And that's where I'm struggling. I WANT to love my father as much as possible so I feel its important that I know everything that is happening. But the reality is - I don't need to know everything. I know everything that I NEED to know. Even as his Power of Attorney I need to understand that as long as I'm proactive and a participant in his care, I know what I need to know for today.
This week I'm taking a HUGE step. I am NOT going to a doctor's appointment with him. His nurse from The Manor is going with him. I have discussed any concerns with her and with his doctor beforehand and I feel OK about this - not totally - but I feel OK. As I said, its a huge step for ME. Dad will be fine. The nurse has an amazing personality and has traveled with Dad before. It's just a follow up exam, blood work and medication check.
This weekend was extremely difficult and I spent a few days considering whether or not this is information I need/want to share with people. At this point there is more and more information that I will NOT be sharing for two reasons. First, for Dad's privacy and respect. And second, because I know that people in Dad's life would rather remember him the way he was. Although I do not fully understand that, I respect it. For me, there's no question of being there all along the journey even through the shadows of the darkness. But I understand how people would not want to be there and would rather sit at the porthole waving and encouraging him as he enters.
Dad loves looking at photos with me. I use my iPad and, thanks greatly to my Uncle Keith (Dad's brother), I have a lot of photos of his youth and extended family to show him. He loves people and places and even the most insignificant photo can bring him joy IF he can connect it to a positive memory. We look at them every time I go over to see him. We spend about 30 minutes looking at photos and then about an hour or so playing Rummy (which, by the way, he still kicks my butt in! The score yesterday: Dad 355...me....65).
There are four things I say every time I visit my father.