Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ad Lib for real

Husband is turning into one of the worst patients I have ever seen.  Oh, he's a handful, I'll tell ya.  He's supposed to rest, elevate his arm and I will ice it several times per day, 20 minutes each time.   Every time I turned around yesterday, there he was, holding on to his walker and wincing in pain.  I would guide him back to bed,  all the while reminding him of Dr's orders.  Reminding an Alzheimer's patient of Dr's orders is like trying to drink a cup of coffee with a fork!!

I would apply an ice pack, time it on my microwave, and go back in, 2 minutes later, to find the ice pack on the bed.  He would tell me 20 minutes were up.  I then would have to explain to him that it had only been 2 minutes and put it back on.  Of course, he would argue with me, telling me he knows how to tell time, that he had been timing it on the clock in the bedroom.  Now, husband can no longer tell time of any clock mind you, but, he insisted that he was timing it on his own.  Oh, yes, he's a handful alright.  Exasperating is the word that comes to mind.

Pat, Christine & Jason came over for a visit last night.  We had a nice time visiting with them.  They brought a cake.  Christine was upset that husband has gone downhill so fast since Jack left.  She said he sounded like he was drunk.  She was very concerned that I had to take him to the hospital relating to his fall.  I guess it is a shock to some who have not seen him in weeks, to see just how much he has declined.  She did ask me how I planned on flying husband to San Antonio.  Won't it be hard, she asked.  Of course, I replied.  But, being that I'm around him 24/7,  well, you just do it.

When husband is talking and gets confused on a word, I automatically fill in the blanks for him.  He always looks at me and I add the word he cannot pronounce anymore.  It's just something I do.  Pat & Christine were surprised that I do this.  I explained to them, when you are around him all the time, it comes natural and goes with the territory.

After they had left, husband got settled in bed, I was sitting here in the living room thinking about that.  I do do that, I thought.  No one teaches you anything on Alzheimer's patients.  It's just something that comes natural to me.  Could be from having children.  You know, when they are first learning how to talk? You always know what they are trying to say, so, you fill in the blanks.  Same with husband now.

With this disease taking over, it's been exhausting and a great learning curve for me, all at the same time.  I surprise myself that I take things in stride, see what damage has been done, adjust to that, mentally taking notes on what he can and can't do anymore.  I pick up when he can't.

Reminds me of a play with a live audience.  Say, one person forgets their lines, the other actor will swoop down and ad lib, until that person recovers enough to finish their lines.  And, the show goes on.

In my case, this is no play with a live audience.  It's the real deal.  Real life stuff.  But, for husband's sake, the show must go on.  Or, life must go on.  It's that simple.

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