Life, in a few words

13 Apr

5:19 pm

It’s mid-working day on a Tuesday, and all I have to say is, I am tired. Like, I know I work from home, but…I feel kind of burnt out. To be sure, I am grateful, which is why and how I keep going, day in and day out; but I’m tired, too. It’s made keeping up with this blog difficult, actually, even though all I need to do is take 20 minutes and jot a post. So, I am finally doing that now…

In a nutshell, my dad was officially diagnosed with mild-to-moderate dementia/Alzheimer’s disease–and um, yeah, if you’re sort of going, well, what does that mean, I am rolling my eyes and thinking the same thing. Life! Why can’t you be who I want you to be! Haha.

The truth is, that’s about as close as we’re going to get, in terms of closure to our questions about the why and how of his recent descent into bizarre thinking and behaving. (And, it’s about the same with getting any definite answers when it comes to menopause: well, your serum levels say this, but…you might feel this, or that; this drug may, or may not, take away some, or all, of your symptoms to some, uh, variable degree…) Insert head-crashing-on-table emoji!

Through a lot of sweat and tears (and PTSD-like anticipatory dread of his phone calls to us and our ever-repetitive answers back to him), we’ve somehow managed (all remotely, with the help of our soon-to-be ex-step-mom and the nursing staff) to get him to stay at the nursing home since December; and get him back and forth for an MRI and then, to see a neurologist, who did an EEG and came back with an official diagnosis (they found evidence of dementia on the scan, which puts *us* at ease, mostly; I think my dad has already forgotten about the entire appointment).

What else? Well, we’ve gotten him through a messy divorce involving cleaning up his dumpster fire of a financial life and applying for Medicaid. One day soon, we’ll have to go back to our home town to “transfer” him (kicking and screaming, I’m sure) to a new facility that takes Medicaid as well as clean out his (our) farm house in order to list it for sale sometime in the late summer or early fall. He’s lived there since 1979, and it’s where I grew up; needless to say, it’s the end of an era, *his* era, but he won’t be around to see what happens to the place that he loved so fiercely that he never left. (My mom bolted us out of there in 1988 after she divorced him; and we only went back to the farm to visit him, once in a while, over the years.)

What have I taken away from this experience? Hmm. Well, I can say for sure that neither my brothers nor myself is in any way interested in buying the farm (he cannot gift it to us on Medicaid) for any kind of old time’s or sentimental sake. Going through this process has made me glad I don’t have kids of my own and clued me in further as to why I never did. And, I am seriously thinking of hitting up a lawyer and having some sort of living will written that explicitly instructs my partner on what to do if I develop dementia.

I’m not sure if I care enough about my dad to look on the bright side; he wasn’t a good father, he didn’t care about his kids when we got older (he cared about himself), and I’ve literally spent my entire adult life trying to build my own wealth because he one, never cared to do so for us when he was younger and two, spent (like, beyond spent) any and all retirement savings he had doing stupid shit. We aren’t jones’ing to visit him in the nursing home; the only time I’ve seen him is on a video doctor’s appointment a few months ago, and he treated me like I was a “little woman.”

I feel bad for him, I do; I feel guilty about not caring that much, even guiltier about letting it go and living my life. But, I have to; my brothers and I have to let go and live our lives. We get to be happy…even though what he’s going through really sucks. No one can live it for him, unfortunately.

That’s mainly what’s been happening here. I am still cranking out 1.5 jobs, wrangling two new mutts (the one needs some serious training–we seem to have finally housetrained her; now we’re working on getting her to not go cray-cray pulling and barking when she sees another dog or human on the walk–and they both need to be treated for heartworm, which the one is getting and the other will get in a few weeks), and managing my post-menopausal stuff (things have gotten better, but it’s up and down; I think that being athletic and sober has really helped my symptoms not be all that bad, relatively speaking). I am still really happy and grateful…and looking forward to life post-vaccine (gulp: we got the Janssen jab a week ago, so…haha, I am just waiting for that two-week mark to come and go without um, a blood clot!?).

On that note, I am being eaten alive and sweating to death; seems the weather has turned to zero breeze and 90% humidity overnight, and the mossies are out in full force, nibbling at my ankles and feet. Hope all are well and I write more soon!

Stay strong, and stay sober. You got this.

12 Responses to “Life, in a few words”

  1. ashleyleia April 13, 2021 at 6:14 pm #

    Wow, that’s a lot going on.

  2. Lovie Price April 14, 2021 at 4:36 am #

    good to hear from you…sounds like a pretty busy life:). speaking of that dementia thing- i have often thought of writing out specifics as well for any partner but we dont really have any dementia in our bloodline, only a few in laws have had it so fingers crossed on that score. The menopause thing- still going through it and it’s still pretty bad. i am actually envious of all the females in my family that had early hysterectomies. Good luck with the vaccine…i still kind of wonder if it had anything to do with sudden heart issues 2 weeks after the 2nd dose but of course, no one can or is willing to say that so- it is what it is- and dealing with all the debt from it as well..sigh..come on life- give us a break, will ya? lol

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 21, 2021 at 12:18 am #

      Too busy, life right now! Looking forward to it calming down… Hope you’re doing well; hmm, it could be related, the vaccine and your heart-related issues, who knows?

  3. Dwight Hyde April 14, 2021 at 5:52 am #

    That’s indeed a tough spot. Hang in there my friend – sending hugs🤗

  4. Adrian April 14, 2021 at 8:58 am #

    Yeah, hang in there! And you know what? I’m glad to read about your attitude toward your dad and your “responsibilities” to him in his decline. I hear so many people twisting themselves into a knot — emotional and physical — over caring or pressuring themselves to care for an elderly parent who was decidedly not a good parent. I’ve marveled at how strong that pressure is, probably both internal and external. I myself have a good relationship with my dad, who’s a great person, but your ability to detach and be clear-headed about the relationship sounds really healthy.

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 21, 2021 at 12:15 am #

      Thanks, Adrian–I always love your comments, good food for thought!

  5. Untipsyteacher April 15, 2021 at 10:19 am #

    Helping your dad with all those things, are exactly what my husband and I had to go through.
    It’s HARD! You deserve a huge hug and lots of love!
    xo
    Wendy

  6. Ainsobriety April 16, 2021 at 9:32 am #

    I am sorry about your father. All of it, not just the dementia.

    My kids have not seen their dad in over a year. When parents are selfish narcissists they alienate their kids. You are going above and beyond what he deserves from you here. That must be very hard and must bring up a lot of old hurt loss.

    I hope this gets resolved soon and you can put your energy into less distressing things…

    I have a living will. I think it’s a good thing for anyone. I probably would never have gotten around to it (procrastination is my middle name), but I was at a lawyer for my divorce, so i did it.

    Hugs to you. Give yourself lots of space to grieve this man who was clearly not the father you deserved. It was his loss.

    Stillness and peace
    Anne

    • Drunky Drunk Girl April 21, 2021 at 12:13 am #

      Thanks, Anne, this means a lot. I dunno if we’ll ever find closure in this situation, but I am sure it’ll get easier to handle it, over time. Hugs…

  7. John Das May 11, 2021 at 3:43 am #

    good to hear from you, That’s indeed a rough spot. Hope you get through this!

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