Thursday, January 31, 2008

A very sad day

Unlike my usual posts, this one is not technical in nature. I've had a really rough day and wanted to record it so I could look back and remember how things went. So today is my birthday, another year older and probably the scariest day of my life so far. This morning around 8:30 my folks called to wish me a happy birthday and when I talked to my dad (who is 76 btw) I noticed he was having a real hard time talking, then he started to slur, at that point I realized something was up. My mom took my dad to the ER and it turns out that he had had a stroke, a couple perhaps. Unfortunately, there was worse news, he has dementia. I guess this explains why my mom has beens saying for a while that my dad is forgetting things, not aware of what's happening, etc. I think the scariest thing, for me at least, is talking to him. He doesn't sound like my dad, and when he talks I just want to hug him and make it better (I guess that's what happens when you yourself are a dad). It seems that he isn't really aware of his diagnosis, so maybe that is a good thing. So have you had a loved one that has gone through this? If so, how did you handle it? What did your family do, did they gather around one another or stay away? I was planning on going to my home town tonight but my mom asked me not to, to give them a few days to work it out. Dad - if you read this, I love you and hope you know what a great dad you are!


Andreas Andreou said...


Anonymous said...

My father had undiagnosed Alzheimer's for about 4 years (followed by about 2 years of living with the diagnosis).

I hope your father recovers from his strokes and they determine a treatable cause for the dementia. Otherwise, I think you are starting one of life's rites of passage.

I don't want to be overly gloomy but if you're honest with yourself about it (and you should be), you're going to find it very, very hard. There is nothing good about it, and being completely unable to do anything about it is maddening.

Chris Maki said...

Thanks for the comments. I'd agree with you anonymous, it is maddening.