Monday, November 21, 2005

Monday Blues.

Well, I had a good weekend more or less. Sunday was less than stellar at first - woke up and realized somehow somewhere one of the diamonds out of my mom's garnet ring fell out. I have another ring (that the stupid ex gave me) that is missing a Sapphire and has both side diamonds in it, so I'm hoping I can take one of these diamonds out and put it in my mom's ring - they look smaller though, so I think I've just offically started a collection of fucked up rings.

I try not to get too attached to material things, but this is the first piece of jewelry my father ever gave my mother - she didn't have an engagement ring. So I'm bummed out. At least it isn't her wedding ring though - I'd be hysterical if something happened to that ring...

Anyway, Sunday I went to see Dad as per usual, and hauled a bunch of my stuff over to the Goodwill drop by his apartment (Troutdale/Gresham area). I open the trunk to pull the bags out and it smacks me in the head not once, but TWICE - once leaving a dent and once leaving a huge bump. The nice old gentleman handling the drop off facility showed concern (the fact that I was literally blinded with pain was probably a big clue...) The clincher however was when he said, "Oh no, Maam you are bleeding." I had this tiny little cut on my forehead from one of the smacks and a little trickle started - and have I mentioned I HATE BEING CALLED MAAM??

So at that point I had to make the decision - was I going to go home and ice my melon and whine to myself all night about how that sucked or was I going to go over to Dave's house as planned and just say fuck the stupid wind and fuck the stupid trunk. Well, I chose the latter, which was of course the right decision. By the end of the night I was completely unconcerned with my head - and was this morning until I shampooed my hair and touched the bump and it hurt.

Speaking of this morning. I had to get up almost an hour earlier to take my dad to his eye appointment. Fortunately, I woke up about 2 minutes before my alarm went off, so at least I wasn't homicidal directly upon waking. Stopped at Burger King to get my dad breakfast and try not to gag at the smell eminating from the drive through. Went to pick him up.

Could tell upon my arrival that it was an "off" day. He went to put his arms in his coat and about keeled over - he would have if I hadn't have grabbed him by his belt loop. Worries the shit out of me - watch him fall right before my vacation.

Anyway, he was bitching about his knee too. Woohoo, could tell this was going to be fun. Got to the doctor's office, had to get him to sign three places (stupid HIPAA won't let me, as his power of attorney sign this for him) which was a challenge, and led to frustration for him.

The eye exam... I really don't know what to say except that it literally broke my heart. It always does. It's so hard for me to see him like this, unable to follow simple directions like "cover your left eye". To see him just sit there, staring blankly, knowing fully he doesn't remember the commands as soon as he hears him. I went over and moved his arm up over his eye, repeated to him "See, this is covering your left eye". The Doctor knew he had dementia, I made sure to tell them before we even got there, and then the light seemed to come on for him. He began to cue him heavily, and use his name to get his attention. "John, look over to the right, at the picture of the bear on the wall." Then things went a little more smoothly.

Until the diagnosis.

I knew he had "dry" macular degeneration - apparently his right eye is screwed, and has turned into the "wet" variety, where you actually slowly lose the retinal fluid and there's nothing you can do. The left eye seems to not be leaking, but his cateract has returned - so he can't see shit out of that one either. He referred us to an eye surgeon, and seemed to think that laser vision might at least bring him some sight back to the left eye.

I don't know how much Dad really "gets", aside from asking the doctor "Will I ever be able to see again?" and the doctor telling him that he's hopeful about his left eye, but the sigh and just total look of resignation from my father made me want to just die. For someone that was as proud as he was, and as active as he was, to just basically have his body, mind and everything else shut down all at once, in an agonizingly slow process is just awful.

We rode back to his apartment in silence, just the quiet drone of the radio as any sign of life, and as I got him settled back into his apartment he patted me on the arm, thanked me for taking him, and asked me if I thought it was "worth it" that he was "half dead anyway." I told him if the doctors thought it would help, and if he was up for it, and could perhaps see better, that yes, I thought it was worth it.

I went back to my car and I cried. For about 5 minutes. Then I pulled my shit together and went to work.

I know we won't all stay young forever, and I know there are some important, invaluable lessons that both my father and I are learning. And I wouldn't trade it. But sometimes it's hard... so so hard. And I wish that I had someone to help me take care of him, just like, emotionally. My mom is there for me, and I know that... but their history makes it challenging. And I try to insulate her from it too, because when we talk about it we both end up crying.

Then I got my paycheck. I noticed on my last check that they were still having me down as 0 exemptions (correct) but as married (incorrect). So they changed it and it made a HUGE difference. FUCK. So this pissed me the hell off.

And so that's how my morning has gone. And I used my lunch hour for the above mentioned eye appointment, so its going to be a long fucking day. And I just got two TUBS of mail to process. Woohoo.

Thank God its a short week. I need this vacation, badly

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