Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hello Roommate, Goodbye Lady Friend

From the title of this blog, I'm sure you can guess what I am going to write about. This is a funny story, and I love telling funny stories about my Dad.

Megan and I visited Dad the other day because it had been about five days since we'd seen him and he had been feeling anxious. Dad's not having the best week and we can tell the moment we see him. His physical appearance and mannerisms reveal what kind of day he is having. We spotted him walking down the hall, kind of slouching over, looking into people's rooms and down at the floor. When he finally sees us, he immediately tells us that he has to take a poop and a squirt. Well, Hello to you too, Dad. Megan leads him toward his room and I run out to the car to get him a CD to listen to. He is in La La land so I'm hoping the music will wake him up a little.

I get back to the room, and Megan is standing in the doorway of Dad's bathroom holding his underwear out at arm's length and coaching him on how to finish up. We look at each other and immediately start cracking up. It's always so much better when we're visiting together, because we laugh a lot more. Megan says, "Well, I'm so glad that Dad has no problem stripping down in front of me. I just wish I didn't have to hold his dirty underwear." Let's just say that Dad's stomach was a little upset that day.

We head outside to sit in the garden and enjoy the nice weather. We bring some pictures to look at from my Wedding last year. As we're sitting there, Esther (the lady friend) comes over and sits next to Dad. She holds his hand and puts her arm around his shoulder. Like I said before, she doesn't talk. She can only giggle and say "Aye Aye Aye Aye". We found out that she has a frontal lobe dementia that has affected her speech. Dad starts talking to her and she only responds how she can and he looks at us and says, "She's kind of weird, huh? Maybe she's from across the Pond." He thinks she is speaking a foreign language! Then he says, "She must be Canadian." I thought I was going to die of laughter.

After we say bye to Dad, we talk to Lynette, the Head of Whittier Place, because she had requested that we stop by to chat. We find out that Dad is getting a new roommate who is ambulatory, very talkative, and relatively young. She thinks that they are going to be a great fit together but we're a little worried about how Dad will react and we're bracing ourselves for some tough days in the next week.

We also learned that Esther and Dad have been pretty inseparable and that the staff found her in his bed the other night!! She was dressed. He was not. I clap my hand over my mouth. Esther's husband still comes by to visit and now Lynette has to tell him this story as well. The staff separated them and have been monitoring their time together. They're actually worried that Dad is more tired lately because he is constantly walking up and down the halls with Esther--she has a lot of energy and is very clingy and antsy. Apparently he slept until noon earlier in the week! I don't think Dad has ever slept past nine, and he's usually up at seven.

All in all the day turned out to be very amusing, but Dad's not doing well this week. It's difficult for him to keep eye contact or raise his eyes high enough to look into yours. Feeding himself is confusing as well. His words kind of make sense, but his sentences don't. It's still so strange that he can be so bad one day, and then the next day he is normal, healthy, and chatting away.

Two days later, I stopped by and met Dad's new roommate, Ken. He's pretty cute and very talkative. Good cheerful personality. Dad already had some of Ken's clothes hanging in his closet. He was complaining about not having enough clothes, so I guess he went to Ken's store.

Also, Lynette informed me that Esther's husband was moving her out in the next couple days.

In the video below, Dad said that he wanted to go visit his parents and Megan is explaining why he can't do that.