Thursday, June 11, 2015

The unrequested journey

The unrequested journey of caregiving, a gateway for self-study, learning, growing, healing, and personal transformation....I read that somewhere and it describes what this journey as an Alzheimer's caregiver has been.  I have learned patience that I never dreamed I would have.  I've always been a "let's get going with this so we can go on to the next great thing." sort of person.  Now my life moves at a snail's pace at times that may drive me crazy while teaching me to slow down and enjoy the moments.  One doesn't hurry an Alzheimer's patient!  It takes time for He-Who to process everything, every request, every instruction, every move.  So I have learned patience and timing.  I allow more time to get ready to go anywhere, to leave the house, to get in the car, out of the car, to the dining room.  

For the longest time after we moved here it bugged me that he always walked behind me when we went to the dining room or the mail box...several feet behind me.  I realize now that it could be because he is never sure where we are going even in our community.  He can't remember that we are going to the dining room to eat!  So now I walk much slower so that he is along side me.    Every time we leave the apartment must be a new adventure for him.
Oldest granddaughter graduates from high school

Today we drove to Clear Lake to computer shop with our oldest granddaughter, our graduation gift to her.  He-Who enjoyed every minute of it which made me happy.  He had little to say but was observing the whole process and didn't even bat an eye over the expense.  We followed the shopping with lunch at Red Lobster enjoying shrimp and those awesome cheese buttery biscuits.  A successful journey for all of us and always fun to hear granddaughter's plans for her future.  She's a determined young lady who will do amazing things I'm sure.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Another milestone

Oh my, but it seems like yesterday this blonde cutie was living with us and keeping us constantly entertained and here she is a high school grad.  A year early, no less after much hard work taking night classes and online classes along with a part-time job.  A real cause for celebration and He-Who loved every minute of it.  He was alert, attentive and managed to sit through all 550 grads getting diplomas after waiting an hour in the sun for the program to start.  What a guy!  We didn't get to bed until late so he slept 12 hours last night.

But today he seems to be really congested.  I'm hoping he hasn't caught his brother's terrible cough. I gave him some meds and hope they work.

 And he's disoriented somewhat...hard for him to get straight on what we did last night and little stuff about the security gate.  He got up and dressed eagerly to be ready for lunch with our other granddaughter and our daughter-in-law.  They came here for the graduation and to tour Rice University...a possible school for this granddaughter who graduates next year.  He Who enjoyed the lunch and was pretty chatty in the dining room.  It was so great to have them here for lunch and a visit before returning to San Antonio and I think they will return later this summer for another look at Rice...keeping our fingers crossed, of course.  She's also looking at UT Austin's Plan II program which I was in and I can't help but encourage that program and school as well.

A neighbor here who also attended UT's Engineering School when Ken was there questioned Ken about a professor this afternoon.  I was shocked that Ken couldn't remember anything about her...I had to fill him in that she was his mentor and advisor for his Master's and was the first female engineer to teach at UT.  He used to talk about her all the time.  His long-term memory has been pretty sharp so this was a surprise.  The neighbor printed out an article about her for him which was so nice as it brought it all back for him.  I love these moments when someone takes the time to help him out....very grateful as it means so much to him to savor those memories.