A Daughter’s Journey With Her Dad’s Alzheimer’s

Last Sunday I volunteered with the local Alzheimers Society for their annual walk. The turnout of people was good. The day was sunny although windy. Although working in long term care and with dementia residents, I was surprised by the impact I felt. There were new faces along with familiar ones. For some the journey has ended with the passing of their loved one. For others they are barely underway. For many the road is a long one. I could see, hear, and feel the pain that comes with this disease.

I was able to acknowledge my own pain with recently having accepted a bed for my father and then having to decline it. The worry continues. The questioning continues. Guilt is acknowledged. Talking helps. Going through my mental check-list can be useful but exhausting.

A few days ago, I sat in my vehicle while on break at work. I left my keys in the ignition and had my co-worker Sam retrieve them for me. Arriving home from an appointment the next day, I realized that I had neglected to make my six month follow-up. There was another test that needed doing but the room was busy when I was arrived. So now I need to return to the ophthalmologist to have the visual field done.

Work is work and there is always something to be done. Downtime allows for catchup time. My days off have been too booked with errands and appointments. Despite this, I’m keeping up without any major mishaps. Looking at my agenda, I look forward to the few vacation days that I have booked for the summer.

Home Care will be seeing my father this afternoon and assessing him. I now have the paperwork for a chest x-ray and bloodwork. Dad’s family Dr. was contacting him for his address. For some reason they had his phone number but not the address.  Anyway I spoke to the office nurse by phone. I also stopped by the Dr.’s office and picked up an envelope they wanted to mail to my Dad.

Turns out some of that paperwork is meant to go to the Home Care office. The papers for tests were for Dad. Home Care has stated that Dad should be seen by his family Dr. before admission to long term care. Dr.’s office is saying that he doesn’t need an appointment. The existing confusion needs to be cleared up and not only for my peace of mind.

The more I continue on this journey, the more I can let go of frustration and allow for resolutions. The more I ponder, the more I tell myself that whatever the outcome is, it will be what is meant to be.

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