Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Gettin' goofy for the camera

The Scooter Store is coming today to fit husband for his wheel chair.  I hope it's the lightweight one so I will be able to lift it in and out of the car.

For the last several days, husband has been nasty to me.  I am doing pretty good with it, as I ignore him completely when he starts in on me.  So far, it's working.  After his last nasty remark to me yesterday, he went to bed and slept for hours.  When he awoke, he had forgotten what the had said to me.  That's why I ignore the remarks, because he doesn't even realize what he is saying or what he said.

Perks of the disease.

I have decided to place husband once we get moved with Tish & Jace.  By then, (next summer), he will be too far gone to even know what's happening around him, or, worse, he may not even be alive.  I don't know.

Sounds cold and awful, huh?  Well, I am the one making all these decisions, I am the one that has to go through this and I never signed up for this.  It was handed to me on a piece of paper that was stamped, "TERMINAL".

I have learned a lot about life during this journey.  I have learned a lot about myself mostly.  I have learned to deal with statistics.  I have learned medical terms that now come naturally to me when saying the words out loud.  I have learned that I am strong.  I have learned to depend on myself.  I don't go around crying and wringing my hands.  Actually, I don't even cry anymore.  I'll shed a few tears, then go on.  And, it's usually when I'm praying that the tears will come.  Or singing a song in church.

What's the use in crying anyway?  Won't change what is to come.  I hurt,  a deep hurt inside my heart.  It's there always.  But, because I am so consumed with caring for him, I recognize it's there and go on.

I think that's the mourning kind of hurt.  When you lose someone, that ache and hurt is there.  Well, I've already lost my husband, only he's still here, physically.

My husband is a shell of the man he once was.  His features have changed.  His body has changed.  A very slow and deliberate kind of change has taken place over the last 2 1/2 years.

I have a picture of husband and Jack, taken in one of those photo booths where you get 4 pictures on a strip.  Jack was around age 5.  I have it on my fridge.  I look at it every day.  Those smiles of the both of them.  Jack making goofy faces in one of them.  Husband making goofy faces as well.  In one, they are laughing.  Last night as I was looking at those pictures it hit me that husband's eyes were different back then.  As I looked closer something dawned on me.

The eyes I can't stand to look at anymore had life in them.

I shall cherish those pictures for the rest of my life.

Monday, July 30, 2012


We went to a wedding last night.  It was our dear friends wedding vow renewal.  They celebrated 50 years married.  It was so touching.

J has been a great friend since we started going to this church last summer.  We go to group meeting at their house on Friday nights, and I go to Bible Study every Tuesday at her house.

They are wonderful people.  I was honored they included us in their special day.

When they originally married in 1962, her dad was in Korea.  He never got to walk her down the isle.  He got that chance last night.  There he was, 90 years young, walking his daughter down the isle.  There wasn't a dry eye in the place.

It was an Hawaiian theme wedding.  At the reception, they had Hawaiian dancers.   It was all so fun and festive.

I enjoyed it so much.  To witness such a milestone.  They have had their ups and downs for sure, but, together they stand.

As I watched them reaffirm their vows,  my thoughts took me to my life.  While I was so happy for them, I realized something.

I will never stand before God and renew my wedding vows to husband.   I will never celebrate 50 years of married life.

At the reception, husband looked at me and it was as if I could read his mind.  The look he gave me told me he was feeling the same way.  It was a look of envy and sadness.  I honestly could see what he was thinking.

A lot of people don't celebrate 50 years of marriage.

I just wish things were different for us, that's all.  It's times like this wedding that reality hits me, like a slug in the gut.

I woke up this morning and thought I'd better get over this.  So, here's to my husband and I celebrating 20+ years of being together.

Yay for us.

Friday, July 27, 2012

A night at the movies

Jack graduated yesterday from high school.  With a very high GPA.

He leaves in 5 1/2 weeks for the Air Force, venturing out into the world with his whole life before him.

My husband is dying and will most likely, once Jack leaves, never see Jack again.

And me?

I'm sitting back watching all of this thinking I'm in a movie theater watching a really good ole' sad movie.

Munching on popcorn.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A drive, Sonic and a coke!!

The dog days of summer.  I am looking forward to Fall.  Love the leaves turning, smelling chili roasting and children going back to school.  For the first time in many, many years, I will not experience a child of mine going back to school.

A whole different kind of life for me is beginning.

Went to Bible Study yesterday.  The lady that has been so negative to me has been OK.  However, when we were discussing selling husband's tools to help me out financially, she kept saying I should just do it and basically tell husband that's the way the cookie crumbles.

I stood firm with her and told her she does not know what she is talking about, because dealing with someone like husband she knows nothing about.  She actually agreed with me.  She said she was just trying to give me advice.  I appreciate her advice, but, told her unless she lives in my house, she knows nothing about it.  Proud of myself for standing up to her, but, doing it in such a way that I would not offend her.  It was OK.

I could not just sell his tools out from under him.  Trust me, if I could, I would.  It would certainly help me financially, but, to be mean like that?  No, I can't.  There will come a day when I will sell them, however, the time is not right just yet.

The Scooter Store called this morning.  They are coming on Monday or Tuesday to fit husband for his chair.  I hope they fit him for one of the lighter weight ones, because, I cannot lift one of those heavier chairs into my car.  Also, Medicare does not pay for a lift.  So, that is out of the question.

Not much else going on.  Husband continues to be in his own world, occasionally coming into the here and now, then slips back into the Land of Alzheimer's.  Has been pleasant, still sleeping a lot, against Dr's advice to not let him sleep so much.  Said that is not a good sign.  I try to keep him busy, but, he does sleep during the day.

Earlier, I took him for a little ride in the car.  He liked that.  It was just so hot.  Took him through Sonic and got him a coke.  On the way home, I looked over at him, and, there he was, holding his coke with a smile on his face.  Didn't know where he was, but, seemed to smile a lot.

So, I made him happy today.

It's all I could ask for.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A lovely afternoon

My DMV experience went smoothly yesterday.  Renewed my driver's license.  The new picture is awful.  I kept looking at it and it shows one tired looking person.  I mean, I look really tired.  During the evening, I kept looking at myself in the mirror thinking, do I really look like this?  Funny how a camera can capture what my life is like now.  They say the camera doesn't lie.  After looking at my new driver's license picture, it should be titled,  "Alzheimer's disease - what survivors look like."

Yeah, Alzheimer's sure takes a toll on you.

Jack got his list of things to take and not to take from the Air Force recruiter yesterday.  He also opened a checking account through the Air Force.  And a savings account.  It's a bank that is world wide.  It's only for military.  My, how he's grown.

Jack and I spent a lot of time last night talking.  I told him how much I'm going to miss him, but, how excited I am for him as well.  I asked him to please keep in touch with me.  Email me.  Call me.  He promised he would.

We are in countdown mode around here.  Jack said when he got to the recruiters, he saw his name on the departure board.  Said that made it final for him.  He also said someone else is leaving on that same flight.

I don't know how I'm going to do at the airport.  Jack said, "Please mom, don't fall apart at the airport."  I won't, I promised.

I'll fall apart at home, when husband is sleeping.

After the DMV, I did not want to come home just yet.  So, I went and visited a friend.  It felt so good to get out of the house and have real conversations.  She told me funny stories of her mother in law who had dementia.  Said she had taken her with her to the grocery store one time.  Got busy with buying groceries and was not paying attention to what her MIL was doing.  Got up to the register, looked down and saw a great big bag of dog food.  Since they didn't have a dog, she realized her MIL had switched baskets with someone.  Oh, that struck me as so funny.  I couldn't help but laugh.

A very lovely afternoon.

I tried calling home, but husband would not/could not, answer the phone.  He sometimes panics when the hone rings.  He will look at it as if it's a foreign object.  I told him where I'd been, but, it didn't register with him.

So, I have a new driver's license with a new picture, (gag), my son is leaving in less than 6 weeks and my husband is still dying.

I'm OK, I really am.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Wheelchair's & curbs go bump!!

The weekend has ended, it was a decent weekend.  Kind of quiet, not much to do.  Cleaning, laundry, car serviced, church yesterday.

I had to dress husband yesterday morning.   Said he felt weak and was a little out of sorts.  Asked him if he felt strong enough to go to church.   He said he did.

When I got his wheelchair out of the car at church, he wanted to wheel himself.  I was walking along side of him when he began going very fast.  I told him to go this way, as he was heading straight for the curb.  He did not hear me.  I stood there watching him heading for the curb, all the while calling his name, loudly.  He hit the curb as I ran to him.  It's a wonder he didn't fly out of the wheelchair.

Once I got to him, he had a strange look in his eyes.  I was upset.  People were beginning to stare.  Not in a bad way, but, like me, in a "what the heck just happened", kind of way.

He said he thought I was pushing him.  If he thought that, why would he head straight for the curb?  That was strange and a little scary for me.  He had to of heard me, I was that close to him.

I was a little shook up about that.  Once we got into church, I kept a close eye on him.  He seemed fine after that.

This morning I have to go to DMV to renew my driver's license.  That should be interesting.  Husband is staying home with Jack.  I get to go by myself.  

I don't know where I'm at today.  This is some tough stuff.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Too soon

I am doing a little better this morning.  Seems like I fell off my track for a few days.  Am back on,  but, I feel different.

Took the car for service yesterday.  Husband wanted to go.  He used his wheelchair.  Took a long time.  It was so hot.  I long for Fall weather.  This heat has bothered me all summer, and, it's only the middle of summer.

While waiting for my car, I noticed husband had put his socks on upside down.  The heel part were on the top part of his foot.  I was slightly amused by that.  Reminded me of when the kids were little and insisted on dressing themselves, then, to my horror, I would notice something amiss while we were out.  Don't know if anyone else noticed his socks, but, when we got home, I teased him about it.  He looked at me as if I were speaking in another language.  Didn't understand what I was saying.

He put a shirt on the other day that was inside out.  I teased him about that and he laughed along with me as I took his shirt off and put it on right for him.

It's come to the point where I have to dress him in the morning now.  Try dressing a grown man.  Not easy.

Husband loaded the dishwasher the other morning.  Wanted to help me as I was in the shower.  How far he has declined.  He put everything on the bottom rack, including the silverware.  Didn't put the silverware in the baskets, he put them on the bottom of the dishwasher.  When I saw that, I put them where they belonged and didn't say anything to husband.

One of my best friends called me on Friday and we talked for over 2 hours.  I miss her.  They left Albuquerque 9 years ago and moved to Raleigh, NC.  I laughed while on the phone with her.  Gosh, that was so nice to talk with her.  We met while working for Bank of America many years ago.   She was also there when I gave birth to Jack.  Her little girl was almost two at the time.  Now, Sarah is in college and Jack is leaving for the Air Force.  My, time flies.

Jack finished summer school and graduated with a 3.8 average.  Not too shabby, if I may brag?  He did not want to go through the graduation exercise.  I didn't make him.  We pick up his diploma sometime this week.  So, so proud of him.  What a joy that boy has brought to my life.  God knew what he was doing when he allowed me to be Jack's mother.

Folks, I am trying to get me back.  I'll get there, just need some time.  This rapid decline in husband has caught me off guard, Jack leaving, well, it seems to have caught up with me.  Just need to catch my breath.

Soon, too soon, it will be just husband and I.  

Then, it will be just me.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Calling

This has not been a good week.  Not for husband.  He is in his own world most of the time.  He doesn't worry about anything.  He is oblivious of his surroundings.

It's me.

The finality of it all has settled in.  Not about him dying.  That, my friends, would be a blessing.

It's the suffering he endures.

It's the financial worry that is constant on my mind.

It's the future, my future that I'm worried about.

It's the everything I'm worried about.

I had a panic attack Wednesday night.  It was an awful experience.  I have never felt so alone as I did Wednesday night.

I was shaky all day long yesterday.

I have been reading my Bible, a lot.  I am getting better, but, the reality of it all has hit me full force like a head on collision.

The only thing I can do now at this point is, pray, pray, pray.

Today is better than yesterday.

Tomorrow?  I'll let tomorrow take care of itself.  It'll be here soon enough.

Now that I've had my "meltdown", guess there's no place to go but up.  It's getting up that I'm finding is easier said than done.

I'll get there.  I just don't know when.

Until then,  I will continue to be the strong one, or, at least portray it.  I will smile when prompted, laugh when it's expected of me and act like I've never acted before.

I still say that I missed my calling.  I would've made a great actress.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Mountain

I feel as if I'm in transition.  Going somewhere, but, don't know where that "somewhere" is.

I had a horrible day yesterday.  Guess all of this pent up frustration, anger, and the sheer audacity of it all hit me.  I hit a wall.  Going very fast.

I opened up my Bible this morning.  I was reading in Hebrews about Faith and Hope.

This mountain I'm climbing is very high.  My emotions are all over the place right now.

All I need right now is Faith.

And, Hope.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How did I do?

Where do I begin?

Dr's appointment went well.  Got some questions answered, some were rather vague.

Dr put husband through a battery of memory tests and questions.  He actually did OK on some, others, he failed.  He did not know what day of the week it was, what the date was, but, knew it was summer.

A short list of what Dr did to husband:

Asked him to subtract 7 from 100.  He said, "15".

Asked him to fold a piece of paper that was on his leg in half and give it to me.  He could not.

Asked him to draw a clock with numbers and hands and make the time to say ten after eleven.  He could not.

Asked him to copy a picture of boxes.  He could not.

Asked him to stand up from his wheelchair, hands folded, without assistance.  He could not.

There were questions he did answer correctly.  Dr was pleased with that.

As far as his EEG that was done in May.  It came out normal.  I was confused.  Dr explained that the motor control part of the brain is slowly damaging everything in it's path.  The damage so far is at below the waist.  He told me that when his brain sends a signal to his legs, it stops at the spinal cord, therefore, causing involuntarily muscle jerks.  In layman's terms, it short circuits in the legs, causing seizure like activity.

He said he was not surprised at his decline, said that it is the progression of this disease, nothing we can do about it.

He spoke to me alone.  I asked him, "how much longer,"  thinking I would get a straight forward answer.  He looked at me, shook his head and said, "I don't know.  1 year, 2 years, not much more than that.  His type of Alzheimer's is rapid, but, it all depends on how fast the brain will die.  His brain is dying off and shrinking.  For some, it takes longer.  With the family history, if he lives to see 48-49, then he would've outlived the others in his family."

Good ole Dr A.  He doesn't mince words.  That's what I like about him.

He did add another med for husband to take.  It's called Namenda.  Said it might help with memory.  Wants me to call him in 4 weeks to see how he is doing.  He said it's not a cure all, but, may help with his confusion.

He wants to see him again in December.  Said with his recent decline, he wants to now start with more visits, because of the severity of this decline.

I left feeling OK with the visit, wanted more questions answered, didn't get that, but, husband was in a good mood about it all.

Every time we leave Dr A's office, husband thinks he did great.  "I did great, didn't I?"  he says.  As I'm driving out of the parking lot, I glance at him and just nod my head and smile.

No tears this time for me, so, I guess "I did great too", huh?


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dr appointment

Tomorrow morning is the Dr's appointment I have been waiting for.  I know this appointment will be just as important as the Day of Diagnosis.  I know husband has declined drastically.  He will be put a series of tests, only this time, I don't think he will be able to perform them.

I will have them slip Dr a note in husband's chart, requesting a private chat with him.  I want to know where we stand in reference to how far this disease has advanced, and, the $64, 000 question............

How long?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Dead batteries

Been 2 days since I've posted.  I have been at a loss for words lately.  So much is happening.

Since Wednesday, husband has been on a downward spiral.  He is fast approaching a fine line between reality and his own delusional world.  It has just happened so fast, I am finding it hard to catch my breath.  I am still reeling.

Father in law came by Thursday.  He wanted to take husband for the day.  As husband was in the bathroom, father in law began to cry.  He asked me have I noticed how bad husband has gotten?  He also said he is having a hard time with all of this, stating he cannot go through another nightmare like he did with husband's mom.  He told me that this is not fair to all concerned, then cried out, "What about Jack?  Please, please, don't let him get this, oh God, no."

I have never seen him this way.  I soothed him, all the while, my heart could be heard shattering for blocks.

Husband came out of the bathroom, oblivious to what I had just experienced.

Husband had a good day with his dad.  I guess.  I asked him, he looked confused and said he thought so.  Asked him if he ate, he said he thought so.

I took husband to the pool yesterday, mid-morning.  A little boy that lives down our street and that I occasionally babysit for was there.  He watched husband come in the gate with his walker.  He came up to me and asked, "Hey Sue, what's wrong with him?"  I explained that his legs don't work anymore.

He looked at me with those great big blue eyes and said, "Well, his batteries are dead.  He needs new ones, Sue."  With that, off he went into the pool.  I looked at husband, he had no idea what we had said, even with him being not 2 feet away from us.  Husband looked at me with that vacant stare, smiled and began watching the little boy in the pool.

Oh, I wish it were that easy, sweet boy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Remember last week when I wrote our address on a small card for husband?  Well, every night, he get's the card out and holds it in his hands and tries to, I think, memorize it.  He can't really read anything anymore, but, he brought out the card to me last night and had me read him our address.

Part of the name of our street is Pueblo.  He could not pronounce that.  I had to spell it out and say the name out loud several times for him to understand.  Still looking confused, he went back to the bedroom and held that damn card for at least another 1/2 hour.

It's the little things that are getting to me now.  Those little things we all take for granted.  Like reading.  Or, pronouncing words.

Marie and the kids are coming to swim today.  I'm taking husband to the pool as well.

Oh, I am so looking forward to next Monday.  Finally, see Dr A.  I have so many questions.

When talking with the scooter store people, they asked me his diagnosis, I gave it to them, then, there was a long pause on the other end of the line.  I knew they were looking at his birth date, doing the math, then, he said, "He has Alzheimer's Disease and he's only 47?"  I then had to go into my little speech about he family history and how rare it is.  I've done it so many times now, I've got it pretty well condensed.  Short and sweet and to the point.

"Wow", was this guy's response.  "I am so sorry.  How sad for all of you.  In all the years of doing this, I've never come across something like this.  Oh, wow."

Yeah, that's the usual response I get when I have to explain what's wrong with husband.  It leaves them, at times, speechless.

It's too bad I don't love shocking people.  If I did, I would just love my situation right about now.

I hate this.  I hate all of it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Let's Make a Deal!!

In trying to find a charger for husband's scooter chair, I realized that Medicare would pay for any repairs, thus, saving me money.

So, I called and called and called places that carry scooter chairs.  Every single one of them told me that because Medicare did not pay for his chair, they would not cover any repairs.

There's always a catch, ya know?

I ended up calling the makers of the scooter chair and found a gem of a person.  She was understanding of my situation, listened to me, asked questions and transferred me to one heck of a representative.  Once he got all of my information, he informed me that husband could get a brand new chair at, probably, no cost to me.  Said Medicare would pay for it.

He called Dr A's office, with me still on the phone, verifying husband was a patient of his, had a scheduled appointment and was sending a fax so Dr A could write a prescription for the chair.  Never knew you had to have a prescription for equipment such as that.  Boy, what I've learned!!

Late yesterday afternoon, I got a call from another person at the scooter store and she informed me that Medicare approved husband for the chair.  Then, she informed me that my cost would be $500.  What?

I told her there was no way I could afford that.  She offered payments.  I said no.  Then, she asked for my monthly income.  Once I told her, she ran numbers and said we qualified for financial assistance.

There will be no cost to me.

Being that I'm now on a roll, when they call me again, I'm going to ask Medicare to pay for a lift for my car.  That way, husband will have full use of this chair.  I won't have to worry about him falling.

Hey, like I said, I'm on a roll here.  I never take "No" for an answer.  Also, if they provide a mobile wheelchair, they can throw in a lift for me as well.

Stay tuned..................................

Monday, July 9, 2012

What am I at?

After I posted my post yesterday morning, I went and looked up the 7 Stages of Alzheimer's.  After reading it, (again) I have come to the conclusion that husband falls in the category Stage 6.   Although, he does fall in the 7th Stage as well.  Some characteristics are present.  Don't know which way to turn on that one.

I realized that I have had to assist him in dressing for at least a month.  It just never dawned on me before.  I could not get through to him yesterday morning on how to put his shorts on.  He could not understand me.  After a few times of him pulling them off and putting them back on the wrong way,  I had to physically put them on for him.   After I was done with that, he asked me to check and make sure his shirt was on right.  Ugh.

Last week, I gave him a pair of socks to put on.  He looked at them as if they were a foreign object.  I had to put those on for him.

He was putting a new roll of toilet paper on the roll.  Well, one side of the roll shot off, he said.  I went into the bedroom to see about that and there he was, with his flashlight, looking under the bed.  I asked him if he was putting the toilet paper in the bedroom.  He said no, in the bathroom.  I asked why then, was he looking under the bed.  He told me that it could of shot off under the bed.  Our master bath is not that far from the bed, however,  there is no way it would shoot under our bed.  We did find it, in the bathroom and all was well.

In describing the 6th and final 7th Stage it said that "Patient will become delusional".  That one struck home more than any of the other "symptoms".

I want Dr A to give me a timeline on how much time we have left.  I say less than a year.  But, I'm not the expert.  Dr A is.

I wonder.  What category do I fall under?

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Finding Me

Our monsoons have arrived.  While I love a good old fashioned thunder and lightening with rain, I don't like the aftermath.  The dreaded humidity.  It's really humid this morning.  I'll take the humidity over the terrific heat wave we had for about 2 1/2 weeks.  At least it's cooler.

Husband told me yesterday that he felt weak.  Said his legs felt very weak and unstable.  He rested mostly.  Seemed to go to the bathroom more frequently than usual.  Because I am with him 24/7, I notice things most people wouldn't.  I think it comes with the territory.  You automatically look for signs and symptoms.  This frequent urination may be nothing, or, it could be something.

Jack has been working so hard in summer school.  He finished the first phase and got an A and a B.  He is on the second phase now and told me he will complete that by next week.  So far he has two A's.  I'm so proud of the way he has worked and applied himself.

Not much else going on.  Life continues with it's ups and downs.

Caring for someone who is afflicted with Alzheimer's is one roller coaster after another.  Once you think you've got it mastered, wham, you're hit with another big hill to either drop you or something you have to climb.  It's never-ending.

My old boss invited me for lunch next Saturday.  That'll be nice.  I get to talk to someone who understands everything I say and listens.  They also have "normal" eyes.  A change for me.  I'm looking forward to next Saturday.

My life in a nutshell.  Huh.  

I am planning for when husband is gone.  I know for a fact I will leave New Mexico.  There will be nothing here for me.  I don't know how I will cope with all the kids gone and no husband, but, there is a new life waiting for me.

I just have to find it.  And me.

Friday, July 6, 2012


A strange day, yesterday.  Husband seemed out of sorts most of the day.  Morning started off rough and ended in a very quiet night.

Husband brought me a piece of cardboard, the size of a business card.  Asked me to write our address and phone number on it.  Surprised and a little concerned, I did as he requested.  Asked him what is was for, he said that in case he ever gets lost, they would find this in his wallet.

I suggested we get one of those Medical ID bracelets, he said no.  I'm going to order one today.  It's time.

Not that he ever goes outside without me, but, still, nice to have.

Am anxious for him to see Dr A.  He will be the one to tell me just where we are at in this disease.  He's so wise.  Don't know if I mentioned, but, they have moved husband's appointment up to the 16th instead of the 25th.  Earlier the better.  He really needs to be seen.

I woke up this morning with a feeling of change in the air.  I believe I'm loosing touch with husband.  He's drifting farther and farther away from me.  There are times, when I actually look into his eyes and see no recognition of me.  The eyes look wild to me.  Wild and confused.  They dart around, trying to find something he can recognize.

He said something to me yesterday that hurt, but, in reality, was the truth, but not the way he said it.  He told me he knows I wish he would die.  Not a lie.  No, I don't sit here and think I wish he would die, not in that way.  I just wish his suffering were over with, that's all.  I could never say that to him.  He just wouldn't understand.

Jack feels the same way.  I think the other kids do too.  We see the suffering.  We see the total lack of concentration.  The total devastation.  We see him attempting to walk and it breaks our hearts watching him fall down.  There are some days it's hard to watch.  And we say to ourselves, "enough already."

Yes, enough already.  

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A new kind of quiet

A very quiet 4th for us.  Made me stop and think to years past.  When the kids were little.  This 4th was very different.  A new phase in my life now.

Was able to shop for husband yesterday without him being difficult.  He behaved himself in the store and was   happy about my choices of clothes for him.   Once we got home, I went through his is dresser.  Boy, what a mess.

When I do laundry, I fold and give him his clean clothes.  He will put them away.  After going through his dresser yesterday, well, I will put his stuff away from now on.   Clothes were all jumbled together. Twisted,with other shirts, pants and socks.  Most of his shirts were thrown away.  Pants, I kept, for winter.

I organized everything for him.  I showed him where I put all his new clothes, what drawer held what.  Told him numerous times.

Later last night, I told him I was giving him a test.  Asked him what each drawer held.  He got it right!!  Course, this morning may be another story.  We'll see.

In going through his clothes, I found a pair of swimming trunks.  Then, I got an idea.  Take him swimming in the pool.  He actually wanted to go, so, off we went.  Kristen was already at the pool, working on her tan.  Husband managed to get into the pool by himself and floated for quite some time.  He loved it!!

We will go again today.  He had no trouble walking in the water.  It was nice to see him looking like just another dad at the pool.  We looked like an "almost normal" family enjoying the pool and the 4th of July.

So, being that I'm entering a new phase in my life, no more little kiddos hanging on my legs & arms, asking when can they do fireworks, no more messes, a rather quiet 4th, I can honestly say, I enjoyed it.

Times, they are a changing.  There's a change coming, I can feel it.

A new kind of quiet.  And, I'm OK with it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The red, white & blue of it all

I have been slacking on posts because not much is going on.  Also, I'm in a funk, still.  I am hoping to come out of it soon.  There is so much to deal with.  The reality of it all has finally sunk in.

Husband has been stable for the past several days.  Way too much sleeping.  Memory issues are a constant reminder of this monster.  Cannot tell him anything anymore, as he cannot retain any memory of what you just said.

I was reading the news on my laptop yesterday morning, husband came in and was looking out the sliding door.  I asked him what he was doing.  He, at first, did not recognize me, then with a look of surprise, said, "Oh, there you are."  Now, he had to walk right by me to get to the sliding door.

Today is the 4th of July.  We will be doing, nothing.  I have to take husband and get him some T-shirts and new socks.  If I find a sale, I will get him some new shorts.  He has become quite thin, his shirts hang on him.   I'm not going all out because I can't afford it and, well, he's terminal.

I hope each and every one of you has a beautiful 4th of July.

Happy Birthday, America.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Changes, they are a coming

Low key weekend.  I got a pool key yesterday.  Called Marie, she came over with the kids.  Went to the pool.  A little crowded since it was Sunday, but, she is coming over today and we will go swimming.  Most people work during the week, so, it'll be nice with less people.

Before we went to the pool, I asked husband if he wanted to come.  Offered to help him into the pool.  He did not want to come.  I told him it might do him some good, cooling off.  He wasn't in the mood.

I got my water fountain all set up Saturday.  It is nice.  Love the sound of babbling water.  Relaxing.  I am proud of the way it all turned out.  Having trouble uploading the pictures of my patio, but, hopefully will have them up soon.

This continued heat is getting to everyone.  We have set a record every day for the last 2 weeks.  It is awful.  We have trails down by the Rio Grande River.  It goes for many miles.  There are stopping points with benches, it's really pretty.  Because of fire danger, the Bosque (the trails) is now being patrolled and you can only enter a certain time each day.  The Bosque closes at sunset.  In all the years I've lived here, I have never heard of the Bosque closing.  Scary.

And, for the first time in many, many years, I can't wait for Winter.  Yes, it's been that hot.

So, life continues on.  Alzheimer's continues to destroy my husband.   Jack has 3 weeks left of summer school, graduation, then, leaving in September.  So many changes are coming.  Life altering changes.

I realized I have choices.  I have thought nothing of those choices for some time now.  Choices that will make my life better.  Choices that will end some of my stress.

Tish and Jace will be leaving Arizona between March & June of 2013.  They don't know where they are going to be stationed yet, however, I am going with them.  Enough of this financial strain.  She has been telling me for awhile now that that's what needs to be done.  And, they want me around.

We discussed husband.  I had planned to put him in a home.  I can't just put him in a home and leave him.  Of course not, she said.  He will come with me.  But, then Tish said something that really struck home.  She said, "Mom, he won't be around by next year.  I think you know that.  We all know that.  You are coming with me and that's that."


Their first choice is Colorado.  Second choice is California.  Third is New York.  I'm crossing my fingers for Colorado.

A new year, a new life.  For me.  A new day is coming.  It is well with my soul.     

Sunday, July 1, 2012

A new Weatherman

Not much going on.  Life continues in our household.  Days seem to blend into another.  Days are going by fast for me.

Dr A's office called and wanted to re-schedule husband's appointment from the 25th to the 16th of this month.  Sooner the better for me.  Husband said he didn't want to go.  I ignored him and he settled down.  Sometimes ignoring works, sometimes, not.

Husband continues to be mostly confused.  There are fleeting moments of reality, then, his mind shuts down and off we go into the Land of Alzheimer's.  Keeps me on my toes.  I never know what to expect.  I never know where we are at in this journey.

I recently posted about this peaceful feeling I have.  I still have it, but, there is a restless side to it as well.

Husband does one thing that is both funny and endearing.  He will watch the news, doesn't understand it, but, watches it all the same.  He will tell me what the weather will be like for the next few days.  It takes him awhile to tell me the whole story.  It's like he's reciting poetry.  You can see when he speaks, that his tired brain is struggling.  His eyes get so big and round.  I mentioned before, I do not like looking at his eyes.

So, because he loves to "report" to me, I have given him the job of reporting the weather to me.  I asked him to watch the news each evening, then come and tell me what the weather will be like.  He seems to enjoy that.  It's kind of like an assignment for him.

Funny.  There is no right way or wrong way in dealing with an Alzheimer's patient.  You just do what works best for your situation.  Now that I've found a way for husband to feel "important", well, it makes him happy, so who cares if he stumbles over his words, or, forgets what the weatherman said?

I call him the Weatherman now and he loves it.

I had to go to Wal Mart yesterday afternoon.  I asked husband if he wanted to go along.  He smiled and got very excited.  I was dreading the crowds, this awful heat and husband using his walker, walking ever so slow.

Before we left, he said that he thought it would be best if he used the wheelchair.  That way, he said, he could keep up with me.


Why, I almost heard the Angels from above singing.  Yes!

We actually had a decent time, he did keep up and was so happy about that.

As I was driving home, husband said, "You know, I may have to start using the wheelchair more.  It sure makes it easier.  I don't have to worry about falling anymore, will I?"