San Diego Log - Stardate: Depressing
I am once again in San Diego. In fact, I was here two years ago, just before the COVID restrictions fell into place, to celebrate his 87th birthday. A lot has changed, and some, not so much.
That weekend in March was the last time I saw my dad walk on his own. We did dinner at my brother’s townhouse, and the struggle to get him down the stairs was a harbinger of things to come.
Alas, he soon required a walker, and now a wheel chair to effectively get around.
His cognitive faculties have degraded. Two years ago, he could sort of communicate, if slowly and clumsily. Today, you can see glimmers of some understanding in his eyes, but not much. And he can barely answer with single syllables.
During the worst of COVID, he was at home, my stepmother (two yers younger) was mostly able to care for him, with increasing outside help. But it finally became too much and he has found a good place in a care facility. It is a homey environment, with not too many patients, and outstanding caregivers who live on the premises.
He seems to be doing well there, as well as can be expected.
I have been to visit two or three times a year over the last 4 years, and the progression as his Alzheimer’s gets worse is disconcerting. My brother, who lives here and has been helping out, notices it, but the gradual degradation is hard to visualize. When you see it 3-6 months apart, it is fucking terrifying.
I take comfort knowing he is getting the the best care that he can, and the facility he in isn’t institutional, or impersonal.
Doesn’t make it a good situation, but it is what it is.
Not a great 4 day weekend, but it was necessary.