I called Dad around 10:30 this morning, after a couple of rings, he answered his hospital room phone. It was good to hear his voice, it was raspy as my brother told me, he was quite tired and he didn’t talk long.
But here is the thing: I noticed it last weekend when we spoke last weekend, his words were slurred. Slurred speech always means stroke from what I’ve learned over the last ten years.
I mentioned this to my oldest brother who stopped by to see him briefly yesterday and he said Dad has an infection, and between the low sodium and too much fluid in his body, that’s probably all it is.
That doesn’t sit right with me. I saw it and heard it in my Grandmother’s voice years ago and wish I knew then what I know now. It’s frightening for the person it’s happening to and it’s alienating because we don’t understand what they’re saying. Regretfully, I was uncomfortable in her presence back then and didn’t know what to do.
I found my notes from last year when Dad was admitted to the hospital, his speech was not slurred. So it’s a mystery that only time will tell. From the information I’m looking at on Dementia here: http://www.dementiacarecentral.com/node/540, slurred speech is not part of the disease.
I am concerned for Dad, if he needs additional care, which costs exponentially more. It is staggering the cost of healthcare for seniors. And, I’ll admit, it’s heartbreaking to see someone who worked so hard and saved all his life, served two tours of duty in WWII, spend his whole life savings on medical bills.