Easy Rider

After getting Dad home after the bladder infection, things began to return to normal… or as normal as living with Lewy could be. On the surface, things seemed pretty much as they had been. We were offered Homecare, and Meals on Wheels began to come 4 days a week. Dad was falling regularly, but no one seemed to figure out what was causing the falls. I began to notice that often I’d find him staring off into space with a blank expression on his face and the tremor in his right hand had become quite pronounced. He also began to complain about “numbness” in his legs. Although he was seeing the Dr. on a regular basis, no one really put these things together.

Because we were living together at the time, we opened a joint bank account to run the household expenses through and I discovered that Dad simply couldn’t figure out what was going on. Dad had been an accountant and for him to be unable to reconcile simple checking account was a strong indication to me that something was really wrong. A few years ago, Dad had begun asking me to accompany him to the bank, and I’d wondered on occasion if he really understood the decisions he was making. Because he is very intelligent, the changes were probably only obvious to me. As time progressed, it became more and more difficult for him to sort out all his accounts and as his confusion increased, he began suspicious of me, accusing me of deliberately trying to confuse him.

Lewy didn’t often appear during this time, except at night. Often Dad would go to bed earlier than my daughter and I .  Often after a half hour or so, Lewy would come wandering downstairs, telling stories about people on the street, on the roof, washing his bedroom windows and partying.  It was easy to calm him down by opening the door and showing him there wasn’t anyone there.  Occasionally I resorted to the technique I had used when my children had bad dreams.  I’d open the door, or go outside and the return  telling Lewy that I’d told them to go away.  This would usually satisfy him, but he would often mention the rowdy partiers, or window washers in the morning.  Most of the time if I told him that it had been a dream he laugh and comment “But it seemed so real!” but other times, he’d get angry and insist he had seen what he had seen.

One evening I wasn’t feeling well, and went to bed early. Dad went to bed shortly afterwards, and some time later I was woken up by the sound of a loud argument from downstairs. I got up and stood at the top of the stairs listening to the argument.

“I told you, she left on that motorcycle!” Lewy angrily shouted.
“No, Grandpa, Mom went to bed early, she wasn’t feeling well.” was the patient response from Daughter.
“No, I saw her, she got up and went out.   I saw her she got into the car and then she drove off on the back of that motorcycle!”
“Do you think she was in a car?”
“No, I told you, she was on the back of that motorcycle and I don’t know who was driving it. I think it was that man from down the street!”
“Grandpa, I’m sure she is still here, I would have seen her if she left.”
“Don’t tell me what you saw, you’re just trying to confuse me.”

At this point I came downstairs and told Lewy that I hadn’t gone anywhere, that I’d been in bed. Dad turned and looked at me in puzzlement. “I knew that, are you feeling better now?”

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About theladyfather

Anglican Priest of an ethnically diverse small city parish.
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One Response to Easy Rider

  1. It must be so fatiguing and difficult. I have so many friends caring for parents with dementia or serious illness. I see the heartache…and yes, the fatigue! Blessings sent your way. Debra

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