Aging Parents, graying hair and….London??

I was told some very profound information Sunday evening by my mother than makes me sad, angry and apprehensive all at once.  And once again, in her usual way, she kept it to herself only to pop it on my sister and I suddenly.

I have very little interaction on a regular basis with my parents as of lately.  Mostly because I’m so busy but mostly because I just try to stay away.

alzheimers1

My father is no where near as old as this man. My father is only 62. My boss is older than him as have been many bosses before.

Apparently, for a long time now, she has known that my father was officially diagnosed by his doctor to have pre-Dementia.

Here is why this was VERY disconcerting for me.

I drop The Boy off at their house, during the summer, on Monday’s and Friday’s.  I did know that he and my dad go on bike rides together, without my mother supervising.  I know that they play outside a lot but the bike rides concern me.  I may have to make changes on where I take The Boy on Monday’s and Friday’s.  But it is only for the next few weeks.

Within the past year or two my father had not one, not two, but THREE, albeit minor, fender benders while driving WITH The Boy with them in the car.  This happens because he tends to zone out and forget he’s driving!  Or he’ll back into something that he forgot he saw there and claim he never saw it.

I don’t even know why I let it get to three.  I’m dumb, but I finally I told my mother that he was no longer allowed to drive with The Boy in the car with them.  Hell, if she didn’t mind risking her life because my father kept zoning out while driving and would swerve and drive irradicaly that was her choice.  Mine was to keep The Boy safe.

After a HUGE fight from my father (who was already showing fast signs of forgetting and terrible speech composition), I basically said, “This is what I say, I am The Boy’s mother and as that I don’t CARE that I’m still YOUR daughter, you do what I ask or you don’t get to see your Grandson.”  Maybe not in so many words but they got the point.

My mother now drives when The Boy is with them.

But that was a while ago.  Fast forward to today, I now have other concerns regarding his driving abilities.  My sister and I firmly believe that now, he should not be allowed to drive at all. Period.  For the most part, my mother does drive everywhere, however, with her recent knee surgery she can’t drive as much.  My sister and I have told her that his driving should start to be pulled away from him.

For instance, last week, on Monday, he had a doctor appointment in a city 20 miles away and three different freeways away.  My mother couldn’t drive him and my son was there with them that day.  She let him drive on his own.  She was stressed and worried the whole time.  Thank God, he did return but when she asked him about his appointment, or what the doctor said, he remembered nothing.  She then asked him how the drive was….and his answer?

crickets_chirpingThe man didn’t remember any part of it.  OR he was just being stubborn and didn’t want to answer.  Either way, WTF!  If he really didn’t remember driving at all and was “zoned” out the whole drive, which is what he does when driving, God is the one who drove for him!  I told my mother than if she isn’t up to driving him to call either my sister or I.

And yes, I get very upset at BOTH of them for their lack of foresight and seeing that a scenario like the above could have ended VERY badly.  Worse case, he crashes, kills not only himself but many others, the family of the others decide to come after US and sue us for everything because, we, as the family, KNEW (at least my mother did) he was diagnosed with Dementia and still allowed him to drive because she was to fucking PROUD to call me or my sister for help!  My mother would lose their big 5 bedroom house, my father’s Pension and retirement; even my sister and I could be affected.

Of course that is worse case scenario and I may be over dramatizing it a bit but, that is how I think sometimes.  Let’s just prevent a worse case ANYTHING from the start.

And now, she is slowly recovering from her knee surgery and trying to be mobile again.  She is not 100% and cannot be as alert as she used to be.

When she told me that yes, his doctor has already diagnosed him with pre-dementia, I got a bit angry because I believed that my sister and I had EVERY right to know this.  More myself than anyone because I leave The Boy in their care.

I am not surprised in this least by this news though.  Lately, my father has taken to just sitting on the couch and staring at a wall like he’s trying to remember what he was doing.  He will start projects in the house that he never finishes or even remembers starting.  For instance, he will start re-wiring a tv unit, then leave all the wires and tools about, walk away, and never return because he has forgotten he was in the middle of the project.

The speech has become so much more worse as time as gone on.  He no longer can put two words together.  I want you to say right now “Go Fish”…did you say it?  How hard was that to say?  He can’t put two words as small as that together.  He stumbles and mumbles and stutters words that don’t even sound like what he is trying to say.

What’s worse, he is VERY angry about it all.  God save us if any of us mention that they don’t understand him or ask him why he’s staring at a wall or even if he needs help with anything.  I know my interactions with him are null and void and down to pretty much a “hi” and a “bye”.  Mostly because, I just don’t want to get him frustrated or mad that he can’t communicate but more because it just hurts to see him struggle with the words, even the small ones.

His anger is mostly towards my mother and I’ve never seen it sent towards myself or The Boy (and believe me I ask him).  When he gets angry he will take to just walking out of the house, no matter what the hour is.

Just recently, he got angry because my mother told him in a “I told you so” kind of way that he shouldn’t have wired the tv cable a certain way.  He left the room, and my mother assumed he was getting a tool or something.  After waiting 30 minutes, she begins to worry because he seemed like he was just going down to get tools.  She goes downstairs to find him sitting on the couch, staring at a wall.  She asks what he’s doing, he says “You think I’m stupid”.  blue-door-feet-598005-o-646x363She may have said something else, I don’t know because she is the one telling me this story and he gets mad and walks out of the house, at 1p.m in 105 degree weather wearing long black jeans and a long sleeved black t-shirt (he never wears shorts or anything not black or long sleeved no matter what the weather).  It’s 105 degrees outside.  She said he was gone for hours but finally returned.

This happens a lot and can be in the middle of the night or whenever.  One thing that worries me about this is a) he could forget suddenly where he is if he’s just wandering around the streets or even worse b) a police officer can see him, question him (which would make him flustered and make the slurring speech worse), realize that he’s slurring and mumbling his speech and think he’s either drunk or on something and arrest him and that would get him angry and he would make it worse.  Again, I’m throwing out the worse case scenario but there it is!

I know she is losing her patience to.  She can be cruel sometimes and just eggs him on even if that is a part of her personality.  I’m not surprised at all because she is in a “whoa is me” attitude because she wanted to travel in her golden years and sit by her swimming pool with all her many many grand kids as they play in the water and back yard and all kinds of people come to visit.

She can’t travel as it would throw my father off balance as he doesn’t adapt to new places well.

She has no pool.

She has only 1 grandkid who she barely sees.  And no one visits her.

I know that she is jealous of my sister and I and the freedom we can have.  My sister will be visiting our other sister (from my father’s first marriage) in Montana and the guilt trip she gave my sister was laughable.  Even my sister just rolled her eyes at her and said, “Flight leaves on the 19th, K thx bye!” 

“But out of the ashes comes the Phoenix”

phoenixrising

What I mean is…my sister and I are really getting super close now and that is nice.  She just lost her job of 6 years, 2 weeks ago.  She’s  been helping me out with The Boy a lot so i don’t have to rely on my mother anymore.  She knew she was going to get laid off from her job eventually, she just didn’t know when.  She said when she did she would move and I always told her, I would be right behind her and now, she is SERIOUSLY thinking of moving…..to London!!!

Collage from Wikipedia

Collage from Wikipedia

WTF!

But in all honesty I would be all for it.  I’ve always said that I would up and move anywhere at any time.  It would be such an adventure!

I would do it…

Anyway, in other news, I dyed my hair finally after a few months of greys growing in.  It’s a lovely raven black again and now longer and with the Stout Lush shampoo combined with the cream conditioner the dye package had, it flows like silk in water.  Or so I wish? LOL  But no really it does and I love the black color.  I’ve been black for many many years after trying every color that natural hair comes in.  The blond was the worse.  I looked like a washed out doll.

Tonight….Disneyland for the evening!  And my sister is joining me even though she can’t get in, she can stay in Downtown Disney with The Boy while I get my Tower of Terror fix!

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2 thoughts on “Aging Parents, graying hair and….London??

  1. This will only get harder for you. My Dad had two serious strokes, and seeing his pain at not being fully functional yet knowing that he was in that condtion tore my heart out. My mom suffered as the caretaker since I was in college. I don’t envy you. I guess all I can say is get as much of your Dad when he’s ‘present’ as you can. You won’t regret it, and you’ll find it’s worth the other 90% suck.

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