Archive for the ‘Alzheimer’s – Slipping Away’ Category

“Your father went out of the house today, talked to a neighbor while wearing only his diaper.” – One of the many rants from my visibly exhausted mother when I arrived to visit them earlier. So I asked my father what he was thinking then, he said he didn’t know he was wearing only his diapers. I briefly told him not to go out of the house anymore as he makes us worry and I can’t expect mom and the help to watch him 24/7, that’s just not fair.

Next one: “your father threw pee on the floor beside his bed, and he has been doing this a lot of times, if not on his bed, his clothes or the floor.” This explains the pungent smell upon entering their home. To pacify my mom, I asked dad what happened. Like always, he said “I had to pee, and I had to empty the contents of the chamber pot somewhere for the next time I’d have to use it.” I’d remind him of his diapers and its purpose. And for the nth time he’d say he forgot that he could go and do his deed in it. I believe him. (more…)

photo credits: sodahead.com

photo credits: sodahead.com

When I was in grade school, it was mostly only me and my father at home. Both my sisters were working in another country, while my mom was, hmmm, let’s just say on “Absence Without Leave”. So my dad was left with no choice but to play the mother’s role as well, and this includes attending to my then long hair. To say the least, it was a painful struggle.

One day my dad arrived home from work with several newly purchased hair clips and ribbons in hand that were apparently recommended by a workmate. He would painstakingly try them on me, clueless on how to use them. It was bittersweet. We both managed to survive.

My grade school class pictures still haunt me to this day. My father – the resolute.
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Dad and Me

ALZHEIMER’S.

I went to my parents’ house yesterday morning and this was how I was welcomed…

I asked my mom if they had breakfast already, she said yes and that she already went upstairs to my dad’s room to give him his breakfast as well. I then went up to my dad’s room for a quick check.

DAD: I’m going to die here. I may be dead already.
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We were on a mission, and it was something close to impossible too. The goal was to get our father out of the house, to bring him to the beach. My father NEVER leaves his house, unless he’d like to escape for a quick trip to the nearby store – that’s the farthest he would get. He was never with us on our family trips; he’d rather stay home, and he never runs out of excuses – true story.

Another true story – my Dada grew up in a farm near the beach where he used to spend his spare time at. He adores the blue ocean (or used to). I was also told that he was a very good swimmer. All I heard were stories; I have not witnessed this yet.

My middle sister flew all the way from United Kingdom to spend a few weeks with our aging parents. The timing can’t be more perfect! So on this day, we have decided to push through with our mission before it’s all too late… For several days we have been convincing him about this trip, and he would tirelessly reject the idea; until finally, on the night before the set date, I was able to persuade him to come with us. Our excitement must have rubbed off on him; he was suddenly anxious to see the sunrise and sunset by the beach. To our delight, everything was at last set; this trip was going to be all about our father. (more…)

photo by mangmertha / merthagraphy

photo by mangmertha / merthagraphy

My husband and I visited my father this weekend. We brought him lots of bread, in all assortments. They’re his favourite. He immediately sat up the moment he heard my voice calling to him. Hand in his lower back, I caught the grimace in his face from the pain he must be enduring. I could still vividly remember the glint of happiness in his eyes when he saw us. His appreciative words still linger in my ears: “you know I’m only happy when you visit”. Was it the bread we brought that made him say this? Of course I’m being silly. I was desperately choking back tears the whole time. (more…)

My father fell again while he was cutting the grass in the lawn. He fell on his back, half of his body on the land while the other half on the marble footpath. He desperately called for help, but to no avail. My mother was sleeping in her bedroom, oblivious to what was happening to her husband. So he painfully told me how he feebly crawled back to the house, and clawed on whatever he can get his hands on to be able to sit up. Hand on the small of his back, dad groaned, still in pain. This was the horrible news I got from my parents when I visited the other day. He tripped again, despite my countless pleas for him to refrain from doing chores outside the main house.

Apparently, my father sneaked his way to the nearby store again too. He said he just wanted to buy something. This, again, happened despite our deal that he will not wander off the street anymore. He has been brought home by concerned neighbors a number of times before. Why he insists on walking to the store when no one’s looking is beyond me.

Once more, it was proven which parent I got my stubborn attitude from.
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When I was in grade school, my dad would often brag to his friends how I’d promised to look after him when he’s all grey-haired and wrinkly. Being the youngest child of three, with 10 years of gap between me and my middle sister, I was the one closest to my father. My dad and I did everything together, from watching basketball games and wrestling matches to actually playing ball. He would even indulge me in my Barbie fantasy worlds from time to time. He was my playmate, while I was the son he never had. When I got old enough, he then became my debate opponent. We enjoyed intellectually stimulating each other this way, simple discussions of current events turn into hours of healthy debates. With envious eyes, my sisters used to tell me how our father never spent this much quality time with them when they were growing up. I was a proud Daddy’s girl. And I was going to take care of him when he’s old and grey. (more…)