On Monday January 5th, 2010 I went with my Dad, Mom and my Dad's Mom (my grandma obviously) to visit my Grandpa who is in a nursing home. He suffers from Alzheimer's. For many years in the beginning stages he would forget small things that really didn't make a difference to us in the way we perceived him as "our grandpa". He still knew who we all were, still cracked all the same funny jokes and still gave the best hugs and sloppiest kisses EVER!!!! Over the years he has gotten increasingly worse the effects of this awful disease has take the grandpa who I've know all these years and put a stranger in him.
He can still walk (with a walker), he can still fead himself but recently became incontinent. I wasn't sure what to expect when we saw him on that Monday. I didn't know that he was incontinent and this was hard for me to see. He was different this time. He seemed very lost. He had no idea who we were. Every once in awhile he will remember one of us. This time he just stared at us like somewhere deep down he knew who we were but he couldn't figure why or how. He didn't talk very much but when we would ask him questions, he would respond. He seemed very tired, more than usual. He just couldn't keep his eyes open while sitting on the recliner. He kept rubbing his eyes like they were hurting him...they were so puffy. He is a picker and when I went to grab his hand to just let him know I was there, I saw blood all under his fingers nails. Why is this here? He picks at everything on his skin until he bleeds. They have no way of stopping him because he will just rip the bandages off and continue to pick. He has picked so bad sometimes that he has left huge infected sores. If I were his nurse, he would be as clean as a whistle. There is no excuse for this. His deamner was not of the norm and he seemed like he was already in another place (in his mind) not hear with us on earth but yet waiting to be taken home to the lord.
I don't like the nursing home that he is in and I hate that my family that lives so close doesn't go seem him very often. Months will go by and no one has come to see him. I live an hour away which is NO EXCUSE not to go. I am so emotional when I go and I can't go alone. I know I need to visit him more often regardless of how hard it is. I love him so much and I want him to know that he is loved (even if he doesn't know we are there). He has always been a special grandpa to me and I can't imagine him not here with us.
My granpda (Nate) has always said funny things my whole life. Right now, having no memory, he will ask me, "Why are you so cute?". I just crack up. He really is asking too. He makes me laugh so hard. There have been times that he has thought I was a boy - not sure why. He has also commented on my butt when I was walking in front of him - he said, "Who is that girl with the big butt?" My Dad said, "that's your granddaughter! He just laughed.
My grandpa was always there for us to make us laugh and to feel safe. We knew we could always count on him to be there when we needed him. I'm very sad that he is mentally not here with us but I know that this is the path that God has chosen for him and he will be ok.
~Go hug your grandpa and tell him how much you love him!~