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.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

When Sheri asked Bob how is day was at "work" (code for adult day center) yesterday, "Al" replied with the now common disgust in his voice and said " I think all my employees took their holiday early... they had no motivation to do anything today. I had to pull a few off to side to speak to them about it."  
Sheri would love to be a fly on the wall :)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Bob had a choir event at "work" (code for Adult Day Center) yesterday. On the way home "Al" asked Sheri "Have you been singing in a group where you work?"  :)
Gotta smile it is so sweet.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri figured something out yesterday. She realized that whatever Bob is doing right in the moment is what "Al" did at "work" (code for Adult Day Center) that day. Last week Sheri had him peeling potatoes at home and out came a story of "Al" peeling potatoes at "work" and how they only ask him to peel the potato's. Then yesterday Sheri had Bob attempt to sweep the kitchen floor and a story unfolded about "Al" sweeping the floor at "work" and they had only asked him to do this. The same sequence of conversation continued as she let him try to dry the dishes she was washing.  "Al" repeated theses stories over and over until he fell asleep last night. Sheri is glad he feels important, sad that this is what Bob's hardworking life has come to.
This disease is very hard to watch.

2 Corinthians 4:16
16 Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.   

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri does not know what it means in terms of Bob's decline, but Bob will take off his seat belt at Sheri's direction, but it will get no further then the middle of Bob's chest before "Al" is trying to refasten it. This can happen several times in row. Sheri guesses this would be a good example of the old saying " Sometimes I am not sure if I am coming or going."  :)
My life in a nut shell.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri gave Bob one of his 36 piece puzzles the other day to work on. He has not been able to complete them any more, but will still work on it for a while. As Bob's frustration grew not being able to connect the pieces, "Al" turned to Sheri with his thumb in Bob's belt loop stretching out his back in his usual way, and said "I really just need a razor or scissors so I can get these pieces to fit." Sheri replied "Well lets see if we can move them around a bit." She worked with him on a few pieces  and went back to what she was doing. A few minutes later Bob repeated his request and asked Sheri for some scissors. Sheri made the mistake of saying that he did not need scissors. "Al" in a very angry and uncharacteristic way shoved the card table forward stood up with his jaw clenched tight to one side, raised his voice and said "then I might as well find something else to do, I need a knife to finish this it is an old puzzle it does not work anymore!" Sheri was not prepared for this outburst. Redirect she thought to herself, redirect. While she was trying to regroup Bob and "Al" took off to the bedroom. Sheri paused and thought "okay just give him a minute to cool down." Sheri waited and within a minute or two she hears the very familiar sound of Bob's whistling in the hallway. Bob returns to the living room calmly sits down at the puzzle. Sheri is thinking "Oh good he has forgotten his frustration". Well, Sheri's assurance that the situation had resolved itself ended quickly as Sheri glanced over just in time to see that "Al" ( determined fellow that he is ) was quite pleased with himself as he placed the exacto knife he lifted from the craft shelf in the hallway...  down by the puzzle. :)
No wonder he was whistling, no more puzzles for "Al".

Monday, December 15, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Bob was drinking his coffee yesterday morning when  "Al" turned to her and said " You know who I haven't  heard from lately... Iris." Sheri was caught of guard, Iris his oldest sister died many, many years ago 1984 Sheri thinks. Sheri has known for a while that Bob has moved into losing long term memory but she just was not prepared for this stage. Sheri just nodded, and redirected the conversation.
Subtle changes,  Sheri hates this disease.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri really does not know anymore what Bob knows or what "Al" still remembers. She is not sure what made her ask, but she threw it out there. "Bob" she said "Where did you and I meet?" Bob paused clearly pondering the question. "Al" with an air of confidence in his voice replied "must have been about the time I joined the choir".
Well, Sheri should have known better than to ask the question, but at least she is associated with something he enjoys :)

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri is going to try and do some holiday baking today, she needs to find something for Bob and"Al" to help with.... maybe she can find a cookie recipe with peeled potatoes in it  :)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

A few weeks ago the sweet ladies at Bob's Day Center and Sheri were concerned about Sheri's Bob because Bob's best friend at work ( who was also a Bob) was moving to Memory Care facility. The two Bob's were best buds, sang in the choir together and spent all day together. So everyone was worried about what would happen when the other Bob was no longer around, well Sheri guesses sometimes there are blessing in the horrible disease, Bob has not asked about the other Bob at all, like he  never knew he existed.
What an interesting disease.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri just wants to come home from work and carry on a conversation, a true conversation. She wants to tell Bob about her day and  have interaction, not give direction. She wants Bob to hug her and comfort her and let her know that everything will be alright. It is not that friends and family don't care... but at the end of the day she still feels alone.

Genesis 2:18 

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”