I was thinking about whether to write this or not, and I have decided to do it.
I do not know how much/whether I will be able to write on the blog in the foreseeable future. I would like to but I might not have the strength.
In the last four days, my father’s mind has completely disintegrated. He is babbling incoherent stories over and over again, expressing paranoid fears that somebody, somewhere, somehow is out to get him, rob him or even kill him. It is impossible to reason with him or to have any conversation at all because he is unable to finish one sentence without trailing off to another.
I am not a physician, but this is probably some form of dementia, maybe Alzheimer’s, maybe something else. The trouble is that the very nature of the illness makes it impossible to even start to deal with it. He refuses to acknowledge that something might be wrong with him and refuses to consult a physician. He insists on “important” talks with me where he inevitably trails off to the same string of incoherent and irrelevant stories. He has a deeply held conviction that something is wrong but is completely unable to say what and why. Everything that is even slightly out of the ordinary is proof of some conspiracy against him or against me – the stranger who walked past the house last month, the nurse who was slightly glib with him a year ago, the change in his prescription meds, the unanswered call message on his smartphone – everything and everywhere. After I think we have dealt with one of his imaginary problems, he pulls out another – the same one that I thought we dealt with yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. We are moving in circles.
He had some signs of mental decline, but at a rate that seemed normal for his age. These last four days it has accelerated extremely and it took me completely by surprise. A week ago he was able to finish a sentence and talk normally, now he is not.
I tried to work, but I can’t concentrate. I tried to explain things to him, but I know that if he has dementia, I can’t do that either. I can’t do anything, except maybe cry. I love my father, but I cannot spend my whole day listening to his incoherent ramblings for hours a day every day. I am exhausted to the point of breaking.