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Dad and dementia

Posted by Range Officer Rhonda on March 9, 2008

I don’t have much new to say about my dad. I feel cutoff from him now that my brothers are attempting to help him get the care he so dearly needs. After five years of fighting the downhill battle, things are now out of my hands as I sit on the sidelines and get very scant information. I feel like I have failed him somehow, but not much I can do. My brothers did find him again when he ran away a week ago, and now it’s a daily battle to keep watch over him and the oldest brother tries to keep dad from running. From recent tests, we know dad’s kidneys are failing, but the new medicine gives the boys hope. On friday (yesterday) the doctors performed an MRI, but I haven’t the foggiest idea exactly WHAT they were testing for. The boys won’t return my phone calls and I am lucky to get a brief email after my calling and emailing them multiple times. My oldest brother now has medical and financial power of attorney. I am lucky so far in that the bank talked them out of closing his investment account and only ‘let’ them take away his regular bank account, social security and retirement funds. My brother talks of hard love and the decisions he will now have to make. I only pray that one little scrap of selflessness guides him in what he feels to be his duties, not the control of the money. Can you read my undertones here? Middle Bro can’t control his temper or keep his mouth shut and dad can’t stand to be in the same room with him; the feeling by my brother is mutual as I see in my brother’s eyes the fear that the same grip of demons may become his own torment in the not too distant future. My gentle, coaxing ways of helping dad through the years are being stripped away and I can’t bear to think of the hell dad must be going through. I can pray, and I can cry as my mother looks down from heaven, surely shaking her head in shame at how I’ve so easily released my vows to her to take care of my father. It’s amazing how 800 miles and my own family seperate me from what I feel I was left by my mother to handle. Have I done the right thing by relinquishing control and finally throwing in the towel by forcing the boys to help? They don’t thank me for it, and indeed seem angry that I have thrust this burden on them. I wanted help, and now I have it. I only hope I don’t regret any of my choices.


One Response to “Dad and dementia”

  1. sandi guida said

    Hi Rhonda
    I just read the entry about your dad and I could feel your sadness, please don’t beat yourself up for where life has you situated right now and what you feel you’re not “fulfilling” for your mom. I am in the middle of Natalie Goldberg’s “Living Color.” I didnt know the book existed, I believe it was written in the early 90s. She has a whole chapter dedicated to “painting father”. I’m not sure how you feel about art and or if you do illustrations, but she felt she had to do more than just write about her dad, so she painted him, and her paintings are very pure, she didnt look for perfection,didnt care what others thought, (all the art throughout the whole book emphasizes this!) and she said it helped her prepare for his ultimate death, as she watched him decline. She did say it scared her as well, but it prepared her.
    I hope that doesnt sound too morbid, but just wanted to share that with you.
    love your blog so much!!
    Take care

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