Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Short Straw

Megan's been picking the short straw lately it seems. I had such an amazing day with Dad earlier in the week, but unfortunately she's been tackling all the bad days. After her visits with him she's exhausted and doesn't feel like she can handle another minute of him and I don't blame her.

She took him shoe shopping at Wal-Mart (we were told that he needed new shoes since he had peed all over his old ones). This proved to be a little difficult because Dad couldn't tell Megan if the shoes fit when she asked him. All he cared about was trying to get his job back at Wal-Mart. We won't be taking him there again. It's too annoying.

The anger really began when they pulled back in to Whittier Place. "No, I told you, I am not doing this. This place is a Dungeon, I don't want to be locked up anymore." She got him back inside and that's when the tantrum happened.
He was.... pacing up and down the hallways, knocking all his hats of the hat rack, showing her how he knocked the screen out of the window, packing up all his stuff and piling it by the door, yelling at Megan. Just unmanageable and extremely frustrating.

The staff tried to offer him Ice Cream so that Megan could slip out unnoticed, but he insisted on walking her out and then pushed his way out the gate. Megan had to go all the way back in with him and leave a different way. As she was leaving, she could hear them saying, "Come over here Dave. Have some Ice Cream with everyone." And he just yelled, "No!! They lock you up... I don't want this." She kept describing Dad's behavior as 'dramatic' because he was acting like we locked him up in an insane asylum or the county jail when in actuality his home is very nice, comfortable, and the best he can get.

Megan is convinced that it's only a matter of time before Dad escapes again. These thoughts are just consuming him and he doesn't seem to be forgetting how much he hates the place. I really hope that's not the case.

Blake and I will be going down to Fallbrook this weekend to help my Mom clean out the rest of Dad's mobile home. The new owner moves in next week and we still have plants, tools, trash, clothes, and miscellaneous stuff to get out of the house. I'm not sure which I'd rather do... deal with Dad throwing a tantrum or finish cleaning out his place. Neither one sounds great, although at least I have help with my task-- Megan was dealing with it alone.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I want to remember every minute of the hour I spent with Dad today. He was so sweet it nearly broke my heart and actually made me cry. I love seeing my Dad happy.

When I first got there he was coming down the hall with a herd of residents getting ready for lunch. Once he saw me, he kept trying to get around the slow old ladies in front of the pack, but he had to wait until there was an opening. With his girlfriend Tabitha at his heels, he finally broke free and came over to hug me. As usual Tabitha said, "She is so pretty. She must look like her mother." Within minutes though, Tabitha's whole family showed up to take her out for lunch for her birthday. She was so moved to see all of them, that she started crying and told me I could take the chair next to my Dad since she will be eating out. She told her family, "That's Dave, he's my boyfriend." And Dad said, "Who? Me?" They crack me up.

Apparently I was the bearer of good news for my Dad who was already in great spirits. I told him that his friend Mike was coming to visit on Tuesday and that Mike was trying to get another mutual friend of theirs to come visit some time as well. Dad has become obsessed with their mutual friend lately and you would have thought that I told him he won the lottery. He was in shock and kept telling me "thank you" and "you did this for me?", and looking at me like I was an angel. Then with tears in his eyes, he grabbed my hand, and said slowly, "I love you so much." Please, break my heart just a little more, Dad.

He went on and on, "I won't spank your butt. I'll probably kiss you..... You are the sweetest girl I ever met in my life.... I'm gonna tie you up and not let you go. No big deal." We also called Megan so she could experience some sweetness and he didn't disappoint.

Part of me is thinking -- I didn't do anything for you to be so grateful, but of course that's not true. Megan and I do everything we can to make him happy, so it was really nice to feel appreciated. And, he has no idea how many people I have contacted and are trying to contact to keep them involved in his life.

Update on The Memory Walk: We've fund-raised about $1000 so far and I know we're still going to do more. Thank you to family and friends who have already donated. I also find it so touching how many acquaintances have been so generous in donating and how many people have donated in honor or memory of a loved one that suffered from Alzheimer's. So many people are affected by this disease. I keep telling people that with a disease that can make you feel so helpless at times, it's nice to feel like we're accomplishing something by fund-raising. I encourage you to donate if you haven't already! Please! You can click on the Memory Walk link under "Helpful Links" to the right to get more information.

Picture above is when Dad told a joke and cracked himself up. Video below is just a taste of how cute Dad was....