It’s going to be one of those days, I think. Yesterday was a bad day for my other Dad. That’s what I call the man that surfaces on a bad Alzheimer’s day. You see, my Dad, who has Alzheimer’s disease, still has some good days. That’s when I still call him “Dad”. On those good days, he’s fairly lucid and is easy to communicate with. But then there are the bad days, when this man I don’t know surfaces. This man gets angry and frustrated and is starting to have outbursts that just rip my heart to shreds. That’s why I call him my “other Dad”. I can’t think of him any other way because it hurts too bad.
My “Dad” is a gentle man. He has always been kind and loving and until the Alzheimer’s disease came to stay, I had never heard him raise his voice. This other man is someone I don’t know; don’t want to know but, he is living in my Dad’s body so I can’t ignore him. I still love him but I don’t really know him. He is the stranger that now lives with our family.
So today, my Dad has two appointments, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The change in his routine will create chaos and turmoil. I’ve learned to expect that whenever the routine changes. He will ask repeatedly where he is going, when, and why and, I will answer him repeatedly, as if he had never asked before. It’s just what we do now to keep things stable.
It’s early still and I think I will have an extra cup of coffee. This may be the last little bit of serenity in this day. This beast we call Alzheimer’s will determine the rest of my day and as it is always unpredictable, I am a bit anxious and just hoping that it is my “Dad” who shows up today and not the “Other Dad”. Venturing out into the world has become a liability and I won’t rest again until we have returned home safely and without incident.
Click here to read about why Alzheimer’s disease can be a liability.
If you are living with this disease, this beast called Alzheimer’s, know that I am thinking of you today.