Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Monday, December 29, 2014

Whew, a very rough couple of days.

Husband has slipped so badly these last few days. 

The other morning, I had to run to the grocery store and left him with Kristen.  When I got home, she told me that right after I had left, he had taken his clothes off and asked her what to do with his clothes.  That really shook her up.  She was crying as she told me.  She got him dressed, again, but, he was so confused as to why she was dressing him.

I went to check the mail and instead of walking, I took the car.  Our mailboxes are at the front of the complex and we live in the back.  It was bitter cold and windy, so I took the car.  I was gone for maybe 5 minutes.  When I walked in the door, husband had come out of Kristen's bedroom.  I asked him what he was doing and he said he had been looking for me.  Thank goodness I hadn't been gone any longer or else he may have tried to get out the front door.

It's getting scary.

This morning at breakfast, I put his food in front of him.  Now, when I do this, I have to show him his food, tell him what it is and put the fork or spoon in his hand.  When I do this, I also have to close his hand around the silverware.  This morning was no different.  I went back into the kitchen, loaded dishes in the dishwasher, tidied up and finally got my breakfast.  When I went back into the dining room (about 10 minutes later), there he was, still sitting there, fork in hand, staring at the ceiling.

Our dog, Snowball, loves to get on husband's bed in the morning and lick him.  This morning, as Snowball was doing this, I asked husband what the dog's name was.  It took him some minutes, then he said, very softly, "Snowball?"

The "Holding Pattern" has lifted.

Time to put my seat belt on and find those big girl pants again.

I may be in for a rough ride.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

I hope your Christmas was filled with family, friends and the Birth of Christ.

Husband did not understand it was Christmas.  He had to be shown how to unwrap his gifts and when he did, I had to tell him what it was as he couldn't tell if it was a package of socks or a new pair of flannel pants.  Because he doesn't wear regular pants anymore, I bought him 4 new pair of those fleece pants to help keep him warm.

For the past few years, I have dreaded the Holidays.  This year was so different.  There was joy in my heart. 

One would think that with the death of my Mother earlier this year and now with husband being so far gone, I would've been so sad.  Just the opposite.  I even sang a few Christmas songs to my dog!!!

Dinner was good.  Tish, Jace and the kids came.  There was laughter in my home.  Husband, although so confused by all the activity, smiled, nodded when spoken to and seemed content.

It was all I could ask for.

Next week is the beginning of a new year.  I don't know what this new year will bring, but I am ready for whatever.  In all probability, husband will die, but, it's OK.

It just has to be OK.

Friday, December 19, 2014


Another post?  I am trying to get back into posting on a regular basis.  Making the time is an issue and there are days I just don't want to talk about Alzheimer's at all.

I have been thinking all day about what husband said to me last year this time.  He told me that last Christmas would be his last.  Here we are with another Christmas less than a week away and he's still here.

When husband was diagnosed in April of 2010, they told me 3-5 years.  With 2015 looming, I keep thinking that the 5 year mark will be up.

Just lost, deep in thought today.

Today was also the end of Home Health Care.  However, with Divine Intervention, Home Health Care will continue until the end.  Big sigh of relief here and grateful. So grateful.

Husband's blood pressure took a dive this morning.  Luckily, the nurse was here and with a little activity, it came back up.  Still low, but, not at a dangerous low. 

Husband seems in good spirits today.  Confused most of the time, lost in his own world, but, spirits seem up.

The stripping of the bed continues in the middle of the night.  Why it doesn't wake me up, I'll never know.  I wake up in the morning and find him at the end of the bed with no covers on.  Strange, very strange.

I had read that an Alzheimer's patient loves to take their clothes off at the end.  Husband does this, on occasion, but, it's the stripping of the bed I have never heard about.

Here's to a good day.  I try to grab onto these good days and try to remember when we have dark days.

Can I get a Hallelujah???

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Christmas is next week.  Where has the time gone? 

On the home front, we're in what I call a "holding pattern".  Husband's BP has been stable.  Memory?  All gone.  He retains nothing.  He sleeps 16-18 hours a day.  When he is awake, he sits in a somewhat stupor.  He still talks to someone, usually up in the corner of the ceiling.  It used to be every now and then.  It's daily now.  His jaw is jutted out, with his bottom lip turning outward.

Husband does not know how to use the toilet, or, for that matter, what it is doing in the bathroom.  He wants to move it away from the sink and when it won't move, he gets quite upset.

The "visitors" are coming more frequently, I've noticed.  "They" only come in the middle of the night.  I will wake up to hear husband laughing.  This laugh sounds not of this world.  It's a haunting, beautiful, Holy sound.  That's the only way to describe it.  It used to scare me.  Now, it's comforting, knowing "someone" is there.

And me?  I'm doing fine.  I am looking forward to Christmas.  I've bought husband gifts.  He will have a nice Christmas.  I am determined to be happy and not become bitter.  I think I"m doing an OK job of that.

I have come a long way since diagnosis 4 1/2 years ago.  I've grown.  I've changed so much.  I take it as it comes now.  Some days I wake up and look at husband still breathing and ask God, why?  Other days, I see him still breathing and thank God for another day.  It's like that.

Husband wants me to start reading him the Bible.  When he wakes up this afternoon, I will read him passages from the Bible.  I hope he likes that.

It's bitter cold now.  I try to keep a fire in the fireplace when husband is on the couch.  He tells me he likes that. 

I love making him smile.  When he smiles, I know I've made an impact on him.  I've made a connection with him. 

It's those very few precious moments that I will cherish.

Friday, December 5, 2014


Yes, I know, it's been almost a month since my last post.  Every time I come here to post, I am interrupted by nurses, phone or husband.

I have had a very scary few days this week.  Husband's blood pressure has been lower than normal for the past few months,  but, I've just been watching it.  However, on Tuesday, when one of the nurses was here, his BP went to 70/40.  We had him switch positions, switched arms, drank juice, to no avail.  She called the Dr, they said to hydrate him and if it got any lower, call 911.  Dr wanted to see him on Thursday morning.

Luckily, I have a BP machine here, only, I thought it was a battery operated one and I haven't used it in probably 4 yrs.  So, I got it out and to my surprise, it's one you plug in to the wall.

He was very pale with his eyes sunken in.  He turned to me at one point and said, "Am I going to kick the bucket?"  Both the nurse and I laughed it off and made light of the situation.  I remained calm on the outside, but, inside I was terrified.

It was one scary few hours.  I am still shaken over it.

I now monitor his BP throughout the day.  It's gone down a few times, but, not as low as 70/40.

We saw his Dr yesterday.  BP was OK.  I was given instructions on what to do.  Dr said it was time to sign all end of Life Instructions for husband. 

So, it's officially and legally on file now.  As I was signing these papers, the wording was so point blank.  Every sentence contained the words, "Resulting in Death."  Ugh.

We had a great Thanksgiving.  Went to Tish & Jace's.  It was nice.  Husband enjoyed himself.

Gearing up for Christmas.  The tree is up, lights are on.  Husband enjoys looking at the lights.

On December 20th, Medicare will stop paying for the home nurses.  Folks, I really need your prayers that somehow, someway, Medicare will approve for more time.  We have come to love these nurses and need prayer on this.  Thank you in advance.

Tomorrow is our annual Holiday dinner here at our apartment complex.  It will be in the Clubhouse.  I am looking forward to that. 

And there you have it.  I should be sad for all that is going on, but, I'm not.  I am actually looking forward to Christmas and a new year.  No poor pitiful me kind of attitude. 

Don't have time for that.