you are, Dad.

Had a Dad Alzheimer's blog one of the best blogs of 2013

“Had a Dad” Alzheimer’s Blog Selected as One of the Best Health Blogs 
From (Healthline) 
To (Bert) 
Hi Bert, Healthline editors recently published their final list of the top Alzheimer's blogs on the web for 2013 and “Had a Dad” Alzheimer’s Blog made the list. You can find the complete list at (in no particular order). We encourage you to share your newfound status as one of the best blogs on the web with your friends, family, & followers. We also created a set of badges you can easily embed on your site anywhere else you see fit.Please let me know if you have any questions. Congratulations! 
Warm Regards, (Healthline)