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Old 12-17-2006, 05:12 AM   #1
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Dad's crying again

I talked to my sister and dad yesterday. She said she had to take dad's dog to get her hair cut (yappy toy poodle named Susie). R said she took dad with and when they dropped off Susie, dad started crying like someone just died. When R asked him what was wrong, he said "Susie was shaking". Apparently he's doing this more and more the past couple of weeks. Some things have happened in R's family that is disrupting his everyday routines as well everyone else's.

My son and I visited over Thanksgiving weekend. Dad was VERY upset when we left but his routine was changed because we were there. R's hubby's family has experienced two deaths in the past week. First R's FIL's sister's husband, then R's MIL's sister. Dad didn't know either of the people who died other than he's seen them once or twice. But with all that's going on in the family, his routine is totally disrupted and he's not handling it well at all.

R says he's talking about getting his car fixed and taking it for a drive. He hasn't talked about that in over a year. I don't think he'll do it but one never really knows.

I haven't refreshed my memory in a long while on the 7 stages I think because it's easier for me to slip into denial when I'm 700 miles away than when I was his caretaker. But I can't deny that there is a transition taking place. I keep telling myself that at least he's not combative and argumentative anymore. But deep down inside of me, I was hoping that when the combative, argumentative stage ended, dad's mood would return to one like he had before AD. He used to be one to let everything roll off his back. Rarely did he let anything bother him. But now everything bothers him. If his coffee isn't ready when he gets up in the morning, he gets confused and goes back to bed. I guess he thinks he shouldn't wake up until the coffee is already made?

I don't know why but the coversations I had with him and R yesterday really bothered me.

Love, Barb
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:57 AM   #2
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Re: Dad's crying again

Dear Barb,

It would be a wonder if any of us felt especially cheerful at this time of year. The days are dark, the nights long, we all have or had an AD loved one - and all around us we hear merry and cheer and joy.

Yes we can and do still have a deep inner joy, and yet it woud be inhuman to expect us to be all light and cheery ..we are thinking of Christmases past when the person now in the darkness of Dementia was the light of our homes - baking and singing and making dinners for huge family gatherings on a low budget (in Mom's case even during the Depression) - making gifts for us out of nothing (my Dad made us a dollhouse out of shoeboxes, it was my treasured possession for years - it even had wallpapered walls and carpeted floors) ...

Now, I live alone - and although grateful for a daughter nearby and a son who is coming to visit - it cannot replace the warm memories of life with Mom in the past. I think it's nostalgia and a good portion of winter depression - and if onlys and I should'ves.

I should have appreciated what I had more, while Mom was still herself.

I am sure you will be Ok again after the holidays. Meanwhile keep your chin up - all will be well in the end.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 12-17-2006, 02:46 PM   #3
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Re: Dad's crying again

I keep thinking about a conversation I had with my sister S a few years back. She was very tipsy but that's when she lets her true feelings out. Speaking of the way our dad was when she was little and how he was when she last saw him and spoke to him 7 years ago. She said "He was my great big Christmas tree, the strong one, the one who knew how to handle everything". That was very true. Ok. Maybe he didn't know how to handle EVERYTHING. But he sure made it seem like he did. His dad died. No tears. There were a couple of tears here and there when a beloved pet died. And he did cry a river when my mom died. But when we were kids? No tears. There really wasn't much emotion at all. Two of us knew that he loved us (2 out of 6) but he never said it, not until after he got AD. And not until we said it first. What I wouldn't have given to hear an I love you before AD. I am grateful that I hear it now.

I come from a really messed up family.

Anyway, I think it really bothers me when dad cries because it just cements the fact that his AD is getting worse. You know how dementia is in that the person can seem almost perfectly normal one day and then way out there the next? I think sometimes that's how my emotions go when dealing with my dad's declining health.

Dad went back to the doctor and was told "Mr. H. You MUST take your meds!". They (doctor AND R) are still sometimes relying on him to remember! Dad wanted a cane to help get around. When the doc asked if he wanted a cane, he said no. I think that's a good thing and apparently the doctor did too. She said she thought a cane would just make him decline even faster. The doctor also thinks that a stroke may not be too far off in his future. He's on bp meds but his diastolic bp (lower #) keeps going up and down. At his doctor visit, his resting bp was 121/110! After a few minutes, it did go down some but remained high while at the doctor. So now R has to take his bp a few times a day and record it.

Martha, I imagine this Christmas is particularly difficult for you. Please try not to let the woulda shoulda coulda's get to you. You are a good daughter. You did the very best you could. You sacrificed 5 years of your life to take care of your mom. So maybe you didn't do everything right.....none of us do. But you did the best you could.

I do get nostalgic when it comes to Christmas. My dad's parents always made Christmas special for us. Many of the family are gone now. But now we are in the role of people who make Christmas special for our younger generations-you with your grandchildren and me with my son. So I think of years gone by and yes, I do get sad and miss my mom, my 2 brothers and all who have passed on. But I LOVE to see the smile on my son's face on Christmas when we are all gathered together at my in-law's house. And that makes me happy.

Love, Barb
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