Saturday, August 12, 2006

1:00 a.m. phone call

When you get a call in the wee hours it is easily either an emergency, or the Manor need to talk to me, or some nutbar. This time it is Dad again. It is bittersweet relief. Brian takes the call for me. The first time Dad grunts “Uh” and hangs up. The second time he manages to say that there is something wrong in the upper or lower part of the house. Fire is a big concern up here. We wonder what is up. But he does not think we can do anything and we convinced him to hang up and go to bed. The third call is something about the burners.

Fortunately, the duty staff take the phone and said there is no problem – no fire – no worries - he just cannot sleep or make the TV work. She tells us he is confused but not afraid. I called the Manor in the morning and they said he’d been up until 2:00 a.m. and then went to bed. He then got up at 7:30 and went down to breakfast.

OF course, Dolly, Dad’s neighbour, does not need Dad watching TV since he had to crank the volume up so loud it sounded like fight night next door to her. Poor woman. It seems as if it is after dinner that the panic starts.

Is this sundowner’s syndrome or a foreshadowing? Many elderly adults miss spouses and they become very sad and agitated in the evening. It seems to be something
By the time we managed to get in to visit with him he tells us, “I don’t even know what to think about.”
“We’re taking care of you Dad. You need not worry.”
“It doesn’t get a good thing on here.”
“It’s the best they can do, Dad.”
“I asked three girls to help me and they wouldn’t do it.”
“ Dad, they don’t know what to do for you.”
“It’s all wrong now anyway.”
“Yes, Dad. It’s the brain tumour coming back.”
“They’re not taking care of me.” These wonderful women who try to help him simply cannot. What he wants is to be back to normal. This will never get better - I begin to understand. “Lord give me strength”, I pray.

He is terribly confused. He keeps telling me how mixed up it is in his head. This started back during the time he had a bladder infection. He just cannot get things straight and know it. This is profoundly difficult on all of us. How much worse will this get?

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