Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Connecting with God

I don't know what is up with me these past few days.  I have been waking up at 4:30 am and cannot fall back asleep.  I have slept good through the night, but at 4:30 in the morning, bam, my body wants to get up. So, here I am.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I had gone to the laundromat.  It was OK, just didn't like hauling all the clothes in and out of the laundromat. Not to mention the expense.  Here, there are 6 laundry facilities, but, you have to purchase a laundry card to insert into the washer and dryer.  It's easy.  Go to office, purchase card, load it up with money and you're set.  When balance is low, go back to office and load it up again.

I purchased said card yesterday afternoon.  I also did two loads of clothes.  The washers and dryers work beautifully.  The facility is clean.  I'm not too far from one of the laundry rooms.  As I put the clean clothes away, I thought to myself that that wasn't so bad.  Going to finish up this afternoon and my laundry will be done for the week.  Another adjustment to apartment living, but, it's OK.

Husband is the same.  This morning is bath day.  I bought him 2 pairs of sweats yesterday.  They are easier for me to dress him with, plus they keep him warm.  They are also very comfortable.

I had been given some adult diapers over a year ago.  I had tucked them in the closet to save for the day he would need them.  Of course, we all knew that that day came last week.  They are nice, however, they are a smaller size than what he needs.  We used them because that's all I had.  I got him some Depends yesterday, and what a great fit.  They were a little expensive, $10.96 for a package of 20.  We'll see how they work.  If I can find cheaper that still keeps him dry, I may have to buy those.  A friend said Walgreens carries their store brand for a dollar cheaper and are comparable to Depends.

Tyler came over yesterday.  Of course, husband was sleeping, so I was able to warn him of what he was to see.  His face fell as I woke husband up and he saw the damage right away.  As I helped husband up and into the living room, I heard Tyler say under his breath, "Oh man."  He looked at husband and said softly, "Hey, bud."  Husband enjoyed the visit.  Oh, how he loves the kids.

As I was coming in the apt with the last load of laundry last night, my neighbor, Michele was leaving.  She is nice.  She asked me how we were doing, especially husband.  Because husband doesn't go out anymore, my neighbors thought I lived alone.  So, I had to explain that husband is very ill, terminal, in fact.  They have all been so understanding and compassionate.

We sat on the porch and talked for about 20 minutes.  She said something to me that made me stop and wonder.  As she was leaving, she said, "You know, Sue, if you had not told me about your husband, I never would've guessed you are living a nightmare.  You are always smiling, glowing, in fact.  You must have a special connection to God."

Yeah, I like to think so too, Michele.  Gee, thanks.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"Easy does it"

Took a few days off to gather my thoughts.  This new routine I've had to establish has been hard in some respects.  I've also had to find some bigger girl pants to wear each day.  I think I found them.

In this new routine, I now bathe husband every other day.  Yesterday was the "every other day".  Husband loved it.  While he lounges in the tub, I get out clean clothes and fresh diaper.  Then, I soap him down, rinse him off and  help him out of the tub.  I would shower him, but, he can't stand for very long and because he is in diapers now, well, I want to make sure he is clean, all over, if you know what I mean.

Getting him to sit in the tub is hard because his legs are so so stiff.   They remind me of wood.  He also can't follow directions well because his brain doesn't compute much anymore.  Once I get him down, he loves it.  Getting him back up is another ordeal.  Yesterday was better than Sunday.

I dry him off, powder him, put deodorant on and away we go to the bedroom to dress.  Ever try dressing an adult?  With stiff legs and a brain that doesn't work anymore?  He doesn't know his left from his right, so I tap the arm that needs to go into a shirt sleeve.  It takes a little longer for him to realize that the arm needs to go up and through the sleeve.

Once dressed, I fix his breakfast.  He eats, has his medication and goes back to bed.  He is now sleeping for about 5-7 hours each day.

Dr A said to not let him sleep so much during the day.  I followed his orders for months.  Since moving, and with this spiral into the unknown, it has caused him so much confusion and agitation, I said phooey to that, let him sleep.  He's more relaxed during sleep and wakes up in the afternoon in a calm state.  I'm all about keeping him calm.  Sometimes, you gotta do what you think is best.  Sleep for him is best.

While he is sleeping, I straighten up the apt, take the dog out for walks, do some stained glass painting and, if there is a good trial on Tru TV, I watch that.  Actually, I'm in the middle of a good trial now.  Very interesting.

Once husband is awake, I make him a snack, we do some small talk that consists of me answering his questions over and over, then, he goes back to bed to lay down.  He watches some TV.

This is my life now.  I like routine.  It's good for me.  It's good for husband.  I need this kind of order in my life.  I also have found that the more there is routine for husband, the less confusion he has.

A little glimpse into my life.  Not that exciting, but, if husband has a good day, then I know I've accomplished what I set out to do when I woke in the morning.

Why does he have to suffer?  Why do I have to care for a husband like an infant?  Why is there a heaviness in my chest?  Why doe he have to die?

I don't know.  I only know that God is here with me, each and every day.  While I care for husband, I feel God close to me.  He's real, He's there.  When I have to lift husband out of the tub, I feel God close.  I can almost hear Him saying to me, "There, there, easy does it."  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finding Me!

It was not a good weekend.  Husband has continued this downward spiral.

I always told myself that I would know when the time was right for Home Health Care.  I hesitated before, because he still had some of his faculties.  He could dress himself, bathe himself, take himself to the bathroom.  All that ended this weekend.  Since last week, I have had to dress him and assist him in going to the bathroom.  That was when I introduced the adult diapers.  He has worn them since without a fight.

Late Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday was a nightmare.  He couldn't find the bathroom, his state of confusion had reached it's limit.  It was a rough night.

When he woke yesterday morning, I fed him breakfast, and told him I was going to give him a haircut and bathe him.  With him wearing diapers now, I want to make sure he is clean.  He was confused about that, but, did not fight me on it.

Because husband can't communicate to other people much anymore, I have taught myself how to cut his hair.  He no longer goes to the barber.  After his breakfast, I gave him a haircut.  It turned out nice and neat.

Then, it was time for his bath.  He relaxed in the tub as I talked to him softly.  As I poured the hot water over him, he would tell me how good that felt.  I scrubbed him down.  I told him I was going to do this every other day from now on because I want him to be clean.

Getting him out of the tub was difficult as his legs are so stiff.  Once he was out, I powdered him down, put deodorant on him, he brushed his teeth. Got him dressed in fresh clean clothes and he laid down on the bed and promptly fell asleep for 5 hours.  I let him sleep.

While he was sleeping, I knew it was time.  Time for the professionals to come in and help me out.  So, I will call this morning and set it all up.

Maybe once a nurse is here, I can have a little freedom.  Oh, wouldn't that be nice.

I have to find me again.  It's time.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Flying by the seat of my pants

Another quiet day yesterday.  Not as eerie as the day before, but, quiet just the same.

I decided to go to the laundromat to wash husband's pants.  They were all soiled.  I was gone for about an hour.  Came home, walked in the door and there was husband, slumped over in his wheel chair, sound asleep.  I hope none of you ever have to see something like that.

My first thought was, "Oh no,"  but, I saw him breathe, so I knew he was only asleep.  I woke him up.  He did not recognize me at first, then, gave me a little smile.  I changed the sheets on the bed and got him back to bed.  He slept for a few hours.

I usually don't like him sleeping so much, but, with this constant confusion, he only seems peaceful when asleep.  Even Dr A says too much sleeping is not good.  Forget it.  I'm here, I see the confusion, he doesn't recognize even me at times.  So, if he's peaceful when sleeping, so be it.

The very idea of him not recognizing me brings me to my knees.  That is the ultimate betrayal of Alzheimer's. It makes me want to scream at him, "IT'S ME, YOUR WIFE."  He doesn't do it all the time.  But, I've noticed it happening more and more as days go by.  If it happened twice on Thursday, then it happened 4 times yesterday.  Every day it becomes more and more obvious that he does not recognize me.

On the flip side of Alzheimer's, husband wears his "diapers" without a fight.  When he woke up yesterday afternoon, he could not make it to the bathroom on time, so, of course, wet his pants.  He was amazed that his "underwear" held it in.  As I was helping him change, he kept saying how neat that was.  His pants weren't wet, he was totally dry.  I helped him shower, then, got out a clean pair, put those on him.  He's totally comfortable with them.  Amazing.

I am totally flying by the seat of my pants here.  I'm not a "professional" caregiver.  I make decisions on the spur of the moment.  These decisions are based on where we are at, at the moment, with his progression of this disease.

It's not easy.    

Friday, January 25, 2013

"This quiet is too loud"

Yesterday was spent very quiet.  I puttered around the apt and did some stained glass painting.  Husband sat in his wheel chair, in the living room with me and stared blankly around.  He did not talk much.  He didn't seem depressed, nor sad, nor anything.  I would look at him, but, there was no recognition in anything.  Sometimes, being so quiet is disturbing to me.  I don't like this kind of quiet.  It's not peaceful.  It's the sound of impending death.  Not comfortable.

I can't believe how fast husband has faded.  Ever since we moved, 2 weeks ago.  I blame myself for this, although I know it's not my fault.  I feel guilty for taking him away from what was familiar.  I knew it would affect him, just not to this extent.

An old friend of husband's called yesterday.  After talking to her for awhile, I handed the phone to husband.  I watched him, listening to her.  He would nod his head, then, when it was his turn to talk, the only thing he constantly said was, "So, how are you guys doing?"  That's it.  He did not answer her questions, just kept repeating that same question.  Finally, she asked to speak to me again.  Once I got back on the phone, all she said was, "Oh my God, Sue."

Yep. Oh my God.

Husband went to sleep early last night.  He was quiet as I changed his "Protective Underwear", better known as Adult Diapers.  He asked if he should wear regular underwear.  I told him it was not necessary.  I got him into bed and he said all he wanted to do was sleep.  I left him alone.

I woke in the middle of the night to find husband trying to get out of bed.  I asked him if he was OK, he said, "I can't get out of bed anymore."

I pray that he will soon go to sleep and wake in Heaven.  It's all just too much.  For him.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Total destruction

I did not have a good day yesterday.  Husband did not have a good day.

You know, Alzheimer's has a way of destroying everything.  It robs futures, it robs hopes, it robs dreams, it robs families.

It robs a once vibrant, strong, hard working man of his very life.  Not only that, but, it also robs husband of his dignity.

I had to do something yesterday that no wife should ever have to do.  No one before me, nor anyone after me.

I put my once big, strong and full of life husband in diapers last night.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Husband continues to be in his own world.  He slept most of the day yesterday.  I wanted him to go outside and roll around in his scooter chair.  He looked at me as if I were crazy.  Went to bed and slept instead.

He ate a good dinner, then, back to bed.  He talked a little bit, during dinner, but, that was it.

The past several days he has asked me to help him get dressed.  He has forgotten how to put on clothes now.  His socks he puts on himself, but, the heel part are on the top of his feet, instead of his heel.  His underwear, he tries to put on backwards.  Shirts?  Backwards.  Pants are another thing.  I now assist him in getting dressed.

His legs have become very stiff.  Each night now, I pull the bed covers back, he sits down on the bed and I have to lift his legs up on the bed.  He can no longer do that either.  He is still obsessed with the bed covers. Says I have changed the way I make the bed.  That's why he says he has trouble getting into bed.  I just agree, no use in arguing over it.

I read about this.  I read that they will need help in getting dressed.  They will need assistance with everything.  I read it, knew it would happen.  It just seemed so far off.  Well, it's here.  That time has come.  I'm sad about that.  Not, cry your heart out, kind of sad, just sad at all that's been lost.  He's so helpless now.

As I was lifting his legs into bed last night, I looked at him.  He was looking up at me.  I smiled at him.  His eyes looked so sad.  He did not smile back.  He's lost.

In a way, after all he fought, I think he has given up.  Or, Alzheimer's has completely taken over now.  What I saw in his eyes was defeat last night.  It's over.

Alzheimer's may have won the battle, but it can't erase the memories I have.  I have no husband anymore.

That part of my life is over.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spin Cycle

I like getting up early, before the sun comes up.  It's so quiet, peaceful.  The beginning of a new day.  That's when I do my thinking.  Planning my day, thinking up ways to keep me occupied, hoping husband will have a good day and sometimes thinking of the day before and how it went.  For a little while, I can be me.  I like that.  All too soon, husband wakes up and my day will be determined by how he is.  Sometimes good, sometimes not so good.  I wait for the other shoe to drop every day.  You just never know with husband and Alzheimer's.  Keeps you on your toes for sure.

Father in law came yesterday.  He liked the apt.  Said I made it warm and cozy.  Also said that in me describing it, he thought it would be really small and cramped.  Actually, it's small, but roomy.  Husband had a nice visit with his dad.  He seemed in better spirits after FIL left.

I got out my stained glass painting stuff also.  Last week, I put two of my paintings in the big living room window.  They look so pretty there when the sun comes through.  As I was walking up the path leading to our apt yesterday morning after taking the trash out, I looked at the paintings and thought, "Why, they look just like store bought stained glass."  So, I had one pattern I had outlined but never finished, so, I painted that and it looks so nice.

I went online and found a few more free patterns and printed those out.  I have some glass and am going to outline those today.  Outlining is tedious.  The hardest part of stained glass.  You have to have a steady hand.  Otherwise, it will come out curly and messy looking.  There have been days where I have had to re-do because of a not so steady hand.  Thanks, Alzheimer's.

It's keeps me busy.  I enjoy doing it.  As soon as I can, I want to post pictures of the apt and my stained glass paintings.  I just need to learn how to get them on here.  There are pictures from Jack's graduation I still want to post.  My laptop is old and oftentimes slow.  I want an IPad.  Yeah, OK, sure.  If I had an IPad, I'm sure it would be better.  Tyler said he would come by tomorrow, he knows how to do it.  Maybe he will show me how and you can see my pictures, finally.

Jack called on Sunday.  He is half way through tech school.  He said once he graduates, he will get a 14 day leave and come home.  Then?  Off to Germany.  He sounds so good.  We have great conversations.

Husband continues to be confused.  He has been a little depressed the last few days.  I try to lift his spirits, offering to take him outside when it is good weather, I suggest things he could do or show him stuff I've done.  Most of the time, he gives me that blank stare as if I am speaking a foreign language.  He just doesn't get it anymore.  His memory is worse this week than last week.  Yes, it's that pronounced.  It's so obvious now.

The worse for me is watching him spin in circles.  Granted, it's not a fast spin,  he doesn't move fast, but it's a spin.  I close my eyes when I witness that.  I don't like it.  I always imagine it's his brain on the spin cycle.  His poor brain.  When you look into his eyes, you can see the brain damage being done.  Trust me, it's not something I like to look at.  I try to avoid his eyes.  I don't want him to see my reaction.  Course, even if he did, I don't think it would register anymore with him.

I've also noticed the last several weeks, fleeting moments of him not recognizing me.  It's just a second or two, but, I've seen it.  I pray that doesn't happen.  I don't know what I'd do if he forgot me.

Like I said earlier, I'm always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Filling in the blanks

"Like sand through the hour glass, so are the days of my life," or so it goes.  I got to thinking of this saying last night and this morning.

I have pretty much settled in the apt.  Am getting a routine.  I like this apartment living.  Neighbors are quiet and respectful.  I have met several neighbors.  All seem nice.  Dogs are the "kids" here.  Everyone has them. While out walking my dog, we get to talking about our animals.  We are always stopped with neighbors telling me how cute my dog is.  He really is cute.  He's a Maltese with a spirit you can't break.

We had our big dog, Bessie since she was 8 weeks old.  Knowing we were going to this apartment, I knew it wouldn't be fair to keep her confined.  Our old landlord's sister runs a rescue farm for dogs.  She found a couple who wanted her.  So, Bessie went to a new home 2 weeks ago.  They called me and told me that she is thriving.  She has 3/4 of an acre to run and bark.  They said she is happy.

Giving my dog away was hard.  I did not post it here when she went away.  I wasn't ready.  That was hard.  It broke my heart.  I have never given a dog away.  I cried when they left.  But, knowing now that she is so happy and has freedom, well, I feel better.  But, hearing her name gives me a twinge in my chest.

So many changes.  So many adjustments lately.  Sometimes, I have to stop myself and wonder at all these changes since November and my decision to give up a big house, give a dog away and move to a small apartment.  Wow.

I think it all caught up with me last night.  Whew.  That was a lot to deal with.  But, like the saying goes, "so are the days of my life."

Husband is still not 100%.  Who am I kidding?  He'll never be that again.  He is adjusting, slowly, but is not with it much of the time.  He will sit in the living room, looking out the window at the park like setting, the duck pond with the water feature and be in his own world.  Sometimes, he will be talkative, other times, silent.  I look at him when he is quiet and wonder just what he is thinking.  I wonder, are his thoughts jumbled up, like his speech?  Does he hear voices?  Mostly, he will tell me about his childhood.  Funny, he can't remember to pull back the bed covers, but, his childhood is crystal clear.

His speech, for the most part, is always slurred.  He will start to talk, forget a word, stumble over words, then, with a wave of his hand, stop talking.  I fill in the blanks for him.  It comes automatically to me.  I think he likes that I do that for him.

Huh, filling in the blanks.  Seems like I've been doing a lot of that lately.  In more ways than one.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Downsizing and quarters for the laundromat!!

Thank you for your comment.  Yes, there are support groups out there, and I do plan on looking into it, however, this week was not the week to do so.  Once we are settled, or, rather, husband gets more familiar with his surroundings, that is my plan.

I also need to contact Dr A's nurse to set us up for home visits.  If not for husband, for me.  To get out, run errands, or, just go somewhere and play pretend I have a normal life again.

Some of you asked me how the heck did I downsize so much.  Well, it wasn't easy.  I just went through everything, asking myself how much do I use this or that, and decided I didn't need it after all.  Some of the things I donated were hard to part with, but, my mind was set on survival, so it made sense to get rid of.  A lot of stuff I gave to Marie.  Like, towels.  I never realized how many towels I had.  I gave all to Marie, saving 4 bath towels, 4 hand towels and 4 wash cloths.  Sheets were another thing.  I had sheets from Jack & Kristen's beds.  All given to Marie.  Dishes, all given to Marie.  I kept most of my pans, only giving the big ones to Marie.  It was just a matter of taking stock of what I had and what could go.

Another strange day yesterday.  We are still obsessed with sheets and comforters.  I am trying to find something amusing about all of this.  Haven't found it yet, but, it's not bothering me as much as it did a few days ago.

I was watching TV last night and looked down the hallway, into the bedroom.  Husband was standing, holding on to the closet doors and turning around and around in circles.  I asked him if he was OK, he stopped, mumbled something and sat back down on the bed.  That was bothersome to me.

I had to transfer husband's meds to the pharmacy in our new area.  The pharmacy is a big chain, located throughout the city.  The old pharmacy was great, and this one is just as great.  As I picked up his anti-seizure yesterday, I thanked them for being so prompt.  The pharmacist came out to meet me and asked why Dr A had prescribed such a high dose for someone who is only 47.  I explained what he suffers from.  The cashier and pharmacist were stunned.  Said they had never come across someone so young being affected by Alzheimer's.

Today, for the first time in years, I am going to the laundromat.  Actually, I am looking forward to going.  I know, sounds strange.  But, because my world is so limited now, the thought of going to the laundromat is exciting.  Something new.  Another adventure.

You'd be surprised at how one can adapt.  Here I am, with a dying husband and I'm excited to go to the laundromat?


Thursday, January 17, 2013

A new title

"Alzheimer's patients become obsessed with the little and oftentimes, odd things", I read about 3 years ago.  It is during the final stage of the disease, and they become almost paranoid about the most unusual things one would never even think of.  When I read this, at the time, husband was in the process of being diagnosed (although I knew he was suffering from it), and I thought that was such a long way off.  Never gave it another thought.

Well, the time has come.  Husband has become obsessed with our bed, the comforter and those beloved sheets.  He made and re-made the bed 3 times yesterday.  When I got ready for bed last night, I walked in the room and there he was, making the bed, again.  Pillows on the floor, comforter on the floor, and the sheets?  All twisted up on the bed.  I made the bed, got him settled, all the while he was mumbling about the bed just wasn't right.  He wanted to "make it right", as he said.  By then it was almost 11 PM, I was tired.

I had to be firm, telling him the bed was fine, relax, go to sleep.  It took him about 5 minutes to fall asleep.  I, on the other hand, laid there for awhile, thinking and remembering reading about the most unusual obsessions patients suffer from in the dreaded final stage.

Here we are, folks.  Stage 7.

I made him go outside yesterday, in his scooter chair.  We brought the ramp from the old house, as there is a step leading to our apartment, and it fit perfectly here.  As he was going down the ramp, (a very slight incline, mind you), he began to get scared and told me he was going to fall.  I calmed him down, told him he wouldn't fall, I wouldn't let him.  Slowly, down the ramp he went.  When it was time to go back in, he started saying he couldn't go up the ramp, the chair would tip over.  There was a real fear on his face.  My heart was in my throat as I calmly helped him up the ramp.  Then, I clapped my hands, told him, "Good job, honey,"  as he got on the porch.  He had a big smile on his face once he got up.

Last night, I thought about all the titles I hold at this stage in my life.

Add 1 more:  Cheerleader!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Gut Wrenching Moments

Settling in.  Love, love, love this new apartment.  I have met some of my neighbors.  All nice.  Because husband does not go out, all assumed I lived alone.  I have to explain that no, I don't live alone, however, husband is pretty much bedridden at this point.  They all give their, "I'm so sorry's", tell me to call on them if I need something.  I like that.  They have told me this complex is a great place to live, good people, rather quiet and care about their neighbors.  I feel secure here.  Each day, I feel better and better about this move.  Yes, I think it's going to be OK after all.

Husband has been adjusting to this new environment.  He seemed better yesterday.  I joked with him and he responded with a chuckle and a small laugh.  His appetite was better.  He still will not go outside.  He may be afraid, I don't know.

Because we don't have a cable outlet in our bedroom and the complex does not allow cable company to drill, I've had to rig up a cable line running from living room to bedroom.  Actually, you can't even tell there is a cable line from living room to bedroom.  Once I got it all hooked up, the TV kept telling me there was no signal to the TV.  Frustrated, I called the cable co.  They talked me through it, and what do you know, the TV talked to the cable box and husband has his TV back.  He was one happy camper.

Alzheimer's is a funny disease.  You know they are going to not remember anything.  Comes with the territory.  But, when they forget even the simple things, it sometimes upsets me.  Take for instance, husband getting into bed.  He has completely forgotten how to pull back the comforter and top sheet.  He gets so confused.  He doesn't know that you need to get in between the sheets, not on top of the sheets.  I was explaining this to him the other night.  I got the bed opened, told him to get into bed.  He sat down on the bed, looked up at me and said, "Can you lift my legs?  They don't work anymore".  Ugh.  Since then, I've had to guide him on the bed, then, lift his legs.

A good friend of ours helped us move Saturday.  Rick knew of husband's illness, we just haven't seen him in quite awhile.  When he got to the house Saturday, husband went up to him.  Rick being Rick, looked at husband, his face fell, he recovered and said, "Hey, big guy, long time no see.  How are you?"  Husband looked down at the floor and said, "Oh, not so good, I caught what my mom had."

I hate those gut wrenching moments.  They are coming more frequently than I'd like now.  Crap.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Beloved Cable Company!!

It is done.  The move went smoothly, just still a lot of work.  I unpacked all of the boxes except for two yesterday.  Those will be done today.  I re-arranged the living room twice.  I think I like it the way it is now.  As I sat down to watch TV last night, even my fingernails hurt.  So much work.

Because we came from a 3 bdrm 2 bath house into a 1 bdrm 1 bath apt, I had to get creative in putting things away.  Luckily, I have a good imagination.  As I was cooking dinner last night, I forgot where I had put a few items.  I would stand in the kitchen and ask myself, "Now, if I were a strainer, where would I be?"  It all worked out, and, dinner was delicious.

There was a speed bump in the move however.  The cable co had reassured me twice that my cable would be on in the apt Saturday.  I was supposed to just plug in and go.  I had told them that because my phone is hooked up through cable, and the importance of having my phone, (husband) I could not have service interrupted.

Of course, when Pat hooked everything up, no cable.  I was on my cell phone with them for hours.  I finally got to speak with a manager, told her that we are supposed to be on the priority list due to husband's illness.  I explained that last week, they updated our new address with 911, and it was then I learned we are on this priority list and could not go without phone service.  She called me back and said that someone would be out Sunday.  Thank you.

All is well, my cable, phone and internet is up and running.  Oh, the cable guy told me that yes, we indeed are on the priority list, that this will not happen again.  If cable goes out, we would be the first for restoration.  Yay.

The apt is wonderful.  I've met some really nice people.  It seems everyone has dogs, so, my little one is enjoying himself.  The grounds are so park-like.  At night, old fashioned street lamps come on, lighting the paths through the complex.  I think I made the right decision to move here.

Husband did not handle the move well.  He's still not really with it.  Seems to go in and out of reality.  I wanted him to go out on the porch in his scooter chair yesterday.  He wanted to stay indoors.  Maybe today he will go outside.  He hasn't eaten much.  He likes the apt, said it is real cozy.  His poor brain just can't handle all this change.  Will take time to sink in for him.

Yes, I did the right thing by moving here.  It'll be alright.  I'll be OK.  I have to.  I'm all I have.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Giving thanks?

Yesterday was a busy one.  Signing the lease for the apartment took quite awhile.  I teased the girls in the office that one would think I was buying the place.  Boy, there was a lot to cover.  I left husband at home, (I know, I know) so I could do this without interruption.  Marie came with me.

Once we got done, off we went to unload the car.  Came back to the house for another load and to pick up husband.  He was fine.  We loaded the car again and off we went.  Once we were on the freeway, husband became very confused, asking me to go back to get his bed.  "I have to have my bed," he kept saying.  I softly explained to him that it was Thursday and we would move the bed Saturday, in two days.  It took him awhile to get it.  

He likes the apartment.  I like the apartment.  They put in new carpeting.  The only thing I don't like is the stove.  It's old and the girl in the office apologized for it, saying she thought they had put a new one in.  Said to try it out,  if it didn't work they would give me a new one.  Well, it doesn't work very well at all.  So, they are replacing it today.

It was bitter cold and the ducks were in the pond.  Under the water feature.  Husband kept joking he was going duck hunting.  Let's hope he doesn't actually do it.  Have to keep my eye on him.

Husband is not handling this move well at all.  He's been a handful.  If I just keep my head about things, all should go well.

Oh, and just to keep things interesting, our weather is turning bad today.  Wind and blowing snow is predicted for tomorrow, moving day.

Gee, thanks.  A lot!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


I get the keys to the apartment this morning.  I can start moving in today. Jerry (my landlord's son) loaded my car yesterday afternoon.  I plan on moving as much stuff as I can today and tomorrow and moving day is officially Saturday.

I just want it to be over with.  This has been hard on me.  Physically and mentally.  All these decisions I have made.  The finality and reality that this is really MY apartment hit me last night.  I started to tear up, shook myself and told myself it's going to be alright.  A new life, a new beginning.  With just me.

Husband had a hard day yesterday.  Confusion abounds.  Wandering the more or less empty house.  Boxes stacked in the dining room and living room.  Tyler took him out for a ride, give him some fresh air and me a break.  He bought him a Vitamin Water.  When they got back, poor Tyler was exhausted.  He came ahead of husband and told me how confused and agitated husband became.   He said he didn't know what to do with him.  Finally, he asked him if he wanted to come home.  Husband said yes.  Once he got back in the house, husband was fine.  Tyler looked at me, confused at the sudden change in husband.  With a sarcastic grin and a sarcastic voice, I looked up at him and said, "Welcome to my world."

This apartment has beautiful grounds.  It also had a big duck pond, with a beautiful water feature.  I have been telling husband once we get settled, I am going to take him to the pond.  He remembers that and asks me how soon can we go.  My living room window overlooks the pond.  A really pretty view.  The sight of this water feature may help my soul.

May everything help my soul.  Today, tomorrow and the rest of my life.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013


My house is packed.  Save for a few odds and ends, it is done.  When Marie came over yesterday to help me with the rest, I showed her my EMPTY master closet.  Her eyes got big and she burst out the "Hallelujah" song.  Yes, it was a moment for praise.

Father in law came and cleaned out our storage closet.  He took most of the stuff with him to store in his garage.  There are only a few items left.

My back hurts, I have sore muscles in my arms, of all places, but, it's done.


Husband was better yesterday.  Not great, but, better.  To see your life packed up in boxes, that is, what I've kept, is hard for me too.  I have given away so much stuff.  I have to.  We are going from a 3 bdrm, 2 bath home to a 1 bdrm, 1 bath apartment.  Can we say, small?  Yep, I had to get rid of so much.  Actually, it felt good to rid myself of it all.

Fresh start.  For me.  Husband is not included in those plans.  He doesn't know this.  This apartment is for me only.  When husband passes, I have to be able to survive, alone.  It has to be manageable.  It has to be safe for me.

Husband thinks I did this for us.  In a way, yes I did, but, I'm thinking long term.  He's just not included in the long term.

When I replay that last sentence in my head, it doesn't bring me to my knees.  It doesn't make me cry.  It doesn't even make me sad.  This is life.  And death.  I've come a long way.  I've accepted the fact that my husband, in all probability, will not live to see another Christmas.  And, I'm OK with it all.

Some readers may think how cold I am.  No, not cold.  If one could see husband, how he is now, well, I'm sure you'd think the same.  He suffers so.  Enough of the suffering.

Onward and upward.  This final stage will be hard.  I know.  He will suffer.  But, the end result will end with him in Heaven and, me?  I'll have a place to live.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what I'm striving for.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Changes, again!

What a week.  Sorry for the lack in posts.  This moving business is for the birds.  Especially when one has to do it alone.  It has been a hard week.  I'm exhausted.  When we moved here, I got rid of so much stuff, and now, packing, again, why, I have no idea where all this stuff came from.  My living room is filled with boxes, the spare two bedrooms are empty, the 2nd bathroom is done, kitchen is done, all that's left is my bedroom, master closet and our bathroom.  My body is so tired.

I get the keys to the apt on Thursday so I can start moving boxes that day and Friday.  We move in officially next Saturday.  Luckily, we have plenty of help.  No heavy lifting for me.

My landlord here has been so gracious to me, considering I'm breaking my lease.  It's nice when you have an understanding landlord.  He sees what I'm going through with husband and told me yesterday he doesn't know how I do it.

Husband has been a handful, for sure.  He doesn't handle change well, and with our whole life packed up, well, he doesn't understand anymore what this means.  I have been in the middle of packing and he will start to wander the house, muttering to himself, forgetting to get in his wheel chair, stumble, so I have to stop what I'm doing, get him back to bed and settled.  Then, he will think I got rid of all of his things, so, I have to take the time and reassure him I've packed his stuff.

Marie has been a great help for sure.  When husband starts to act up, she will calmly take him to bed, speaking softly to him, reassuring him all is well.  He responds to her and calms down.  The kids are on vacation and she has spent the majority of the time here, helping me.  I don't know what I would've done without her.

I hate all of this. The packing, the moving, again, the downsizing and my husband wandering the house, lost in his own world.  I found him crying the other day, sitting in the hallway.  I asked him why he was crying and he said, "Because I want to."   I don't recommend finding your husband crying and lost.  It's not a pretty sight.

No, I don't know how I do it either.  But, I do.

Every morning, when I go to get dressed, I somehow find my Big Girl Pants and put them on.  Some days are not easy to put them on.  But, they always seem to fit.