Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dementia Sucks

My dad has dementia. He has for years, but now, there is no denying it. He isn't just "a bit wierd".. he is blatantly and obviously ill.

He's had 2 brain surgeries, many many knee surgeries, surgery for colon cancer, and surgery to have more than half his liver removed.

What did it to him? I don't know. But the brain and liver surgeries are the most likely culprits.

The liver filters poisons from the body. He has less than half of his now. Ammonia builds up in the body when the liver can't remove it.
He drinks over a 6 pack of coca cola a day. Eats packs and packs of cookies. More sugar than I can ever imagine eating. I'm betting that makes it a lot worse. He could probably keep it partially at bay by eating a veggie heavy diet with a lot of whole grains but I've never seen more than a few veggies ever leave his plate to anywhere except the trash can. I keep looking at reasearch about ways to help this particular brand of dementia but all of the things that could help it are things he would never do.

Right now my parents are visiting ostensibly to help take care of my kiddos while I get used to having a toddler and a newborn. But my dad is like another toddler himself in attitude and maintenance.

He has developed all the common hallmarks of dementia. The wandering. The paranoia. Loosing things. Sundowners.

Sundowners is particularly strange. For some reason people with dementia almost always get worse when the sun goes down. He can seem just a little slow most the day, but when the sun goes down that's when we get to see how truly sick he is.

I don't know why I'm posting all this here, except out of pure frustration. There's no one else to talk to it about so I'm letting it out to float around the interwebs. For anyone who made it this far, thanks for "listening." Time to go check on the newborn.

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