A day before we left on our trip hubby and I were at Cracker Barrel, the restaurant/gift shop. We are seated. DH excuses himself to go to the bathroom. He isn't coming back to our table at Cracker Barrel. I go looking for him. He thought I was shopping. I bring him to the table. He is surprise that we had been seated. He doesn't remember.
DH recalls going up in a plane with Jake. I do not recall that, but have heard both DH and Jake discuss their plane trip. How do two Alzheimer's men have the same memory that Sally and I know never happened?!
Both men see that the other one is going downhill.
“Time is change; we measure its passage by how much things alter.”― Nadine Gordime
If you have Alzheimer's. however, time is so present and memories are so fickle and subjective. There may be a few recent memories, but not accurate short-term ones. Long-term memories start to become fuzzy.
I do capitalize on recent memories when I tell hubby that it is 7 am or 7 pm and time to take our pills: Sweetheart, you wouldn't want me to take your pills like I did when I landed in the hospital, so let's both take our pills NOW.
For the Christmas week we had the pleasure of flying to his son's home in another state, and enjoying family and their extended family including two great grandchildren. I became my husband's one constant as we were away from home. He even asked his own son who that son's mother is, forgetting that she is hubby's first wife.
I made daily sheets for him to remind him of what was happening and to let him know when we would be returning to Plant City, Florida. Even so he needed many reassurances from me. Sally and Jake took us to the airport and they would pick us up from the airport,
One morning on our trip he woke me asking Where is here? I explained that we were at his son's home. Although he became somewhat oriented to the lovely three story home where we stayed and he had often been before, he forgot that we had a bed and bathroom in the basement.
He said he would go downstairs.
"No, sweetheart, you need to go upstairs," I reminded him.
When he was on the third story watching TV with his son in the media room, he called me on my cell phone to see if I was anywhere around.
"I am right below you--the next story down," I reminded him. Often DH then responds that he is just checking to see if I am kicking and breathing. He wants to find out if I am kicking and breathing at our own home as well.
We heard a noise in the middle of the night and I remarked that I didn't know what it was. He said it was just the noise of an elevator. Now there was no elevator in the three story home where we were staying--but I didn't correct him.
On the trip we had wonderful hospitality and all the comforts of home. I gave DH a daily schedule and kept his clothes and toiletries where he could easily find them. But for DH, it wasn't home, confirming that Alzheimer's patients are so dependent on their spouse/caregiver and their own home.