Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saga Fourteen

Without our friends, Sally and Jake, we went camping over the weekend. I forgot my digital camera, but a week later have added pictures to this post. When my husband was frustrated setting up and taking down the popup camper, my husband got angry. On the way home he apologized with his way of saying he is sorry, not remembering what he had said or done, but knowing he upset me. Actually if he didn't have a handicap, I would have been in tears; but I take the anger towards the loved one as part of the deal of being married to a husband who develops Alzheimer's.

Four of Sally and Jake's couple friends were at Highlands Hammock. We apparently need to come one more time before the group decides if they will admit us. The president said there were too few people there to vote on our membership. Things were to go downhill.

Friday night we ate out and then returned to chat at one of the camp sites. However, when we heard thunder and lightning we all headed for our own shelters. I patched a hole in the canvas with vinyl material and quilting safety pins on the outside of the popup. This worked well. Still bugs came in and bit me and I went to urgent care when we returned home.
What didn't work well was the socialization. DH told a story about an alligator crossing our back yard; this story didn't register with me and later I asked him about it and he said he must have confused it with something that happened before we were married. I have not known him to lie, but have read that false stories can develop from hallucinations of the dementia patient. He certainly wouldn't be a good juror.

DH didn’t remember much about Saturday, but just had the emotion that the group was not receptive to us.I noticed this coolness towards us from one of the four couples.  We sat across from Lucy and Paul (not their real names) when we all went out to Dairy Queen Saturday night. We were trying to connect with this couple and that is why I choose to sit near them.

Me: Lucy, do you have any hobbies?

Lucy: I don’t have any hobbies.

Then Lucy and Paul looked away to listen to the conversations at the other end of the table. My husband is very good at conversation with others and he just sat back at that point. When we got back to the campground from the Dairy Queen, he asked me to go get our chairs from the circle where we had chatted earlier in the day. We would not join their Saturday night chat. Someone said "see you tomorrow", but as it turned out we didn't see them Sunday morning--same as the other trip when we only saw Sally and Jake Sunday morning.

At our camp site that Saturday night, however, DH and I did have a good conversation about not being accepted by others.  On another matter I asked him if he remembered what he lost that morning. He couldn’t remember he had misplaced his keys. Then I asked him if he remembered the tour that we took in the afternoon. He couldn’t remember the hour and a half tram ride we took at Highlands Hammock--fabulous tour of wild life, alligators, and vegetation.  Hope the pictures of the tram ride come out and they will be posted here and preserved elsewhere to help hubby's memory. 

But, not remembering his lost keys or the tour we had just taken, DH did remember his feelings about the group.  My usually social hubby felt snubbed. Their next camping trip will be in November. I don't know what his Alzheimer's condition will be like in six months. He certainly has declined in the last six months.

It wasn't the greatest weekend, but I was glad we were able to figure out the popup without Jake and had that interesting hammock tour. Our dog enjoyed his third camping trip, however.

Monday morning, May 23,  I read about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. We have to wash feet also and He will bless us.
John 13: 14-16  And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.


  1. I'm so glad the tour you took of seeing wildlife and vegetation was a good one.

    You've proven you're a good care taker of your husband at home, and on a camping trip.

    This group of people (in my opinion) aren't worthy of your company...... much less having to be voted in..... yuck!

    Some of David's memories have become jumbled up together....that's probably what happened with the alligator story.

    I think you're very brave to go camping !!

  2. Thanks, Dolores, as usual, for your wisdom. As usual when you put a little perspective on things you learn a lot. This was a definite Alzheimer's education for me. Emotions do matter. Also Sally told me by phone today that the couple who seemed to snub us really are introverts. We just can't judge people who offend us. And to think that I was feeling self-conscious about my husband's Alzheimer's and how others perceived him. Yes, we are brave to go camping and something bit my arms. The chiropractor just helped my back from all the set up I did with the popup.

  3. So sorry your weekend wasn't a great one. I admire how you find the positive in it, though.

    Having to be voted into the group sounds awful. Sounds like middle school all over again! I hope that it's not a source of stress for you.

  4. Do these people understand about your husband's handicap? If not, would this have helped them to include him in the conversation? I don't think I'd want to be included after that, really. Looking forward to the pictures. Mum tells similar stories to the alligator one, too. I just go along with it as if it's true. I don't care if others believe her or not, it doesn't matter.

  5. I just read this post and thought it was so encouraging that I wanted to share it with you.

  6. Absolutely, Living on Less. And I did go there to comment. Thanks for sending it to Dolores and myself.