The first sign of my father’s illness was a series of mini-strokes on his right side. We had no clue what was going on. He had no signs of forgetfulness but began to move rather slowly.
As time went by, he began having more small strokes, then he became very silent, not speaking much, very antisocial. He went from being one of the most jovial and happy human being to a very withdrawn and unfriendly person.
One thing we were very happy about was that he was never combative, never angry or argumentative. He became a very quiet withdrawn person, someone that we never knew.
About two years into him being withdrawn he wondered away, walked for about 10 miles from home alone, then he refused to sleep in his bed, but would rather be in his car. At this time he was still not forgetful, however my mom had to pay special attention in making sure that he had the correct clothing together before he puts them on. We started paying close attention to him.
As time lingers on he showed up at work twice in one day. He forget his way home from work, and started getting ready for work at late evening thinking it was early morning. When preparing his coffee he would use salt thinking it was sugar or boiling water in an electric kettle.
The one important thing was that my mom, sister and myself were CNAs (Certified Nurses Assistants), we had ideas of what to do and how to act, since that was what we do on a daily basis at work.
All three of us became his caregivers. The worst was yet to come, as time went on……….to be continued. 07/01/12