I am home after five days in Brisbane, the sunshine state certainly put on a good show for us weather wise living up to the old saying “Queensland is beautiful one day, perfect the next!”
So my eldest son (Mr 14), my Dad and I flew up last Thursday to visit my brother, his fiancé and their exceptionally cute two year old son for five days. It was Mr 14’s first plane trip and he loved it! No travel sickness for anyone, I think I have finally found a travel pill that works and we also had an incredibly smooth flight which helps.
My brother is lucky enough to live within walking distance of pituresque Southbank and the bustling Brisbane City Centre, I had never really spent time in Brisbane before and was surprised at just how beautiful and green it was, there are parklands, play grounds and manicured public gardens everywhere and of course it’s warm so all the trees have leaves in winter which was a pleasant change from my part of the country
So my holiday was fantastic but today I have been hit with wave of unexpected depression. Holiday-lag perhaps. I think that there are many contributing factors, I returned home to find out that we had completely run out of water and the water truck man I had organized didn’t turn up then when I rang him he said he couldn’t come out until tomorrow and he had increased his price by $80. We told him not to worry about it and now we have to figure something else out so that we can shower again as it doesn’t look like it’s going to rain any time soon.
I am really tired, I have actually slept more in the last week than I usually do but for some reason I am exhausted. My routine is out of whack, I haven’t been for a run in a week which is stressing me out, I think spending that time with my brother’s family made me realize how much I miss seeing them and overwhelmingly I am really noticing the slow decline in Dad.
My regular readers would know that my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier this year, it’s sad to see Dad’s memories fading, watching him have fun with my young nephew and knowing that he soon won’t remember it so it was really special to be able to get lots of photographs and some video footage of the trip that we can show him later on.
One evening after Dad turned in for the night, my brother, sister in law and I watched a 4 corners episode about Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It followed the stories of a few different people as their condition progressed and it was sobering to say the least, there is such a long road to go down, it’s scary and so, so sad.
When we flew back to Canberra Mr14 and I spent the night at Dad’s place, Mum is still away in Canada with her friend and he is leaving for his bucket list trip to Darwin today that Mum booked for him seemingly out of some sort of miss-placed guilt about going overseas without him. While his condition isn’t too bad yet and the new medication he is on is making a difference, I am quite worried about him embarking on this trip alone.
I really want him to have the experience – he’s been talking about going since I was about 5yrs old, but I wish Mum was going with him and I am annoyed at her for being so unconcerned about it all.
He is mostly fine as long as he sticks to his routine and everything goes exactly as he expects it to like at home, but he gets quite muddled & distressed when something changes and frankly he has been back home from Brisbane 24 hours and was already tired, he then he had to leave at 4.30am get a taxi to the airport catch a plane to Sydney, then transfer all his baggage and catch a new plane in a different area to Darwin and then find the tour group. Coming home is even more complicated- its a lot of steps for him at the best of times and I really hope there are no gate changes or delays!
It is an over 50’s tour group and I rang them and told them about Dad’s condition as my Mum had not even mentioned it when she booked him in ( I swear she’s in denial). They were very grateful to have the heads up and I gave them my contact details in case of any issues. I have given him dot point, step by step instructions and booked his taxi for him, I went through his phone and updated his contacts information and filled out his medical ID with all of his medications, current doses etc. He can sort them into their little boxes but if you ask him out of context what he takes, he can’t tell you.
Sigh… His plane should be landing in Darwin in about five minutes so I will send him a text message to ask if he had a good flight (and check that he got there ok!).
Have you had experience with Dementia /Alzheimer’s in a loved one?
Do you get holiday-lag when you come home to reality?