Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson ended his long battle with Alzheimer's three years ago today. His daughter Jesse wrote beautiful letters about her relationship with her disappearing father. Here she describes a trip out to Penguins restaurant at Whole Foods. Not a successful trip, he was glad when it was over.

Finally he was clean and I helped him put on fresh clothes. Whew! He was sweet, and thanked me for our trip. He told me "it makes me feel like..." What he meant was it makes him feel like he is a "real boy." That is a reference to Pinocchio he used to use when his verbal skills were better. He feels that his dementia has turned him into a wooden marionette, and he wants to be a "Real Boy.” He has started to get the idea that being at Britthaven is like being in jail. There are always new problems, things that I have to work through with the aides, the Floor Nurse, The Director of Nursing. As soon as one is solved, another one pops up. There is no way Dad can get the personalized care he had at home. Still, the worst prison he is in is the prison of this disease, whatever it is.

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