Saturday, December 29, 2007

Clothing for Alzheimer patients

For several years now Bob has a different view about what to wear.
In summer I constantly had to tell him to wear short sleeves so I finally hid anything which even had an inch of wool in or long sleeves.
He just does not comprehend what to wear for what weather.
He also dislikes now : heavy coats , shirts with colors, sweaters with designs.
He wears mostly dark blue and would wear it days on end if I did not hide it to take to the
washing machine.
He wears things inside out.
He will wear 3 turtle necks one on top of the other.
he will wear his watch over his sleeve because he thinks it is an important watch and he is still peacock enough to want to show it off.

We were out of the Namenda for a week or more because a goof up at the VA and I can
see the difference. Back on it, he is much calmer.

Bathing is a big problem in general with Alzheimer patients.
I did not think that it would happen to him.
It did happen to his older sister but she had dementia and had other mental problems.
I beg, bargain, barter, scream, back to begging for him to take a shower.
Last week I just had him undress and gave him a spongebath myself.
He did not seem to mind that so much.
What it is about the shower I have no idea.
Bob was such a clean clean clean person.
He still brushes his teeth and washes his hands after using the toilet.
Shower is another story.

Teeth? He has perhaps 5 left.
His teeth got woprse and worse with the medication.
Or perhaps with the coke he drank. I think the meds.
He refuses to go to the dentist.
He refuses to have false teeth because his mother had so many problems with them.
He seems to remember that.
I fix mushy foods and if we have meat I cut it in very little pieces.
Toto gets them anyway. Toto begs at the table.

I am back to normal hours at the store and glad for that
I seem to nap a lot and be tired a lot.
I try very hard and make it all pleasant for myself.
Redo the lay out of knick knacks and so forth.
Put a very feminine shawl over the bed posts.
Make things my own since Bob does not care.

Bobby said the other day that he is afraid that we are
like June and Johny Cash and we will die within months of each other.
Bob and I have been so close for 40 years, worked together 24/7.
However I have been saying goodbye to Bob for years now.
Day by day I say goodbye.
I have a hard time remembering when he was well.
What did he do? did he make decisions? Did he cook? Did he have money in his pockets? Did he write checks? Did he drive all the time? Did he help me with my flowers?
Did he mow the lawn or did Bobby do it all the time?
I am beginning to forget a lot of the answers to these questions.
I truly feel like he has been the 5 year old who does not remember my orders or how to listen to Mama , I feel this has been going on forever.

I am a survivor, I have learned to survive a lot in life.
Survived the war, I learned how to run in ditches when the alarms came.
Crawl under the bed, the table, avoid windows, it was second nature for me when I was 8.
Survived a very abusive marriage with first husband, not physical but mental , the surviving took years but out of that I bloomed to be my own person.
Survived crippling arthritis which was with me for 10 years.
Survived panic attacks which lasted 7 years.
Most of all survived retail ,which is cruel, never knowing if you will have enough to pay the bills, and living day to day with your uncertain income.
I so enjoy this late in life to have a pay check every Friday no matter how big or small I know I worked X hours and there it is.
I go home after I counted the money and made the deposits for Mr. Stein and I forget the whole store. When I owned 3 businesses at one time I went home and spent many a sleepless night.
It never left me.
You have to be a survivor. You have to stick with it no matter what.
So it is not.
A Day at a time, sometimes an hour at a time.
Sometimes I sob in my office but I am all alone, sometimes I sob at home or call for support with my kids . All I have to say is : I am having a bad moment!
They are there to help with it.
Survivors need help too.

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