We thought it was harmless

We thought it was harmless when Papi called and said he felt a little tired. This was in the end of September.

I live abroad and he lives in Delfzijl. We met in August where he was doing fine. Golfing three times a week. Being a strong 77year old man, full of initiatives and plans. We considered him the youngster of our family. No smoking. No drinking. Having a healthy life. Always been fit for duty.

The tiredness continued. Thought it was a virus. This was in October. He then called a doctor. The doctors were sending him to to blood analysis and sent him to the cardiologist. But obviously that didn’t  bring results.  His voice was strong as always. I still didn’t expect anything bad and I for a 3 week vacation in November!!! I will always regret I didn’t go to see him immediately. We texted during my holidays and I saw the situation was not improving. As I came back, I decided to visit him.

On December 9th I came to his flat where he lives with his wife. He didn’t drive the car for several weeks. He was too tired to pick me up from the train station what never ever happened in my lifetime before. They haven’t been for the groceries for weeks- the neighbor had provided for.

He made small steps, felt very heavy and was afraid to fall. The voice was as strong as ever. The way he talked was as ever. He wondered what it was. No pain. No headache. No other symptoms- he said.

Now I should become a testimony of the situation. I saw how weak he was and how tired.  I had the feeling he didn’t see certain things or walked in a weird way. While eating he began to clear up just one half of the plate and kept the other one dirty.

Slowly I began to understand that my father didn’t tell all the truth to the doctors. He didn’t tell he had problems in getting dressed or that he had a small accident by parking in the garage.  He never mentioned that moving and coordination became difficult. I think he wanted to avoid because of feeling ashamed or because of thinking of getting dement. Maybe it was Alzheimer?