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.
Monday, October 29, 2012
Gregory said he agrees but added, "I thought there were going to be fireworks?"
"Fireworks are for your birthday on July 4th."
"Please be sure to let me know when."
Sunday, October 28, 2012
So when you see a string of posts, you can probably guess that the marry-go-round is spinning wildly out of control.
When you see a string of NO-posts, you can probably assume that for the most part things are mostly under control and I am coping.
Under any of these scenarios you may assume that Gregory feels content, happy, and safe.
As he signs off each evening, reading aloud the words I printed on a Post-It from a poem called "The Enlightened Heart:"
Thursday, October 25, 2012
So it makes sense that button-up shirts vs pull-overs would eventually become the same. If you only unbutton the top two or three buttons on a button-up shirt, you can take it off like a pull-over. Easy, no?
Then why after you unbutton a few of the buttons and slip your button-up off over your head would you want to button it up using all the buttons, especially since that prevents you from easily getting it onto a hanger. But we have already discussed the hanger issues.
And have you ever thought about how to navigate the three holes on a pull-over? You have a left arm hole, a right arm hole, and a center head hole. Get those confused and you could be for hours getting dressed.
The mind, or lack of it, is an amazing thing.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Finished with Pear, Fig, and Kumquat Orange he was ready for the Raspberry Jam. At first he did now remember which jam was next. So I pointed to the Raspberry. He got distracted and wondered again which jam was next. Roger pushed the Raspberry Jam towards him. Still Gregory was not sure which jam to use next. Roger explained, "The raspberry jam is next," and handed Gregory the jar.
Gregory aware and amused at his continued confusion giggled and lovingly said, "I guess that's what friends are for."
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Yesterday he asked for some help so I got his coffee ready for him. Today, he arrived at my desk and asked for help again. This time I told him to go ahead and I would help if he needed me. He returned a few minutes later and told me he was afraid, so I joined him in the kitchen. I still did not want to help so I told him I would observe.
He had placed an empty mug on the kitchen counter, got the coffee pot, and with the pot sitting on the counter, kept tipping it until he could see the coffee in the spout (he didn't notice that you could see the coffee level through the glass pot itself,) but he did not know how to go further. He seemed to have lost track of the mug sitting there.
He went through the same motions of tipping the pot and pointing to the spout. It seemed to make sense to him but he did not know how to proceed. He would notice out loud that there was coffee showing in the spout if he tipped the pot far enough. He actually tried pouring a little bit of coffee on the counter to see if that was what he was supposed to do but stopped saying, "That's not right, is it?" I said nothing.
He did this over and over and suddenly began moving the tipped coffee pot towards the mug but then studied and hesitated and put the coffee pot back down on the counter. Finally he seemed to notice the mug sitting there, made the connection, and poured the coffee into the mug. "That easy, huh!" he mumbled.
Next he knew that he needed to add milk. He got the gallon milk container out of the refrigerator, took off the lid, and went through the "tipping" routine again. Another five minutes worth of tipping, studying whether to pour it on the counter or not.
Then he began returning to the refrigerator, milk bottle in hand, and tried to pour milk into the refrigerator on the shelf where it is stored. Over and over. He returned to the counter and added trying to pour the milk onto the bottle cap. He didn't actually pour it on the counter or bottle cap but repeated the motions over and over asking, "Is this right? Is this how you do it? What is wrong here?" Approximately five minutes of attempted milk pouring.
He kept seeking my approval and I kept saying something like, "I am observing to see what you will do." Eventually I suggested, "You want to pour the milk into the mug." He responded as though he understood what I said but repeated the counter and bottle cap routine several more times. He kept looking to me for help and I kept saying, "I am here with you."
He began rehearsing pouring the milk into the mug. He did this three or four times and finally poured the milk into the mug. He was pleased. "Strange isn't it?" was his observation.
"Yes," I answered.
On the way to collect his cookies from the cabinet he told me, "I love you."
"That was never in question," I responded as I often do, "I love you too."
He hugged my head and said again, "I love you."
"Me too," I replied. After assembling his cookies, he correctly put the mug in the microwave for one minute, and was back on target.
It is very painful for me, but every now and then I have to just wait it out and only get involved if he gets too overwhelmed. This time he was in a problem solving mode the entire time. By watching and letting him try to figure it out, perhaps, if he doesn't get too upset, my not helping allows him to keep his self confidence. It allows me to carefully observe so I can try to figure out what is happening.
While I am writing this, he is enjoying his coffee and cookies. Wonder if the skill will be back tomorrow. If it isn't, I will intervene right away and verbalize what I am doing. Maybe that will help. I keep trying.
Monday, October 15, 2012
"Yes. See that, that, that panel?" his pointing to the open bedroom door dressed in shadows from the nightlight just outside.
"Yes, I do."
Thinking. "One goes in and out." Thinking. Pause. "I guess I shouldn't be concerned."
He laid back down and returned to sleep, leaving me awake for a while, thinking.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Now that he has two companions, between Ben & Ken and I we can provide Gregory with more time in the swimming pool again. He is very excited about being able to swim again.
Here is the e-mail I sent Ben & Ken awaiting their agreement.
Dear Ben & Ken,
Hi. Next time I see you, please confirm that this will be OK with you.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Sunday, October 7, 2012
To suffer silently?
Dinner time music is not joyful but
It covers the lack of conversation.
How many hours have I stared
At the kitchen cabinets?
As I sit in silence
Unable to look at him.
Shut down. Lonely. In pain.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
...try giving her a different pair of car keys so she feels the security
or The doctor told my grandfather that he couldn't drive and it worked.
We finally settled on leaving the car & taking the keys ( we also disabled the car).
but often times, depending on the person, it can backfire.
. We removed the car from the driveway. It got him upset when he saw the car.