Saturday, November 27, 2010

We march on

Yep, one foot at a time, we march on. The scenery around us is changing and it makes me sad. Since Elbert moved into the nursing home (mid August) he has gone from being fairly responsive to not responding as much and when he does he's 'out of it' and makes no sense. He went from feeding himself to having to have some help and now he has to be fed .... and he isn't eating nearly as much. I see his bony legs and arms and know that he has lost a good deal of weight. He slumps in the wheel chair (when he can be in one) or lies with his legs drawn up almost to his chin when he is in the 'reclining wheel chair' or bed. He has his days and nights mixed up so that he sleeps all day and they have to watch him carefully at night as he is awake and restless. How did we come to this? Oh, yes, we got here because of Alzhiemers.

When I went to see him this morning he was lying in bed in an almost fetal position his skinny long legs out from under the cover and cold. One sock on, one sock off. When I tried to straighten his legs he was as stiff as could be and I could not budge him. So, I sat and tried to talk to him but mostly he had his eyes closed. I knew he heard me because he would move his hands or sometime say something.

Finally I asked him if he wanted me to read to him. You see, I have such a hard time just sitting, staring at the man I love whose body is there but 'he' is gone. So, I take some handwork or my Kindle to read from. I was just starting 'A Christmas Carol'. I'd seen it on tv many times but I had never read it before. He nodded his head that he was willing to listen to me drone on and on page after page so I began reading. After awhile I heard him snoring so I eased out of the room and came home.

It's so hard to see him like this. The children particularly are having a difficult time visiting their Dad. The wonderful memories of their growing up with a loving father is now being muddied with the memories of his mutterings, and staring into space with vacant eyes and lying in bed almost unrecognizable. They go when they feel they can. I go and sit and try to talk and maybe read to him. At least I feel we are connecting in some fashion.

7 comments:

Dolores said...

Oh Latane, you're so right, it is one foot at a time..... one minute at a time.
My heart just breaks for you seeing the man you love, respect and honor....change. I hate Alzheimer's so much!

I remember when David was diagnosed...... I thought: this is my very worst nightmare......and it is!

Our son doesn't like to be around his dad because it makes him sad.....breaks my heart, but how the heck does he think it makes me feel......., I 'kinda' understand. our daughter isn't like that, and I'm so glad!

I posted this afternoon how well David was doing, and by the time I hit the 'publish' tab..... David was in one of his 'gray funk Alzheimer moods'.......I'm dreading tonight, but I know God won't give me more than I can handle.

Thank you for your honesty when you post.... it helps...
love you,

NewKidontheBlogg said...

Latane,
I pray for you and Dolores. Your journies help me with my own ALZ husband who will be there one day. You are so good at expressing what is happening.
Carol

Nancy said...

Sending more hugs to you, Elbert, and the rest of your family. This is a difficult time, no doubt.
Nancy

Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries said...

I sat and read this post........teary eyed. How hard this must be for you and your children. It makes me want to go in right now and squeeze my husband. We always think we have forever...........until forever comes that fateful day. My prayers are with you. blessings,Kathleen

Susannah said...

I am so sorry that you and your family are going through this , Latane. I can see so much through your words.

Linda J. said...

You have such a gift with words. I totally relate to this post. It was nearly impossible for my children to visit my mother. Sending hugs to you!

Happy@Home said...

Latane,
Oh, I am sitting here with tears in my eyes wishing I could give you a hug. After seeing my mom go through this I know somewhat how hard this is. It is an awful disease and really difficult to watch it slowly change the person we know and love so dearly.
In my family, out of 3 children, I was the one who became my mom's power of attorney. In the begining I wasn't sure I was up to that task, but now I wouldn't have missed that time with her for anything. I think it is hard on children (no matter what age) not only to see the changes to their parent, but I have yet to meet a child of a parent with Alz. who isn't terrified of getting it someday.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.