Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cancer

With Alzheimer's I had forgotten (pun intended) that David also has cancer. We had the regular three month check up yesterday at the Lahey Clinic in Boston.
It is a slow growing prostate cancer. He has had an operation, chemo, hormone therapy, nothing left now, just to wait.
It always surprises me that in the cancer departments when a patient is asked how are they, the majority answer great. It's their simple choice. Nobody is kidding anyone. Nobody is being sarcastic. It's just the better answer when you are doing all you can to survive.
That place is constantly busy. Old faces, young brave faces, smiles, newcomers clutching their notes and the regulars with their packed lunches and library books.
My husband cried because he could not remember his name and I was relieved that he could not remember why we were there.
Today, I want to buy two tickets to Hawaii and sell coconuts on the beach. Isn't that another way to survive?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alzheimer's Again

It's midnight! Whoa. Happy New Day!
Ten signs of being an Alzheimer's care partner:

1) You have been working since six am, again.
2) Your feet stick to the kitchen floor like a fly to wax paper, again.
3) You have put all the clean shirts back in the closet, twice since five pm, again.
4) There are five  six opened and full beer bottles in your kitchen, again.
4.5) Nope, make that seven.
5) You are considering plastic Ala "Everybody Loves Raymond" coverings for the furniture, again.
6) You have attempted to watch "We Bought a Zoo" four times since six pm. again.
7) You have attempted to work out your purpose four times within the last hour, again.
8) You were just told "you're a pasty painter, with a shot in the head", again.
9) Your cat is now the size of a Shetland Pony due to the amount of canned food opened, again.
10) You appreciate the bathroom sink flooding as an opportunity to clean the bathroom floor, again.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Pass over Easter Sunday

Took an hour this afternoon to read some blogs regarding Alzheimer's. Wow people are brave.
In my attempt to write about the issue more, I have been wanting to hide it more.
This week end has been a particularly tough one. I think Jesus may have said the same.

Instead of the Easter Bunny, we had buried Alzheimer bombs around the place. One step near and it triggered either a quick run away or a barrage of painful words.
Davids son was here and usually this helps. For me I had been looking forward to this time to get as many alone opportunities as I could muster. I got two hours to myself during which the house suddenly lost six inches in height from all the dust being swept up. Then I got out for a girlie shopping trip (at last!) during which I discovered I had lost my credit card and I was called back early because I'd given Ben the wrong key and they couldn't get in the house. Simple tiny things and, yet again, my Hulk in Lip gloss appeared. I was a lion greeting a seal. I shouted at David to sit in the car, as he insisted on coming out with me to get food. My raised vicious voice, set him off and he had soon ran across a busy road toward the park.
The only dinner I had were sleeping pills!

Today featured alot more anger, this time from David. It hurt me to hear him not being the embracing, loving father that he is known to be. Both Ben and David ended up coming out with me on a girlie shopping trip only to discover Easter Sunday means the shops are closed. I thought JC got out from the cave to go shoe shopping? Fortunately, in celebration of him being a carpenter Home Depot was open, where we bought lots of flowers. David loves that.
One of his frustrations has been that he feels we are following him everywhere. It's true, we are. Apart from the times when he is following me. So, how do you provide a level of care without it being controlling? How can I say I love you, please trust me, when every so often I scream "when have you ever done anything for me?"

My favorite times are now. David by my side pretending to read a book while sleeping and Max the cat, on the other side, pretending to be Buddha while sleeping.
I still want to see if how I live my life, can have a calming effect on the Alzheimer's, rather than throwing more medication at it, which takes away parts of David that are struggling to survive. He is still there.
When you go to a wedding and find a seating chart, you do not think how mean of the bride and groom to tell us where to go. It's just planning. Using a fancy font. Couldn't this be the same? It gets exhaustive constantly figuring out what the solution is.
The patient needs a break from Alzheimer's as much as the care partner maybe? Sometimes, funnily enough, we all just want to forget.

Stuck in a rut?

Signs that you are stuck in a rut:

1) you look up "bad mood solutions" on the Internet
2) you wear blue hospital socks because you can't be bothered to look for others
3) you think a sparkly top proves you're happy
4) you growl when you hear people say "for a pop of color"
5) you suck in your stomach while standing at a check out
6) the last time you wore lipstick was in a school play
7) you think "50 Shades of Grey" is a book about your laundry
8) you say out loud with a lot of  interest "ooh look Market Basket is even closed on Easter Sunday"
9) you'd like to go to the cinema, and then you remember it's the week end which could mean "all them noisy kids"
10) wide shoes section grabs your attention