Sunday, August 31, 2014

Is the Alz progressing or is it just a bad day?

How does one hang in there when He-Who asks the same question 5 times in 20 minutes?  One smiles and answers and hopes it won't be asked again for a little while.  I can't imagine what it must be like in his head wanting so much to be prepared for what may come next in the day or the plans for the next day.  I can tell he wants so much to be with it and participate and be prepared without having to be coached and coached again.  And I can't even imagine the frustration when all that info fades as quickly as it came in.  How does this man continue to be the sweet, kind person I have always loved!  It must take a lot of energy.  No wonder he sleeps a lot.
My neighbors comment on how friendly and pleasant he is.  For that I am grateful but they don't see and may never the guy who can't find the microwave in the kitchen or figure out how to turn on the TV much less change channels.  It is clear that without guidance and preparation he will not fix any food for himself and no amount of instruction is going to change that.  So at what point do we start thinking about additional help and how do I approach it with him?  There are days when I think he could find his way to the dining hall but would he remember to do so?
This afternoon our oldest granddaughter is coming with her boyfriend for all of us to go see the Shark Exhibit at the Museum of Natural Science of Houston.  She has been fascinated by sharks since she was 6 years old so this should be fun.  It will be interesting to see how He-Who reacts and if he enjoys the outing.  I sure hope so and hopefully it won't be packed with so many that we can't see the exhibits.  I am looking forward to an afternoon off Isle de Cabello Azul and back on the Mainland.  Maybe I'll have pictures.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Leaving Mother Earth

There are days when I feel like we have landed on another planet.  Maybe we have and when we fly off the planet to Mother Earth, I know I have changed.  For those of you who have ever been hospitalized, you may recognize the feelings of being dependent and find that those feelings of dependency don't necessarily go away when you return home.  Well, I don't know what to label these feelings I experience but I think they are related.  He-Who has a difficult time with language, calls things by odd names, etc., maybe gets the category but not the thing so some of our dialogue is spent with me trying to interpret what he is aiming for.  This adds to the other planet feeling along with being surrounded by folk using various forms of mechanical devices to get around.  Aliens would feel right at home here or maybe we are the aliens.

But my concern is that now when I leave here and drive out the gate, my confidence level seems to have dropped a peg or two.  Is it the traffic of a very busy city or living in this sheltered community where it could be very simple to just drop out?  Or both?  He-Who seems quite content to watch MSNBC and read the paper but is always ready to hop in the car when necessary.  This is a woman who has driven all over the country and Mexico but now is anxious about finding the new doctor's office a few miles away.  Maybe part of it is living with Alzheimer's which can be like standing on quicksand but how to deal with that?  My life seems to melt away some days dealing with doctor appointments and the pharmacy and I still have to make sure He-Who eats regularly.  Yes, it is a huge help that we get one big meal, sometimes two, prepared for us and a huge help that someone else vacuums and cleans the kitchen and bathrooms. God bless, sweet Rosa. Even Walgreen's delivers to our door...amazing!  I'm not complaining as I am so very grateful that we can live here with this support.  But I want to make sure that we/I  return to Mother Earth regularly.  Maybe tomorrow we will get to a movie.  Next project is shopping for a new I take He-Who with me?  Hmmmm.....

Friday, August 22, 2014

From Isle del Cabello Azul

Geez, it has been a while since I've written mostly because I was in chaos.  I have definitely slipped as the Poster Child of Caregivers and really lost it the other night.  The stress of moving has taken a toll on both of us I think and we are working our way out of it, some days better than others.  I had had a difficult day this week with the diverticulitis kicking in, a sinus infection and a trip to a new doc who let me know that I need surgery to fix the bladder problem...there is a poem in here somewhere resembling The Vagina Monologues.  When my innards are acting up, I want comfort food like a baked potato with maybe a salad from Wendy's.  So off we went to Wendy's and picked up two baked potatoes and two salads and brought them home.  I plopped in front of the TV with my salad after taking everything out of the bag leaving He-Who-Can't-Remember-Shit to pick up his and join me.  He-Who chose a baked potato and joined me.  I was pretty relaxed finally and looking forward to my baked potato but when I went to pick mine up off the dining room table, it was gone.  He-Who's salad was still there but no baked potato.  He-Who had eaten them both.  I burst into tears and sobbed...sobbed for the disappointment of no potato when that was what I so wanted but I think really sobbed because of his loss of not realizing what he was doing.  There has been a lot of that around here since the move.  He-Who went on to his salad and I went to bed but he did apologize later.  I think I needed that good cry.

Okay so She-Who-Pees-A-Lot and He-Who-Can't-Remember-Shit have moved into an independent living facility that has a lot of Depend-ent living going on.  Geez but it takes a lot of getting used to.  Don't get me wrong...everyone is really nice, lovely actually but there are just a lot of really old people here on a lot of walkers and scooters.  And some days in the dining hall I look around and get really sad thinking that I might live the rest of my life in here...holy moly.  But I have a delightful neighbor in her 80s who moved in a few months before us who said to me, "I was really depressed for a few months and then told myself..this is as good as it gets so get over it." Very wise woman...I love her.  So I'm working on dealing with it.  I knew the move would set He-Who back some and I suppose he is doing as well as can be expected, maybe better.  It was difficult at first as Comcast couldn't get our TV hooked up for a month and I was so busy getting settled, changing banks, pharmacy, etc. that I couldn't take him much of anywhere. He read the newspapers over and over. He still doesn't venture out of the apartment without me to go to any of the programs offered here and I'm hoping that will change.  His brother comes sometimes and takes him out for breakfast or lunch which helps but He-Who doesn't reach out to the other guys who live here.  Maybe that is a guy thing but I realize he didn't do any of that before we moved.  I'm still trying to get his computer working.

And there is humor in all of this, a lot of humor if I watch for it.
While at the front desk one morning to ask a question of the receptionist, a tiny little ancient lady dressed to the nines was in dialogue with the receptionist about some issue.
Receptionist:  "Just use your cell phone."
TLAL: "Honey, I don't do cell phones.  I don't even remember how to do sex.  I'm 100 years old."

Below us on the 1rst floor is another ancient one who only comes out at night as far as I can tell.  There is all this pigeon poop outside her door all over the walk and some planters which is really disgusting to walk through to get to our car. There is a rule here to not feed any critters, birds included. Obviously the old one downstairs is feeding the pigeons and occasionally I see a little plastic up of food put out her door for them.   Occasionally the staff gets on her about it and she quits for a while.  Well, when she does, the pigeons move upstairs to our floor and porch and start pecking around the plants.  A neighbor down the walkway sits on our porch with a giant water rifle and spends her afternoon shooting at them.  I wish I had a picture...crazy war on pigeons.

There's more but that is for another time.  Please don't give up on me...I will try to get going again on a more regular schedule.  Haven't found a support group, trying to start one but did start a book club and that is going well and I joined a writers' group.  One step at a time...amen.