Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New docs, new questions

He-Who still enjoys a party, thank goodness.  This was the 70s party here at Brookdale.  It is hard to get him to get food and eat at these functions even if I offer to get it for him.  I don't know if he finds the buffet table intimidating or what.  I have noticed that he eats more when we are at a table by ourselves...he finds conversation distracting and it is likely that he is focusing on tracking and trying to keep track of what people are saying.  Next year I will be sure that he also has a tie-dye shirt and a scarf for his head.  And my line dancing class paid off...great fun hopping around to "Elvira".

Our appointment with the new geriatric team at Baylor went well.  We were interviewed individually and then together.  We have increased his Exelon medication to every day and it is my challenge to remember to change the patch.  Both the doc and I are concerned that he spends too much time in front of the TV and cutting up newspapers and that he needs to be challenged more.  He has to be bored.  There doesn't seem to be anything here at Brookdale that is a fit for him so I am going to tour The Amazing Place, a day care for those with dementia, tomorrow.  It has good reviews and is nearby but kinda expensive...$700 a month for two days a week but an all day program including lunch.  I would have two whole days to myself but it is only open Monday through Friday and much of what I want to do is on weekends...poetry gatherings, art openings...but I'm willing to give it a try if he is.  I will check it out first and then if I think it might work for him, take him for a tour later.
Yesterday He-Who slept 14 hours straight...that can't be good for him so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that The Amazing Place will be amazing.

The doc questioned our decision to come to this Brookdale facility which has no continuing care and of course, I immediately began to question it, too.  Am I in denial about the progression of his illness?  Is he farther along that I realize?  Should we have looked at more facilities?  Should we have gone to San Antonio near our son?  I am narrowing my criteria now for the next move and I feel sure there will be one:  continuing care, a washer and dryer in the apartment, a door that opens to the outdoors, and adequate staff on the weekends.  Surprisingly the square footage is not an issue for me...letting go of all the stuff and the big house really doesn't matter.  I miss the yard and our friends and church...the stuff was just that: stuff.

Friday he had a wonderful visit from a NASA buddy...the first of any of his friends to come and visit..and it did him a world of good.  The friend brought a DVD of an interview of He-Who about his role in getting the astronauts back to earth on Apollo 13 which was loaded into my computer so we can watch it anytime.  He-Who loved the visit and having someone to talk "space" with him.  He is bound to be bored around here and it is great to see him pull up that long term memory  and talk about his work in the space program.  Another friend in California with whom he had collaborated with as an editor for several books on the future of space wrote the most beautiful dedication to He-Who in his new soon-to-be published book.

I've had walking pneumonia but am much better after two weeks of antibiotics.  I must take care of myself I know and I think I need to quit feeling guilty when I leave He-Who behind and go out even if it is to just run errands.  Sunday afternoon I played Mexican Train dominoes and had so much fun I will go again.
It is in the 70s today but another freeze is scheduled in a couple of days.  I am so glad we live in Houston and not Boston.  I can't even imagine what that life is like with all that snow.


  1. He Who's focus is on space and creative thinking. I wonder if there isn't someone at Rice University that he could communicate with on a regular basis or some way he can connect with his old friends to just sit and talk about the past and the space program.............I wish that would work out.
    I'll see you in April/May, for sure........
    Hang in there!

  2. I think Babs idea is good. Also, there is skype. And maybe he could "tutor" a young science student - anything to get him talking to someone about his interests, and helping out. Wow - we are in similar situations again. After moving into this house and then having to go into private schools that are half an hour away, we are considering moving again, too. It can be overwhelming. One baby step at a time. I don't think our timing is soon, it's just an idea right now that keeps floating around our heads - especially mine when I am on the road for 2+ hours a day back and forth. I hope you find what you need. Love you!

  3. I also thought of Skype as a possibility to renew connections for "space" talk.
    Your comment about his sleeping made me follow up a bit. Seems a contradiction to the common pattern of wakeful nights - perhaps not healthy, but better than too little sleep for you both? As always, I appreciate your insights. So far we are still not into serious issues. Perhaps my husband's diagnosis was not accurate?
    Take care of your own health.

    1. Marilyn, we have had one incident where I woke at 3 am to find him sitting in the living room...no TV, just sitting. He seemed a bit confused and went back to bed at my suggestion. I feel blessed that so far we haven't had the roaming that some patients do, knock on wood. Your suggestion about the computer is a good one but he has a very difficult time with computers, remotes, any kind of mechanical device...even changing the batteries on his hearing aids. Also arranging a time for Skype is difficult as his friends are all still working but I will explore it.