Monday, June 28, 2010

Oh Geez

My visit with Elbert yesterday was tough. When I got there he was sitting in a chair in the living room sound asleep and nobody could rouse him from his slumber. I sat waiting and occasionally I would try to talk to him but he was out like he's been hit by a truck. A half hour later (it seemed longer) I got him awake enough to move him to the couch with me and soon he slid sideways, leaning toward me. 
'Do you want to put your head on my shoulder' I asked. 
He nodded so I positioned myself to where he could rest his head and that is how we stayed for an hour and a half. We were holding hands and sometimes he'd rub my leg with his other hand. And, once his hand got to my knee. Now, I am very ticklish about my knees and he used to do that just to hear me squeal.
I asked, 'Are you tickling my knee?'
No response
I asked again and this time he nodded very slightly and smiled. A glimmer of remembrance perhaps. 

Yep, yesterday was an oh geez sort of day. I was chatting with one of the staff as we had waited for him to wake up and she said that he sleeps nearly all the time now. I know that some of that time it appears that he is asleep when he just does not want to join the world around him. And, I know, too, that sleeping in a symptom of later stages of Alzheimers. She also told me that the man that I knew, the one who would eat anything and everything is now not eating nearly as much. That's a concern. They've even tried to feed him but he clamps his mouth shut and shakes his head. This too is a symptom of later stages. 

So, I came home depressed and worried. It was almost as if he had laid his head on my shoulder knowing that soon he would not be able to do that. No one has a clue as to how long Alzheimer's patients live as each patient is different. I just feel like we have taken one more step toward that door.


Gilda Spitz said...

Latane, I was so sorry to read your post today. Unfortunately, you are right when you say that excessive sleeping and refusal to eat is often a sign - we saw that in my father in his last month. On the other hand, Alzheimer's IS unpredictable, and maybe it's not Elbert's time yet. I hope that's the case.

I'll be thinking about you.

Dolores said...

Your feelings are so understandable! We never want to see the changes in our loved ones that we know are coming, and are inevitable.
Alzheimer's is just....sad!!!

Like Gilda said .... Alzheimer's is so unpredictable; hoping the next visit is a good one.

My thoughts and prayers go out to you!!!

Susannah said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. Tell us your feelings...that is what we are here for.



Peggy said...

Hi Latane,your post is sad and not morose you are seeing things as they are and I hope being able to share your fears and worries helps some little bit.
Thinking of you

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Cottage.Di.Rosa said...

very sad, your story brings tears to my eyes. I bet it felt lovely to feel that glimmer of unity between the two of you as he tickled your leg. Grasp that moment tightly with both hands and keep it forever in your heart. Be strong, hugs x

Linda J. said...

I agree with the above comments. Alzheimer's is totally unpredictable!!! My friend Mary says, "when you've seen one AD patient, you've seen one AD patient." The disease is different in each person, just like our personalities are different.

Linda said...

Latane, I said a prayer for you when I read this post. Bless your heart.