How I Deal with Life.....

How I Deal with Life.....

Monday, August 20, 2012

My Passport is Stapled to My Ass.

No, it's not really stapled, but believe me when I say I will have it with me Wednesday.. the NEW date I leave.

I received an email yesterday from the travel agency (after I emailed asking where my itinerary and plane ticket was)  informing me that I am booked to leave Atlanta on August 22 at 4:35 p.m heading to Abu Dhabi via New York and Doha, Qatar.  I am scheduled to arrive in Abu Dhabi August 23 at 11:45  p.m Abu Dhabi time. 

Tomorrow I am going to renew my driver’s license and obtain an international driver’s license, my one concession to actually doing something trip related this week. Since I missed my flight last week there hasn’t been too much for me to do. It was all done.. I did manage to lighten the luggage I am taking with me, but I still have my grits packed safely away in bubble wrap. Yesterday, I gathered all my teaching materials/supplies into plastic bins so I can store them away for the duration of my time away. 

I have slowed down since I missed my flight. I have tried to cook good meals for Jim and even watched a little bit of television with him (I am not a television watcher..). Last night we watched Puss in Boots- The Shrek Puss in Boots.  Jim and I set up the T.V trays in the living room and watched the silly cartoon of Puss while we ate BBQ chicken, butter beans, baked potatoes, and salad.

I walked twice this week: once with Susa, Lara, and Scott and then tonight with Scott. We got in about three miles each time. I am going to miss those walks. I am less stressed than I was August 9th, the date of my original flight.  I am less panicked, calmer and more in control.  I am in a much better place mentally and emotionally than I was a week ago.  And this time I feel better about leaving.

I was able to go with Mom to meet with the social worker at the V.A this past week and we started the initial paperwork rolling on a placement for when dad is released from Emory.  The facility we have in mind is a good one and is only four miles from my brother’s house in Fayetteville.  I am going to visit it with Mom before I leave Wednesday. Mom is still hoping she can bring dad home for a little while, but contingency plans have to be made for an uncertain future.  One thing I have discovered about Alzheimer’s is that the entire family has to live in the present, not think about the past, and yet have five different plans for the future . It’s a tightrope sometimes. 

Mom is in a better place about my dad illness, and she has worked through some of her grief and is actually getting stronger every day. There is an acceptance starting to take root inside of her. She is going to be okay. Of course, she is going to still have some very difficult, emotionally draining days ahead, but she has found her second wind.   Dad is receiving good care and Emory has finally gotten his meds adjusted to where he is sleeping at night. He is getting physically stronger each day and is even walking a bit with the assistance of the physical therapist and the nursing staff. His hallucinations seem to be less profound, and his shaking and jerking spasms are not as severe.
Dad still has bad days and will continue to have bad days until all he has left are bad days. It’s all the nature of the beast. I have no delusions about his prognosis. He is not going to get better, only worse, but now I feel confident that his quality of life will be stable for a while longer and that he will be taken care of.  Mom bought a portable CD player last week and today when she visited dad she played some Merle Haggard for him and she said he was keeping time with his right index finger and even trying to sing along. Music makes him so happy. It’s the little joys like music that we try to provide for my dad now. 

Sometimes I don’t know how much of my dad is still left, and then other times he surprises me. Today Mom told him that I missed my flight last week. He smiled at her and said quite plainly, “Good”.  Mom told me a few weeks ago that if dad were himself that he would be wishing me well on this adventure to Abu Dhabi.  I think my exact words to my Mom were, “Oh no, he wouldn’t. He would be trying to stop me and be mad as hell. If it were anyone else but me he would think it was a good idea, but not for his daughter”.   She mulled over my statement for a second and finally admitted I was right. And that’s the way it’s always been. My dad wanting to protect me, and me trying to break free and be my own person.  And it brings me a small measure of comfort to know that deep inside of my broken dad, I am still his little girl and he still wants to protect me. 

I am going to visit Dad Tuesday. I have to see him before I leave.  I will take a half pint of Breyer’s chocolate ice cream and feed it to him slowly so he can savor it. He so loves ice cream. .  Afterwards I will play a 50s music CD, bend over his wheelchair, hold him and pretend that he is teaching me to slow dance. I will be eight years old again for a precious few minutes.  I will then kiss him and leave.  And yes, if he were himself he would be arguing with me about my going so far away, but his heart would be proud of me for reaching out and grabbing what I want in life..  After all, I am his daughter.


  1. This leaving seems more peaceful, less frantic, than your previous try. Maybe you needed this extra time to get there? I dunno. But that last paragraph had me tearing up. Your love for your daddy is so apparent, so deep. I am glad you have some resolution there before you go.
    Now, safe journey! Onward to the next adventure!

  2. I sit here and read about the "voices in your head" and i find my nose getting runny and tears welling up in my eyes. I am glad to hear your dad is getting stronger and i hope when you go and take him ice cream, that he will know that you are his little girl and that you have the best visit ever. Have a safe trip. Love ya!