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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter 18

Sheri and the girls met with hospice, there were two people from hospice there. They were wonderful. They listen carefully and understood Sheri's concerns about recent events and explained that now everything would go through them. "the boys" would now get music therapy, massage therapy, and hospice nursing care. Sher felt a sense of relief, and the fog lifted enough to pause, praise and pray.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri has been taking a little break from recounting the beginning of the end with Bob and "Al". Although she believes it is really helping her to go through this process Sheri believes she is experiencing something that she likens to PTSD. So she did what she does to help with her stress, she got out very early before work with her camera. The fog was beautiful.. and quite appropriate for Sheri's state of mind.
Isaiah 41:10
 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.



 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter 17

As it turned out, hospice could not get there until about 1:00 in the afternoon. Sheri was past drained, tired, a better description would be numb and zombie like. She had called daughters one and two and explained what was happening. They both headed out to the facility and were there for the meeting with hospice. Such beautiful, grown up young ladies God has blessed Sheri with. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter 16

After assuring the aid that she did the right thing, She explained that she had a meeting with hospice in the morning. The aid was teary eyed, and Sheri settled in to chair in 'the boy's" room , to wait out the rest of the night/morning until hospice would arrive. The aid went on about her routine, it was not long after the aid left the room that the tears in the aides eyes started running down Sheri's cheeks.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter 15

Sheri assured the women she did the right thing, and proceeded to explain to her the emergency room visit and all the tests Bob had done. The aid was fixing Bob's sheets and mumbled under her breath, "well that would have been nice to know."
Sheri took a deep breath, and then told herself to breathe in through her nose and out through her mouth.


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter 14

Sheri got to the faculty,  she was tired, she was confused, she was angry. The person that opened the door was not someone she had met before. She introduced herself to the staff member and quickly walked to Bob's room, Bob and "Al" were out cold as Sheri would have thought after all the medication the emergency room pumped into "them".  With in minutes the female staff member that let Sheri in, came into the room. Sheri's blood was nearing the boiling point. Out of the comer of eye she could see this the soul of this woman. She looked very sad, and started apologizing for calling Sheri.  She said I have been caring for Bob on overnights the whole time he has lived here, he is my buddy, he follows me around at night, this is just not like him, as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
Though her tears and shaken voice she said, "I just did not want to do the wrong thing". Sheri new in that moment that this woman had know idea that Bob and "Al" had been in the hospital all those hours. This was not this sweet woman's fault, there was clearly a major breakdown in communication. 
The system is broken.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter 13

Sheri quickly called back the number. Sheri said who she was and apologized for missing the calls and inquired about what was happening. She replied that they were sending him over to the emergency room, because he was not responding to the staff , that he had a bloody discharge coming out of his male parts and that usually he is way more alert. Sheri held her tongue, well somewhat. in a tone that was pretty much yelling into the phone "Absolutely not! We just spent 8 hours there! I am meeting with hospice in the morning !" (All the while Sheri is holding her cell phone up by her shoulder as she scrambled to get dressed ) The on call nurse said "I see the notes... but he is not on hospice yet , so we have to address the staffs concerns." Sheri finally pulled up her big girl panties and said "you are not sending him anywhere, I am 30 minutes away, I will be there and stay with him until hospice comes to meet with me in the morning, do NOT send him to the hospital! "

Sheri needed to pause, praise and pray. She did not. She was reliving the past 24 hours and was struggling to fight back tears so she could drive.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter 12

Sheri tried to unwind on the 30 minute drive home. She was so tired she was afraid she might fall asleep behind the wheel and she felt numb inside and out. She got home about 10 pm and collapsed onto the bed. She woke up at 3:30 am to find she had missed 4 calls from the nurse that was on call.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter 11

Sheri met the ambulance back over at the faculty. "The boys" were sleeping , and Sheri was past the point of exhaustion. She met with staff and explained everything. She let them know that Bob was highly drugged and that he would definitely be out a long time. She covered the paperwork with the them, explained the procedures he had done and to refer to the after care instructions. She asked if they had any questions and they said no. There was only an on call nurse overnight so Sheri explained she would be starting him on hospice care and would call in the morning to speak to the nurse. She peeked in on "the boys" one more time, and then headed home.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Living with Bob and "Al"

The beginning of the end Chapter10

The doctor enter the room, Sheri was more than exhausted, "the boys" were zombied out from all the meds. The doctor said after reviewing all the tests there was no apparent reason for the changes. Sheri chimed in (probably a little more sarcastically then her normal polite self)  and said "you mean other than the fact that he is 10 plus years into this disease?" The doctor nodded in agreement. She offered to admit him for further evaluation and before the doctor had even finished her comment, Sheri stopped her and with tears in her eyes said "No. No! there would be nothing they would find that Sheri would approve treatment for at this stage of the disease, so absolutely not. " The doctor said she agreed with that decision and said they would write the order for hospice care, she said someone would call her in the morning to sign the paperwork. They set up the ambulance to take "them" back to the faculty. Before they left , the male nurse that had been so gruff at the beginning of the night came over to Sheri and asked if he could give her a hug. Sheri was taken aback, but then he said "the staff and myself have been watching and listening to you care for your husband all evening, we have all been in awe of your patience and care of him." he and several others gave her a hug.
 Sheri sat in her car, her heart heavy, defeated, and numb, but Sheri knew God was present thru the afternoon and evening, and she knew He was in the car with her as well, she was just not able to see Him through her tears.