Tuesday, May 03, 2005

talking out loud...

My father has the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease.

He's not going to be one of those sweet older patients with dementia. He's difficult to manage, combative, argumentative--all the least attractive parts of his personality seem to be surfacing, and to the tenth power.

Tonight he called me just for someone to talk to. I have to work very hard to remember that he's operating from a diseased portion of his brain, that he's not responsible for the things he does or the choices he makes or the words he says.

But I don't know how to deal with his need to talk to someone, and my need to be in a quiet space, especially when those needs happen at the same time. He needs to talk out loud to someone. I need quiet space around me. I'm not comfortable making my needs come first all the time--but I can't be what he needs right now either.

And meanwhile, he just continues talking out loud...and tomorrow he won't remember what we said, or even that we had a conversation.

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