Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Monday, July 29, 2013

Laughter, the best medicine

I don't know what is up with this blog program.  My post title yesterday was "no".  What?  Oh well.

I had a mini break down yesterday.  I just got so tired and hot.  We have had rain for the last two weeks, so, not only is it hot, it's also very humid.  I don't do humidity. 

Trying to organize with husband has been challenging.  He kept getting in my way, I kept putting him back in his wheelchair or his bed, he would continually get back up and come see what I was doing.

Then, he started in on the moving truck.  He thought  I was going to put the car in the truck and became upset that with the car in the truck, there wouldn't be enough room for our furniture.  After explaining for the umpteenth time how I was going to tow the car and drive the truck, (I can't find anyone to help me drive the damn truck up there, so, I'll drive myself) he would be fine, then, go off again.

He also can't understand how I know how to do rent a truck, load a truck AND DRIVE THE TRUCK.

Because he can't do any of these things anymore, he thinks I can't either.

By the afternoon, I had given up.  I will wait for him to take a good long nap this week and do what I have to do.

I vented.  I slammed things.  I opened and closed the dishwasher with a little force.  I spoke to the thin air.  I shed some tears.  I felt sorry for myself that I have to do this alone.  I yelled at the dog.  The pone rang, I ignored it.  I unplugged the phone.  For hours.  I made an espresso and went outside.  I sat there shaking.  I was angry, sad and a complete mess.

It took me some time before I calmed down. 

Last night around ten, I realized that it was so quiet in my house.  Husband and the dog were asleep, both on his bed.  I glanced at the phone.  Yikes!!  I had not plugged the phone back in.

So, there I was, sitting in my living room, a dying husband asleep, my house in an uproar, trying to get organized, trying to get moved, trying, trying and more trying.

And, I laughed. A hard, gut wrenching, husband's gonna die, so much to do kind of laugh.

Ah, yes, laughter, good for the Soul, eh?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Boy, I have been busy.  Sorry for the lack in updates.  Packing, packing and more packing.  Organizing in packing.  I am tired.

Husband has been OK.  Still lost in his own world, but, has been in an OK mood.  He is excited about moving to Colorado.  At times, he seems even upbeat.  I like that.

My car went to the dealership on Friday.  They gave me a 2013 loaner car.  I have an SUV, so, driving the loaner car felt like I was driving on the ground.  Plus, husband couldn't go in this car because I was afraid he wouldn't be able to get out of it.

I picked up my car yesterday morning.  I thought my car drove great before, but, now?  Glides down the freeway.  New tires, tune up, oil change, replaced hoses to the air conditioning unit, transmission flush and I can't remember the rest.  Loving every minute of it.

In laws came on Friday for a visit.  Father in law is happy for us.  I took him aside and asked him if he was upset we were leaving.  He said no, but then said, "Are you taking him to Colorado to die?"  I answered, "Yes, it's his dying wish."  Father in law then said, "OK, then I'm OK with it all."  We both got tears in our eyes, but, it was kind of happy tears. 

I am on a quest.  I am taking my husband to Colorado to die.  It sounds so awful, but, honestly, it's not.  This has made my husband so happy.  And, because he is so far gone, he will say, "She's taking me to Colorado to die."

Yes I am, my dear husband, yes I am.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


And now, the real work starts.  Cable, phone, lights and gas, oh my.  But, it's all worth it.

When Tish went in to this new apartment complex, she told the leasing agent of husband's illness and mentioned the mirrored closet doors saga a few months back.  He said they would remove them and put plain doors on.  When he called me yesterday, he actually remembered and reassured me that this will be done.  He also mentioned that his grandma has Dementia and he knows just how an Alzheimer and/or Dementia patient reacts to some things.

When I told him that the office refused to even remove them, he said that was against the ADA(?) law.  When I go and tell them my good news here, I will seek this "Supervisor of Maintenance" out and let him know just how awful it was for husband with those mirrors and how Dr A had to put him on anti-psychotic meds.  Oh, yes, he will get an earful from me.

I want to have the last word on that.  My poor husband and what he had to endure with those mirrored closet doors.

Husband was sleeping when I got the call.  When he woke up, I told him and he hasn't stopped smiling.  Of course, he doesn't know anymore what's involved in moving, but, at least he's happy.

My family member made my husband so happy.  And, I am so humble.

Husband told me last night, "If I'm going to die, and I know I am, I'd rather die in Colorado."

He's getting his wish.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013



A change is a comin'

Sorry, took some time to gather my thoughts.

Husband has been so so.  Still not with reality, but, just so so.

I always said that our move to Colorado would come when it was the right place to live, the right time to move and the money would not be an issue.

Well, what do you know, the right place has come to pass, it couldn't be a better time to move and the money issue has been resolved.  All in practically, one day.

So, tentatively planned, we will be leaving here on the 17th of August.  I am still waiting for an approval from the apartment, but, God Willing, that will come today.  Some apartment complexes up there are picky about their tenants.  Some require you have a job.  Hopefully, this isn't one of them.

The apartment is nice.  Small, but nice.  Tish happened to stumble on it and went in and talked with one of the leasing consultants.  I did the application online Sunday night and am waiting for approval.  How ironic is it that just the week before, I got an email from the same complex offering me a unit, but, my move had been put on hold, so I ignored the email.

My car will need to be serviced.  I called the dealership yesterday to see how much they would charge for everything that needs to be done. 

We're talking about tune up, oil change, transmission flush and all 4 tires need replacing.  They aren't in bad shape, but, still, peace of mind in knowing that I have brand new tires.  I hesitated in calling the dealership, because I know how they over charge.  I used to take the car in for maintenance, but, that was when I was working and money wasn't an issue.  So, I called and the girl in service did remember me.  She was surprised to hear from me and said she would get quotes and call me back.

When she did, I couldn't believe what they will charge me.  She gave me discounts everywhere she could.  It is so reasonable, I couldn't refuse.  I take the car in Friday and she said they would give me a loaner for the day, just in case it takes longer and I can't get the car until Saturday.

I am so thankful to the family member who has made all of this possible.  Humble and thankful.  She is so caring, compassionate, always saying, "I just want to help".  She is one heck of a woman.

Husband is so very excited to move to Colorado.  He told me it was his dying wish to live in Colorado. 

Everything is falling into place.  Now, I wait for approval on this new apartment. 

Prayers are being accepted at this time.


Friday, July 19, 2013


I had too much time on my hands yesterday, I think.  Husband takes up most of my day.  While I am busy with him, there isn't much time for anything else.  However, yesterday, he was having an OK day. 

His feet are swollen most of the time, but, lately, I've noticed that they turn purple when he is sitting in his wheelchair.  Now that we have the hospital bed, I can raise the bottom up for him to elevate his feet.  So, after sitting on the porch for awhile, I got him back down so I could elevate his feet.

He promptly fell asleep.  The dog got on the bed with him and promptly fell asleep.  The house was neat and tidy, dinner was cooking in the slow cooker, and, there I was, with nothing to do, but, think.

And, I allowed myself to "go there".

I thought about what it would be like if he hadn't gotten sick.  What would we be doing now?  Where would we be living?  No kids left at home, it would be just us, and the dog, of course.

We would both probably be working.  He would get home first, having started his day very early.  The dog would be so happy to see him.  He would take a shower and relax in front of the TV, watching the news.

I would get home around 5:30.  I would change my clothes into sweats and start dinner.  We would talk about our day, work, what we would be doing the coming weekend, the dog, what was for dinner, what favorite TV shows would be on that night,  husband would be exhausted from his hard job, but, would be freshly showered and ready for a night of relaxation.

We would eat dinner and he would watch his TV shows, while I tidied up the kitchen, getting ready for a night of TV or reading.

How simple "that life" was, at the time.

I was brought back to reality by the phone ringing.

After I got off the phone, I looked at my surroundings.  My small apartment.  I went into the bedroom.  There was my reality.  There was my life now as I've come to know.

Husband, sound asleep, mouth wide open, as if gasping for breath, eyes rolling in the back of his head, hands jerking.

And my dog, laying next to husband, looking up at me as if he knew what I had been thinking.  I looked at him, and whispered, "Oh, baby, mommy loves you."

My dog, the one that is ever faithful, that knows and senses what is really going on, looked up at me and began to wag his tail.  That soft, flap, flap, flap, as his tail bounced back from husband's bed.

I let out a sigh and left the bedroom.

Imagine, yes, imagine what could've been, but, what is now.  And that's the hard part.  What is now.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Laughter? What's so funny?

July seems to be lasting forever.  I want summer to be over with already.  We have, however, been having our regular rainy season, which is so nice.  It has been cool, cloudy with breezes that make you say, "Oh that's refreshing".  That part of summer I do like.

I have been thinking of our move to Colorado.  If all would've gone well, I would've had the apartment packed and ready to go by now.  Makes me a little sad.  I'll get there, when the time is right, but, I just wish the time would've been right when I wanted to go. 

Such is life, eh?

Husband was in his usual stupor yesterday.  Nothing new to report on that subject.  I took him outside to sit on the porch and enjoy the cool breeze.  He was fine for a few minutes, when, he started asking me to take him to the shoe store to buy him a new pair of shoes.  I could feel the muscles in my neck and shoulders beginning to tighten up.

First of all, he does not wear shoes in the house.  And, when I do take him in the car, of course, he wears shoes, but, how often is that?  Not very.  He has new shoes, bought in May. 

At first, I tried to ignore him, hoping he would just leave it alone.  But, no, for some reason, he had it up in his mind that I was being mean to him.

I finally had enough.  Told him he was going in the house because he was not behaving.  Brought him back in,  took him to the bedroom and said, "If you can't behave, you will stay here until you can be good and come back outside."

Who does that to a husband?  Me, that's who.

After about 30 minutes or so, he shuffled back to the front door and asked to come back outside where he promised to behave.  When I say he came to the front door, I mean, he stands at the door because he doesn't know how to open the door anymore.

After that, he was fine.  A little pouty, but, the shoe subject did not come up again.

Father in law came Tuesday morning.  We had a good talk.  I told him about husband talking to "someone" in the corner of the living room.  He said he was comforted by it, thinking it was husband's mom, that he has felt her presence as well.  Even though he has remarried, he still feels her. 

He had a good visit with husband.  Husband kept telling his dad that he needed to do something, but, had forgotten what it was.  We tried suggesting all sorts of ideas of what he wanted to do, but, husband would put his hands to his head and say over and over, "no, no, no."

That was fun.  Right?

I haven't found much to laugh about this week.  I usually do in the wake of all of this madness, however, I think my laughter button is broke. 

I hope it can be repaired.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Angels, Jesus or Mom?

As I crawled into bed last night, I said a simple prayer.  "Please, God, let him sleep all night.  Please."

My prayers were answered.

He slept soundly until 4:40 AM.  Woke up, tried to get out of bed when I told him, "No, lie back down, it's too early to get up."  He asked me the time, I told him.  Then, he said, "How do you know the time?"  I said, "By the clock."  He doesn't know what a clock is, he said.  I gave a brief description on what a clock is and he said, "Wow, you really are smart."

It's now 7 AM and he's still sleeping.

Yesterday was spent in a stupor.  He is not aware of his surroundings at all.  He is not familiar with any of the normal day to day things, sounds, operation of appliances, toilets, opening doors or TV's.

None of it.

He reminds me of a person coming from the jungle, seeing for the first time how the Western World lives.  How he is amazed at how our toilet flushes.  He thinks I put the toilet in for him.   He thinks I built this apartment for him.  How his mind works now or doesn't work, is something to witness.

He sat in the living room with me last night.  Never said a word.  Just sat in his usual stupor.  I was watching him.  Eyes rolling in the back of his head,  glancing at the TV, looking around as if seeing everything for the first time.  He would occasionally smile at the thin air, nod his head, mumble something and glance away.  He's talking to someone.

He looked down the hall, towards the bedroom, looked back at me and said, "OK, they are done in there.  Can you put me to bed now?"  Who's' done?  Of course, I didn't ask.

After he had gone to sleep, I too looked at the space in the living room where he had been looking at and talking to.  I stared at it for a long time.

Are you Angels, coming for him?  Is this Jesus, urging him to go with Him?  Are you his mom, communicating from the other side, wanting him to join you?

Who knows.  But, I am comforted by the fact that he smiles at this space, this nothing but thin air. 

If it's the Angels, or Jesus, or, his mother,  please come again.  He's somehow comforted by whatever he sees.

One day, soon, "they" may come back.  Only this time, "they" will take husband with them. 


Monday, July 15, 2013

The madness of it all

Oh, night terrors.  They are something.  Up and down, all night long with husband.  Hallucinations.  Crazy.  Terrible.  Scary.  Frustrating.  Exhausting.

We had a beautiful thunder storm last night.  Husband was settled(?) in for the night.  He wasn't asleep, just laying there, quietly.  When the rain and wind came up, I opened up the bedroom window so fresh air could come in.

Soon, I heard husband get up and was speaking to,,,,,,,,,,,no one.  I went in the bedroom and there he was, bending over my bed, trying to get to the open window.  He said some people told him to close it because all his stuff from the nightstand was flying out the window.

I've learned not to ask, "what people?"  I talked him down, or so I thought. 

And that was just the beginning of my night.

With barely 3 hours of sleep under my belt, here I am. 

When will this madness end?  My poor husband, looking so frightened and helpless.  He drools now, just wanted to put that out there.  He has completely slipped from all reality and all he has ever known.

He knows nothing anymore.

Watching him eat makes my stomach turn.  Food falls out of his mouth.  He doesn't know how to use a fork or spoon anymore.  I have to cut his meat for him.  You have to coax him to hold his drink.  I have to wipe his face when he's done eating.  Clean his hands.  Ask him if he's full?  He doesn't know what that means.  Ask him if he's hungry?  Doesn't know that one either.  Ask him if he enjoyed his meal?  Knows not what you ask.

Folks, if you pray for me, and I know many of you do, please pray that his journey is almost over for husband.  That's enough. 

Ready or not for me, the end is coming.  It's time.  I've had enough.  He's had enough.

It's all just too much this morning. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Say nothing

I took husband outside for some fresh air yesterday.  The weather may have been hot, but, on our porch it is so shady and cool.  The thunder heads were beginning to build up, the sun going in and out of the clouds.

As he sat there, staring into space, people would walk by, look at him.   His eyes continued to be blank.  Not a blink.  Just that wild, big eyed blank stare.  Some looked at him with curiosity, others, a little on the disgust side.  Maybe they thought he was drunk?  I don't know.  I didn't bother to ask.

There were a few little girls, going to the pool.  They looked at husband.  As they saw what he looked like now, they pedaled their bikes faster by us.  Some boys came by, older, around 10-12 yr olds.  They would look at husband and give a snort.  As if mocking him.  By his appearance now.

I wanted to tell them not to be afraid.  He was once a very nice man.  He loved his family.  He will not hurt you.  I wanted to tell the boys not to laugh at husband.  He is a very sick man.

I did none of the above.  I smiled at the children.  All the while, my heart hurt.

At one time, husband looked at me and said, in his garbled way of talking, "You do such a nice job in caring for the backyard.  The grass looks great."  I said a simple "thank you" and did not have the heart to tell him that this wasn't our backyard, it was the grounds of an apartment complex.  No use anyway.  He doesn't understand what an apartment complex is.

When I took him inside, I had him lie down on his bed.  I began to read.  After about 30 minutes or so, I went to check on him.  I didn't know if he was asleep or awake, but, his eyes were rolling in the back of his head, with his hands moving about on his chest.  I got right in front of his face and moved my hands in front of him.  Nothing.  No reaction, no response.

His mother used to do the same thing.  At the end. 

At 4 AM, I was jarred awake by husband.  He had soiled his diaper and was wandering the house looking for me. When I say wandering, I mean, he held onto walls and furniture to shuffled around.  It took me until 5 AM to clean him up and get him back to bed.   A chair in the living room had been turned over.

Today, I am in a somber mood.  I know the end is coming.  But, who am I kidding?  This could go on for months.  I hope not.  For his sake, I hope not.

Later this morning, I will take husband outside again.  For fresh air.  He likes that.  I think.

The children may come by again.  On their way to the pool.  The little girls will go by quickly, glancing at husband.   The boys will look at husband and mock him.

What will I say?  What can I say? 

I probably will choose to say nothing.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Crossing over

I believe husband has finally crossed over into the unknown world of Alzheimer's.  He is oblivious to his surroundings now.  There is no "Oh, I hope he comes out of it", mutterings anymore.  He knows nothing of what is going on.  He doesn't understand me when I ask him a question.  He looks around the room as if he's seeing it for the first time.  There is no interest in food. 

And now?  Now, I wait, for the monster to strike it's final blow.  The final blow will come when husband dies.  Then, Alzheimer's will no longer live in my house.  It will be done, final. 

But, Alzheimer's will always be a part of my life.  For the rest of my days, when I hear  that word,  I will shudder.

I will never be the same.  Ever. 

I look at life differently now.  Living here, in an apartment, I watch and listen to neighbors.  I hear of their life, their problems, their struggles.  I hear them whine and complain about their jobs.  I see them frustrated with their spouses.  I watch them go daily, out into the working world, only to come back at the end of the day, tired.

I used to be among them.  That everyday, working class person.  Life, at that time, was about raising a family, working to survive, but, also enjoying what you did.  Looking forward to weekends.  Payday. 

I watched a young mother yesterday, leaving for work.  Her step was light.  It was Friday.  It was payday.  You could tell she was in a good frame of mind.  She knew that she would have the weekend off, she was getting paid and the weekend was just around the corner.  She smiled a big Good Morning smile. 

Yes, I used to be like that, I thought.

No more.  It's all been taken away.

So, here I am, watching and waiting.  Watching for signs of impending death.  I lay in bed at night and count how many breaths husband takes. 

No, I will never be the same person I once was, with a light step on Friday's, looking forward to payday and the weekend off.

How I long for the days gone by.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The beginning of the end

A little late in posting today.  Busy morning.  I have about 20 minutes left before I go to the laundry room to get the last two loads out of the dryer and be done with the weekly laundry until next week.  Or, until husband wets the bed.  Again.

Husband continues to be in a stupor.  On top of this new phase, he had some really bad hallucinations right after dinner last night.

I made a roast chicken, with risotto & veggies and yeast rolls.  It was delicious.  Right before my eyes, he began to get agitated and it was all downhill from there.

Two and a half hours later, with sweat rolling in my eyes, I finally got him to lie down on the bed.  Gave him his night meds.  I give him two around 7 PM, then, wait another 2 hours and give him his final pill at night around 9 PM.  I did not wait 2 hours last night for the final pill.  It was about 45 minutes between.  Once that pill took affect, he fell asleep and slept the whole night.

He is not in touch with reality.  I can see how fast he is fading. 

I did not give him a bath today.  Instead, I took the adult wipes, cleaned his body off, powdered him, put deodorant on him and got him dressed. His body has tremors, more noticeable than before.  I have him on his bed, resting.

He is staring at nothing.  His TV is on, but, it's just background noise to him.  If he even hears it.

Now, most people reading this would think, "Call 911, call 911."  Why?  You think anyone is going to save him?  What could they do?  Brain transplant?

He's dying.  That's all there is to it.

As I sat outside this morning, drinking my espresso, I hung my head and cried.  I am crying now.  For everything that is happening.  I guess I'm really not ready for him to go just yet.  I want more time with him.

I have to let go and let God take him.  After all, I did pray and ask Him to take him soon, now didn't I?

I wonder now, sitting here.  Are my prayers being answered and am I ready for this?

I don't know.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Seasons of Life

Yesterday was quiet.  Got husband up, bathed, shaved, dressed and fed him breakfast.  He did not eat much.  He looked so tired, so, I suggested he go lay back down.  I was washing his sheets from the previous night, and just pulled the blanket over the mattress so he could lay down.

He slept for 6 hours.  And, I let him sleep.  Sometimes you just have to let your gut guide you.  He must've needed it. 

Husband has been in this new state for several days now.  He doesn't really quite know where he is at or what he is doing.  I will find him in the hallway, just standing there.  I ask him if he needs the bathroom, or wants to come into the living room.  It takes several minutes for him to reply.  I can hardly understand him.

Got him settled in bed last night, turned on his TV.  A while later, he called for me and asked me to change the channel.  When I went in, he said, "I can't remember how to use the remote.  And, I can't see it anyways."

Speaking of eyesight, that too is fading, fast.  His left eye is affected mostly, but, I've noticed the right eye as well.  It's probably only a matter of time before that one goes too.

Laying in his bed, he will glance at the TV, but, prefers to stare blankly up or towards the closet.  I often wonder what he is thinking, if he's thinking at all.

That leaves me plenty of time to think.  Plan.  And think some more.  I go outside, watch the birds and ducks.  I look up at the tall trees, talk to God, and, think some more.

I like it out on my porch.  It's cool, away from the hot sun.  There's usually a breeze.  Sometimes, though, neighbors will see me and want to visit.  There are times I don't want to visit.  I want to be alone.  Most of the time, they will ask if it's a good time to visit.  I am honest with them if it's not.  At least they respect me and will come later to see if I'm OK.

This life, my life, is not for the weak.  So, guess I'm not weak.  This disease and all that comes with it will either make me or break me. 

Husband has just woken up and of course, does not know where he is or what he should do.  He just told me that he cannot use the bathroom because there are people in there.

Yep, the start of another day.  A day in which I will care for husband like he is an infant.  Changing diapers, feeding, wiping drool from his mouth, assuring him there are no people in the bathroom, being his eyes, ears and translator.

The middle of summer now.  Fall will be here before you know it.  The weather will turn cool.  I will sit on my porch and watch the leaves die and blow away.

Just like husband, I will think.  He is dying and blowing further and further away from me. 

Ah, the Seasons of Life.

And to think, Fall used to be my favorite time of year.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

My Prayer

Night terrors are back.  Great.  Just great.  Just when I thought moving husband to a hospital bed would stop him wandering in the middle of the night, they have come back with a vengeance.

This all started a few nights ago.  I was hoping it was just a fluke.  Not so much. 

Have I ever said I hate Alzheimer's?  I do and that much more.

Yesterday was so pleasant on my porch, I took husband outside for a few hours.  It had rained the night before, so, it was nice and fresh and cool.

For the last few days, husband has not been in the here and now.  Yesterday was no different.  He has no idea where he's at and kept asking me if the movers were coming.  I kept telling him we were not moving for another 3 weeks.  He would look at me as if I were speaking another language, look out towards the trees and grass, turn back to me and ask me if the movers were coming.  Again and again.

He looks so helpless now.  His eyes have such a haunting look about them.  Big, round and, vacant.  His whole facial structure has changed.  His jaw juts out, his bottom lip is turned outward and those eyes.  I am going to try and take a picture of his face just so ya'll can see.  Let's hope the picture doesn't take up a whole page on this blog like it's done before and I had to delete it.

He woke me up around 4 AM this morning, saying he had to gather his stuff up, along with some onions.  Yes, onions.  Amazing what a brain can do being affected by Alzheimer's.

He said he had to go to the bathroom, I took him in.  His diaper was soaking wet, I took it off of him.  He sat down and started chanting, "What goes in, must go out," then, would look up at me and laugh a silly laugh.  This chanting went on for about 45 minutes.

I finally coaxed him back to bed.  As I was straightening out the sheet and blanket, I felt the bed.  Wet.  Grrrr.  He said, "I didn't wet the bed, someone else did, honest."

It just never ends.  It's always something. 

Wherever husband is, he's at least pleasant.  His mind is completely gone.  He seems content to stare into space.  I so hope God is guiding him Home. 

My prayer is God take him soon.  


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Talking to the Angels

OK, started posting and out of the blue, it just went away.  Never had that happen before.  One more time.  Here we go.

Husband has been in and out.  Mostly out.  His walking is next to nothing now.  He has tremors through his body, all day, every day.  His memory is practically gone.  His eyesight is poor at best. 

I like to bring him outside and sit on the porch.  There he will sit and stare at nothing.  Eyes are blank, head bobs.  He will occasionally ask me a question, one that will make no sense,  I answer as best I can and he nods and once again will stare out at the grass and trees with a blank stare.

Because I don't take him many places anymore, I think that the fresh air will do him good.  He does like it.  It can be so hot, but, on our porch, it is cool with all the shade that we have.

His appetite has decreased.  He no longer wants a big breakfast, nor does he tell me he's hungry.  I ask him if he's hungry and he will take a minute to think about it, then say, "Not really."

Father in law came up yesterday.  He used to be so happy to see his dad.  Now?  He will be polite to his dad, but, that's about it. 

After father in law left, husband said, "Does he come to visit here a lot?"  yes, I say.  Oh, he replies.

My house is quiet most days.  We have settled into this new routine.  No longer does husband do anything.  His big flat screen TV sits silent in the bedroom.  He rarely turns it on.  He has forgotten how to use the remote and just stares at the silent TV.  Then, he will turn his head to look at the closet.  The mirrored doors are gone, so, he can stare at the contents of the closet for quite some time. 

When I suggest he take a nap, he will close his eyes.  Lately, I've been watching him as he sleeps during the day.  Once he's asleep, I often go in there to stare at him.  He does such an odd thing.

I can tell he's asleep, then, suddenly, his face will break into a smile and his hands go up and down as if he's having a conversation.  It was disturbing to me at first, but now, not so much.

I watch, mesmerized by this.  It may last as long as 20 minutes.  Sometimes even longer.  As I sit there watching him, I wonder what is going on in his brain.  Is it Alzheimer's, or, is it something else?

Yesterday, as he was doing this, I suddenly had a thought.  Is he talking to the Angels?  Are they nearby?  Do they linger over him as he sleeps?  Are they coming for him?  Do they call his name?

As much as I don't want him to die, the very thought of Angels in my bedroom is comforting. 

Yes, I'd like to think it is the Angels.  And, he talks to them.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The finality of it all

The saga of the "broken" shoes continued until yesterday afternoon.  I was cleaning house and had enough.  I got his "broken" shoes out, put socks on husband then put his shoes on.  Once I got done I stood up and said, "Now, you tell me where they are broken?"  Since then, the "broken" shoes are no more.  End of story.

Actually, I was not so nice about it.  Not mean, mind you, but, firm.  Very firm.

I've read and heard stories of caregivers being mean to the Alzheimer patient.  While I will never be mean, I have found that you do have to take the upper hand.  Otherwise, it can really drive you nuts.  Taking care of husband is exhausting.  There are days he just won't let up, like the shoe business.  Once I've had it, well, I've had it.  It was so constant yesterday, that I thought I would go mad.  Instead, I took the upper hand and that was the end of it.

Of course, there will be other things to occupy his mind.  He will find something else, I know, but, for now, the shoes are not "broken" anymore.

Husband is confused about this moving to another apartment.  Luckily, the floor plan is exactly like this one, with the only difference being there is a washer/dryer in the unit.  He keeps asking me if we are going to take our stuff, or, leave it here.  I continually tell him our stuff will go with us, but, it's not sinking in.  Nothing sinks in with him anymore.  Nothing.

He has stopped asking me what day it is.  I didn't really think much about it until the other day.  I thought, "When did that stop?"  I can't pinpoint it, but, it's been weeks.  His brain is so damaged now that, I think he's forgotten what days are.  He also doesn't ask me what the date is, or, the time of year.  All has stopped.

When Dr A said, "Christmas?",  he may be right on.  If  husband lasts into the new year, I'll be surprised.

I thought about this last night.  Man, what a crappy time of year to die.  I don't want him to die at all, but, Christmas time?  

I am prepared for it.  I think I got my ducks in a row.  Financially, I  think I'll be OK.  At least, I hope so.

Mentally, I honestly don't know.  I don't think you can ever really prepare for your loved one to die.  I often wonder, "Will I cry a lot when he dies?"  "Will I be so lonely, I won't know what to do with myself?"  "Will I go to the cemetery and stare at His Place?"  "What in the world will I do without him?"  "My kids.  Will they be alright?"

I think the questions that go through my mind are normal.  I just want us, the ones he is leaving behind, to be OK.

Husband will be fine, I know that.  He'll be at peace, his suffering over.  I'm not worried about him.

It's us I worry about.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Giving me the "funnies"

I have been wanting to come here and post, but, my mornings have been so busy, that, before I know it, it's noon and I haven't posted.  This morning, however, I have made the time.

Husband has not been well.  The hallucinations and confusion have taken up a good portion of my day.  Some of the hallucinations can be funny.  Even he laughs at them  Other's, not so funny.  Or, the hallucinations can be scary or just plain draining on me.  You just never know.  Take for instance, yesterday morning.

Husband insisted, after breakfast on putting on his shoes.  He doesn't know how to put on shoes anymore, I have to do it for him. 

He got his shoes out, studied them for about 20 minutes, lifted one leg and attempted to put them on.  I was trying to ignore him, hoping he would get frustrated and put them away.  Not so lucky.

After about 1 hour, he made the announcement that I needed to take him to the shoe store and buy him a new pair of shoes.  Now, the shoes he has are very new, I just bought them in April.  He doesn't wear shoes on a daily basis as he is mostly inside.  These shoes are in pristine condition. 

I explained that the shoes he has are in perfect shape.  He was having none of it.  He started to act up and told me his shoes were "broken".

This went on for hours.  He told me I was being mean to him and he was going to call his dad and tell on me.  I ignored it all.

I was doing my laundry and every time I had to go to the laundry room, he told me that when I got back, he was going to be gone.  Said he would go to the shoe store by himself and tell them to give him a new pair of shoes because his were "broken".  Each time I left, I would lock the front door behind me.  He doesn't know how to unlock the door anymore, so, that kept him safe.

Oh, the things I have learned to do!

I couldn't help but chuckle about this episode.  You had to be here.

He finally came out of it in the afternoon.  Whew.  He was fine after that.  Well, as fine as he can be that is.

I looked at him last night and got such a sad feeling inside.  He is so helpless now.  Looks up to me like a child would look up to his mother.

As I tucked him into bed last night, he was pulling the covers up to his chest and asked, "Am I doing this right?"  I assured him he was.  Kissed the top of his head, told him I loved him then said, "You behave and go to sleep."   He got a smile on his face and promised he would behave.

When I went into the living room and thought about the day, I had to laugh.  It really was funny.  I believe God gives me the "funnies" once in awhile to keep me from going completely nuts.

I am hoping the "broken" shoe issue will not come up today.  Have to keep him busy so he doesn't have to think about it.

I will take his "broken" shoes and hide them in the closet. 

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

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Good Ole' Days

Thank you for the comments.  It's nice to know that the decisions I make are upheld by readers like you.  I no longer have a husband, its just me making all these decisions.  It's not easy when I want to do what's best for him as well, but, have no input from him because of Alzheimer's.

I get a little sad when I think of Colorado and my longing to live there.  But, once I put aside MY desires and instead, listened to God, it all fell into place.

Unfortunately, the new tenant wants this unit.  He was quoted a great price per month, (as I was when we moved here) and doesn't want to switch.  Can't blame him, it is a good price.

This apartment is a basic apartment.  No bells or whistles here.  But, they did offer me another one that is just 6 apartments down the way that is exactly like this one, only it comes with a washer & dryer.  Yay.  My view will be trees and grass.  No pond with the beautiful fountain, but, it still is very pretty.  There is an Aspen tree that I can watch change colors in the fall.  My favorite tree of all.

Of course, the rent is more with the washer & dryer, but, I will still be here, and, as one of the girls in the office pointed out, no more hauling dirty clothes to the laundry room in the winter time.  She had me sold there.

I don't know when I can move there, as my lease expires here next month.  May have to stay until then, which is fine by me. 

Husband is OK with all of this.  Of course, I have put him through a lot of confusion last week with, "We're going, we're staying," then, "we're going, oh no, wait, we're staying."   It was enough to put me over the edge, but, he dealt with it OK.

Frankly, I don't think he even realized what was happening.  He's that far gone.

As my one neighbor said last night, "I don't like the idea of you not being next to me, but, you know if anything happens to husband, I'm only down the pathway."

Also, and this is a big one.  If husband passes, I will still be able to pay my rent here and make it on my own.  That is always in the back of my mind.  I need that stability and peace of mind.  I have to be able to make it on my own.

I don't like all this grown up stuff.  I don't like having to bare this weight on my own.  I miss my old life, with a healthy husband, both of us holding down good jobs, loving summer time with camping and fishing.  BBQ's, with husband at the grill. 

Yes, I miss it all.  I am emerging stronger and better than before.  But, I can still long for the good ole' days. 

Because, they were that good!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dazed and confused no more

I've been absent, I know.  I needed a break from life.  I unplugged my phone, sat outside for countless hours, and, prayed.  I made a decision, one that has been hard, shed many tears over this, talked to
God and cried some more.

I have decided to stay here.  For many reasons.  First reason is money.  Moving to Colorado would eat up all the money we survive on.  Rent would be higher.  The stress I've been under has been tremendous. 

By yesterday morning, I felt as if I was going to lose it completely.  As I was sitting outside, I saw father in law drive up.  I had just finished asking God to guide me in my decision.

I told father in law my issues when he asked me what was wrong.  He, being the wise man that he is, gave me some good points to ponder.  He pointed out how we can make it here financially.  He said how beautiful the grounds are from our living room.  He said our apartment is just perfect for the two of us.  He told me that when husband does pass,  I'll still be able to live here on my own.  He said a lot of things. 

I told him of my giving a 60 day notice last month.  He advised me to go to the office and try to rescind my notice.  Said anything can be worked out.  Said we have been excellent tenants, paid my rent on time, never causing trouble.

Once I got husband settled with his breakfast and visiting with his dad,  I went down to the office.  I was so scared. 

It seems that they have already rented my apartment, but, they were going to call the new tenant and see if they could switch him to another unit.  I told them that if I had to switch to another unit,  I would, but, preferred to stay in this one.  They told me not to worry, we would work it out.

I have been praying that this new tenant will agree to switch.  Please pray with me.  I'll know something today.

I know Tish will be upset about my decision, but, this is my decision and my life we're talking about.  As much as I would love to go to Colorado, I just can't at this time.  The time is not right.  I have felt this way for many weeks now.  But, once I made my decision to stay here, for awhile mind you, not forever, but, for now, I have felt the weight lift off my shoulders.

Yesterday afternoon, as the word spread that I was staying, my wonderful neighbors started coming up to me on the porch, giving me hugs and telling me how happy they were I wasn't leaving, I felt better and better.  They talked of Christmas, and how I would be here to celebrate with them.  They talked of Thanksgiving and how we should do a pot luck. 

As I sat on my porch, watching my neighbors fussing over husband, smiling, joking and planning for the upcoming year, I felt such inner Peace. 

Yes, this is where I belong.  For now.