The Prodigal Dad

Sunday, May 19

It’s 1:30 in the morning and I’ve just finished updating this blog with the latest on Dad. He went missing from the managed care facility where he was staying in Lake City Thrusday night. He was walking back to Jacksonville. Jax to Lake City is a two hour drive, so he had a lot of walking to do.

Four hours earlier, a couple of Jacksonville Sheriff’s Officers stopped by to clue me in on Dad’s travels from county to county getting rides from the various officers and how they lost track of him at a truck stop at Interstate 10 and US 301. They’d put a BOLO out on him and started tracking down his last known places of residences. The West 33rd Street facility was particulary unhelpful according to the police. The apartment complex office was closed, so I was really the only other addressess they had associated with him.

The two officers who talked to me got the rundown on Dad’s health problems and gave me the contact information for the Lake City police were handling Dad’s case. The young officer who came out at 1:30 basically went over the same material, but I at least had the opportunity to tell him about Dad’s borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, hydrocephaly, the mass on his right parietal lobe and the scar on his right frontal lobe all of which affect his ability to make decisions. I told him, too, that he’s in congestive heart failure. I offered to print out a ist of his medications he needs to take, but got no takers. He did take a picture of a picture I have of my dad from nearly twenty years ago that still looks quite like him. The officer had me sign a statement that all the information I gave them was true, and that would allow them to put Dad into the NCIS system and get other officers elsewhere looking for him.

Knowing there was nothing more I could do, I took a sleeping pill and went to bed. I figured I’d get up early and power-walk off some of this stress. I was awakened at seven-thirty by the lady who owns the Lake City facility. She wanted me to know the police had visited her and asked if Dad was there. She told me that Dad went off in a huff when he wanted her to give him $20 so he could go to the store. She explained that I wouldn’t be sending CashApping the money until Monday and that it would hit her account on Wednesday, so that’s the soonest she could give him his money.

Dad had a fit. Started swinging around profanities to her and decrying my existence in any way he could.  Shenay, the owner of the facility, told him that he wouldn’t have time to walk down to the store and be back in time for supper, and Dad took that at a “you can’t go” order and started throwing out profanities at her, told her he was going to leave and go back to Jax, and she made the mistake of not believing him. He took off, and he didn’t come back. (Of course, I got no phone call telling me my dad was missing, but that’s another story).

Thinking I might hear something overnight, I kept my phone on–something I don’t normally do. I unplug at eight or nine at night and don’t usually turn on my phone again until about eleven the next morning. Something told me to keep the phone on, so I did.

Sure enough, I got a call from Shenay at seven-thirty in the morning frantically explaining how the police had been there and that she’d done all she could do to give information on him. I let her know that we’re tying to get him Baker Acted and that if she comes into contact with Dad, she’s to call the police to have them come pick him up.

So, from there, I figure it’s safe enough to head out on my 6-mile walk. I walk nearly to the corner, and who should appear, but Dad. Walking up with his walker. Long light mint green tee-shirt on over oversized dark shorts. He had a pink foil bubble wrap envelope stuffed with carrots that he wanted to give me. I told him I didn’t want them, and he huffed up on me. I explained that I was going for a walk and couldn’t carry them, so he turned around and headed out of my neighborhood. I asked him where he was staying, and he told me he was staying at The Colonial behind Walgreen’s. There is no Colonial behind Walgreen’s. He even mentioned how much it cost a month to stay there, and I wondered where he could have gotten the money. Later in the day, he said he was going to go to a party in some apartments across from the old Winn-Dixie store on Old Baymeadows around four or four-thirty. I kept that in mind, and when I got back from my walk, I called the number the officer gave me to pass that info on to the officer on the case. That was around noon. It’s nearly twelve hours later, and I’ve heard nothing back from her.

Later in the day, Dad stopped by our house. Wanted money. I told him I didn’t have any, which I don’t. He seemed to take that in stride. Wanted to know when I’d be giving Shenay his weekly money, and I told him I’d do that Monday. Dad made mention he’d have to get back to Lake City to pick up his money and all the rest of his stuff that’s there. I have no doubt he will forget to close out the joint account he made with Shenay where his Social Security will be deposited in a few weeks. I certainly hope that he didn’t stop his pension from being direct deposited into the account it goes in now. At least I can keep that money safe.

Tomorrow, I guess I’ll call the police again to see where they are in finding Dad. He needs to get back on his medication, all of which is in Lake City along with his clothes and sundries. Dad figures on walking back.

In the meantime, Andy’s going to get with our old doctor’s folks to see if he can track down our doctor. He’s been seeing Dad for 20 years and should be able to give a good account as to why Dad should not be left to live on his own devices. He needs a secure facility.

I’ll contact the guardianship attorney to let her know Dad is missing and that plans to go through with the guardianship may take a turn if Dad winds up in court of his own volition. I think I’ll still visit the couple of nursing home facilities that service I hired suggested I see just in case I can get dad back here and willing to move in.

Somewhere in all that, I also have to finish proofreading a book and getting out the invoice for it. Work can’t stop just because Dad’s on a walkabout.

 

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