Sometimes I feel almost like dad doesn’t really have Alzheimer’s disease as he does so well day by day. Then other days I can see the obvious signs. Today was one of those days.
I found dad alone in the lounge when I arrived for today’s visit. I noticed dad had his light jacket on and no shirt, just his undershirt. I asked him why he wasn’t wearing a shirt. He looked at me with a questioning look. “I have a shirt on”, he said. I opened his jacket and showed him the undershirt. “Oh” was all he said. I guess he dressed himself today.
When I visited dad on Tuesday he told me he hadn’t had any visitors this week and I wrote about that in my last blog about “Almost Visitors”. Today when I signed in, I looked through the sign-in book. I saw my sister’s distinctive writing as she signed in for herself and her daughter and grandchildren. I was surprised.
I asked dad if he remembered that Sis and her daughter and grandchildren were just there on Monday. He said no, he didn’t think he had seen them. They stayed about an hour according to the “sign-in book”. It made me sad that he didn’t remember the visit from sister and her family. And it reminded me that the Alzheimer’s disease is real and has lasting effects on dad. (And I have to set the record straight — my last post was all wrong – his “Almost Visitors” were Actual Visitors and I was the only one who missed out on that visit.)
While I was there today, I showed dad pictures of items my brother had brought from his house. I wanted him to help me determine where some of them came from. There were 2 pictures in dad’s living room and I thought maybe my uncle had purchased them. I asked dad if he remembered those pictures. No. He did not remember those pictures at all. Not only didn’t he remember who purchased them. He didn’t remember even seeing them before.
I will note that the family rarely spent any time in the living room. It is a dark room and dad and mom usually sat in the “den/family room” all the time. Still, it served as another reminder of dad’s memory.
The third thing that reminded me that dad doesn’t remember much from recent events was when I asked about his lunch out at a nice local restaurant yesterday. They went to a seafood restaurant that I thought he would enjoy. He didn’t remember the outing at all.
I know I can show dad pictures from the 1950’s and 60’s and he can tell me everyone who is in them. I can ask about when my uncles were in the war and dad can tell me where they were and stories of those times. But he can’t remember seeing his daughter and grandchildren this week. He can’t remember pictures from his home where he lived 25 years and he can’t remember where he went out to eat yesterday.
I left from today’s visit feeling sad.