Sunday, November 25, 2012

Signs of Memory Loss and a "Normal" Day

I again taught a class for first-time DUI offenders yesterday, Saturday. This second day of the class they read their essay on how their DUI is a wake-up call for a new life. Saturday I heard essays about going back to their Christian faith from three gentlemen. Dramatic things happen to cause us to cry out to God, as I often do on my caregivng/lovegiving journey. See here.

Early in the DUI class I share a picture of an old couple who were hit by a DUI driver two years ago here and talk about all the trouble they had. We get to the point in this 12 hour class of accepting the DUI and of moving on to never ever get a second DUI and then I remark that we are that couple in the picture, a couple who are grateful to be alive. It is very effective when these students equate us with that old couple and the motivation then is high to work to never get another DUI--so easy in our society with all our bars and cars. I often parallel my accepting my husband's dementia with my students accepting their DUI and moving on to never get another DUI. Life doesn't give us some choices.

Hubby had not taken his morning pills before I left to teach. I called when I got to the class and reminded him. Then I called two more times on breaks from the class. Finally I said, "You take your pills while I am on the phone" and he did just that. I reminded him about his lunch in the refrigerator. It is always the same so that he will recognize it: sandwich, yogurt and two coconut chocolate fudge pieces on a dinner plate.

When I returned home about four, he had not eaten his lunch, but had gotten ready to go out. No more jeans or T-shirt, but a nice button down shirt, slacks and better shoes. He likes to dress up to go out. He remembered that!

We left for the Tampa area and I used the GPS to check on where my appointment for hearing aids would be. All during the trip he kept asking what is the next thing we are doing, but was very happy to be out and about. We went to dinner at Sweet Tomatoes, a healthy buffet place. DH ate fairly well there and thoughtfully reminded me to leave a tip on the table.

"What's next?" he wanted to know, although the plans to see the  movie "Lincoln" had been made that morning. Hubby likes history so I thought this would work. The movie was great, but he didn't follow all the nuances of the characters and great acting. He said simply, "I didn't care for it."  Fortunately he wasn't agitated about sitting through the movie.

Because he doesn't eat lunch many days, he will need more supervision and the Plant City Adult Day Care Sally and I are trying out for our husbands seems just the ticket at this stage. He will get a hot lunch there and be with his friend Jake. Hubby will often ask,  "When's the next time I see Jake" and it's good for our husbands to be together which we are planning at that center.

So I move through our days accommodating hubby's memory losses and trying to hold on to the life we have. Normal? We have a calm relationship and he trusts me. It's 5 AM and I am going back to bed. Looking forward to our Sunday, today, with worship and fellowship.

Here is a good Assessment for memory loss.


  1. What's "normal" anyway? Life is full of adjustments for everyone. I am so glad you have a nice program for the two men to enjoy, and you and Sally will relax about lunch and supervision. They will be a blessing to the others when there.

    Thank you for the update.
    Hugs and prayers,

  2. I think everyone does better with consistency. There is a sense of security that goes along with it.. don't you think? Your husband is blessed to have you watch so closely after him.

  3. boy, Carol, that brought back a lot of memories. Every day with all the changes becomes a 'normal' for that day. So much to handle, so much to absorb, so much stress and yet we gals are there and do the utmost so that life goes on. You are amazing and I wish you well on the walk down this path.

  4. I'm learning a lot from your journey of caregiving/lovegiving. Thanks for all that you share. Our family was just in your area for a vacation the week before Thanksgiving, staying on Anna Maria Island and visiting my MIL who lives in New Port Richey. Beautiful area.

  5. Memory loss can occur due to factors including the aging process. Other reasons vary from brain damage to certain diseases.

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