Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I need a new pair of shoes!

I'm a little sad this morning.  In yesterday's post, I let my hair down.  I let my guard down.  I opened my Soul to cyberspace, AKA, the Internet.  I let readers know just how scared I have become.

Later, during the day, I thought about my post.  In some respects, I called myself a cry baby.  In other respects I called myself being brutally honest.  Hey, this is my life, whether it be sniff, sniff, boo hoo or whatever you'd want to call it, at least this blog is pure in thought, honesty and straight to the point.

While other blogs are entertaining, my blog is not.  My blog deals with the everyday life of a woman who is caring for her dying husband.  A husband too young to die.

As I was getting husband into bed last night, he asked me what was for dinner.  I told him he already had dinner.  He asked me what did he eat.  I told him.  He looked at me and said, "I don't remember eating dinner.  Are you sure I ate?"

He told me not to turn off the TV, he wanted to see the weather.  I told him the news was over with.  He insisted that they never showed the weather.  Told me to call the TV station in the morning because they forgot to show the weather.  I said I would.

He asked me what is the season we are in now.  I told him late Winter, early Spring.  He then asked me to explain what Seasons are.

The "man" is still here.  He glances at the closet a lot.  When he does, he kind of acknowledges the "man", as if to say, "I know you're there",  then will turn in bed.

While getting him into bed, I had to lift his legs.  They are so stiff.  I asked him to bend his legs.  He said, "I can't anymore".  I bent them myself.  They hardly bend anymore.

A little glimpse of what I do before going to bed each night.

Oh, how I sometimes wish my blog was more like other blogs.  I wish life were that simple for us.

Today, I wish I could walk in someone else's shoes.  I don't like the way mine are fitting lately.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


I think I'm on Day 3 of my laptop holding this charge.  Hope it holds out until I can get it fixed.  Or, I find hidden money and buy a new one.  What are the odds?

Husband is so-so.  He goes in and out of reality.  Slept a few hours yesterday.  Woke up and was restless the rest of the day.  He did not make and re-make the bed.  He did, however, get in the closet, but didn't pull everything out like he usually does.

He told me he wants to go see his dad today.  I said OK, not really wanting to go out, it's so cold.  Then, he said, "If I go, do you think "he" will be OK?"  I asked who?  He looked at me sideways, motioned for the closet and said, "Him".

I have decided to go along with this now.  So, I told him the "man" would be fine here.

Reminds me of when my Marie was little.  She had two imaginary friends named Cindy and Sandy.  I played along with her about them.  Here I am, some years later, going along with the "man" thing, only it's not a child I'm dealing with.  It's my husband.

To him, the "man" is real.  Before, I would try to explain to him that the "man" was not real.  It only upset and confused him further.  Since I've been going along with it, he seems less confused.

If you can't beat em', join em'.

Oh, I don't like this stage.  It's very scary.  I know it's only going to get worse from here on out.  I don't think I'm ready for that.  I think about it, but then, knowing what I know about the final stage, I go somewhere else in my mind.  I don't want to deal with it.  I'm putting off what I already know will happen.  And I just cannot go there, yet.  Give me a few minutes to saturate all of this.

In our 3 year journey, I have been prepared for everything.  I have taken it all in stride.  Dealt with it.  Didn't shrink away from it.  

But this?  I just cannot go there.  Not yet.  It's too soon for me.  I need to prepare for the final battle.  I tell myself that every day.  I gear up for it.  I tell myself I am strong, I can handle it.  I'll get through it.

Then, husband wakes up and asks me where the "man" is.  He tells me the "man" is wearing his clothes.  He tells me the "man" is bugging him.  He says the "man" is watching him all the time.

As I stand there listening to him, my mind closes.  I don't hear him anymore.  I don't want to hear this.  It scares me.  I feel so alone.  I want my mommy.  I want to run away.

I've got to get strong.  He needs me.  He depends on me.  I can't find my "big girl pants".

For the first time in my life, I feel like a shrinking violet.  Wilting from too much sun.  No water.  I need life breathed into me.

Someone, please find my "big girl pants", please.  

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

GPS Tracking System

Yesterday was spent quietly at home.  The snow storm seemed to subside, even though some parts of freeways remained closed.  Glad I didn't go in to work as a fill-in.  Actually, after the weekend I had, I didn't want to leave husband anyway.  Kristen offered to come up, but, I didn't feel comfortable in leaving him.

He was still awake when I went to bed.  And, "it" happened again.  As I was turning the covers back on my side of the bed,  I looked to find husband staring at me.  I told him to turn off his light and the TV.  He kept staring, not saying anything.  It hit me.  Crap, he doesn't recognize me.  That sent chills up my back.  I told him again to turn the light and TV off.  He never said a word.  Once I got into bed, I asked him to hand me the remote (he sometimes forgets how the remote works).  He handed it to me, sat up, looked once again at me, turned over and turned off the light.  He did not say, "Who are you?", but, it was written all over his face.

What a crappy way to end the day.

He told me yesterday what he wanted for his birthday.  Now, his birthday is in May, and honestly?  I never thought he'd make it to his 48th year.  Never.  If he makes it, he will be the first one in his family affected by Alzheimer's to have made it to 48 years.  The rest all died by age 47.  Anyway, he told me he wanted a GPS System.  I sat there stunned.  My first thought was, "What do you want with a GPS?,"  but, of course I did not say it.  Man, he was serious.  Said it would help him in the city.  I just nodded my head.  No use in saying anything more.

Later, I got to thinking.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if someone would invent a GPS for Alzheimer's patients?  Not for driving, but, for their brain.  Imagine it, won't you?   If they forget who you are, the GPS would say, "That is your wife".  First thing in the morning it would tell them what day it is.  What time it is.  What month it is.  What season it is.  What year it is.  Where they are.  If they forgot, this system would remind them.  If they had questions, they could ask their own personal GPS system.  They would get their answers.

Sound crazy?  Try living with someone you love that has Alzheimer's.  Wouldn't seem so crazy.

A GPS Tracking System for the Mind.  How wonderful indeed.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The "loudness" of it all

I was supposed to go in to the office again to fill in.  However, it started snowing last night, and, by this morning, the roads were snow packed and icy.  No way was I going to even attempt it.  So, here I am, snug and warm in my little apartment.  Luckily, my old boss understood.  Hated to let her down, but, I don't do well in snow and ice.

And, my laptop is holding a charge!  So, here I am.  Don't know how much longer I can keep monkeying around with this before it goes completely out, but, I'll take it for now.  I don't have money in my budget to get a new laptop.

Husband has not been doing well.  He has developed these little quirks and some really odd behavior.  Watching him makes me jittery.  He has become obsessed with making the bed again.  He goes through a ritual every night now.  I get him into bed, he gets out and makes it, over and over.  It's maddening to watch this.

He also re-arranges our closet.  Every.  Single.  Afternoon.  He will pull everything out and put it back in the same place.  We're talking about 2-3 hours!  Oy.  I don't go in there to stop him.  I let him do his thing.  The sad part is, I can see the struggle his brain is going through.  It's so jumbled up in there, I think he's trying to re-arrange, thinking it will help his brain.  Trouble is, he doesn't re-arrange, just moves it all out and puts it all back.

The "Man" is back.  He now talks to "him".  It's not talk you can understand, just a lot of mumbling, but, I can hear him doing this.  He has been angry at me since Friday night.  I think he's scared.

I am taking him in for his Psychiatric Evaluation next Monday.  I am going to ask for a stronger mood stabilizer.  The one he takes does no good anymore.  Or at least, up the dose.

This whole weekend was not good.  I've watched him struggle.  I hate this.  This dread in my chest does not go away.  It's a constant reminder of what is happening.  I get up each morning and look at husband.  There he is, sound asleep, eyes squinted shut.  I think of the battle going on inside his brain.  I can almost hear it.  So quiet, it's loud.

I know, sounds crazy, huh?  To me, it makes sense.  The struggle, the heartbreak, the falling down, the talking to a "man" that isn't there, the total memory lapse, the eyes, the everything.

Sometimes, it's all too much for me to bear.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Going back

Has it really been a week since I've posted?  Still having issues with my laptop.  I get on quick in the morning, before the battery goes dead, then, hope and pray it will charge.  I am so lost without my laptop.

My old boss asked me if I'd like to work today.  So, here I am, at my old job, nothing much to do, so thought I'd take advantage of Computers and post!!  She asked me if I'd fill in on Monday as well.  Not only will you get ANOTHER post from me, but, the extra money sure won't hurt at this time.

We had a really good week, until I opened my big mouth yesterday.  Thought for sure I'd get one good week.  Then, out of the blue yesterday, the delusions came back.  My poor husband.  He's so lost.

Kristen came up last night, spent the night and is sitting with husband today.  Husband came into the living room last night and said, "I have no clean clothes left.  That man has been wearing my clothes."  Of course, I knew who he was talking about, but, poor Kristen.  Her face fell, I looked over at her and said, "Don't you dare fall apart."  I looked at husband and said, "No, honey, you have plenty of clean clothes."  He looked at me, giggled and said, "Oh yes he has."

It's creepy, that laugh of his.  From then on, he was restless, kept getting into the closet, trying to find the man in the closet.  I got him into bed, only to have him get back out 20 minutes later and make the bed.  Ugh.  Here we go again, I thought.

He slept good last night.  I used to love night time.  Crawl into bed, letting sleep come on, relaxing.  Not anymore.  The delusions usually happen at night, when it gets dark.  I can feel the darkness closing in on me, bracing myself for what is to come.  And, it usually comes.

I'm sitting here at work, looking out the office window, watching snow fall.  It looks so peaceful.  It's
quiet in the office now.  Kristen says husband is sleeping this afternoon.  Takes me back to when I used to work here.  I had a somewhat normal life.  Now, it's all gone.  I was looking over contracts in the files a little while ago.  I came across some I had done.  My signature. The dates.  My handwriting looked so normal back then.  It was all OK, back then.

Tonight, around 5, I will go home.  To a husband who requires round the clock care.  A husband who does not recognize me sometimes.  A totally different life now.

Oh, to go back to those contracts a few years ago, to see my signature and the dates.

It all seemed so simple back then.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Familiar Stranger

Have to get this up quick.  Called the Geek Squad at Best Buy.  Told them symptoms of my laptop.  They said   it is the charging post.  They don't repair it, but told me to call another place.  It's going to cost me around $170 for the repair.  Guess it's better than buying a new one.  I don't have the money right now, so, I'll have to baby this along until I do.

As far as Valentine's Day, well, it was spent quiet.  Fine with me.

UNM Hospital called.  Psychiatry dept, that is.  She said that Dr A had referred.  I asked her why and she said they do that during the Final Stage.  Dr A had mentioned it, but, it was a surprise.  I have to take him in on March 4th.  Said she would be mailing the papers.  Kind of deflated my already deflated day.

It's funny how one can adjust though.  No, this is not a normal life I'm living now.  But, it's my life.  I've had 3 years to completely change my way of living and thinking.  It's been gradual with the last 5 months coming at me full speed.  I'm still reeling from all of this.

This total destruction on husband is not pretty.  He is like a helpless baby.  Depends on me for everything.  As I was getting ready for bed last night, husband had fallen asleep with his glasses on.  I took them gently off his face when he opened his eyes.  He had no recognition of me, but there was something else in his eyes.  It was the look of total pain and confusion.  It almost brought me to my knees.  I hushed him, told him to go back to sleep, which he did.  But that look he had given me broke my heart.

He has drifted further and further away from me.  It's hard watching this, but, I know that this is part of the process.  And progression.

My neighbor, Michelle, asked me the other night how I do it.  I pointed to the sky and said you'd be surprised at what you can do.  Not only does God give me the strength,  He is riding this out with me.  He's here, don't ever think for a moment that He is not.  She said she admired my strength and said if there is ever anything she could do, don't hesitate to ask.  I asked her if she could give me a normal life.  Poor thing, she broke into tears and gave me a big hug.

Husband is beginning to wake up.  I never know what is in store for me or what damage has been done to him during the night.  I usually know within 5 minutes of him waking up.  I also have a new name for husband.

He's now referred as the Familiar Stranger.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines Day

Have to get this post up fast as my battery is about to go out on my laptop and with the charger not making a connection, well, it could get ugly around here.

I woke up around 5 am to find husband sitting on the side of the bed.  Just looking around.  He was confused, but, didn't talk.  He finally got back on the bed and is now asleep.  Of course, once I saw that, I knew I was not going back to sleep.  So, here I am.

Husband had a rough day yesterday.  He couldn't find an item he had put in a different location.  He was so agitated about that.  I tried to help.  He got very angry at me for helping.  I left him to himself and started his breakfast.  He finally came out and announced he had found what he was looking for.  It was as I said.  He had put it in a different spot and couldn't remember where that was. Heck,  I've done that!!

The rest of the day was quiet.  I went to Trader Joe's to get more coffee.  I got out of the house for about 20 minutes.  Whoo Hoo.  Big outing for me.

Today is Valentine's Day.  Happy Valentine's Day to all who celebrate.  It's also two of my nephew's birthdays.

In this house, we don't celebrate Valentine's Day.  Not a big deal to me.  Some of the kids will call and wish me a happy day.

Husband used to get me special gifts on this day.  They were always lovely and thoughtful gifts.  This morning I thought back to those years with a good feeling.  I have the memories of earlier days.  Before Alzheimer's.

Yes.  Memories.

Can't take that away.

Wishing you all a great day.  I hope you will feel loved and special today.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Terminal Laptop!

Have had trouble with my laptop.  It seems the charger connection is loose and I have to push hard to get it to connect and charge.  I need a new laptop.  Help.  I need a fairy god mother to buy me a new laptop.

Husband has been so so.  More and more delusional behavior.  Mostly small episodes.  Memory is almost completely gone.  During his delusional state, he does not recognize me.  I have found that by remaining calm, talking to him softly helps bring him out of it.  These episodes can last up to an hour or as short as a few minutes.

This delusional behavior scared me a lot at first.  But, having found what works and what doesn't, it's getting easier for me to deal with.

I got him into bed Monday night.  About 20 minutes later, he was out of bed, making the bed.  I told him it was night time, time to get into the bed.  He was in a delusional state.  For about an hour and a half, I would get him back to bed only to have him get up and make the bed.  Finally, I got firm with him and told him if he did it again, I was going to get angry.  That seemed to do the trick.  He got into bed and did not get up again.  Strange and weird all at the same time.

I did not call my mother on Sunday like I usually do.  I just didn't feel like talking to anyone.  She called me Monday, said she was worried, hoping nothing was wrong.  I told her everything was wrong, but, I did not feel like talking.  She said she understood.  I don't want my mother to worry about me.  So, this Sunday, I will call her, to ease her mind.  Even if I don't feel like talking.  Gonna have to fake it.

The days seem to blend into another.  Every day seems the same, yet, different.  I never know what side of the rainbow I'm on.  It can be pleasant one minute, then, on the flip of a coin, it can turn crazy.

Just another day in my life.  And now, with this laptop issue.

Makes me chuckle a bit.  Here is my husband dying before my very eyes and I'm upset about my laptop.

My husband is terminal and so is my laptop.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love & Hate

Husband was pretty quiet yesterday.  I spent the better part of the morning doing housework and laundry.  I checked the laundry room around 8 am, no one was there, so, I got my laundry done in less than 2 hours.  There are several laundry rooms here and each one has 2 washers and 2 dryers.  They are very nice and what I like is the dryers don't wrinkle your clothes.  I use both washers and dryers, getting my laundry done in half the time.

The apartment is small.  I tidy up each day, so, when Saturday comes, not much to do but vacuum, dust if needed, sterilize bathroom, change sheets on bed and am done before noon.  A far cry from the bigger houses I've lived in.  I like this small apartment living.

Husband sat in his scooter chair as I cleaned.  He was in and out.  Not agitated, but, still seemed a little confused.  When I was done, I got him back on the bed where he rested the rest of the day.  He slept some, watched some TV, but, for the most part, he was quiet.

He slept good last night.  I woke up once to find him in the bathroom.  No delusions, just had to go to the bathroom.

This morning is bath day.  He has come to really enjoy his bath.  Always tells me how good it feels and how good he smells afterwards.  I powder him with Shower to Shower body powder.  I put his deodorant on him as well.  This morning, I'm going to try to master shaving him.  He usually does it himself, but, it's not done very well.  He misses big areas and it looks odd.  So, another thing for me to learn.  We'll see how that goes.

I wish we could go to church.  I miss it, but, with husband's condition now and as much as he has declined, I'm afraid it might be too much on him.  We will stay home and have a quiet Sunday.

Right now, the roller coaster has come to a stop.  Oh, the monster will rear it's ugly head again for sure.  I don't know when, but, I'll take this little reprieve.  I need it to re-group.

I take it one hour at a time.  It's all  have.  I have a love / hate relationship with Alzheimer's.  When it's good, it's great.  When it's bad, well, it's bad.  Ugly in fact.

I feel as if I'm walking on thin ice.  It's so fragile.  One wrong step and it cracks.  Disaster.

Yes, this is what its like to live in my house, on any given day.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Rough ride ahead!

Husband woke me around 5 am this morning.  He was confused and agitated, telling me to go pick up a coke for him.  He said he had already paid for them for them, he just needed me to go pick them up.

I got out of bed, still groggy from a rather decent nights sleep.  I didn't know what to do, so, I told him we had can cokes, no fountain cokes.  Of course, I wasn't about to give him a coke at 5 am, but, wanted to go along with whatever he was telling me.

He couldn't find the bathroom.  I had to steer him to the bathroom.  He was so agitated.  He asked me where are we?  I told him we were home, in our apartment.  He was having none of it.  Told me no, he was on his lunch hour and had gone to get 2 fountain cokes, said he had paid for them, he wanted me to go get them.

I've got him settled back in bed now, he seems more relaxed.  I hope he sleeps for a few more hours.  Me?  I made an espresso.  I can't go back to sleep.  Even my dog is edgy.  He won't go near husband.

The last few days have been calm and quiet.  I was so hoping this wouldn't happen again.  Who am I fooling?

We have now progressed into the unknown world of Alzheimer's.  To look at husband's eyes when the delusions begin is haunting.  And scary.  His whole face takes on a different look.  He doesn't look like husband.  He goes to a very dark place.  He looks so lost.  To watch him look around, trying to find something familiar he can grasp.

Inside, I am shaking.  My heart hurts.  On the outside, I have to play pretend that this is all normal.  If I don't, it only makes things worse for husband.  And for me.  And no, I didn't read that somewhere.  I've had to learn all this on my own.  There is no guidebook on dealing with an Alzheimer's patient. Once again, you fly by the seat of your pants.  Trial and error.  Fun stuff I'm learning.

This is where it gets difficult.  And yes, I actually did read that some time ago.  This is where they become completely lost.  This is where they enter into unknown territory.  And, nothing can be done for them.  Drug em' up to keep them calm.

I am not ready for this.  I can only hope and pray that I do him justice.  That I treat him with dignity.  That I don't lose it.  It's all on me.  I've got to find the strength to get through this final stage.

Here we go, folks.  Digging out my big girl pants, finding my safety helmet, strapping myself in for a rough ride.  It's going to get bumpy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Dr update

Dr appt went well.  Husband was nervous all the way there.  Kept repeating the date over and over.

After examining husband, Dr told me that he was not going to prescribe an anti-psychotic drug at this time.  He said that it looked like this was an isolated incident, that removing the mirrors made him more comfortable, so we will leave that alone for now.  He did, however, up one med that I usually give him only in the morning.  I now have to give him another after dinner.

Dr A said he will see him in 4 months but to call if we have more delusional episodes.  He said it will probably happen again, as the brain dies off.  He told me that, yes, husband has rapidly declined since we saw him in December, but, it is the nature of the beast.  Where most people suffering from Alzheimer's decline at a slower moving pace, husband's form of Alzheimer's is more rapid, a rare form affecting those at a much younger age.  

I felt better once we left.  I trust this Dr.  He knows his Alzheimer's.  For this Dr to call me personally on more than one occasion, well, you get the picture.  He said that as much as he has dealt with Alzheimer's patients, he has never treated one as young as husband.  Read about it, learned about, but until husband, it was only in textbook.

Husband was in better spirits on the way home.  He ate a good dinner, I got him undressed for bed and under the covers.  I knew once I gave him another dose of one of his meds, that it would make him fall asleep.  I didn't want to have to wake him up, change his diaper, undress him then get him under the covers, why, it would be too much.  Of course, it knocked him out, making my evening peaceful.  Around 9, I had to give him his other med.  I woke him up, sat him up and gave him the other med.  He was out of it, being woke up and told to take another pill.  It took some coaching, but he did.  He was agitated that I had woke him up.

Glad I had prepared for the 9:00 PM med, as I could not imagine changing his diaper, changing his clothes and getting him into bed at that time, after taking the upped dose after dinner.  One, Yay for me.

I want to have a quiet day today.  I am not feeling well. Drained, in fact.  I slept good last night, but, woke up tired.  My emotions have been all over the place these last few days.

So, for now, I will do what Dr A said to do.  Watch for anymore delusional behavior, which he said will happen, we just don't know when.  Make husband as comfortable as possible.  Keep home life calm.

Last night, as I sat here, alone, watching TV,  I began to have selfish thoughts.  I said out loud, to no one, it's not fair I have to go through this.  I'm not a Dr, a nurse or trained in Alzheimer's.  It's just not fair.  Why me? Woe is me.

So, I had my pity party last night.  Today I will put on my doctor suit, talk like a soothing nurse and act like I wrote the book on Alzheimer's.

Oh, silly me!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Jack's 14 day leave & a birthday

So glad we are seeing Dr A today.  I should learn something about Home Health Care also.

Melanie is giving me a copy of husband's final diagnosis.  She said I need to take that down to Social Security.  She explained that Social Security does not recognize Power of Attorney  (which I already am over husband), that I have to take confirmation from Dr.  I asked her why I had to do that now and she hesitated and said, "It's time."

Husband seemed nervous about going to the Dr last night.  Dr asks husband a lot of questions.  Like, where are we, what floor are we on, what day of the week is it, what is the date.  He came to me last night and asked for a pen and piece of paper.  I asked why.  He said, "Well, the doctor is going to ask me the date tomorrow and I want to get it right."  He couldn't spell February, so he put Feb.

Later, I checked in on him.  There he sat, on the edge of the bed, holding that piece of paper and staring at it.  I asked if he was OK, he nodded and said, "I'm studying."

I had to take Kristen on a few errands yesterday morning.  Of course I was taking husband.  Gone are the days when I could leave him for a few hours.  As I was getting him dressed he said, "Is Jack going to watch the dog?"  What?  I calmly explained that Jack was not here, he's in the Air Force now.  He looked at me confused but did not say anything more.  I took the dog with us.

The rest of the day was spent quietly.  Husband slept a little.  Confusion is constant now.

Jack will be coming home on a 14 day leave.  Be still my heart.  While I am beyond excited to see him, seeing his dad will be something else.  I have to warn him ahead of time.  I just don't know how I'm going to do that or what I'm going to say.

Just when I think husband is completely gone, he surprises me.  When I told him the date when Jack comes, he thought for a moment and said, "That's my mom's birthday."

He is right.  March 4th was her birthday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Doctor visit

And the saga with mirrors continue.

When husband woke yesterday morning, he sat on the side of the bed and told me we had to "make a plan to get rid of the people in the closet."  With my heart in my throat, I told him OK, what was the plan.  He cleared his throat and said, "Well, we have to go to the bank and tell them about this.  Do you think they can help us?"

It was then and there I decided to call Dr A's office.  I was uneasy about all of this.  Scared.  At 8 am sharp, I was on the phone.

I had called the D's office last week to set up Home Health Care, but, kept missing Melanie's call back.  When I got through, I told the receptionist this was urgent, I needed to speak with Melanie ASAP.  After listening to me tell them of the "people in the closet", I was put right through to Dr A's wonderful nurse, Melanie.  To say she is compassionate and caring would be an understatement.  She told me that she has been in contact with the home nursing program, but, was still working on it.  Said we should be able to have a nurse by early next week.

She was quite concerned about this sudden turn of events with husband.  She said Dr was at main hospital clinic, but, she would put an urgent call through to him and get back with me.

Around 1:30, that beloved Dr A called me personally.  I told him everything.  I know I was blubbering at times, but, God Bless him.  He listened with an occasional, "Uh huh", or "My, my."

He told me he had heard of some patients becoming obsessed with mirrors.  Said he had not actually seen it, but, had heard of it.  He said it was not really hallucinations, but delusional behavior.  He explained that these patients no longer recognize themselves, so, if they see themselves in the mirror, they will think it's someone else.

Dr wants to see husband tomorrow.  Wants to see where we are at and may prescribe an anti-psychotic agent to help with the delusions.  I am relieved that husband will be seen.  Dr said he is concerned about this sudden decline, but, said it is not unusual.  Whew.  He also said maybe I should call the office and request them to take the mirrored doors away.

I began to relax a little last night.  Then, around 8 or so, husband became restless.  I went into the bedroom to find him on his knees, staring into the mirror.  He was making a stabbing motion at the mirror.  He told me he was trying to get the stuff on his nightstand and couldn't.  Once I looked at what he was doing, it dawned on me that he was trying to touch his stuff on his nightstand from the reflection in the mirror.  So glad we are going to the Dr tomorrow.

Husband slept decent last night.  Which means I slept decent.

The mirrored closet doors are going out today,  if I have to take them out myself.

In a way, this rapid decline is good.  If it means husband will leave this earth sooner and not have to suffer long, then I'm OK with it.

Only God knows when the time is right.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Mirror, mirror

Very quiet, low key Sunday.  Even on Super Bowl Sunday.  I'm not a football fan, but, in the days when husband was well, we did get caught up on all the hoopla that is Super Bowl Sunday.  My, times have changed.

Some of you have asked when was the last time I had a good night's sleep.  I don't remember.  I sleep with one eye open nowadays.

Another question was do I worry husband will leave the house in the middle of the night.  Yes, hence, sleeping with one eye open.

Last night was no different.

Husband was restless in the evening.  He called me in the room and very politely asked me to ask the man in the closet to leave.  I showed him again our reflection in the mirror and told him there was no man there, it was him.  He said, "I know you say that is me, but, I don't think so.  He scares me."

When it was time for bed, I was turning the bed covers down, husband was beside me, looking scared and confused.  When I got to my side of the bed, husband said, "What about those people?", pointing to the mirror.  I looked in the mirror and saw two people, husband and myself.  I said, "Those people are you and I, honey."  He hesitated, I told him to go to the bathroom and I would tuck him in bed.

He finished in the bathroom, came halfway out and whispered for me to come to him.  I got to the bathroom door and he whispered, "Do you think we'll be OK?"  "Of course we'll be fine," was my response.  "No, I mean, that man in there, he scares me.  I know you say that is me, but I know that's not me."

I convinced him to come to bed.  He was hesitant.  I opened the closet door so he could not see his reflection.  That seemed to ease his mind somewhat.  He said if the man came at him, he was going to shoot him.  Oh boy.

I got into bed, told him I wouldn't let anyone hurt him, I was there to protect him.

When most people go to bed, they look forward to relaxing, snuggling under the covers and going to sleep.  I, on the other hand, went to bed last night with a feeling such dread.  It took me awhile to fall asleep, only to wake every half hour or so to check on husband.

Around 1:30 am, I woke up and he was not in bed.  Panic!  He was in the bathroom.  He came out, naked , of course.  I got him back in bed and he slept the rest of the night.

I got up at 5 am.  I'm tired.

This is not good.  Final Stage 7.  "They" say that's when the hallucinations begin.

We have arrived to the Final Stage 7.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Man in the closet

Where to begin?  These last few days have been rough.  Husband is slipping away from me.  He's here one minute, gone the next.

Alzheimer's patients become somewhat obsessed with the oddest things.  Husband is no different.  For some reason, he has become obsessed in organizing and re-organizing his nightstand, cabinet under his nightstand and his side of the closet.

After about two hours of this last night, I heard him moaning while sitting on the side of the bed.  I waited for a few minutes then went in the bedroom.  Let me explain something.

Our one wall in our bedroom is closet.  There are three mirrored doors.  On the inside track on either side are a slider door.  On the outside track is the middle door.  That was easy, right?  Not to an Alzheimer sufferer.

OK, so I went in there and showed husband how they close.  That's all he wanted to do was close the  closet doors, he said.  Showed him again.  He seemed like he understood.  Went back to watching a show on TV.  He began to moan again.  Went back in there and it happened again.

He did not recognize me.  It lasted longer than the times before.  Then, he told me he needed to get that man out of the closet.  I asked, "What man?"  He pointed at himself in the mirror and said, "That man."  Making light of this, I laughed and said, "Honey, that's you in the mirror."  He looked at himself in the mirror and did not recognize himself at all.  It took a few minutes to convince him.  Finally, he asked, "That's me?"  "Yep", I said.  We laughed about it, I got him back in bed, told him to rest.

That one rattled me.

Friday night and into the wee hours of Saturday morning was fun.  I woke up to find husband had made the bed on his side and was sleeping under a throw blanket.  Asked him what was he doing, he began to slur his words and mumbled something.  This was around 1:30 am.

Woke up around 4 am to find husband wandering the apartment, naked.  His wet diaper was on the bedroom floor.  Steered him back to the bedroom, put a fresh diaper on him, tucked him into bed and got a little more sleep.

He slept most of the day yesterday.  I made him his favorite dinner.  He didn't eat as much, but, said it was delicious.

I am hopeful the nurse will start this coming week.

I had a dream last night.  Husband's mother was in the dream.  Could it be that she is letting me know she's coming for husband?

I don't know how to respond to that right now.