It’s time for Congress, yes even the Republicans, to admit that there is something very wrong with Trump. It’s time for them to ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT to PROTECT AMERICA and the WORLD.
It’s not normal to get lost on your way down the steps of your plane to the large black limo at the foot of them and wander off. Being tired and working hard does not explain missing the limo at the foot of the stairs. I have seen the same confused look on my father’s face that I saw on the POTUS’s face as he walked away from the large black limo that was waiting for him and looked around. He seemed confused as to where he was and what he was doing, possibly even who he was, then a man waved him back. He seemed to realize what was happening then , or maybe he did. At the very least, he seemed to realize where he needed to go.
My father has Advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. No, that does not make me an expert, however; I have watched Trump repeatedly act confused in the same way I observed my father acting confused as the disease destroyed his brain. I am genuinely concerned that Donald Trump, the President of the United States, also has this debilitating disease. He may have something similar, but obviously, something is very wrong with his mental capacity and functioning. My concern with my father’s functioning was more for his own safety and well-being. My concern with Trump’s functioning is mostly for the safety of America and the World. He does have the nuclear codes. Think about that for a terrifying moment, a man who appears to have Alzheimer’s has the nuclear codes.
Congress, please think about that for more than a moment. Trump appears to have Alzheimer’s or another degenerative cognitive disorder AND he has the nuclear codes.
I remember the first time I realized my admittedly flawed father was going downhill. I had flown home to visit him and my step-mother. I had been there a day and he was walking down the hallway of his home with my step-mother, helping her into the restroom. He looked down the hallway at me as I walked in the door of their home and he said in a surprised and happy tone, “Jamie, when did you get home?” He was serious.
I said, “I got here yesterday.” I was concerned to say the least.
He laughed and waved his hand at me. He didn’t believe me, obviously. And he went about his task of helping his wife.
I had plans to go out with friends from high school for dinner that night and I hoped he wouldn’t go to bed and lock me out because he had forgotten I was visiting. I decided to ask my friends to wait when they dropped me off in case I needed to ask to sleep at one of their homes that night.
When I flew back many months later, my father was much worse. His wife was in the hospital having fallen and broken her hip while in the nursing home. He’d had outpatient surgery and my sister had promised to stay with him overnight but being developmentally delayed, although very high functioning, and also having grown up in a dysfunctional family, she didn’t communicate to me that my father was sundowning. Maybe she hadn’t seen it before that night as she didn’t live with him, and maybe she didn’t understand it herself. She never told me, but I suspect that she got scared and left.
I found out later that she left him alone and he wandered off, knocked on an elderly neighbor’s door, grabbed her by the arm, told her he was sleeping there that night, and the woman pushed him away, slammed the door, and called the police. I’m grateful that she did, because by the time they got there, he had nearly walked to a busy road a long distance from his home, the night after having outpatient surgery. They took him back to the hospital, cleaned him up, took care of him medically, and kept him safe. He stayed there until I arranged to take an emergency leave from my job and fly to the state and the hospital social worker and I found a safe nursing home placement for him together.
During that visit, I usually visited my father during the day, arriving in the morning and taking him a black cup of coffee from the coffee shop downstairs because he liked that. He would be friendly and talkative. He was more like his old self although he had some limitations on his memory and he sometimes thought my mother was still alive, at other times he thought his second wife who had been on the same floor as him, was still alive. She had died shortly before I flew up to see him. Ironically, I attended her funeral the week I was there with him. He didn’t, as he thought she was still alive.
I saw him experience sundowners one time, the day of his second wife’s funeral. I went to her funeral that morning and then friends came to my father’s home afterwards and helped me pack up his belongings. Afterwards, I went to visit my father, for the first and last time in the evening.
He looked right at me, a brunette with brown eyes and saw my blonde, blue eyed sister. He called me by her name. He reached into a cloth bag he had and told me that I needed to take her pills. He walked towards me and said, “Charlie, take your pills.” He held his empty hand out after reaching into the bag.
And I, a professional who had worked successfully with mentally ill patients, many who hallucinated, said, “I’m not Charlie.” I said it because he was my father. I was in shock and pain, and fighting not to cry. I’d always had compassion for my clients, but this was painful on a personal level. He was my father.
He got angry then, at Charlie, my sister. He walked away, grumbling. Then within moments he said he was tangled in fishing wire as his IV became wrapped around him, and he tried to fix it. He was agitated, and I knew from my childhood how violent he could be. I went and asked a nurse if she would help him. She was kind, and came into the room and helped him.
A few moments later he walked out of the room. I called him and asked him to come back. He ignored me. I went after him, called him, “Dad”, and softly touched his arm, trying to guide him gently back to the room. He looked at me with hate and anger in his eyes. I’d seen that look many times throughout my childhood and teen years and it had often been followed by violence. I dropped my hand from his arm. My father was elderly but not small. I walked to the nurse’s station and again asked for help. The nurse went and walked my father back to his room. He went with her with no problem.
The nurse told me that the man who sits with my father would be there soon. They had someone to sit with him in the evenings due to the sundowners. An aide sat in the room with him all night long.
I told her that I was going to say goodbye to my father and get going. She said okay. My father’s room was right across from the nurse’s station so they could keep an eye on him during the day.
I said good-bye to my father, told him I’d be back the next day. I didn’t know if he understood.
I made it to the elevator before I started sobbing, and then I couldn’t stop for a very long time. Doctors, nurses, other visitors got on and off the elevator. No one said anything or disturbed me in any way. I think they were used to seeing people in tears in the elevator and in the hospital. I was thankful for their silence and their respect.
Eventually my father didn’t know me at all. It didn’t matter what time of day it was. The disease progresses. It is cruel for the person suffering and the family members who must watch.
For Donald Trump, it is dangerous for him, for America. and the World. I do not know how his disease will or how quickly it will progress. However, stress makes it progress more quickly. Being POTUS, all of the responsibility, the decisions, the criticism, has to be incredibly stressful.
I also know that Congress, yes, including all Republicans, must take responsibility for keeping America and the World safe. You can’t ignore this video. You can’t ignore the others that show Trump’s confusion. You can’t ignore that this is a serious health issue and that you, all of you will be held responsible if you take no action and something horrible happens to anyone, let alone America or another country because you took no action.