After the awakening comes the fog. Dad’s fog is back. He didn’t make it to the toilet on time this morning. After breakfast, he went upstairs and went right back to sleep on the study room sofa. Only to pee again but fortunately this time all over the bathroom floor.
The little one wanted to play with kong kong. He sits beside his sleeping kong kong playing with his Thomas the Train. “Why is kong kong still sleeping?” he asks.
Because dad is upstairs with the little one, I had to run up and down to make sure everything is ok.
I had plans to finish up some subjects I had been teaching the kids. Its only two weeks more before school starts. But today, I feel a bit unsettled. In the end, I put them both in front of the tv. I also scolded the girl and said some not very nice things to the her because she can’t seem to stop asking questions.
I wanted to cook yam rice today so I asked the maid to fry the yams for me so I could cook it but she fried the yams then cooked the rice herself without putting in the chicken. Nevermind, I told her, we’ll steam the chicken but she went to fry the ginger before putting it on the chicken to steam. Normally we only fry the ginger for steaming fish, not chicken. Nevermind, it’ll taste nicer, I told her but we have to hurry. If kong kong goes back to sleep it’ll be very hard to wake him. We have to cook fast today. She’s not normally that forgetful but today of all days….
So now, the food is cooked and kong kong has gone back to sleep, upstairs. When he wakes up again, he will be disorientated again.
Dad wakes up and leaves a trail of urine all the way to the bathroom again. I guide him to remove the bottom half of his clothing and I am relieved that he will allow me to turn the shower on. Dad does not like to shower anymore. So I held on to dad’s shirt and asked dad to spray and wash up himself. Dad allowed me to help him towel dry but he managed to change himself. Thats good. At least he managed to have half a shower today.
He is like a totally different person today compared to yesterday. Today, he needs to be guided on what to do, otherwise he won’t know how to do it.
In the evening when dad woke up, I took dad to the toilet again. This time I followed him in instead of leaving him in there and I discovered that he really didn’t know what to do next. When we entered the bathroom, he stood in the middle of it and looked like he was going to pee right there. I had to tell him where the toilet was and I had to remind him to remove his clothing.
Then I had to remind him to wash his hands. He nodded his head, turned on the tap and then off again without washing. I had to remind him again that he hadn’t washed. Dad looks like he is operating on 30% at the moment.
I am sorry, I don’t mean to trivialise the difficulties of living and caring for a parent with Alzheimer’s. I’m certain it must be extremely heartbreaking and testing, both emotionally and physically. It is indeed, only human to lament. You are definitely doing heaps better than I think I would, under the same circumstances.
I just meant that however painful it may be, it ultimately serves us best to look for a silver lining in the clouds. Whatever circumstances life deals us with, we are helpless but for our response to the situation. The reality, as the Chinese put it, “yat chi yat yong you kor” (life still has to be lived).
You dad is most blessed with you as a daughter.
Oh, please do not worry about it. I understood your intentions when I read it. Your intentions of trying to look at the positive side of things. And, I’m not doing enough for my dad. Dad stays with sister throughout the year. I can’t drive to see him so I depend on bros and sis to drive him to my house. I don’t call him up very often because most of the time he doesn’t say much and then I run out of things to say. I can’t manage looking after him for 2 weeks so he’ll be going to bros house for a week after a week with me and I worry how SIL is going to manage but I don’t know what else to do because I have to worry about my husband and kids as well. I feel like a lousy daughter and I used to be daddy’s pet too so I really should be doing more. Sigh.
Hi MG, although I cannot claim to fully understand what you are going through, I do know and went through the quiet desperation, exasperation and helplessness involved in caring for someone who is not aware of himself, and I know how you must have embraced those moments when your dad is conscious of himself and his surroundings, wishing they would last longer. Hang in there MG, be strong. You have your siblings and your family, so you are definitely not alone in this journey. Your dad needs all of you, even more now than he did before. He is blessed but so are you in that this kind of life’s experience is humbling. It teaches us some values in life, pushes us to grow spiritually, mentally and emotionally. And your children will learn too from observing you. Take one step at a time, a day at a time and deal with what come may in the best of your capability. *hugs*
Thank you Jomel for your encouraging words. Can I hug you back. *hugs* 🙂