Friday, January 16, 2009

Stormy Weather and Holiday Weekends

It’s Friday heading into a 3-day weekend, as Monday is the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. State and local governments on Oahu, in cooperation with the National Weather Service, have made it a 4-day weekend for schools and government offices. Seems that there is a major storm approaching, and winds this afternoon are predicted to run to near-hurricane levels.

It was breezy but not out of the ordinary this morning when Mother and I went to the market. This afternoon when I went to the hospital it was rainy and the winds were a bit more persistent. We’re supposed to go to a political open house for Lila Berg this evening. Lila is the State Representative for whom my brother works. She is also a personal friend and a proud owner of several of Ray’s carvings purchased on the trip to Groveland “to meet the artist”. How she first saw his work is another story altogether.

My dad is less spacey today that he has been for the last day or two, but maybe it just appears that way because we did not have the opportunity for any substantive conversation. He was sleeping when I arrived with a bunch of daffodils. He woke up as I returned his refreshed vase of flowers to his bedside, but was snatched away by his CNA Soon He to get him up and ready to go to physical therapy before her 2 p.m. staff meeting. We watched a few minutes of the Sony Open together before he went off to therapy and I came home.

He did not mention the absence of Mr. Tomashima from the bed next door. The bed is empty and stripped. The bulletin board is cleared, the wheelchair is gone, and the “Family will do Laundry” sign has been removed from his cabinet. Mr. Tomashima has not been doing well. It’s possible he has been moved to a critical care facility. I suspect that Mr. Tomashima has left us altogether, but know better than to ask staff. Apparently my father is either unaware or unconcerned. Or he has forgotten.

As far as my mother is concerned, it is clear to everyone but her that she really needs to be in an assisted living setting. Perhaps she considers that since I am here she IS in an assisted living setting. She will go to any one of several banks, two markets, and the mall by herself. Any streets that involve more than two lanes of traffic moving at more than 25 MPH she avoids. She also avoid driving more than 1.5 miles in any direction. Five pounds is a very heavy load for her to carry – unless it is genealogy books! She can prune bushes in the hard using her trusty butcher knife, and can strip leaves off the branches to separate what goes in the garbage can and what goes into the compost pile, but after an hour or so she needs a long nap. Those are days when we eat out, order from Panda Express, or indulge in a frozen meal. Otherwise, she does the bulk of the cooking while I do the clean-up.
She promised Ian she would do something about assisted living early this year. It makes economic sense. The two of them can live at One Kalakaua in a nicer setting with lots more help and fewer worries than we will soon be paying for my father alone where he is now. Please, God, give her the nudge she needs to make that transition.

There are some silver linings. We have options. The parents can afford those options. That is more than many have in similar situations. So we focus on those positives, give thanks, and keep praying ...

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bonnie, I just read your latest update "Stormy Weather and Holiday Weekends" and am curious to know, because my father's line has a history of Alzheimer's disease, about your father's medical treatment. Have any of the newer memory enhancement drugs been used in his case? The drugs I am referring to have been somewhat useful in slowing down the loss of memory.


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