Another Crossroad

Geezer crossing

It’s clear we had reached another crossroad. Dad could never be left alone to live by himself.

After a night spent falling out of bed, Dad was exhausted and disoriented. As I sat with him in the Rehab Center, he was looking for cans under the bed and asking me if I’d mailed the stack of letters. Neither question was relevant to anything actually occurring at the time. However the following day, we actually had a decent conversation. We talked about his accountant and how the accountant pushed things back and seldom returned calls. He understood where he was and that his hip was broken and healing. He spoke about his roommate Herman. He also looked at me and told me he appreciated my coming to visit him every day. He told me he couldn’t believe both of his parents were gone. I knew what he meant.

When a good friend of mine called, she often talked to my dad too. He loved that and referred to her as his little girlfriend. I let her know my dad has lots of girlfriends– the gal at the bank, our neighbor Brenda, the dental assistant etc. She didn’t seem to mind.

When she spoke to him in the nursing home, she asked if he was looking forward to going home. He told her he would have to see how things worked out.

Medicare covers twenty days of nursing home rehabilitation. As we neared the end of paid coverage, I let Dad know that choices lay before us. We both agreed the nursing home fee of $123 a day wasn’t a preferred option. My heart sank when he said “If care is going to cost too much, maybe I should just end it.” What did he mean just “end it”? Fortunately, it didn’t mean overdosing on medication or asphyxiating in a garage filled with carbon monoxide. He simply figured once he decided to end it, life would cease by virtue of his decision. I explained that it does not always work out that way, and besides, we had plenty of favorable options to consider.

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5 Responses to “Another Crossroad”

  1. michaelm Says:

    PG…
    Be happy you can still communicate with your father, be it lucid or irrelevant conversation. My dad stopped talking well over a year ago and is currently residing in No Man’s Land.
    I will tell you from experience that the road ahead is filled with its share of heartbreak but watch for the “little insignificant moments”. Those moments of sacred insight are what got me from point A to point B. And they will happen.
    Have extreme patience, pray often and never forget to forgive yourself when you lose it.
    Sometimes that’s all that you can do.
    If I can help in anyway, let me know.
    I’ve been there 2X…

    ~m

  2. PG Says:

    Thanks Michael. I can’t imagine how tough that must be. And with each step down of course, one never imagines how it can be worse until “worse” arrives. It’s the long drawn out process of losing them, the slow chiseling process with a little chink gone at a time that is rough to bear. I appreciate your advice and it’s nice to know someone with a similar experience is willing to help for those times that get rough.

    ~PG

  3. michaelm Says:

    Consider joining the “Memory Lane Webring”, a collection of Alzheimer-related support sites and blogs.
    Go to my blog and look for the link in my sidebar.
    The ring is growing and contains many blogs that may help get you through this time in your life.
    Keep me posted.
    ~m

  4. writerchick Says:

    Your Pop sounds like a pistol, when he’s on his game. It has to be tough trying to wade thru all this stuff, never knowing when he may or may not remember you or himself or his mail.

    I’m glad he still has some lucid moments.

    I hope you will consider joining Michael’s webring -
    ML,
    WC

  5. PG Says:

    WC –Yes, that’s dad–Mr. Unpredictable. I’m glad he still has some lucid moments too. Yesterday I asked him if he remembered my name…and he did! That was a good day.

    Michael–Thanks so much. When I get a minute here, I will certainly go check out your web ring. It sounds wounderful and I’m sure it will be very helpful. Thanks for explaining how to find it too–that way I can quickly arrive at the right spot without floundering around for awhile first.

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