My father recently had his 66th birthday. His father lived to the age of 64. These are the things I think about sometimes when I have a few seconds of silence and my brain takes a break from the every day hustle.
It’s not really that old. But, when you factor in incidents that have occurred in just the last 4 years…well, I start to worry.
In the last 4 years, my father has retired from work and has developed dementia. This may not mean much at first, except when you realize the side effects of such a disease.
Though my father has always been in pretty good physical health – despite the family health history of heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol, and high blood pressure that is common in Latino families – the dementia is making my father act differently. You expect differences in mannerisms, conversations, and daily routines, but I wasn’t prepared to see him make himself physically unhealthy.
And I could totally be way off here and incorrectly blaming the dementia. But, it’s all I have to go by at this point. I have no other way of explaining why suddenly he refuses to eat foods he always ate in the past. Or why he is a picky eater now just like a toddler. Why sometimes he won’t eat at all.
Which has all resulted in him weighing 149 pounds. One hundred forty-nine.
So I worry.
I worry that despite my mother’s efforts to make him eat, be active, and drink water, the disease will win over. I worry that a slight cold will make him land in the hospital and will completely invade his body. I worry that he’s just not strong enough to withstand…well much of anything really.
Extreme concerns perhaps, but valid given the circumstances and non-progression for the better.
And then I go past worried to just being sad.