Alzheimer’s & Habits

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photo 2A friend once mentioned to me that his former minister had developed AD.  He said the man’s mouth was foul, spewing profanity, obscenities, and was basically a dirty old man out of control.  He said something that another family friend, a physician, once told my mother.  When a person becomes a certain age, they can no longer hid who and what they were.  Their real personality comes shining through, no matter what that person once pretended to be.

My grandfather Froehlich, who was a mover and a shaker, very much a self-made man and leader, was known in life to some times have a short temper – when dealing with a recalcitrant cow who did not want to either get into a truck or leave one.  While he never uttered profanity, it was rather humorous “dang blasted screw ball cow” and his version of sh*t was papa cow excreta.

As he approached 90, he had a series of TIA strokes that eventually lead to short-term memory loss and then dementia.  He became a little cantankerous at times, but was always quite gentle.  As he was presented with more and more great-grandchildren, he adored them.  Every day of their married life, nearly 65 years, my grandfather always went out early in the morning to get a flower, usually a hibiscus, and put it beside my grandmother’s plate.  He continued to do this up until the very end.

My mother has been in ICU and the hospital for the past few days.  I ended up ‘baby-sitting’ for my father, who is in Stage 6 with his AD yesterday.  Last Friday, when I was down at the house, for a party, he was like living with Cliff Clavin from Cheers.  He constantly chattered, to the point where my mother was almost insane.  She begged him to stop for just five minutes.  He stopped for five seconds.  Because of that, I was dreading today.  But – interestingly enough, and this is something we are going to need to keep track of, he has been quite, just wonderfully behaved while she’s been in the hospital.  Aside from the possibility that he is doing his best to be naughty around her, something else was quite evident.

We’ve noticed before, how he always wants to pray, to discuss going to church.  This evening, he prayed before the meal I ‘prepared’.  Then, when Maggie came in (she’s staying with him tonight), he wanted to pray, again.  She said, the other day, she thought he had fallen.  He was on his knees, praying.

He’s 90 now.  I guess we know what the real person is.  Oh, sure, I’m ticked with him over the usual daughter -father things, that we always hold against our parents, into infinity and beyond, but that’s just part of life.  It tells us who and what he really is.  While I was preparing this, I was looking through used images for a ‘featured image’.  Up came all these so-called godly men, you know the ones who have mega churches, cults, million dollar donors, and are the godly men who have been forced to step down from their organizations because of sexual abuse, pedophilia, or defending pedophiles.  I look at my father and realize this is what a truly godly man looks like.

FYI:  The photo was taken on Tuesday.  Princess Sadie is attempting to beg yet more peanuts from him.  He keeps ‘forgetting’ that she’s not to have them – yet he remembered she couldn’t have chocolate. The peanut jar is barely seen in on the lower left.  The lid, was closed at the time.

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