Alzheimer's Laundry Day

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Why This Blog Stopped

Dad got sick shortly after the last entry. He was in the hospital for a week and the doctors released him to a skilled nursing center under the care of hospice. Every time an Alzheimer’s patient is ill, they are never able to function at the same level again. Their functioning lessens with each illness, no matter how large or small the illness. The last coherent thing he said to me was in April 2013. He asked me, “Want me to whop you upside the head?” We laughed and laughed at that. That was the last time he knew me.  He passed away on April 26, 2016. I miss him very much, but his mind is clear now and he’s with my mom. As she would always say, all’s well that ends well.

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THREE Meals a Day?

Opening Dad’s door, there he sits with his glasses off, staring at a dark TV screen.  Now, Dad has cataracts so bad that he has special magnifying glasses to go over his regular glasses.  They should never give those to people with Alzheimer’s….they can’t ever remember to wear them!

Me: “Hey, Daddy!  Where are your glasses?”

Dad: “What glasses?”

Me: “The ones you have worn all my life…”

Dad:  “They’re here somewhere.  I’m just mad right now.”

Me:  “Why are you mad?”

Dad: “These idiots here aren’t doing it right!”

Me:  “Aren’t doing what right?”

Dad: “My medicine!  So just get my medicine from the VA and bring it to me and I’ll do it myself!”

Me: “Okay, let me go find out what’s going on.”

I walk up to the nurse’s station and my favorite nurse aide, Deborah, is there.  I ask her if she knows why Dad is mad.  She says that at lunch, he threw a fit because she didn’t give him his medicine and called her an idiot.  Usually, Dad gives her a hug.  I apologize profusely and head back to Dad’s room.

Me: “Dad, they gave you your morning medicine with breakfast.  You don’t need anymore until supper.” (You have to call it “supper”; the word “dinner” is another word for lunch and makes him mad if you place it at the “supper” time.)

Dad: “Well, we just ate and it’s almost bedtime and I didn’t get my medicine!  She usually gives it to me right every day and today she just stopped!  So I need to do it myself!”

Me:  “Dad, what time is it?”

Dad: (looking at watch) “It’s  10:21 at night and past my bedtime!  See?” (Shows me his watch)

Me: “Dad, I think your watch is off.”

My sweet husband is there, watching the exchange, and tries to calm Dad.

Hubs:  “Look outside.  It’s the middle of the day.  See the sunlight?”  (Opens Dad’s blinds all the way. Dad pouts in the chair and refuses to look out the window, where the sun is shining for the first time all day.)

Me: “Let me fix your watch.  It’s really 2:30 on a Sunday afternoon.  We just finished lunch and I just got home from church a couple of hours ago.”

Dad:  (Angry sigh)

Me:  “Hey Dad, you still have some cookies left from the ones I brought the other day.  Why don’t you have one.  They’ll make you sweet!”

Dad: “I’m already sweet!”

Me:  “Naw, Dad, not today.  You were mean to Deborah.  You might need two cookies to get enough sweet!’

Dad: (pouting, takes a cookie) “Okay.”

Me: “Why is your TV off?  You always have it on.”

Dad:  (Turns it on.  It is on a crime channel, which will upset him if he watches it any length of time.  I begin switching channels, trying to find a benign cartoon or an old western.) “So you are saying I have to eat again?”

Hubs: “Yep!  Isn’t that great!  You get more food!”

Dad: (Smiles) “Well that isn’t so bad. But I need my medicine!”

Hubs:  “Look out the window.  It’s the middle of the day.  You haven’t had supper yet.  They aren’t doing it wrong; it’s just not time for your medicine yet.  You’ll get it later.”

Dad: “Well, I was going to tell you something but that would mess up everything you just said, so never mind. ” (Starts pouting again.)

Me: “It might me time to change those pants.  They are definitely cranky.”

Dad: (Laughs) “So I really get to eat again?  I already ate twice today!”

Hubs: “Yep! You had breakfast and lunch and you’ll have supper in a bit.”

Dad: “Well I guess I’d better go on down then.”

Hubs:  “Look at your watch.  It’s 3:00.  You’ll have to sit down there a long time.”

Me: (Trying to distract him.  Distraction works great on kindergarters and Alzheimer’s patients.) “Hey, Dad…you don’t have any socks on.  You need socks!”

Dad: “Well, give me some then.”

Me: “Let me clip your toe claws.  Hand me your clippers.”

Dad: “Why?”

Me: “Because I’m going to clip your toenails.  I’ll tickle your feet until you give them to me!” (I hand Dad his party whistle, those long New Year’s Eve things you blow where the tail thing comes out at you.) “Hey!  I know why you’re mad!  I found your party whistle here under your table and you can’t blow it under there.  Blowing it always  makes you happy!”

Dad: (Takes party whistle, looks at it, and smiles happily.  Gives it a big blow and laughs, then hands me the clippers.)

Me: “Hold still and holler if I cut too close, okay?”

Dad: “Can I holler if it doesn’t hurt?”

Me: “No, silly! I think I’m going to have to cut this toe off and turn it sideways to clip it right.  You can hold it while I finish the others, okay?

“Dad: “No!  So I really get to eat THREE times a day?”

Hubs: “Quite the setup you’ve got going here.”

Dad: (Shakes head.) “I guess so, then.”

Me: (Putting Dad’s socks on.) “Well, we are going to go.  You get medicine one more time today and then you can go to bed, okay?  Now be nice!”

Dad: “I’m always nice!”

Hubs: “He is always nice!”

Dad:  “See?”

Me: “I don’t think we are going to take his word for it! So if you’re not nice, I’ll have to knock you down again! (Dad fell last Friday coming out of the hospital after getting a lesion removed from his face.)

Dad: “Is that what happened to my knees?” (Pulls up his pants leg to show me.)

Me: “Yep, and let that be a lesson to you!”

Dad: (To my sweet hubs, laughing) “See how she’s mean to  me?”

Hubs: (To me) “You’re mean!”

Me: “Well, let that be a lesson to both of you!” (Point to my hubs) “I can knock you down too!” (To Dad) “So be nice and I’ll bring you pop and fresh cookies tomorrow, okay?”

Dad: “Okay.  I really get to eat again today?”

Me: “Yep!  I love you, love you, Daddy!”

Dad: “I love you, love you, too.  And my big boy!” (Points to my hubs) ” And I get to eat again today!”

 

 

 

 

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New Shoes

Me: “Hey Dad, I’m going to go get you some new Velcro shoes and I need to know what size those are.” *point down to his feet*  “You need to switch feet Dad.”

Dad:  “Do what?”

Me:  “Your shoes are on the wrong feet and you need to switch.”

Dad: “No they aren’t! What makes you think they are?”

Me:  “Well Dad, your big toes point in on your feet, and the toes of your shoes are pointing out.”

Dad:  “They’re fine. You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

Me:  “How about this…I’m just crazy, so humor your goofy daughter and just switch your shoes for just a minute and then you can switch right back? Please, Daddy?” *bats eyelashes at him*

Dad:  *exasperated sigh*  “Okay but you don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Me:  “I know, Dad.”

Dad:  *switches shoes and sits up*   “Wow, that feels so much better! Are you sure they were on the wrong feet?”

Me:  “You could switch back now.”

Dad:  “Naw, that’s okay.”

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Cakes and Showers

Well…this one takes the cake…maybe not all of the cake, but at least most of a cake…we had had our ER visit and the doctor had me take his electric razor with me after I took him home because she felt like that it was exacerbating his lesion…

Dad: “Hey!  I’m glad you’re here!  Somebody stole my shaver!”

Me:  “I have it, Dad.  The doctor says you can’t shave with it until your face heals and we have to get you a new one.”

Dad:  “Well, I don’t like that!”

Me:  ” I know.  I’ll get you a new one the next time I come.”

Dad:  “Ok.  I guess I’ll take me a shower, then. Want to come shower with me?”

Me:  “Well, Daddy, I’m already clean….so there’s that….guess I’ll just go now.”

Dad:  “Okay then, I guess I’ll have to find me a woman!  Have you seen my shaver?”

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Women On the Way to the ER

The nursing home had called and said that Dad’s face was swollen.  He tends to pick when he is anxious and he had picked a spot on his face till it was swollen and purple.  This was as we were headed to the ER…

Me: “Hey Dad, go to the bathroom and we’ll get your coat so we can go out to the VA.”

Dad:  “What are we going out there for?”

Me:  “For those spots on your face.”

Dad:  “Oh. Hey I want to show you something. Come here. See that? *points at TV where old episode of Two and a Half Men is on and Charlie Sheen’s character is hanging out with some half naked woman* Can we get me one of those on the way? Think they’ll have any of those at the VA?”

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Magic Sink

*Dad in the bathroom at the sink washing his hands and walks out, leaving the water running*

Me:  *from putting laundry away* “Hey Dad, turn the water off!”

Dad: “It’ll turn itself off in a minute.”

Me:  “No it won’t! It’s not a magic sink!”

Dad:  “Sure it is. It’ll turn itself off in a minute.  *as he’s walking over to sit down*

Me:  “Dad, you silly! Turn the water off!”

Dad:  “Naw, wait …till it turns itself off.”

Me:  *sigh and turn the water off*  “Daddy it doesn’t work that way!”

Dad:   *goes back to the bathroom and sticks his head in the door*  “Yes it does! See, it’s off! You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Me:  “Dad *in a very exasperated voice*  I just turned it off!”

Dad:  “Nope! I told you it would do it itself.”

Me:  “Whatever…”

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The Driving Test

Dad:  “We need to go get my car so I can find me a woman!”

Me:  “Well, you don’t have a license, so we need to go to the doctor for a note so you can take the driving test again.”

Dad:  “Why don’t I have a license?”

Me:  “You wrecked the car twice in the same day and you got lost for four hours in February of 2010.”

Dad:  “Well, I don’t remember that.”

Me:  “I know.”

Dad:  “Does that girl there in town give driving tests still?”

Me:  “Dad, that “girl” is your niece and they have never given those tests in town.”

Dad:  “Oh. Why don’t I have a license?”

Me:  “You keep forgetting to ask the doctor when we go.”

Dad:  “We haven’t been to the doctor.”

Me:  “Yes, Daddy, two weeks ago for some bloodwork.”

Dad:  “I don’t remember that. Oh, I’m glad you’re here. I need to go with you to get my car so I can get me a woman!”

Me:  “Dad, you are locked in here with three women to every man!  If you can’t get a woman, I really don’t think a car is going to help you!”

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Again With the Women?

Me: “So what’s been going on Dad?”

Dad:  “I just eat and sleep.”

Me:  “Is that all?”

Dad:  “Yep! I’ve been trying to find one of these women to sleep with me, but they won’t do it! I’m not at all rotten, am I?”

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Brillo Pad and Bleach For My Brain

We lost my mom to breast cancer in 2001.  She and my dad had been married for 49 years.  One thing Alzheimer’s has not taken from him….he loves women! Oh…and driving….

Me:  “Dad, your towel is still folded. How come you didn’t shower?”

Dad:  “I’m trying to get one of these girls to shower with me!”

Me:  “And thank you for that mental picture! Got any bleach and and a Brillo pad for my brain?”

Dad:  “I need to come back with you and get my car so I can find me a woman!”

Me:  “Yeah, love you bunches! It’s time for me to go now!”

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Stolen Pop

Dad:  “I’m glad you’re here! Somebody stole all my pop!”

Me:  *as I sit in the chair next to him*  “Dad, you drank it. See all these cans in your trash can right next to you? You drank it.”

Dad: “Nope! Somebody came in here and walked out with all of it!”

Me: *to distract him* “Hey, you’ve got a pile of sock pairs on your side table. Are they clean or dirty?”

Dad: “Yep!”

Me: “Which one, clean or dirty?”

Dad: “Both. Hey! I’m glad you’re here! Somebody stole all my pop!”

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