I have a lot of great articles written in draft form for you. But I’m having a difficult time focusing this weekend on doing anything productive. Maybe it’s the weather – it’s been up and down with burst of sunshine and then cloudy skies. We’re supposed to get another thunderstorm today, which would lead to the cancelation of our family dinner.
The dinner that my sister is trying to host today because “the morning was beautiful” – at this point, I’m kind of done with the subject. I was all geared up for getting together with the family until yesterday. And my post yesterday about family drama. I guess I’m tired of being ridiculed and ignored for my suggestions when it comes to family events.
But the killer was seeing my dad yesterday.
As you know, dad’s health has really progressed in the past year. The isolation was hard on him. Then it was falling and breaking his hip and going in for surgery. He doesn’t even remember he had surgery. It didn’t register with him. Even when he was in the hospital and pulled out his own IV to go to the bathroom. He even fell once again after being sent home to his residence.
The province relaxed some restrictions about a month or so ago. But the caveat here is, dad was only able to have four DSP visitors. Meaning, four designated support persons. And there’s five of us kids. And so, me doing the right thing, let my siblings take the visitor spots so they could go see dad. They had been complaining that they haven’t spent time with him in over a year.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been visiting dad outside or in the atrium – the social room. The last time I was there, he asked me to visit him. I went the next day. He held my hand the entire time and was very talkative and with it. He asked about the kids. I showed him pictures on the phone. It was a good, but short visit as he tires out after 45 minutes or so.
Yesterday though. Oh god. It was heartbreaking and I’m still not over it.
I had called in ahead of time and asked the staff to bring my dad down for 1 pm. I had my friend Wally drop me off who was going to wait for me and drive me home again. It’s still a good 15 minute drive from my place. Longer, if traffic is bad. Wally was already upset over how long it took him to get there. So, I think, this might be the slow downfall of our friendship. It’s too far for him to travel for shorter trips.
So, that was the first disappointment.
The second, was that it took them nearly fifteen minutes to bring dad downstairs to see me. I was so mad at that point. But here comes the major disappointment.
Dad didn’t recognize me. He looked at me like he didn’t even know me.
I asked him how he was and tried to reach for his hand. After five minutes, I gave up and whipped my mask down so he could see my face. It registered then, and he grabbed my hand.
He mumbled a few words that I couldn’t make sense of. He dropped my hand at one point and started looking around the room nervously. I knew that he was gone and a visit was pointless. Only 20 minutes had gone by.
I asked him if he wanted to go back to his room.
He didn’t even look at me. He just grabbed the wheels on his wheelchair and started moving himself away from the table.
I told him I loved him. That I would see him when I could soon. And it didn’t even register.
I watched with tears in my eyes as they wheeled him up to this room.
And the bitch of it is, my siblings who begged so hard to see him, have only seen him a couple of times each since we were allowed visits. At least if I could go to his room, I could stay longer until he was more alert. But there was a lineup of people on the list who were waiting for a spot in the social room.
So yeah, I’m mad. I’m mad at the world. Mad at Parkinson’s which is a terrible disease. Mad at my siblings, who are still trying to get together for dinner and yet ignore all my suggestions and common sense about weather reports.
I just finally crawled out of bed an hour ago. It’s almost 2 pm in the afternoon. My give a fuck is busted and I officially don’t care today. I am sipping my coffee slowly. Might sit outside for a bit later. But for now, I’m ignoring the world today and working on healing my heart.
Dementia is a cruel disease. Not only for the person living with it, but for their loved ones who miss the person they used to be so much.
I think for tonight, it’s a good night to watch some sappy movies and have a good ugly cry. It’s been that kind of day.
I’m so tired of people in my province who are freaking out over the “open for summer” slogan. Sorry, but my dad doesn’t even know who I am anymore due to this fucking pandemic. I’m over all of it.