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, March 23, 2011

Living with Bob and Al

When Sheri got to the nursing home today
Bob was having snacks and coffee in the dining hall.
As soon as Sheri walked in "Al" said,
"Wasn't sure what time you were picking me up today"
As Sheri reminded him to get his cane, they walked in to his room
where is coat was on the bed ready to go.
Sheri hates this part.. She reaches down picks up his coat
and quietly hangs it back up in the closet. With Bob and Al standing next to her
she redirects and asks how his back is today.
They roam the halls to the large TV in a sitting area where "Al" begins to ramble
trying to recount his day...
Sheri's mind wanders as the reality that "Al's" memory is bouncing all over the place.
Sheri hates this. She feels like being here has made "their" memory worse.
But a dear friend at church told her that while Bob and "Al" were at home
Home masks the level of memory loss there really is, and that now Sheri is seeing
the truer picture if this disease...
Sheri loves taking pictures... but she doesn't like this picture at all.

4 comments:

  1. Dear Sheri, I feel your pain in your words. I feel your heavy heart.

    It's safer for Bob and Al in the home. They live only in the NOW, nothing new matters. This fact was the hardest thing for me to come to terms with as a Care Giver for my demented mother.

    I can't imagine what it must be like for you, to see your husband confused and with memory loss.

    I made my mom and my uncle a memory book. I got a nice little scrapbook and made a beautiful book for them. Pictures of our family from years past, times that they DO remember. Remembering seems to make my mom and uncle happy.

    My sadness also affects my mom in a big way. If I'm upset, she feels my energy and tends to be more confused or anxious. This is the hardest thing for me to control, my emotions. Everyone was telling me that I had to but no one told me HOW to get to where I was going.

    Then, I remembered....

    I have the power within my mind to change how I think about something. Happy thoughts bring a happy life - even when we are in heavy times.

    When I am happy, when I sing and dance around my mom, she becomes happy too. Our emotions and attitudes are contagious.

    Please choose to change your mind. It will help you to create some happy memories that you can photograph right now.

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  2. Thank you Susan for your encouragment, I do appreciate it. I am trying, it is just so hard...and he looks so sad. Maybe he is reflecting me.

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  3. I have just found your writing and I want to sit here and read all of it. Thank you for what you are sharing. I will be back to find comfort and connection in your words as I dance the Alzheimer's dance with my mother.

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  4. Juliann,
    I am sorry that your dance in this Alzheimer world has begun for you an your mother. One step at a time. It is all we have got.
    Sheri

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