Blog-Vol. 1-Part 1
I planned to officially start blogging after the book launch of STOLEN, May 19, 2013. Actually, my first blog commentary was written with a picture of my Dad in STOLEN (pg. 230). The vibrant, joyful spirit of the man depicted in the picture taken December 12, 2013 changed drastically in the following seven months. This is typical Alzheimer's Disease (aka AD) a brain disease, in that the rate of physical and mental decline-though progressive-is unpredictable. In fact, in retrospect, Dad showed significant cognitive decline about two weeks after that picture was taken.
On 5-17-13, a day before his 94th birthday, Dad had a TIA often referred to as a minor stroke. He never recovered from it. His speech and body movements were affected. Physical therapy was considered useless by his HMO because he couldn't understand and remember the commands. During the following two months, his speech became very garbled; he became almost mute; and his body felt like dead weight when lifting or moving him.
On 7-17-13, I visited Dad and he was dressed in his usual active-wear attire. His skin tone was radiant.
He was sitting in his favorite reclining chair-propped up with clean white pillows under both arms and behind his neck. His intense and piercing stare at me when I was talking him communicated to me that death was imminent. His eyes were wide open, but clearly it appeared there was no/to little activity going on in his brain. I kissed him and told him that I loved him; and prepared to go home with visions of him mute, motionless, and mindless-to pray about my mixed emotions about Dad's approaching death. But before leaving, I tried to prepare the caregiver for what was about to come to past; and she wasn't hearing it. She was resigned to believing that Dad just needed to get stronger. My brother was emotionally unavailable or perhaps, he was grieving in his own way. There was no one to discuss my feelings about Dad's impending demise.
On 7-18-13, Dad's HMO called in the morning and reported that they were sending a mobile team to his home to examine him. I scheduled a 1:00pm appointment. I had been advocating for this home visit for approximately two months with the HMO. Dad had become a prisoner in his home and because of his dead weight, we were physically unable to take him to the doctor. Our amateur reasoning was that his condition didn't warrant a 911 call. Actually, it sadden me to think that it was possibly time to consider a nursing home. As fate would have it-it was too late because Dad died that same day-two hours before the mobile team was scheduled to arrive.
The caregiver called and reported that Dad work up pleasantly and saying, "Good morning." She washed him up and dressed him; and asked him if he wanted to sit in the bed or in the chair by the bed while she took a quick shower in his on-suite bathroom He requested the bed. When she returned to his bedroom after her shower, she thought he had fallen back asleep; but couldn't wake him up-so she called me. When she reported that she couldn't feel a pulse; I told her to call the paramedics and I would be right over. When I arrived to his home, I was told that Dad didn't make it. Perplexed, I said, "Didn't make it!" Obviously, emotionally unprepared for the reality of death-I said,"You mean he died?" I burst into tears. The paramedics were unable to resuscitate Dad. It appeared that Dad slumbered peacefully into eternity while the caregiver was in the bathroom.
Please continue reading Vol 1 Part 2
Continued: Stay Posted