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 the character"Al" that I created in 2008 represents the way that Alzheimer's is invading our daily lives.
Bob asked Sheri "where everyone was" yesterday. Out of pure curiosity, and not really expecting an answer, Sheri replied "who is everybody"? "Al" replied all the people that sit in the room." Sheri finally realized "Al" thought he was at "work" (code for Adult Day Center) as Sheri unloaded Bob's nuts and bolt from "Al's" shorts pockets, because "Al" said " he was going to take those out.. when he got home." :(
Dear Bob, Please ask "Al" if he knows any other song he can whistle in his sleep. Sheri loves "To God be the Glory" but Sheri always feels like she needs to stand up and praise God, but honestly, she does not sleep well that way. :)
Sheri tries hard to give others a glimpse of why Alzheimer's is so much more than memory loss. The things she can't show, are things like trying to explain that the music making from yesterdays video, happens all day long, and if it is not with his nuts and bolts it is with anything in his hands. Of course she is grateful Bob still has enough coordination to do that, she has had to be a bit creative herself and has found that her headphones and some hymns playing through her phone help drown out the constant banging of "Al"s music. :)
Bob the handyman and "Al" the fashionista that he is, worked together to come up with a handy fashionable place to carry Bob's cane... pants have multiple uses, when you need to wave down the "choir bus" driver :)
Sheri tries hard to find a balance of living in the moment and planing for the future. It is a very difficult task. She often thinks about the expected "boom" of people affected by this disease. The world is nowhere near ready. It will take a specialized army of professionals willing to challenge the current methods of care and finding affordable options for care for these individuals. Sheri knows there are a lot of good things happening in this arena, but she is sure like for herself, the task is overwhelming. Sheri knows there are no easy answers she is just speaking her fears out loud.
Sheri needs to pause, praise and pray.