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  • Sounds like you are doing well -- and I'm glad that you had some time to yourself to do good things.

    Hopefully, you'll be able to take dad (and pup!) to the beach when things settle a bit, too. i know after I had DS, I needed to be outside. I was ever the only mom hiking in the snow with a kiddo, but goodness knows I would have lost it if I hadn't been outside.

    much love to you both!

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    • Yeah, I'm sure Dad would like to see the ocean again. He's the one who taught me how to surf. It did me a world of good Monday to just sit there on the sea wall and contemplate the breakers.

      The pattern around here seems to be settling into breakfast about 9 or 10, read the paper, take a nap, get up have a little snack like yogurt and berries while reading the same paper again, take another nap, get up in time for dinner, watch the newshour and fall asleep halfway through (7:30ish). Rinse. Repeat.

      I know that, when the time comes, I would like to take my Dad's ashes out for a swim with me so that he can ride one last wave. Probably totally illegal but I really don't think the Pacific Ocean would mind.

      I will try to find some time when he has the energy between now and then to give him a chance to feel the sea air.

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      • You and your Dad are in my thoughts a lot, Robin.

        My Dad, my brother, and I planted rose bushes on Mom's grave. Roses were her all-time favorite. When the time comes, take your Dad's ashes swimming. It will be good for both of you.

        *hugs*

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        • My brothers and I took my mother's ashes to a mountain waterfall she loved and dug them in under a massive cedar. It was hard but beautiful to take one last walk there with her. Also illegal, but I don't care, it was the right place for that goodbye.
          “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

          Owly's Journal

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          • Perhaps he'd like a nap at the beach. There are two naps in there, so perhaps you pack everything in advance, after breakfast bundle him into the car and away you go. Then he can nap there. I like to nap on the beach myself.

            And, hopefully his body is recovering a bit as well, too. sometimes we need sleep to repair. His body is probably trying to figure out how.

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            • Robin,
              Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and your dad.
              "Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be." Kurt Vonnegut
              "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." Douglas Adams
              "Moderation sucks." Suse
              "Wine is a vegetable." Meaty
              "Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow and the day after that." Cmdr Chris Hadfield


              Winencandy

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              • Originally posted by Goldie View Post
                You and your Dad are in my thoughts a lot, Robin.

                My Dad, my brother, and I planted rose bushes on Mom's grave. Roses were her all-time favorite. When the time comes, take your Dad's ashes swimming. It will be good for both of you.

                *hugs*
                Thanks, Goldie. That sounds lovely. Growing living rose bushes are better than bringing cut flowers,

                Originally posted by Owly View Post
                My brothers and I took my mother's ashes to a mountain waterfall she loved and dug them in under a massive cedar. It was hard but beautiful to take one last walk there with her. Also illegal, but I don't care, it was the right place for that goodbye.
                I figure it's the don't ask, don't tell policy. I don't think anyone really cares as long as you keep it private.

                Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                Perhaps he'd like a nap at the beach. There are two naps in there, so perhaps you pack everything in advance, after breakfast bundle him into the car and away you go. Then he can nap there. I like to nap on the beach myself.

                And, hopefully his body is recovering a bit as well, too. sometimes we need sleep to repair. His body is probably trying to figure out how.
                A nap on the beach sounds heavenly.

                Originally posted by winencandy View Post
                Robin,
                Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you and your dad.
                Thanks, WnC. I don't keep up with everyone's journals the way I used to. How've you been?

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                • Tigers and Indians in the backyard, oh, my!

                  Yesterday got really weird. Dad's best friend from work days visited earlier and everything was fine. Dad just seemed like a slightly weaker version of his old self. Then about 4pm Dad started seeing stuff that wasn't there again. This time it was an Indian guy complete with a feather headdress and several tigers, he wasn't sure if there were four of five, that were behind the Indian guy who was sitting in a backyard patio chair. Dad was debating out loud the wisdom of going out to warn the guy of the danger of being eaten by tigers but then possibly letting the tigers in the house. He was waving his arms and pointing trying to get the guy's attention and warn him about what was behind him in the bushes.

                  I told him that I think the SD Zoo had all of its tigers back in their cages for the night so I don't think it should be a problem and that the Indian guy looked like he could take care of himself. Then I asked if he would prefer salmon or chicken for dinner and changed the subject.

                  This has happened to me before. My Grandmother got like this in her last few months. She saw entire marching bands come through the living room, cats that we didn't have, and a chain gang of prisoners working out by the front of our house. This was after her eyesight was completely gone. It's so weird to deal with somebody else's delusions. Do you play along and pretend that you see it too or do you tell them it's not there? The problem comes in when you trip over imaginary cats (this happened to Grandma).

                  At least with Grandma, you could explain to her, "You're blind, remember? So what you think you are seeing is not really there." But how do you explain that to Dad whose eyesight is just fine that he is not really seeing a bunch of tigers in the backyard?

                  Last night was really rough too with Dad getting up every hour from midnight til 6 am and wandering around until he bumped into something and woke me. How do you tell if someone is "sleepwalking" as opposed to just losing their marbles?

                  Goodness, I'm tired and it is just the start of the day.
                  Last edited by Paleobird; 11-01-2012, 10:29 AM.

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                  • Hi PB - I dropped by to tell you that I'm thinking of you. About the delusions, very definitely don't challenge them. They're very real to your lovely dad and there's no way you'll convince him otherwise. The old school of thinking is about 'reorienting to reality', but please don't buy into that. It's patronising and alienating. You handled it perfectly - reassure him by providing a way of reducing the anxiety associated with anything he sees, and then change the subject as though it has all been sorted and it's time to move to the next activity. Perfect.
                    Started Feb 18 2011

                    Tried basic primal and almost everything else in pursuit of IBS control, mood stability, and weight loss.

                    Journalling here

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                    • Thanks for the input Jac. It's good to know that medical minds have pondered this question too. I just figured out the changing the subject method when I was taking care of Grandma was just the easiest and felt like it was the least stressful for her. Nobody likes to have their face rubbed in the fact that they are slipping a few cogs.

                      What worries me though is that he is going to hurt himself while having a delusional episode like this. The "beginning of the end" for my Grandma was when she thought she saw and heard my Dad (her son) as a child calling to her, "Mommy" from across the bedroom. She jumped up, fell and broke her hip.

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                      • PB, I don't really post a ton in other people's journals, but please know that I keep up with yours and really, really hope for the best for you and your dad. I can't imagine going through all this (on either side), and next time I get to hang out with my mom I'm going to hug her a little tighter because of your story.

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                        • Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
                          PB, I don't really post a ton in other people's journals, but please know that I keep up with yours and really, really hope for the best for you and your dad. I can't imagine going through all this (on either side), and next time I get to hang out with my mom I'm going to hug her a little tighter because of your story.
                          Thank you sweetie.

                          Yes. Hug your Mom and tell her how much you love her. Every chance you get.

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                          • Yesterday was the first day that he didn't have a hearty appetite. I could only get him to eat a few bites of yoghurt and banana for breakfast, two bites of a larabar for lunch and no dinner. This morning he said he wanted scrambled egged but only ate a few bites. He kept falling asleep in mid bite and I was afraid he might choke on the food. He's sleeping now.

                            It's so sad to see him so confused and befuddled in the mind. Physical decline is kind of expected as one gets up there in years and it is something you can deal with in some way, you can "make it better" like by propping him up on pillows to make it easier to breathe.
                            To watch a fine mind turning to oatmeal however is just the saddest thing. This is a man who was an electrical engineer. He put the wiring systems on rockets that went to the moon. (seriously, he did) Now he can't find the bathroom.

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                            • I think you handled the visions well.

                              One of the things that I'm observing in your story about his visions is how caring he is. I think that his whole life must have been spent really striving to do right by people, to warn them of tigers and protect them in any way that he could. He would probably even debate within himself how best to go about it without offending the powerful man, while also striving to help and protect him.

                              I'll try to find the article that I read by a psychiatrist who is studying dementia and past knowledge of the person in psychiatric care. What they discover is that the person's "normal" personality quirks, fears and anxieties, all of their positive and negative attributes come right to the surface. Most of the bad we are able to control/hide, and our fears/anxieties we manage as well. Our quirks come out anyway. Our good is what we are socialized to emphasize.

                              But the article asserted that a lot of people have a lot of unresolved anxiety/fear -- that's just deeply repressed -- and that when we have dementia, the real extent of that repression comes to the fore. But, he noted that with people who have worked through most of their "stuff" -- they tend to be really "more themselves" in dementia than not.

                              Yes, they still have episodes of fear/anxiety due to disorientation, drugs, etc . . . but their day-to-day stuff (delusions, and so on) will tend to show "who they really are" if they have worked through the deep-seated anxieties.

                              For example, GMIL has got to be the sweetest pie person in her ward. All of the nurses and care people say so. She's very relaxed and easy going. she has a good sense of humor. She's fine to reintroduce herself to people every day -- and have them reintroduce themselves.

                              She had some trouble because she fell out of bed a few times a couple of weeks ago (they had the wrong kind of mattress for her), and as such she was on pain medications and had some scary hallucinations (common with that medication), but thankfully didn't break anything. So. she was a bit scratchy due to the pain and the medication, but once she was basically off the pain meds, she was back to normal.

                              There's a man in the ward, too. They seem to be friends/like each other a lot. They reintroduce themselves every 3rd or 4th day. He gets really protective of her in his dementia. He'll see things (bears and boars mostly), and he'll go tearing toward GMIL's room to make sure that she's safe from them.

                              I sort of see your Dad's hallucination that way. He's trying to protect strangers (which is very noble), and he'll also make sure that you're safe too (probably the concern around the tigers in the house).

                              The benefit, overall, is that you can see from this that he's really lived a good life. He's dealt with whatever painful things life has thrown at him, because he's not acting out aggressively in these episodes (which is what my grandmother does. when she's in a bad way with her dementia, she's paranoid and aggressive). He's mostly concerned for the safely of others.

                              It's a generosity of spirit, that.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by zoebird View Post
                                I think you handled the visions well.

                                One of the things that I'm observing in your story about his visions is how caring he is. I think that his whole life must have been spent really striving to do right by people, to warn them of tigers and protect them in any way that he could. He would probably even debate within himself how best to go about it without offending the powerful man, while also striving to help and protect him.

                                He's trying to protect strangers (which is very noble), and he'll also make sure that you're safe too (probably the concern around the tigers in the house).

                                The benefit, overall, is that you can see from this that he's really lived a good life. He's dealt with whatever painful things life has thrown at him, because he's not acting out aggressively in these episodes (which is what my grandmother does. when she's in a bad way with her dementia, she's paranoid and aggressive). He's mostly concerned for the safely of others.

                                It's a generosity of spirit, that.
                                That's my Dad to a tee. Protective, caring, generous. And yes, I do think that he has lived a good life. The people he knew will remember it even if he forgets. His best guy friend from his work days (the only one of the bunch who is still alive at 82 due to being physically fit all these years) has stopped by a couple of times in the past two weeks. He and I walked out to his car together after his visit and he started crying saying that my Dad had been the best boss he had ever worked for in addition to being a close friend. He said Dad knew just the right combination of strict rear kicking and encouraging hand holding to get the best out of his workers. They always wanted to do the very best possible and to do it *for him*. The same qualities that made him good at his job made him a good father too, strict when needed but kind and nurturing as well. He is my hero and it is hard to even envision life without him.

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