Wednesday, October 07, 2015
It’s 7am the phone rings. My husband immediately sits up and answers the phone. He is quiet, I can hear my dad shouting down the line and husband says “look, am on my way calm down”.
My husband has his clothes and shoes on the floor, ready to run like a criminal on the lam. He is dressed in seconds, his hair stands on end, he doesn’t brush his teeth and he belts out the door. He is going to sit with my dad who is convinced that today he is in a factory and is being held hostage. I have to get ready for a radio comedy show. I can’t go with him; I have to be funny in a wee while.
My dad has dementia. The smart wee
man who has blue twinkly eyes, who could build a radio from scratch when he was
eight years old, who raised four kids and built a skateboard for me in 1967, was
slowly having his memory and cognitive abilities eaten by a rabid shitty greedy
thing called dementia. Glasgow
The man who carried me over puddles, who explained sea weed couldn’t eat me despite my big brothers telling me it could, the man who tried to make sense of my mum being murdered in the early 80s and his second wife dying from cancer six years ago….this wee working class man who achieved 34 years of sobriety was crumbling in front of me. My heart is breaking.
It’s been two years of a quick sand effect of watching him struggle with the world interspersed with him locking eyes with me telling me how much he loves me and how proud he is of me. I still climb halfway onto his knee and let him rest his soft warm palm on my cheek as he sings “My wee Janey Paney” to me. He is still my dad.
Today we had to organise emergency care respite as he has been wandering outside and making everyone panic. Despite alarms and constant care attending, the minute he is alone he is out that door. He will soon move to a full time care home.
My heart hurts. Go fuck yourself dementia.