Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tampa Date

By this time I am an old hat at getting my husband to go to the doctors. Prepare him the day before, and the day before that, and the day of the appointment remind him in the morning, making sure he has time to get ready. This time it is a memory assessment--I didn't use that Alzheimer's word. He drove us to his 10 am appointment with Assistant Director Nancy. We walked up the winding path to the building and he did not see USF Johnny Byrd Alzheimer's Institute on the face of the six-story building on East Fletcher Avenue. He signed some forms. See his back--doesn't it remind you of my birthday card below (6/26)!

The entire appointment was actually fun. My husband felt that us two ladies were ganging up on him. I told Nancy stories of things he had lost and forgotten and the problem he has with thinking I don't wash clothes but brought them back to our bedroom unlaundered. Nancy heard the Full Moon story below (7/26) and the three of us laughed about it.

"Nancy, he thinks the clicker to his car door also opens the garage door."

"Does he help around the house?  Does he still drive?"  "Yes" to both I answered.

"Who makes sure he gets his medicine? Who cooks? Who takes care of the finances?" "I do" I told her.

She asked him lots of questions and he was comfortable answering or not answering them. Then I left the room and she gave him a more thorough test than the 30 question test he had been given in his doctor's office.

When his private interview was completed, I returned and she gave a preliminary assessment that his word fluency and word finding were somewhat lacking. He has difficulty with time and date (even though he has a watch which tells him the answers), and new learning is more difficult. All of what she said I could vouch for.

Next she said she would get his B12 reading if his primary care physician recently took that. If not, she gave me a script for it.  She would order his MRI from December 2008. The B12 reading is because B12 deficiency is the one easy-to-cure kind of dementia. Thursday morning he will have another MRI at USF's University Diagnostic Institute to compare with the December 2008 MRI. The final dementia diagnosis will be September 7th. At that time they will see if he fits into a research study. Then we will know if it is probably Alzheimer's or not.

We went to lunch at Panera Bread not far from the USF campus. My hubby always has me order his food these days. I ordered 1/2 beef sandwich and a salad for him (he had been so deserving of beef that I did not try to sneak a Mediterranean meal in on him). We drove by Busch Gardens and he remarked that we need to save money so we can go there or go to an Orlando attraction. Noted--embrace the moment while we can.

We went on other errands including visiting my father-in-law's grave in Tampa. I reflected today that my husband likes to watch WW II movies because his dad was in that war as you see on his grave marker.
Sunday at church my friend Sherry who works with an attorney bought us our wills which were witnessed after the worship service, notarized and signed. Another couple did theirs at the same time. Usually we don't do "work" on the Sabbath, but this was a wonderful gesture that saved us $500. I now have Non-Springing Durable Power of Attorney for my husband; later on if I had to get guardianship it would be at least $6000 with a yearly fee of maybe $1500 from then on.  All of this is unnecessary since now I have Durable Power of Attorney. I am also his Health Care Surrogate with my husband's son as the alternate and other alternates in the various other documents. We are making copies of our Living Wills for our automobiles in case of an accident. Other documents with their blue backs are going in the safe.

I got the silver alert phone number today on a refrigerator magnet. It is 877-404-SILVER or 877-404-7458. The silver alert is used when a car/person is missing. The family can call in the car description.

Hubby doesn't worry. He didn't think about wills and graves today. I plan to enjoy him and keep him as healthy as possible for as long as possible.


  1. So many things to think about. So good to hear that a Christian friend could help you out with the Wills. It is always heartening to know God has put people in our path who will help bear our burdens.
    Will answer you decisions questions on my blog later in the day!

  2. Reading your words of what you all are going through right now, brought back so many memories of all our experiences 4 or 5 years ago. Three days of testing and all the stress for David and me. The doctor telling him not to drive anymore, and then coming home to take care of all the legal paperwork.

    It's so good you're getting all the legal work taken care of, and wonderful friends to help with that.

    You're doing such a good job of 'taking care of business'..... not an easy job, but it sure makes you feel better when it's done.

    You're in my thoughts and prayers!