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.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Whistle a Happy Tune

Did you ever turn on the tv and hear Andy Griffith whistling as he and Opie headed down to the fishing hole? You can still see those programs on one of the cable channels. Sometimes when I am sitting with Elbert I turn it on just to recall happier times. 

After Elbert retired from his job teaching in 1990 he took up the habit of whistling everywhere he went. He was just such a happy person, always satisfied with what life had to dish out and he expressed that by whistling. I knew the minute he walked in the back door. I could hear his whistling before I heard the door creak open. It was such a joyful sound. 

Then, one day the whistling stopped. He seems to have forgotten how to purse his lips to make a tune come out. Or perhaps he has forgotten the tunes altogether. Our world we live in is silent now and I miss that whistling husband a whole bunch.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Happy Father's Day to the Father of my children. We all love you and wish you the best on this day of celebrating Dads. 

Marie and her Dad enjoying rocking outside 'The Cracker Barrel'
Susan and Shirley getting big hugs from their Dad
Michael and his Dad checking out a display in Kansas City. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Old Mother Hubbard

I was sitting with Elbert at The Garden today and was watching the activity about me. And, I got to thinking about how much The Garden is like a houseful of children. Seventeen of them!!! Old Mother Hubbard and her shoe full of little kiddies. 

Some of them wear depends (diapers), some of them need help walking, some are toddering along on their own,
Some were babbling (you couldn't understand a word they said much like little babies cooing) Some are wanting ice cream (chocolate, please), every single one of them needed taking to the bathroom before mealtime. One had slipped down in her chair and needed uprighting, one had lost a shoe. 'Diddle diddle dumpling my son John went to bed with his stockings one, one shoe off the other shoe on. ' Some of them had been playing games, and some (including Elbert) was napping very nicely!! 

I just admire those caring souls who are so willing to care for all seventeen of them with whatever they might need. It's amazing.