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.

Monday, November 8, 2010


On Saturday morning daughter Shirley, son in law John, granddaughter Brittany and her Jon and me, of course, headed down to Consulate nursing home for a Fall Celebration.

 It was held outside in the parking lot and the weather was cloudy and a bit nippy, typical Fall weather.  

John, Shirley, Jon, Brittany with Elbert. He would not turn loose of my coat. As I said it was a bit nippy and that coat was keeping his hands warm.

Men from Consulate cooking up free hamburgers and hot dogs.
Here, Honey, take another bite!! He's still holding onto my coat.

Shirley trying to entice him with cotton candy but he'd rather have the sucker.

Give me a little love, Dad.... it's time for us to go.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I wasn't prepared for this either

A little break from the drab, dreary world that Alzheimers brings us all to...

This was a ray of sunshine!!

As I walked down the hallway yesterday to visit Elbert he was in his usual place by the nurses station and a residents daughter, Susan, was talking to him. I saw him glance up and see me coming down the hall... and his eyesight is awful and he won't wear his glasses so I know his sight is atrocious. But, there is this huge grin on his face and by the time I reached his chair he was just beaming. So, was I!!!

After lunch I started pushing him around the nursing home and occassionally we'd stop in this 'living room' or that waiting room or the front entrance hall for a few minutes to give him and me a change of scenery.... and me to catch my breath. That man is heavy.

I was totally amazed at his focus and the things coming out of that man's mouth. Once he noticed one of the aides helping feed someone at the other end of the table and he said, 'I think someone down there is pretty'. I asked if he thought she was pretty and he nodded his head. A compliment out of him. Good.

Once he commented on what a big house that was. Yep, he's got that right.

I got to testing his arm muscles, giving a little squeeze and asked him what he had done with all that muscle, that it was gone. And his reply was 'it would be good if I had some'.

There was more chatter... something about what I thought of Miami.... Miami, where did that come from? We've never even been to Miami.

And, he was paying attention to other people talking so he was enjoying himself tremendously.

But, the best part of all was when I started to wheel him down the hall that little stinker stuck his feet out in front of him, started making the varoom, varoom sound of a car, put his hands out and started 'turning the wheel'. He was driving!! I just wish I had someone in front of us with a video camera. It was just the funniest thing and so alert and fun loving, just like he used to be.

Just look at this picture..... He's right in the midst of telling a big tale here, his favorite thing to do.