FOR GREGORY. He was not a VICTIM of ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, he was a HERO!
PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I asked, "Where?"
He replied, "On the bathroom counter."
Not erring on the side of too much information, lets just say I figured out what he needed, took care of it, and got a good laugh out of it as well.
Monday, June 20, 2011
I comment, "I am glad that there isn't an outdoor pool down there with people screaming and splashing about right under our window."
"Yes," Gregory replies, "And Chuck and John's."
Naturally, the conversation confuses me. So I ask for clarification, "Chuck and John don't have a pool?"
"I know, but I miss visiting with them."
I just sat there bewildered for a moment. I am beginning to think "Foolish Me," I should have just smiled and nodded.
Gregory asks, "Are you OK?"
"Yes, it is just that you need to skip a beat before you go on to the next subject. It confuses me."
• • •
Was talking on the telephone with Jr today and he asked how Gregory was doing. I couldn't talk because G was within hearing range. So I just answered, "Right."
Jr continued "feeling out" how G was doing and wondered, "When Gregory seems to be having a period of difficulties, do they get better or stay at the low point?"
My reply was, "Right."
I was thinking to myself that in the "ebb and flow" of Gregory's cognitive abilities (thank God - if there is one - his physical abilities have not suffered) it is usually "ebb."
Jr then commented that last time he visited, he noticed that, "Gregory wasn't as available as the visit before."
I said, "Right."
Well, without much actual discussion, MJr and I had a nice conversation and two points came out of it for me.
First, while euphemistic, "Not being as available" is a nice way of saying that Gregory's cognitive abilities continue to decline. He still has the cognitive abilities, he just cannot make them available when he need to use them.
Second, I wish that my conversations with Gregory could be as informative as the one I just had with Jr. I am thinking, "Right?"
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Sometime between the heading and the checking out, Gregory disappeared. I realized it when I had my paid goods in hand and was ready to head for the car. No Gregory. I wasn't really worried and what good would worrying do anyway?
I looked outside to see if he had decided to wait by the car. No Gregory. I went back into the store and one of the clerks (who knows us) pointed towards the back of the store and said, "He went that way."
I walked half way back, called out, and from around the corner came Gregory. "Where were you? I asked.
"Looking for you," he replied.
I took him in hand (literally) and firmly but lovingly (and probably with a little relief, a little fear for the future, and a little anger) told him that he needs to stay with me. "In the few minutes it took for me to pay the cashier, you disappeared! That is wandering. That scares me. That can't happen. If need be I'll just have to keep you in sight at all times like a mother hen does with her chicks."
"I am sorry. I try my best."
"I know, but it is like when I have to deal with the 800 operator at the phone company and they apologize for making you wait and for messing up your bill and for not being able to do anything about it ... apologizing doesn't help!!!"
I became quiet on our way back to the car and stayed quiet once in. Gregory was quiet as well. I knew he felt bad but I just had to take a moment or two to regroup.
Finally I said to him something that surprised me when it came out of my mouth, "You know when things like that happen, I PRETEND I DON"T EXIST." Then I added, "I love you. I know you try. We'll be OK."
This is how I responded.
I have found that over time I take on more and more of the responsibilities that I used to share with or which used to be done alone by my partner. This "taking over" has become a natural progression of being able to continue dealing with the twists and turns of Alzheimer's. My gradual "taking over" helps both of us feel less frustrated. One does what one has to do. Complaining and fretting doesn't help what is.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
With Alzheimers's ... there is only time ...