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.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
"Hi. Have you ever verified what day of the week it is by the compartment on your vitamin box?
I just replied with something like: "Sounds like a fun series of silly questions!"
Actually didn't want to go into detail for her (eventually did) but the "daily pillbox" has a sad connotation for me.
In the beginning, Gregory used to take his pills, then he started using a pillbox and would set four of them up at the beginning of the month (four for AM and four for PM.)
Eventually I had to make a list of what went into the AM's and what went into the PM's.
Then I realized, what he was putting in the pillboxes was not consistent so I took over filling them at the beginning of each month.
Soon, every morning and every evening he was confirming, "Is today the 'W'?" You can imagine how confusing the "T" and "S" were. After a while of this I figured out that the association with "W" and "Wednesday" (and all the others as well) was gone.
The pillbox, if you can imagine, no longer had a reference or association or connection or purpose in relation to what day of the week it happened to be.
Now we have two bowls. I empty the night's pills out of the pillbox into the small bowl and put it next to the water on his nightstand. I put the next day's pills in another small bowl and put that bowl out by his breakfast area.
For now, at least, the bowls get back to the bathroom to be used the next day. I suspect at some point I will have to begin searching for the bowls.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
"The one with the white edge."
"The one I am pointing at."
In exasperation but in a good mood I asked, "What do you understand?"
"I understand some things and not others!" was his matter of fact reply. We were tickled and laughed tears.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Last evening before going to see Camelot, we went out for a sandwich. I put an unwrapped sandwich in front of him and one in from of me. He pointed at his sandwich and asked, "Is this one for me?" "Yes." He thanked me.
Last night at the performance, Gregory forgot how to use the urinal. I tried to show him (in front of three other men at the other urinals and a long line behind us.) I finally took him into a stall, helped him lower his pants, made sure he was aiming correctly, and said, "Go." He thanked me.
Today getting dressed, Gregory forgot how to secure his belt. I showed him. He thanked me.
On our way out of the door to the car Gregory picked up his sunglasses. I explained, "You don't have to take those. You have a pair of sunglasses in the car." "Oh, OK." I turned off the lights and we left. Once in the car I noticed he still had the sunglasses that were in his hand. "We always keep a pair in the car for you," I reminded. He thanked me.
In the car I asked, "Are you hungry?" "Yes, very," was his answer. I handed him an energy bar and he replied, "I don't need that right now." He thanked me for bringing it.
This afternoon at a neighborhood carnival, Gregory forgot how to eat a Corn Dog. I explained, "Pick the dog up by the stick and bite the other end." He proceeded to pull the stick out of the hotdog. I put it back in and demonstrated how to eat a corn dog. He thanked me.
These are just a small percentage of the interactions gone awry over the last two days. There is one thing is am very grateful for. Can you guess? He thanked me.
Friday, June 8, 2012
Living with and loving someone who has Alzheimer's
Is like orchestrating an improvisational dance with normalcy.
No music, no planned steps, no assigned leading partner.
Not being able to anticipate turns or circling or dips or bends.
Redefining normalcy by the moment.
For him not for me is the key but
My living in his world, makes no sense to either of us!
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
My frame of mind: I had just realized that Gregory hadn't had his usual toast before I make him breakfast. I had just assumed that he would take care of it but he didn't. I apologized and told him I would make his breakfast in just a few minutes. I tried to finish up the short task in which I was involved.
His frame of mind: He came into the bedroom and stood at the corner of my computer desk. "You know what we can do is go down there." Where? "Just down there and over and then around there." For what? "To do what people do." I had hoped to have a quiet day at home? "No. Just to go down there and get what people get. Flowers." For what? "To bring home." Why? "To put here and there and there." I am thinking flowers to plant in the ground? We do not have a garden. Help me understand? Flowers to put on the table in a vase? He went over the same story. I tried to refocus him on the fact that we hadn't had breakfast yet. We went to the front door and enacted bringing home an arm full of flowers. To put where? You mean you want to buy flowers for the table? No help.
This went on for a while. I won't keep you guessing. I finally figured out that he thought is would be nice to go to the Farmer's Market, which isn't too far from the condo, to get flowers, fruit, vegetables etc to bring home.
Once I got that far, things fell into place. I was thinking about an immediate breakfast and he was thinking about a Farmer's Market which isn't for another six days, next Saturday. Once explained all was well again.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" You don't have to be, we figured it out. Meanwhile I am mentally and emotionally exhausted!