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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Dad

Okay, so the past few weeks have been very stressful as you know, with the cramping, the shortening of the cervix and the deterioration of my dad's dementia and hydrocephallus. My mum and dad went away last week which made the week that little bit more stressful because she has always been my rock. I think unfortunately it is their last trip away together. It is such a hard disease to cope with, he has changed so much over the past few years, he is hardly recognisable as my dad anymore. He is paranoid and agressive and in complete denial about everything. He used to be one of the funniest people that I know, always with a self depracating story and one of the things that I always respected about him was his ability to admit when he was wrong, he's not like that anymore.
One of the great things that happened though over Christmas is that he really held on to the pregnancy in his memory (it is his short term memory that is damaged), he always remembered JBB's name (yes, already picked out ready to go) and would ask how we were going all the time. Since they got back though, it seems like that has gone into the damaged part of his memory and now he doesn't ask anymore. I am hoping against hope that will change again.
One of the hardest things is facing the fact that JBB will not know his Pop the way I knew him, in fact JourneyMan didn't even meet the dad who I grew up with. It makes me very sad.
In my mind I have to separate out the person my dad used to be from the person that he is now because of the hurtful things that he can say and do, especially to my mum. I have to keep them separated because my image of how he was feels like it is being chipped away piece by piece. I have to remember the man who made me laugh, the one who took me to the footy every week, the man who never missed an opportunity to tell me that he is proud of me. I miss him and sometimes the small glimpses of what he used to be hurts even more so.
Fortunately and unfortunately for me, my mum confides in me a lot and even though most of the time now I have a handle on knowing she just needs to vent because her life is certainly not what she thought it woud be, sometimes I want to stick my head in the sand and not hear about what is happening. I won't do that though because she really needs the opportunity to vent - I have suggested that she see a counsellor so she doesn't have to hold back and she went once but never went back.
It is hard when someone you love is disappearing before your eyes. In my family, I am the mediator, the person everyone confides in, the strong one with lots of advice. At the moment, I don't feel strong, I don't have any advice and really, I miss my dad. I am having trouble dealing with the situation.


  1. I am sorry to hear this about your father. I don't have any first hand experience with a family member with dementia, but I have seen how hard it is for friends who had to go through this with their parents. In some ways, it is harder than having a death in the family. Thinking of you.

  2. This just makes me ache. My dad has parkinsons and it is so hard to watch the proud man my dad used to be turn into an old man with shaky hands who doesn't want to walk anywhere because his feet hurt. It is so hard. I know where you are coming from on this one. These men who were always such strong rocks in our lives are aging and slowly being taken from us. It is so hard to watch.

    I am so sorry to hear about your dad. I hope that blogging about it helps you deal with it a little better. I know it helps me to talk (write) about things.

    *big hugs*