Today Was NOT That Day

That day when you are the most uncertain about an important outcome, that day you wish would never come to fruition, that day, that one day you dread the most…  but today we were smiled upon, we were spared. As anyone who reads my blog knows I have a parent with dementia. He is my Dad; my hero, the man I love more than words can ever put a spin on. Our journey with his illness has not been easy. He and I have done this largely on our own. We have tried to always face it with laughter, love, and the occasional spat. I always have his back just like he has always had mine. Dad thinks he lives in his home town. He doesn’t know what day of the week it is. He doesn’t know current events, or what he last ate; and that is all ok with me. He knows who I AM, so to me he knows everything he needs to know and I see to the rest of it.

I have been there to see my Dad lose a child, lose his wife, lose his way to this terrible disease but never once did I fear that I would lose him, until today. For the first time in a long time I looked at my Dad as an elderly gentleman who had lived better days. I am Dad’s link to the outside world. I make it my duty to take him to all of his appointments outside of his nursing home. I am the keeper of his history. I am his advocate, his voice. I try to do my best to do what’s best for him.

Today Pops had to go to the local hospital for a procedure for some swallowing issues he has been having. Numerous questions regarding his health were directed towards me. I provided the answers they were seeking as best as I could. IVs were started. Charts were checked. I helped Pops put on his hospital gown and hairnet (he looked like an ugly lunch lady).  As the medical team rolled him away to his procedure I found myself fighting a wave of panic; the light of realization going on in my head that Pops is not immortal. Fearful thoughts raced through my head and I found myself fighting back tears.

I would like to tell you that I rallied quickly, banished those thoughts and moved on; but, that would be a lie. Instead I nervously picked my way along the hallway to a cafeteria, bought a banana, sang a chorus of Chances Are to a cashier, caught my breath and my composure. I found a bench to sit at to wait for the nurses to call me when Dad hit the Recovery Room. I managed to make it through the banana and a yogurt parfait( I went back for that) and was just purchasing a coffee when my phone rang. Seeing the number on my cell gave me a start but it was a call I had to answer. I was relieved to hear from the surgeon that things had gone well. My dad tolerated the procedure ok and he would be going to recovery soon    =  )

Live for the people in your life. Love with all of your being. No regrets. Be in the moment, make a memory. People often say to me that Dad is lucky to have me but I think I am the lucky one.

 

It’s Sunday Morning

For the first time in months I have been allowed to sleep in. Somehow my hubby most have gotten engrossed in a book or is playing a video game or he might even be watching TV. Harder still to believe that my phone did not jolt me awake at 6ish a.m. with a barrage of questions from my Dad. I roll over still hazy with sleep. I can sort of see through my blurry vision that it is 8:27 a.m.! Hard for me to believe it is really this late. Ever wonder why the morning muscle stretch feels so damn good? I don’t know either but what an awesome way to start a day. As I stretch out my limbs the phone rings. I reach over to grab the cordless from the night stand. I don’t even have to check the caller ID I know it is my Dad. “Trish?”
“Yes, Pops.”
“Did I wake you?”
“Nope. I just woke up, the cat was letting me pat her so I was lounging in bed. What do you need?”
“What day is it? Sunday?”
“It is. Did you take your pills this morning?” I can hear him open the cabinet door. “Wait a minute. I’ll do it now.” He puts his end of the line down. I can hear the fridge door open. I yell into the receiver,” drink water!”
“Water?”
“Yes, water.” After another minute of me trying to hear over the phone what is going on in my Dad’s apartment, from across the city, he picks up his line again. “Mission accomplished.” I can almost see him smile his goofy smile into the phone. ” Are you coming over today?”
“Yes, Dad. I come over everyday. But, first I need coffee and breakfast and a hot shower.”