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I Took My Dad To Dinner This Evening…

October 2012
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I took my father out to dinner this evening. This is the man who taught me about life, prepared me as best he could to be a man, taught me to play ball, took my brothers and I on fishing vacations, taught us how to play pool, bought us a swimming pool and worked hard to make certain we never wanted for anything.

As I was feeding him, doling out one scoop of Wendy’s frosty after another, one of his favorites, I couldn’t help but think about how much Alzheimer’s sucks it. I’m not the crying type but I was choking the tears back is I scooped out his next bite and he took the cup and tried to put the non-business end of the spoon in his mouth, attempting to use it as if it were a straw.

The only full sentence he knows anymore is one I gave him two years ago… Four words: I’m still here, baby.

I’m not one for mushy, touchy posts, but with the wife up north on a retreat, I’ve got no outlet.

All I can say is whiskey-tango-foxtrot. Seeing him like that sucks.

If it’s possible to outride that disease, I’m going to. Fuck you Alzheimer’s.

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10 Comments

  1. My father is 80 years old and is also suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Here is a man who used to work two jobs every day and at 70 could outwork anyone half his age — now he struggles to feed himself. He is my main motivation for cycling — I don’t want to check out that way. From all that I’ve been able to read it appears like regular cardio exercise is one of the best ways to prevent this disease — and I certainly don’t want my wife to be burdened like my mother is at this time,

  2. Sandra says:

    Indeed. Fuck you, Alzheimer’s. This is why I first started blogging, to write about my dad’s progression into Alzheimer’s (over at https://yakkergirl.wordpress.com/category/dad/page/14/ is one of the first real entries about Dad–click previous for the more and more recent). Part of me hoped that I would be writing that blog forever. Turns out it was only a mere 14 months before we lost him. Cherish those moments. As sucky and fucked up as they are, and as hard as they are to see, it was still my Dad. And he lived life for the moment, sometimes for the second. I learned a lot from that.
    My step-daughter has said that if my husband/her dad ever gets that bad (his Dad had Alzheimer’s, too), she’s going to put in him a canoe up in the Boundary Waters with a couple days’ worth of food and point him north. And say goodbye as he paddles happily away. Not a bad way to go.

    I’m now working on a book about our journey together. It’s heart-breaking but at the same time, filled with love and promise.

    Good luck, my friend. You can always share with me your story. I will understand.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I know you will, I already read your story. I read it in the couple of days after you posted a comment on my blog about the same topic.

      Your story is why I followed both of your blogs in the first place and your support in the sucky times is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

      • Sandra says:

        I had no idea you read the whole thing. . .

        The one thing I learned that helped me the most is when my husband told mom and me, “this is the best he’ll ever be.” Heartbreaking as it was, I never had false hopes after that. 😦

        Hang in there. It may not get better, but these are the last days you’ll have with him. Cherish them and find the joy, if you can.

        And then ride hard. . . (but then again, i don’t have to tell you that!)

        Thinking of you.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I remember reading that saying a lot (this is the best he’ll ever be…) on your blog often. That really helps me stay in the moment.

      • Sandra says:

        🙂 Glad and sad.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Exactly, thank you.

  3. I hear you. As I write this, I’m leaving in about 10 minutes to head back to the hospital where my own Alzheimer’s dad is facing an uncertain recovery after self-induced auto accident injuries last night. Both he and his wife are suffering multiple broken bones and unknown’s as of yet in terms of surgery and what follows.

    We’re all looking at each other with the same unspoken questions on our minds….What the heck are we going to do now with his primary care-giver down and him unable to fully comprehend the extent of his own injuries? Is the end of his independent life?

    Scary times….and yeah, it sucks.

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