Alzheimer's Laundry Day

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THREE Meals a Day?

on January 23, 2012

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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