This blog is about life with my husband who was diagnosed with 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.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri can tell things are sliding with Bob and "Al". Sheri feels terrible because she snapped at Bob yesterday morning. When she helped him undress the night before for bed, she made sure he took off his back brace, it is rigid and his back doctor said he should not sleep with it on. Yesterday when Bob awoke he was in an excessive amount of back pain for no apparent reason. When Sheri went to help him get cleaned up for the day and put the patches on his back and dressed, only then did she realize at some point "Al"put his back brace on during the night, and had slept with it on. Sheri snapped at Bob and said " Robert we took this off last night, when did you put it back on?" "Al" retorted "I did not put it back on!" Then Sheri did something she rarely does she said with anger in her voice" Well, I sure didn't! When have I ever put your back brace on you?" She could tell Bob was upset and she felt terrible for it. She knows it is not his fault, but sometimes the frustration of the situation gets the best of her.
Each new little change, means Sheri has to adjust her routine a little tiny bit more. Sheri needs to hide his back brace from sight now to make sure "Al" does not cause Bob more pain.
Sheri hates this disease.

Wednesday, April 23, 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.”

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri is preparing for the first half of Bob's back procedure on Friday. His back is so very bad and yet there are so many issues to deal with when having a medical procedure on done on an Alzheimer and Dementia patient. His doctor has agreed this is the best option, but Sheri still finds herself second guessing herself. Is the chance of his back improving enough to improve his quality of life enough to out way the risks involved? Sheri has realized over the years, that she wants the impossible. She wants 100% assurance before she takes action about something or she becomes paralyzed with fear and then she chooses to stand still. The reality is standing still has not worked very well, because life is moving forward with or without her.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

In Sheri's never ending quest to keep Bob engaged in activities this winter, Sheri's tiny house became over run the bird houses she had Bob paint. The weather has warmed up finally so Sheri took the birdhouse (all 26 of them) outside and let "Al" start hanging them in the trees. "Al" the sweet man that he is, has great concern that they did not put any straw in the birdhouses to keep the birds warm, and that the houses should be close together so they can talk to each other he mentions this every time he sees a birdhouse. Sheri has assured "Al" that the birds prefer to make their own beds, and that maybe they should spread the houses out a bit, "Al" however is not convinced. :)


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri is not sure why she feels like she hasn't quite bounced back from her trip to Texas yet. She feels drained, tired and just not quite with it. It is interesting that while being a caregiver we get obsessed with caring for our loved one, because we know they can't take care of themselves, but yet we are capable of taking care of ourselves but often overlook our basic needs because of being a caregiver. Which will of course hasten our need for a caregiver ourselves.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Bob is concerned and frustrated that some of his co-workers at "work" (code for Adult Day Center) show no initiative, and really just can't put two and two together. "Al" thinks they need to take a step back and realize they should look for other employment."  :)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri would like to share some information given to her from alzheimers.net regarding research spending compared to care costs. It is important to understand that nobody survives Alzheimer's, and it is not a normal part of aging, nor is it only an older person's disease.
There is a link in purple below the graph to see the full article, and the graph in more detail.


Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri is facing new challenges with grooming 6.4 ft Bob and "Al".  She is not sure if she needs a bigger bathroom, or just longer arms. Or maybe both.  :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Living with Bob and "Al"

Sheri is surprised that so many people still think Alzheimer's is just about memory loss... it is about so much more that. The loss of cognitive functioning is sometimes much harder to deal with. Sheri sees this happening at a much faster pace with Bob now. Sheri can remind him of his past... but trying to explain how to do life's everyday tasks... that is what becomes overwhelming.