Sunday, December 1, 2013

Fascination with Food

Dad is on a "see food" diet. If the food is there, he will eat it. 

I first noticed this last Christmas. On Christmas Eve our family celebrates with a Swedish smorgasbord. Generally I begin with hors d'oeuvres items, then I add items to the table; first some breads and cold cuts, then meat balls and potato salad, and finally dessert. We each dish up a small plate of food and sit in the living room, and begin the gift exchanges, going back for new foods as they are set out. 

To begin with I had a selection of cheeses, herring and crackers on the table. Dad enjoyed the herring. In fact, we couldn't get him away from that end of the table. He stood there, helping himself to piece after piece of herring and crackers, until he couldn't eat any more. 

Not too long ago we went out to lunch with some friends. Dad had a burger with all of the fixings. He also had a very clean plate when he was finished. He ate everything, every crumb, every piece of the tomato and every little bit of each leaf of lettuce. Oh, and he also would have eaten my dessert had I let him!

When I have been visiting him, he will often ask Judy what they will be having for dinner. When she responds, he will say, "Let's go!" He is ready to eat, even though it may only be 2:00 PM. Many times as I come in and sit down he will ask when we are heading out to the restaurant for dinner. He gets so disappointed when I explain that we won't be going out, that I will be heading home to make dinner for my husband and myself. 

Dad and Judy came for a lovely Thanksgiving dinner. He enjoyed his meal and was always an eager participant in seconds! But, I purposely did not begin with appetizers and we served the food buffet style, so the serving dishes were out of sight... and mostly out of mind!

I am theorizing that some of the behavior I am noticing may be due to the fact that Dad was always a busy man, and he now finds reading, working on the computer or writing too difficult to attend to. Therefore, nothing is occupying his time, so... might as well eat!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Dad's Getting Married in....

... well, not tomorrow morning, but he's gonna get hitched in January! Dad's lady friend has lived with him for more than two years. From the beginning of the relationship, Dad has wanted to get married. He often whispered to me, "Don't you think I should ask Judy to marry me?" After the disaster of his previous marriage, I would respond with a resounding, "NO!" I figured Dad would be content with things the way they were. But no, he is an old-fashioned kinda guy and in his mind men don't live with women, they marry them. In all of this, his lady friend has also been a bit reluctant to marry. So, I didn't feel badly about counseling Dad against a union.

However, he persists. 
She has relented.
I see the love they share and I can't stand in the way. 

How wonderful for Dad, at almost 92 years of age, to find someone who cares about him deeply and wants to be by his side!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

How Does Your Garden Grow?

We took Dad to the Botanic Gardens the other afternoon. He seemed to enjoy the variety of flowers. We did too!

We used a wheel chair 'just in case'. Dad walked through much of the garden, pushing the wheel chair himself. When he got tired, and when we hit rough ground, or uphill treks, we took over the task of pushing.

We're looking forward to another trip in the future.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Dog Dad Doesn't Have

Dad loves dogs. 
Specifically, Dad loves Golden Retrievers. 
Having a dog, especially a large dog in an apartment
would be a challenge for Dad. 

However, having a dog come visit is a perfect solution.
Meet Clyde. Clyde belongs to a friend of mine.
He is the biggest Golden I have known.
He is a bundle of love.
He knew exactly who's feet he should lie on!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Freaky Friday

I received a phone call from Judy, Dad's lady friend, yesterday. She was very worried about Dad. He was on the floor, trying to disentangle an extension cord because he needed to walk the dog. If she tried to divert him from the task he became agitated because the dog needed to be walked and this was the leash. The cord wound around behind a piece of furniture and snaked over other cords. Dad continued his obsessive task continually expressing concern about needing to walk the dog. Dad doesn't have a dog.
In addition, Judy commented, Dad seemed to have a sinus infection, as he was congested and his head hurt. He even held his hands over his ears to try to stop the pain. He wouldn't hold onto the phone to talk to me, wanting to hold his head instead. I talked with him on speaker phone and he commented about the electrical shocks in his head.
We decided he should visit the Doctor in his building. However, he was still in his pajamas. Apparently Dad had trouble getting his clothes on, having some issues with motor control. He also chose to put his clothes over his pajamas. The trip to the doctor brought no relief. She checked his vital signs and they seemed to be alright. She drew some blood, and later, the results proved to be normal. Dad continues to be in pain, he had trouble sleeping last night and has little appetite. He also seems to find it difficult to hold things, whether because he wants to continually hold his head, or whether it is some sort of neurological problem, I don't know.
The most difficult aspect of this is that I am out of town, and it is a weekend. My first reaction was to have Dad taken to the emergency room. Judy was, and remains, dead set against this. She had horrifying experiences with ER's with her first husband, who is now deceased. Later, when I talked with the Doctor, she indicated that an ER is not the best place for a geriatric patient experiencing cognitive problems. How sad. Her preference, if Dad's symptoms remain the same, is to wait until she can set dad up for the necessary tests as an outpatient on Monday. And so, we wait. We worry. We wish that Tylenol would alleviate Dad's discomfort.

Dad rowing the dog ashore in earlier days

Thursday, February 7, 2013

But, Who Takes Care of the Sewage?

Dad lives in an independent living community.  Last night he asked me who has to take care of the sewage. I hesitated before answering, and he elaborated. He was wondering, he told he, who hooked up the hose for water and the electrical lines where he lives, and was puzzled whether he was supposed to hook up the sewage. He was worried because he knew he hadn't connected any hoses or sewer lines  I realized that Dad was either thinking about the times he traveled on a large sailboat or a motorhome. I guess it isn't that surprising, since I am on the road in our motorhome and tell him about campgrounds we are visiting. Dad was pleasantly surprised when I told him the building, and his apartment, had sewage and water pipes built into it, as well as the electrical wires. He thought that was great!