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?'
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.