Dad’s, of course, in a hard place…has been for years. However, lately it seems ‘harder’ yet if you asked me to give you the reasons, I’m sure I couldn’t. Here are a few things I’ve noticed. He seems more detached. He sleeps more. His pain, if possible, is greater especially in regards to his digestive and elimination tracks. He’s less able to articulate his needs or the sensations he’s experiencing. He can tell you he hurts, he can’t necessarily tell you where or what kind of pain it is. He doesn’t follow thoughts through as much. He’s disinterested in the things he use to be interested in. He’s much more emotional. The past seems more vivid than the present much of the time. He’s more fragile than ever. He’s less steady when he maneuvers himself around. He’s a lot weaker overall. In general, the decline has been steeper lately than in the past few months. Whether this is cyclical or a new phase he’s entered is anybody’s guess. Often in the past, he’s taken steep, fast dives and plateaued. Sometimes, he’ll go on to regain some of the ground he lost. Not lots but some. To me, as an observer for quite some time now, I don’t think he’ll be gaining any back. Maybe he’ll not sleep as much as he has lately. That is one cycle I fully expect to remain until the end. Overall, I’d say he’s in a time of losing territory, not a crisis, just steadily losing ground. How long this will go on and how much ground he’ll lose, that’s a question only time will tell. Mom and Dad celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary next month. 50 years! What an accomplishment. What a heritage I’ve been given! My prayer is that this decline is over long before then and they (we) are able to celebrate them the way we’d like to…as much as this illness will ever allow. That is something we’re all looking forward to, except, dad. He, of course, is usually completely unaware of dates and times. What a wretched disease!