Page 2 – Journal Entries 18 February, 2019 – 15 June, 2019
Feb. 18: TV and set top box unplugged. Remote control in truck again…
Almost every day, sometimes twice a day I hear, “Eric come here” . When I get downstairs the TV and the set top box are unplugged. For months I’ve told him not to unplug anything and yet, nearly every day, sometimes twice a day he unplugs it. Last week I put up a sign right over the plug yet he still unplugs it…
Mar. 5: Constant “issues” with TV. Keeps unplugging TV and says it doesn’t work. A lot of “can’t hear” type stuff. Doesn’t understand volume up/down button.
Checks to see if door locked at least 3 times a night, often 4 or more times.
Doesn’t remember going to basketball game a few weeks ago, often cannot state where he ate his last meal.
Was using paper towels instead of toilet paper.
Still hiding keys, phone, and wallet.
Mar 9: It isn’t lost, it is hidden. Places to check.
Drawers: under stuff, inside socks, inside pockets…
Clothes in closet: pockets, etc.
Under furniture: bed, mattress, night stand, couch
Other: truck, fridge
example: “I can’t find my money”. Apparently last night he took of his pants, rolled them up, and stuck them in a drawer under other clothes. His phone, wallet, and truck keys were in them.
Mar. 17: Dad hidden / lost wallet. This is day 2 of searching for his wallet. He has most likely hidden it again for the umpteenth time although he could have lost it. My wife and I have spent at least 4 hours the last 2 days looking through everything in the basement. She called everywhere he eats and no wallet has been turned in. Credit card has been cancelled as a precaution although no charges recorded. Now I have to get his insurance cards, social security card, and license. I believe the wallet went missing the evening of the 15th.
Mar. 19: Dad’s missing wallet appeared yesterday. He can’t or won’t tell me where he found it. He has always been, well he often does not tell the truth. With his dementia this makes figuring out what’s what even harder.
Scammers constantly calling.
Hopefully I’ve found a way to block all callers except “trusted contacts”. I made his trusted contacts:
Me, my wife, his daughter, his grandson.
Mar. 22: I’ve purchased and set up a device finding thing called Tiles. I’ve put one on each of his key rings (2), superglued one to his phone, and put a slim version in his wallet with “leave in wallet” written on it. Already had to use it twice…
His replacement credit card came today and I’ve changed the appropriate autopay accounts.
If I do not tell him where we go when we leave the house he worries. If I do tell him he sometimes forgets. If only one of us is here he wants to know where the other one is.
Lately he feels the need to announce to us when he goes to bed.
Will not stop fiddling with the thermostat and often screws it up. Locks coming…
Mar. 27: Still unplugging the TV and cable box. Installed locking outlet and put cable box and surge strip in drawer. Drawer screw shut with 5, 2-inch screws.
Mar. 28: That didn’t last long…
He moved the 55′ TV and unplugged it from the back. I ask why. His answer, “I didn’t do it.”
Next, heat… He said “I’ve finally got it working.”
It is set to emergency heat, fan always on. I ask why he won’t leave it alone, his answer, “I didn’t do it.” Lock coming for that. I don’t know how to stop him from moving TV. It’s 0658hrs and I’ve already had it.
1900hrs: Put lock on thermostat. Added Aunt **** to trusted contacts.
Wednesday, April 17: A few days ago he was depressed and asked “Do you hate me?”. I asked why he would ask such a thing. Basically he gets upset because we don’t hang out every day. I explained I have a job and do other stuff and I love him (I check on him several times a day). He said I hope so because you’re my son and you and her (my wife) are all I’ve got. Thinking back I wonder if he can recall her name.
Today he just seemed a little off. I asked, “Dad, do you know who I am?” He said “It’s right here… I just can’t…” I said, “I’m your son.” He just stared at me. I asked, “What’s my name?” He fumbled around a bit, but could not come up with my name.
Yesterday I went to the Alzheimer’s Association and talked to them, they are sending me more info. I can see it quickly getting to the point where we are going to need help.
Tuesday, April 23: Now he remember stuff that didn’t happen. This is coupled with the fact that he can’t explain things anymore. He communication skills have severely deteriorated.
Often it is “Well you said or did” or “So-and-so said or did” or “I talked to” or…
For instance yesterday:
My wife went downstairs to fix his TV (again with the volume). This turned in to, “She asked about my money” (his box of change). She didn’t see it and didn’t ask about it.
I have asked him twice if he wanted to hang out with people his age (adult day care). Not interested in the slightest.
Thursday, April 25: First thing in the morning, he is upset. He can’t find his money. He took the cash out of his wallet and hid it. 20 minute search, screw it, write him a check. I watch him via Onstar, he cashed it.
Later he has his change out again. “What ya doing Dad?” “Counting my money, I’m broke.” he says.
“Dad, you just went to the bank. Look in your wallet.” $300+ in there.
I ask if he wants to cash his change, a few days ago the answer was no. Today it is yes. On the way to work we cash his change via Coinstar. The total is $310. He is a little disappointed because he always looked at it like it was a small fortune. Coinstar takes 11.5% . I usually write him a check for the total and get the Amazon gift card to save him the fee. I’m just not in the mood to repeatedly explain what he isn’t going to understand.
I’m headed for work. I have told him twice where and when, I’ve put it on his whiteboard too. 30 minutes after I get to work he calls, doesn’t know why.
Later I see he is at GC eating.
My wife got home, she is barely out of her car when he goes outside and says, “I think Eric is hurt.” She reassures him everything is fine.
He comes upstairs not an hour later and asks, “Where’s Eric?” She explains again and asks he if has eaten, he says no although he has. She makes him a sandwich. 1/2 an hour later he comes upstairs and asks, “Where’s Eric?”
Not too long after that he states he is going to bed.
There is no respite…
Thursday, April 25 Saved video:
Last night I watched him go in to utility room checking doors and hiding stuff. There are 60+ videos of 40+ times he went in / through there between 4 and 9. One of the times he turned off the lights before hiding his wallet under the dresser. Bizarre, heartbreaking behavior.
Videos saved to zip file.
This morning:Keys hidden on top of dresser in utility room, wallet hidden under it.
Me:”Dad, I keep asking you to stop hiding stuff.”
Dad: “I don’t do it.”
Me: “Who do you think does it?”
Dad: “I didn’t do it.”
Saturday, April 27: Haven’t even finished my coffee. He whistles to me, which is super pleasant when you just wake up. He has phone and TV remote in hand. I can’t get these to work. The phone is off so I turn it on. He pulled one of the 2 batteries out of the remote which I had to find.
20 minutes later he bangs on the wall. I jump up spilling coffee on the carpet…great…
Can’t find phone and wallet. He hid them under the steps. He says something like, “It’s like someone is coming in here and taking my things.”
I explain, for the zillionth time, that he is hiding his stuff and yesterday I showed him a video of him doing it. Doesn’t remember.
The statement above about someone taking his things is interesting. It seems to indicate he knows his stuff goes missing frequently yet when confronted about it he denies this happens often and denies any involvement.
Tuesday, April 30: I’ve been up at 5 am and gone until after 5 pm the last 2 days (up in NOVA). I get home tonight exhausted, My wife has pizza ready.
I go to check on Dad, Remote is gone. Video shows he walked out with it when he got dinner. No evidence he brought it back but it could be in his pocket. I look 1/2 an hour with him. During our search I find the hammer I took outside and put in the shed 2 days ago. He has hidden in his TV room under some rocks from outside. I’m at a frigging loss on that one. I get an old remote and give it to him. I tell him I’m tired and to leave me alone for the rest of the night.
10 minutes later, TEN, he bangs on the door, he is holding a mini mag light, “I need a better flashlight.” I go down to see where his 2 large flashlights are. The mag lite is missing. The other has dead batteries. There are no more D cell batteries because I recently put them in his flashlights. I ask where the other flashlight is, he fumbles around and finally says, “Two guys from upstairs said they needed a flashlight.” No such thing has happened, 2 guys haven’t been in here.
I put 2 new batteries in the mini mag and begged him to let me be the rest of the night.
edit, next morning:
2104hrs, we have gone to bed. He is banging, BANGING on the wall. He has broken the HMDI cable because he yanked it out of the cable of the TV (see previous entries on this issue). I tell him I will fix it in the morning. Again I beg him to leave me be. I hear him opening/closing stuff for some time.
I check the video, 2120 through 2220 hrs, he comes out int to the utility room with flashlight at least 9 times. Don’t know what he is looking for.
Thursday, May 2: My AC isn’t working. It got very hot in here last night. He turned of part of the system in the utility room and it shut down. Once again, “I didn’t do it”
He is running on backup TV remote (see previous post).Yesterday he came upstairs and took my TV remote and DVD player remote, again, “I didn’t do it. I bought a new TV remote, this morning I customized it and fixed the HMDI cable. I tell him for the thousandth time to not unplug stuff, “I don’t unplug anything”.
He is convinced someone is doing all this stuff, insists he doesn’t lose anything, usually blames me when confronted. I don’t know how much longer I can do this. There isn’t a moment of relaxation when at home. When away I’m always trying to check up on him.
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Well it has been an up and down couple of days
Thursday, May 9: Yesterday seemed to be good. I had to “find his Money” which was in the pants he wore the day before.
Last night I had to locate his flashlights. 2 were under is mattress, one in a sock drawer, the other I don’t know.
Had to locate keys wallet again this a.m. Was under foot all day. Worried about nonsense all day.
This evening we get home and he is by his truck:
“What’s wrong Dad”
“I left my keys…” *stutter…mumble*
“Dad, your keys are in your hand” Looks down puts keys in pocket, continues to look for keys.
“Dad, you have your keys, they are in your pocket.” Pulls keys out of pocket, puts them back in pocket. We go through this a few more times. I finally walk away.
15 minutes later he yells upstairs, “I can’t find my…” *stutter…mumble*
(Hang on, you ain’t gonna believe this shit)
I go downstairs to find what is missing. It is his phone. I fire up the Tiles finder app. It hasn’t seen the phone since yesterday… The phone isn’t in house or truck. My wife says, “I watched him yesterday. He had his phone and went in to the shed. He was in there for a while and then went behind the shed.”
I go to the shed, the Tile finder app tells me the phone is close by. I can’t hear the Tile beeping. I get my Dad and make him help me look for the phone. We are actually pulling stuff out of the shed. No dice.
My wife said he went around behind the shed so I go back there. I finally hear the Tile beeping. He put the phone under a board behind the shed (on the actual ground).
Let me repeat, he put his phone out back, behind a shed, under a board, in the dirt…
What the actual F***?
I ask why and it is followed by the usual, “I didn’t do it.”
He asks, “What was back there?”
I reply, “Your phone.”
“Was there a dead body back there?”
… … … (I’m just staring at him)…
… Baffled I ask, “Why would you ask that?”
His reply is *stutter…mumble*.
So I’m sitting there trying to figure why he hid his phone, not that there is a rational reason.
“Dad is there someone you don’t want to talk to?”
“That girl”, he replies.
“What girl?”, I ask.
I check the phone logs. The only person to call him aside from me is *******.
“Dad, do you not want to talk to ***?””
I ask again.
Him: *stutter…mumble* “I don’t want to talk to her.”
So, I pull her from his trusted contacts.
At this point it is almost 8 p.m. I tell him I’m tired and to leave me alone for the rest of the night.
Oh, we aren’t done for the evening…
About 8:30 p.m.
He whistles up, I drag myself to the door, “What do you need Dad?”
“I lost my money” , he says. I go get my phone, fire up the Tile app, wallet is hidden in drawer.
Again, I tell him I’m tired and to leave me alone for the rest of the night.
10 minutes later… He is knocking on the wall, this time he can’t figure out how to tun the TV off. I turn it off.
For the third time, I tell him I’m tired and to leave me alone for the rest of the night.
8:55 p.m. He is knocking on the wall. I’m now furious. I swallow it and go downstairs. His shirt is off and clearly he was getting ready for bed. He wants to know what we are doing and then wants to come upstairs. “Do you see what time it is?” I ask. “9 o’clock”, he replies looking at the clock.
I just stare at him trying not to completely lose it.
I tell him, “Go to bed. Do not bother me again tonight.”
Thankfully it is over for the evening.
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Dad. What a Charlie Foxtrot.
Sunday, May 19: Spent all day Thursday with him. First his truck “Change oil” light came on. Even after explaining it didn’t need changing he was still in a tizzy. So we took the truck in and got a tune-up and oil change. While it was there they said in had an “error code” that said it needed a new transmission. $3000 plus labor. Not gonna happen.
I took him to breakfast and then we came home. I’m getting ready to head out because I’ve a ton of stuff to do. He whistles… The toilet pump-up system is broken and there is now shit and water all over the floor. It’s broken because he was flushing paper towels down the toilet for a while and it isn’t designed for that. Calling plumbers I got the same answer of ‘it’s gonna be days’… I explain to no avail that isn’t an option, my dad will lose it. So, I call around and find the pump-up unit (Saniflo SaniBest Pro). I replace it myself and clean everything up It was as nasty a job as it sounds. Plumbers earn their $.
Friday we had a 2 day getaway planned to VA Beach / Bob Seger concert. I’ve stocked him with ready-to-eat food, just in case. I’ve talked to him several times about whats up. I’ve posted notes everywhere.
Friday night I check Onstar and he is at Golden Corral. Good. Later I check the security cameras and all is well. Saturday I cannot access the cameras…
We get home Sunday and he isn’t here. I check Onstar and he is at GC again. His phone is here of course.
It is hot in the house, the AC is on but not working. I go downstairs and 1/2 the basement power isn’t working. He couldn’t figure out how to turn off the TV so he started shutting off breakers. Yes, the breakers in the panel box. Guess I’m gonna have to lock that too. Power for 1/2 the house was off. This includes his pump-up toilet that he unsuccessfully tried to bail out after shitting in it. So there is that mess for me to deal with too.
He claims he did none of that, I’m in no mood and we start to argue, he says, and I quote, “I’m gonna kill you”. I clean his mess and leave him be. I’m over it right now.
Wednesday, May 22: Yesterday he asked if his wife was still alive. She died in 2010.
This morning he asked if we were working today. “We” haven’t worked in like 9 months.
I ask why he is moping around. He says “I don’t have no money”. He has $131 in his wallet and I explain again he has a bank account and I’ll give him a check whenever he needs it. The “I don’t have no money” thing happens a lot and it really pisses me off for some reason.
His has been depressed the last few days. Again seems to think I’m supposed to hang out with him all day. I’ve stopped explaining I have a life and other things to attend to. Again I offer up hanging out with people his own age (adult day care), again he isn’t interested. Doesn’t want to hang out with “old people”.
Friday, June 7: Day 2 of the search for his TV remote (no this isn’t a repeat entry). My wife and I spent 1/2 an hour last night and again this morning looking for it. He denies knowing what it is. Denies hiding it. Says he doesn’t hide anything.
Blames me as usual. I’m crazy. I’m hiding it. I’m taking it…
Right now he is searching for it. Brought me the picture of it with instructions on it I made for him a while back. I say we need the actual remote. He says, “I don’t even know what that is.” I say the thing you change the TV channels with. He says, “I’ve never seen it.” I’ve had enough and say, “Let me know when you figure out how to change the channel” and I leave.
He is getting worse and making our lives worse in the process. Often we come home and we can’t even get from our car to the door before he darts outside with some kind of issue. Can’t relax in our own home.
“I don’t have any money” He is constantly saying it. Often this is while his wallet full of money is in his pocket.This happened 3 times yesterday. Once when my wife left for work. Once when I got home from work. Once when I got home from dinner. Each time his wallet is in his pocket. The last time it had $133 in it.
2 nights days ago he had eaten dinner about 3 o’clock. At 7 he tried to leave the house and my wife had to stop him, told him it was too late to leave. He said “I haven’t eaten, what am I gonna do?” So she made him a sandwich and cookies.
Saturday, June 8: He keeps coming having these weird dreams and often thinks they are real. This of course must have an effect on how he perceives things, and us. I fear the world he exists in is becoming further separated from reality.
Friday, June 14: His communications skills continue to deteriorate. Often you have to decipher what he is trying to say.
This morning he wanted to know what Mom died of and how long she had been gone. Beyond weird since today has been 9 years since she died. He has no clue of this, doesn’t know the day or date of what today is let alone when she passed.
Said he needed money and although he had $85 in his wallet I wrote him a check. I had been getting money out of his account myself and giving it to him as he often seems confuse at the process.He said he was fine to cash it but then wanted to know where the bank was. I said by Golden Corral and he claimed not to know where that is. I said you eat there almost every day. He seems to have no clue. I said just go eat hoping that will lead him there. Update: He found GC but not the bank. I had to give him cash.
Saturday, June 15: Last night – I know me not being here sends him into a tizzy. In the past I have multiple videos of him checking the basement exit door over and over, checking the truck over and over. Walking around inside and outside with a flashlight… Last night was the worst. We were gone approximately 2.5 hours. He spent the ENTIRE time doing the above (87 video alarms saved in dad_whenwearegone_2 folder) . When we came home he immediately came out of the house. He had a tape measure in hand and said he wanted to keep us from a “boom”. I’ve no idea what that means.
This morning – It has become routine that EVERY morning he “has no money”. EVERY morning I ask where his wallet is. EVERY morning the answer is “I don’t know”. I have to fire up Tiles app and find his wallet, phone, and keys.
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