More Surprises

We had a great 100th birthday party for Dad on Saturday. A total of 94 people were at our house to help us celebrate. Dad was in rare form as I interviewed him about his life. The night before we had dinner with the family, and I also interviewed him for about 30-45 minutes. Yesterday Kevin and his family along with Ken and Virginia went out to visit Dad. He was still alert and able to talk and answer questions about his life.

I had received a call from Life Care on Friday night telling me they had diagnosed a blood clot in his lower left leg and were starting him on Lovenox. This morning around 6:20, I received a call from Life Care that his leg had continued to swell, that it had begun to blister, and that one of the blisters had popped. They felt he should go to the ER. I agreed; so here we are. It’s now 10:01 am. They have found that his white blood cell count is 20,000 and have requested antibiotics to address the problem. It looks like he will be here a few days.

Now for the second, and bigger, surprise. Yesterday afternoon Ken asked if I could take him to Lowe’s to get something for Kate. When we got in the car, he said there was another reason he wanted us to go out – that he wanted to talk with me about something. Then he said, that he and Virginia had noticed some differences in Kate. When he said that, I immediately choked up and couldn’t talk. As we started to drive away, he said that he had been diagnosed with dementia in April of this year. I choked up again and told him that I had wanted to let him know about Kate, but she didn’t want anyone to know.

After going to Lowe’s we went to Panera for coffee but especially to chat a bit. We decided to have a conversation with Kate and Virginia after we got home. At home he told Kate that he wanted to talk with the 2 of us a moment and broke the news to her. I never let her know that I already knew. Kate then told him that she has AD. That led to our bringing Virginia in to talk with us. We then had a good conversation for perhaps an hour. It was good to talk with them. I was the tearful one as usual. Ken, Virginia, and Kate seemed to handle things well.

Later Kate and I talked about feeling better that Ken had told us. Personally, I feel closer to them now that we have shared our information. I told Virginia this morning on the phone that we will walk this journey together.

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