Friday, February 02, 2007

"Against our better judgement, we begin to have hope."

Just sigh. This is going to be a long post about my parents. If you leave now, I won't be offended.

The parents. It's time for an update. For those of you just catching up on the parents, please remember that these are not old people we are talking about. My mother is 66, my father is 65. They are young by grandparents' standards.

Daddy has a new doctor. Thank God. The one he had in California was useless as far as I'm concerned. His name is Dr. Bomback and if you ever have a family member in need of neurological care in northern CA, I highly recommend that you go to a voodoo specialist before you go to Dr. Bomback. So much for my kind blog button.

Anyway, Daddy's new doctor is actually interested in the cognitive loss. Last week, Daddy went in for an extensive test to see exactly what was going on with his mind and his memory. Bro and I knew he wasn't going to pass with flying colors, but apparently, my mom and the doctor had hope that he would.

There is this thing with my daddy. He is so incredibly charming. If you were to meet him right now, he would make you laugh. He would make you feel better about yourself. He would make you think that he is a witty, intelligent man. That is the old Daddy. What you wouldn't see are his recurring hallucinations. You wouldn't see him not being able to find the bathroom in the middle of the night, and therefore just peeing on the carpet. You wouldn't see him talk about the Puerto Rican boys who are up to no good (and don't run over them with your car!!!). He is somehow able to still hide that from the vast majority of the public.

He did so poorly on the exam. Bro, Sil, and I knew that he would. We have seen him in his decline. We have had to care for him. We have had to dodge the Puerto Rican boys in the road and leave his imaginary cat in the car while we took him into the grocery store. We know he is gone.

Here is the thing. Bro tells me all about the test last night on the phone. I won't tell you his reaction because I haven't asked permission to talk about it here. My reaction though is this:

Right on. Daddy has Parkinson's with Alzheimer's. Not Lewy Body Dementia. Great. Now treat it.

I'm glad it's not Lewy Body. Lewy Body sucks ass, and I hope you never know anyone with it. It is, however, quicker than Parkinson's with Alzheimer's. We will have to continue watching pieces of our father disappear over a longer period of time.

Last night on Grey's Anatomy, Meredith's mother woke up. She came to from her Alzheimer's fog for one day. And Meredith hid from her. I so completely understand.

There is this point that you have to reach where you accept the people you love for where they are. My mother sits and waits for the remnants of my father as he was to show up. She waits for logic and rational to show themselves and then clings to those moments.

I choose to love my daddy just as he is. He is sick. He needs help. He forgets things. I love him anyway, and I want to love him in the present, not in the past.

My mother doesn't understand that. She thinks that I should act differently towards him. She thinks I should treat him as he used to be. She thinks that I should still ask him for advice, opinions, and help.

It makes him so nervous though. When he thinks that I still need him to be my daddy, he completely shuts down with anxiety. He wants to do it. He wants to be there for me.

He is not even there for himself though.

If my father was to "wake up" today, I wouldn't want to see him. Having him back for 10-12 hours would only make it harder to deal with the loss when he was gone again. I would fear the truth in what Meredith Grey said,

"Against our better judgement, we begin to have hope."

Not me. I don't have hope. That doesn't mean I love my daddy any less though. I wish my mother could understand that.