I went in to get him up early this morning for a Dermatologist’s appointment and found his bedside lamp in pieces on the floor. Things were moved around the room, most interestingly, both of his clocks were unplugged with their cords wrapped around them, sitting on the chair.
He doesn’t do well when roused from sleep, and he couldn’t tell me what this was all about. I decided to move on, urged him to get dressed and there would be coffee soon.
I went back a few minutes later to find he’d gone back to bed. He woke up better this time. He said he’d had a weird night. That he woke up around two and kept walking around the room. He couldn’t remember why, but he knew he had to take the lamp apart, so he did. And he went back to bed.
I cancelled the appointment.
Later my best friend and I took him to lunch. He ordered a fish taco with pickled cabbage, rice and refried beans and ate everything except the fish. I managed to distract him from ordering a beer.
My best friend’s mother has Alzheimer’s as well, and the family is having a horrible time keeping her from drinking. She was never an alcoholic before, but now if they let her, she’ll drink an entire bottle of wine in one sitting. The results aren’t pretty. She’s got macular degeneration so she can only see light and shadow, she can’t remember a sentence for more than 90 seconds, she doesn’t know where she is or what day it is, she won’t pour her own coffee, but so help her, if there’s a bottle of wine in the house, she’ll find it.
It’s like that at our place. He can’t remember what he had for lunch. He watches the same NCIS episode over and over and insists he’s never seen it. He reads the paper three times over each morning, but by God, he knows the exact level of wine in the gallon jug he insists on buying.
He insisted that he wanted to treat us to lunch. When the bill came, he couldn’t pay attention to it. The folder included a little card that said “Tell Us How We Did” and that was all he could pay attention to. I reminded him to get his credit card out and showed him where to put it in the folder. When the form came back, he looked at a $40 charge and said, “What do you think the tip should be?”
My brilliant mathematician, engineer father couldn’t figure out a tip on $40. I swear he used to be able to do calculus in his head.
I showed him where to write the numbers, and where to sign, and how to put his card back in his wallet. I’ve never had to do any of those things before.
What the hell happened last night?