Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Need a Benadryl to Help Me Sleep!

A Very Weird Looking Sadie and Cathy
Anyone who knows APR knows that insomnia has never been a problem.  If he has ever excelled at anything in his life, it is sleeping and napping.

My mother just called.  "I had to put up all the medicine and hide it."


"Your father got into it and started taking my Benadryl.  He said he could not sleep, and needed to take one!"

My mother takes a Benadryl once in awhile to help her sleep.  We have been warned that the judgment part of my father's brain would cause him to do strange things.

She has no idea how many he took.

It is another lesson learned.

Right now, we just hope he did not take too many.  They can be lethal.  There's not much that can be done.  So, my mother, who truly does need sleep, is having to stay up most of the night.

She's quite upset about it.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Does Anyone Have $5.00

APR and Hondo Yesterday
One of the things that really bothers me about all of this is the fact that really bothers me is the fact that there is absolutely no hint of any sort of dementia, Alzheimer's, or degenerative brain disease in my father's genealogy.  I should know.  I've wasted 20 years of my life working on it.  It's just not there.  I've gone back, straight line, almost unbroken, for at least 600 years.    His family does have a history of strokes, but those who have them don't reach his age.

It's terribly frustrating, for all of us.

Yesterday, Ray was doing some work on my father's beloved old tractor.  My father needed to pay him, something like fifty bucks.  He had forty-five.  We've been very careful, lately, not letting him have much cash simply because he's not as careful as he once was.  We came up with the five dollars.  Going outside, my mother was in tears.  He was so happy.

Lesson learned.

From now on we make sure he gets his cash, and has some in his wallet.  I'll take care of that on Monday.  We need to be careful because he's so easily duped.

Then there is the former business associate who calls and constantly upsets him, trying to get stuff done.  It is almost like he has little strokes when this happens.  He gets terribly upset, and no matter what we tell this person, he just doesn't get it.   He's treating my father like dirt.

I had an email from some dear friends, Jeff and Caroline.  Jeff reminded me of something we've not been doing like we should be with my father.  It's another lesson learned.    We've all been so wrapped up in our own misery and heartache with this, that I know I've not considered how my father feels about what is going on with him. 

What would we do without friends like Jeff and Caroline?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Having One's Head Examined!

APR and Rachel
Last Wednesday we went to Las Cruces for the CT scan on my father.  He kept asking why he was going, and I kept telling him he was getting his head examined.  I wrote about the day on my main blog, The Pink Flamingo.  The border patrol stop was quite interesting.

There are moments when he is foggy.  They seem to coincide to the times when he is under quite a bit of stress. He is also foggy when he's tired.  I continue to find fascinating the fact that he is rarely foggy when it comes to the news, elections, and current events. 

He's interested in my iPhone.  Maybe we can get him into one.  I think it would help him remember things.

On Monday my sister called.  She wanted to know why her father was so depressed.  That's simple.  He was planning on having Ray come down and play on the tractor, cutting the orchard.  He couldn't get his way, so he was pouting!

Tuesday, when we went to Las Cruces for another doctor's appointment he did really well, then sort of lost it on the way home. 

It's been a good week, I think.  His eating is much better - as long as he gets what he wants to eat!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Just Answer the Phone When I Call So I Know It is Working

My father has never been known as a techie, not by any stretch of the imagination.  There have been times that I've threatened to get him a cell phone that was basically 2 empty tomato cans and string.   This is enough background to understand the technical expertise that is going on in his head.

When we picked my mother up at the hospital yesterday afternoon (she has an ulcer and the new blood thinner caused a bleed), he left his cell at my condo.  I did not go back to get it.

His day began at 7:30 Sunday morning when he decided to go check on her.  She was having both ends scoped allegedly at 8AM.  She calls me around 8AM, says that he is dressed in the same clothes he'd been wearing for 3 days, and was going to walk to the hospital.  I finally get him to understand that the doctor was late, she would not be having the test until at least 10AM.  So - go have a nap.

APR and Doc Annala
I got him moving about 10:30.  Made him change into something less comfortable, including clean unmentionables.  He was quite spiffy in his black and white checked slacks, black loafers, black socks (little argument there, black silk shirt.  Looked good.  Why not, he was going to have lunch with his 'girl friend'.

My father and Cathy Annala are buds.  They have near the same birthday, celebrate every year together.  We began referring to Cathy as my father's girlfriend years ago.  What we did not know was that the Annala family had begun calling my father, Cathy's boyfriend.  It is now just quite humorous for both families. 

He has a good visit with Doc and Cathy.  They drove him back to the hospital.  Doc noticed how completely confused he was with directions.  It was good for an additional party to notice this.

My sister have been complaining about their home phone being "transferred" to their cells, because the local cell is frequently down.  He transferred the phone back to the home phone (easily) yesterday afternoon. 

Then the discussion began about the regular land phone.  He called last night after my mother went to bed.  We went over, repeatedly, why he just needed to take the receiver to the bedroom, and not the whole blasted thing.


I fear I was a bit impatient with him.

I took his cell down to him today.  The cell tower near them had been repaired, and was working.  "Just let me call you on your mother's phone and answer it."

"But, I just used my Blackberry."

"I need to make sure it is working.  Just answer it."

He rang my mother's phone, I answered, and he was happy.

I need to be more tolerant.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I'll Pick Up the Mail

Sadie Has a Sitter Tonight.  Hope She's Okay!
My father has been doing fairly well this week.  We went to Las Cruces on Tuesday for an appointment for a foot problem with him.  He did great.  Then, as the week progressed, things have slowed down a bit.

He was fuzzy last night, a bit.

Today he called about 11AM told me he would pick up the mail on the way into town with my mother.  He called back about 10 minutes later to tell me the same thing.

When we had lunch he was okay, but not great.  Is fussing because he is not allowed to drive.  My mother is battling him over food.  I'm not sure how much is his problem and how much is the fact that he is pushing 87 and his taste has changed.

This evening my mother did the ER thing.  Is now in ICU waiting for some tests.  APR is with me at the condo.  He did great at the hospital.  Was hungry.  I took some cheese and crackers with me, which he ate.  Ate some soup at the condo.  Not much, but a little. 

We're having a problem with him and his blood sugar levels in the morning.  I need to be concerned about that.  I'm concerned about my mother and a test she needs in the morning.

By the time I talked him into going to bed, he was quite confused.  Thought it was Cathy that was in the hospital.

Major test for him scheduled on Wed.  I would sure love to wait a couple weeks and have Cathy go with them.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Just a Good Day

With Dustin - 2007
The past few days have been quite fuzzy.  Last night my father called and told me that he'd just learned that my sister was going to be living in Memphis.  He was a bit indignant when I told him that she's been there for years.

Today the parents went to lunch with the Bloodworths.  He ate a good lunch, which is part of the battle.  Then again, my mother did not allow him to have a salad.  I don't mind admitting I'm a little annoyed with her over his eating.  When my grandparents were his age, and very picky about what they were eating, she let them have what they wanted to eat, when they would eat.  Not my poor father.  She is the Food Police.  Part of the problem is what is going on in his head.  The other problem is his age.  When people hit a certain point, they don't eat near what they did.  He's lost a lot of weight an has managed to shrink his stomach.  He just doesn't eat as much as he once did....unless it is cookies, candy, peanuts, etc.

When I talked to him this afternoon, he sounded good.  He was giving my mother a rough time when they bought gas at Circle K - heckling her about her driving.  I have a feeling this is not about his problems but revenge for those years when she constantly was on his case as he drove!

He called a little while ago, sounded his old pitiful self. 
No nap.
The you know what had hit the fan.
He was in trouble, and would join Sadie in the doghouse.

My mother called.  I asked her what was wrong.  He'd broken two of her hummingbird feeders (also not related to his problem).  She made him fix them.  He had to help her with the cats.  He had no Sunday nap.

I told her he sounded like his old self.  He'd been having a very good day, had a great visit with Hal.  It just goes to prove my point. He does better when he is out with people, not stuck there in the house.