Saturday, January 31, 2009

SUSHI time

BIG deal tonight. One of my friends where I used to work and I we are going to whoop it up and go for Sushi. She is American/Japanese so she loves it as much as I do.

I am kind of happy to get out this evening.
I will not be gone long but Bobby will keep an eye on old dad.

Nice day today.

Crocus are peaking out of the fall's leaves. will they get frozen again?
No doubt they will but it is a nice sign. Spring is not that far away.



He got up early, looked around with confusing old eyes.
I knew in an instant that he was concerned.
Something was bothering him and he did n’t have a clue what it was.

I had told him last night that today was going to be a day in the
“fun house” (read: day care). That is where you go to listen to
music, make friends, eat lunch and have fun.
He had growled like an old bulldog.
Fell asleep and now woke up to trying to remember.

I have tried all sorts of devious and obvious scenarios with
the introduction that a bus will come and you go for a ride
to day care.

He is not happy about this.
Mind you he returns beaming and laughing and waving at
the other stiff little soldiers in the bus. They do not know
anything about this waving man and yet they too talked to him
minutes ago.

The Alzheimer/dementia world is a tricky one.
We can’t follow a pattern. It does not exist, what one does all the time
the other never had that experience. There are similarities, of course,
but the moods are different for every one.

This morning I have decided on yet another lie.
I sit next to him at the kitchen table, he is counting the tiles and
caressing the blue birds in the patterns.
I try and get his attention. The eyes come in focus towards my face
he has no glimmer of recognition this morning.
I tell him that soon the bus will come.
Bus? What is that? He asks.
Well, the bus that takes you to WORK.

Silence. The eyes are racing around the room.
The brain is trying to get one word from this whole sentence.
I continue :”You see, honey, you probably do not remember
but you go to work every day and thanks to you I can pay the bills”
So soon the bus takes you to work.

Work? do what? he asks but he is interested.
Well, I explain, I am not sure I think you help with dishes or
setting the table like you do here.
I did get a phone call and they tell me that you are the best
worker ever.
Oh, Oh. A smile forms on the wrinkled face and he again
tries to focus on me and what I have to tell him.

I elaborate about how proud I am of him and how well he is
doing at work.

Beep, Beep! The bus is there.
Here you go, honey, do a good job like you always do.
I put on his coat and he looks at the bus in the driveway.
I march him to the driver who tells him to hurry up
it is cold outside.
He shakes hands with the driver and smiles.

I am doing breathing exercises , it worked, it helped,
he did not fight me on it today.

I go inside and check my TO DO list. I crumble it tight
and throw it to the puppy who can obliterate paper better than a shredder.
The hell with the list, I have the rest of my life to do the closets
and clean that garage.
I sit and write my blog for the day and I am happy.

4.30 PM. Beep Beep
the bus is there, I run to meet him , he ignores me, he waves at
the people left in the bus, one old lady waves back, the men sit
like stone statues and do not move.

He turns around and the eyes are dancing, he is having fun.
Turns around waves again at his audience and comes in to
greet the menagerie of dogs.
I say: “Did you have a good day, dear?”
“Oh, yes. I sure did”
“What did you do ? Did you dance? was there music today?”
“ I can’t remember anything”
“ You went to work, dear, thank you for helping me and going to work”
“I did? OK”

Let’s have some cookies , shall we?
He turns around and kisses me on the lips, OK , so he knows me
this moment.

It worked, perhaps if I do this tactic tomorrow he will go willingly
to the “fun house” or “work place”.

I noticed that he tries to talk more , he has been there for about 3 weeks.
Still struggles to leave but he is better in his speech.
He needs to be with people even if they do not understand him and
he does not understand what the heck they are talking about.
Sitting at my kitchen table all day is not healthy for him and lets face it not for me and now I have so much freedom I feel like a baby eagle who just started
to fly and knows there is a whole big sky out there.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

We try again

Tuesday Jan 27
We will try again.
He got up this morning and asked where he had been sleeping.
In other words it is a confusing morning.

We all agreed that the reason he was so upset last Friday is
because the day care people had taken him out for ice cream.
He loved the ride.
When they got back he was furious and banged on the door.
They say that he swore and I have not heard that in years.
I am thinking that was an exageration on the part of staff.

VA is sending something similar to Lexapro.
I do not want him to be a zombie either.
Yesterday I told myself that I can do this.
By noon I was a wreck, I burned food and was agitated.
Not that he is that difficult, but he walks around all day
long, if I am up he follows me.

He goes outside every five minutes walks around the house
and comes back in reporting that all is well.
He is still thinking it ishis job to protect this house.
In and out, in and out,
then the refrigerator is open and closed , he is looking for drinks.
Prefers Cokes , I had taken him off the stuff and then second
thoughts, "why do that to him if he likes it? how much time
do we still have here anyway?"

The day care are willing to work with us, they said.
We told them no more day trips unless you bring him home.
He gets into a car and he thinks I am going home.

I need a good massage (never had one before) or a stiff drink
(that will get my psoriasis flaming up) or both.
I am picturing myself bythe ocean with a green kind of drink which must be sweet
and cold. I look out and count the pelicans flying by. I have nothing else to do and love it.
However, the smell of my fresh spaghetti sauce on the stove reminds me
that I am home and I better go and look at the doves outside.
Have a good day, Jeannot.
Have a good day , anyone, who reads these pages.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


No sooner do I feel like I can breathe again, can have some hours to be by myself.
Plan A with the help of the VA and getting husband in a day care, which is owned by
the hospital , and a phone call.

Nurse said that he wanted to come home and was very agitated to the point
that his heart rate was too high.
Then the nurse suggested that we put him on Lexapro. Most of our clients are on
Lexapro she adds.
All well and good (I take that medication) but it takes a few weeks or more to
show that there is an edge off your emotions.
Nurse argues with that but then when daughter Sabrina tells her we
probably will keep him out then. Period.
Nurse sees that a client is about to leave so she cajoles and explains
that the others are at risk and they do not want that but they do
want him there. No question about it.
Talk to his DR she said.
By now we are Friday afternoon and it is 3 o clock
you think a VA doctor is available when they leave at 4. (for the week end)
So now what to do.

The VA doctor had given him very low dosage of valium
told me to give him 1/2 of the pill.
He was OUT. I do not want him to sit here OUT for 8 hours.
Reason we liked the day care is because they have activities till 3 pm
he needs some stimulation.
They make things, childish things I know, but they become children.

Do not know what the answer will be.
I am upset about it.
I am on the fence of what is best for him and for me.
The free hour I had for these short weeks were such a blessing.
I felt like a different person.
So on to a week end and trying to see what the next puzzle
will bring to resolve.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration day

Today is a great day for us in this household.
My husband became a Democrat in the womb.
He was not very political but when Nixon won we moved out of the country..............

He fell asleep through most of the inauguration.
Just sitting in his chair at the kitchen table and sleeping while history
is being made.

I wanted to shake him, I wanted to share this moment.
I wanted to celebrate with him.
I wanted to cry with him that we lived long enough to see
this. That this is the first step to perhaps an African/American
woman as a President one day for my grandsons to see.

I wanted to dance in the kitchen like we used to do and just
hold him and feel safe with the new era coming our way.

He opened his eyes and looked with a blank stare at the TV.
Had no idea what he was looking at. Did not remember the Capital building standing there in all its glory. Did not see the procession of Presidents still alive. Did not see the crowd of a million or two.

I looked at him and the empty eyes and I cried.
I asked him: Where is my husband? Where are you hiding him?
I am extremely sad today to know that he knows nothing anymore.

In my heart of hearts I just do not know how long I can continue
this journey without him, the way he used to be.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A red letter day for me.
Why? After being a caregiver for 10 years I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I am finally able to put my husband in a day care program which will benefit us both.
I will have 6 hours by myself and he will be entertained by live music programs, visiting pets,
craft projects and company.
He can tell again and again about his war days and his youth by the big water( read Pacific Ocean).

A bus picked him up this morning as I was managing to get a huge tension headache.
It's no less a drama then when you put your first born on a bus to kindergarten.
I thought he would balk but the driver was full of joy and he stepped right in.
I had told him that he would go and "help" which he loves to do.
He had answered with a growl. So I was not on steady legs.
But the moods with dementia/Alzheimer change every second at whatever
memory hits them at that moment.

He can go for 5 days a week. WOW.
A program that I did not know he would qualify for.
A big help came from a new social worker at the VA , she was the angel I had hoped for.
No way I could afford it on our social security.
Even so that has been helped again with the VA as a pension is available
and on Jan 1 st I did receive our first check.

I am absolutely in a cloud.
I tried very hard not to sit on a pity pot but 10 years is a long time
to watch someone you adore just go into another world.
Ten years is a long time on the changes of your inner self.
You do not notice it for quite awhile and then one day you tell
yourself that you no longer are the person you used to be.

Laughing comes in very small dosages, tears are forever ready at the
eyelid doors. Negative thought creep in faster than anything
that would uplift you.
You go down, not like the afflicted, but you go down to your own
personal misery.
Nothing will ever be the same, someone told me 9 years ago
and he was so right.
Nothing is the same anymore.

Now with respite , free time, perhaps the more jovial, happy,
positive thinker will emerge from the mud.
As I saw the bus leave I thought "now what do I do with the
rest of my life". The answer was : enjoy the quiet time,
rejoice for the help, be happy.
I actually went down on my knees and thanked the Universe.1/7/2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy 2009 to all

Rhonda, the pretty one, and MOI the wisest one (maybe).
Yesterday Jan 3 at Biltmore Castle.

Happy New Year to all.
I had such a good day with the girls, grandsons Zack and Peter , visited the castle last day of decorations. Saw the Father Christmas figurines we were commissioned to do for them eons ago.
I lost it when I saw them as now Bob no longer knows about this.
He was so proud to have his and my work in the castle.

I am looking forward to a good change for both of us.
He will go to day care but has not been able to because of a cold.
We will try two days this week and full week next week.
Pick up and delivery has been arranged to.
I am somewhat lost as what to do first now that I am retired.
So much has been neglected in the house.
What to do first????

But I have learned this week thatif it does not get done today then there is still
the rest of my life. I am no longer going to sweat the small stuff ( remind me of that)
and I am going to enjoy whatever I can.
Bob will be better with company and people in different stages of dementia and Alzheimer.
Some are in his stage and they can talk WW2 and perhaps he can learn to dance.
He always had 4 feet when it came to dancing.

So 2008 is past, gone, forever outta here.
Pick up the pieces and look forward to a better year.