This blog is about life with my husband who was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's and Frontal Lobe Dementia in 2008. He was 64 at the time although now, knowing more about the disease, Alzheimer's was present many, many years ago, which is why early detection is so important. As you read the blog "Al" represents the way that Alzheimer's is invading our daily lives.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob "Epiphany" Part 3 of 4

Epiphany Part 3.
That evening as Sheri was helping "Al" undress for bed, it hit her. What ensued was something she was not prepared for, a sudden, deep awareness, the "epiphany" that Bob and "Al" did not need SHERI. "They just needed SOMEONE to tend to their needs. Helping "Al" shower was really the most intimate and personal care that she gave Bob, protecting him from personal humiliation and embarrassment. However, someone else was able to do that without it affecting "Al" in the least, it was just a task that anybody could do, and since the relationship part of their marriage has been gone for so very many years, this realization represented for her, the death of "wife." The tears started to fall as she touched apart of her grief she had never touched and spiraled into self pity and the acknowledgment that "wife" was not the only thing that was gone, Bob was gone too.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob Epiphany part 2 of 4

Epiphany Part 2:
The day of the first shower which was this past Tuesday, Sheri was nervous and uncomfortable just thinking about the process, so by early afternoon she had to email to see how it had gone. Sheri got a quick response from the daycare. It went wonderfully well "Al" had whistled himself right through it. Sheri was elated. So very pleased. He did not question it, challenge it, or remember it.  Her friends had all prayed that it would go well. What more could she ask for? Until her psyche took over...


Friday, July 31, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob Epiphany part 1 of 4

Epiphany part 1
Several weeks ago Sheri was speaking to Bob's healthcare coordinator about getting back out to look at care faculties for wait lists and she was asking about what other help Sheri thought she needed right now, a topic Sheri is not good at evaluating. Sheri has been struggling with Bobs showers and mentioned it to his worker, and they discussed maybe bringing someone in to the house to help with that but Sheri's work schedule was going to make this challenging. Then Sheri had Bob's quarterly review with the daycare and found out that the daycare could do his showers and foot care. Sheri was very excited to hear this realizing it would lift one burden off of her shoulders. She could not really imagine how they would accomplish this though. She could see embarrassment and humiliation written all over this situation for "Mr. Bob" the boss at "work". She was extremely nervous and nervous for Bob as the first shower day approached.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob

Sheri had an "epiphany" of sorts. Unfortunately, at the moment she is too emotional to talk about it.
( that is about as much suspense as I can give you in my narrow Alzheimer world :)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob

Sheri was driving home yesterday, after picking the boys up from "work" (code for Adult Day Center), when "Al" told Sheri to "pull over because he needed to use the restroom." Well that would have been fine if they had been on some lone country road, but they weren't, they were on a highway. Sheri glanced around for the nearest gas station, exist, anything that might be close, but there was nothing. in fact the traffic came to a dead stop. Sheri, trying to reassure him said "well, we are almost home" (not even close). Then while stopped in traffic Sheri sees Bob scanning past the retainer walls to the grassy area and "Al" says "I am just going to hop out on run over there to go to the bathroom" as he reaches for the car door handle. Sheri's heart was racing as she realized what he was about to do. Sheri yells "no you can't do that" and reaches on her side and locks the door from her panel. Bob turned to her and said "Why not?"  Sheri had to pause breathe deep , and then realized nothing she said was going to make sense to someone who's reasoning button is broken. "Al" may be sitting in the back seat from now on where the childproof locks are.
Sheri HATES this disease.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob

Sheri checked Bob's pockets as she was helping with his pajamas last night and was pleased not to see anymore pencils with big flowers in his pockets. (She returned the five from last week to the Adult Day Center. ) "Al" however was much more creative today, because while undressing Bob, under his shirt tucked inside is undies was low and behold ... another pencil with a big yellow fake rose which he nonchalantly pulled out and handed Sheri.
Well, Bob did use to call Sheri "His yellow rose of Texas" So she thinks she will keep this one. :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob

Well Sheri finally took steps to get a handle on her anxiety and depression and and saw a doctor. It is hard to admit you need help. Figuring out how to take care of yourself in world full of "people" that need your help is hard, but Sheri is determined to beat this.
Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob

Sheri woke up today, has a roof over her head and food to eat, so God is good.

Matthew 6:34“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob

Sheri is realizing that Bob may not know who she or the girls are anymore, or at least not all the time. Daughter Number 1 picked up Bob from work night before last. While they were sitting at the park "Al" asked Daughter Number 1 "Where the girls were."
What a sad disease.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Living with "Al" and Bob

"Al" is hoping the choir will be performing soon, he heard Elvis is in town and is thinking they will be able to sing together.  :)