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.