One of the reasons I appreciate Joe so much over at his blog (see Carol's blogging friends), is that he lets me know how it is for him with his Alzheimer's. Now this disease is different for everyone who has it, but Joe gives me a clue. I have reviewed his book here and here and together we worked on guidelines here.
So here is an interview of my husband on Thursday. Hubby was scheduled to go to our chiropractor because his knee cap popped out on Monday. He even had to be wheeled into the chiropractor's office on Monday and had trouble getting off his spot on the couch later on Monday.
Today was the follow-up appointment. I came home from substitute teaching at 3:30 and said he had 45 minutes to shower and shave. 45 minutes later neither was done. He forgot about the appointment even with gentle reminders. Finally he went into our bedroom to get ready, changing his clothes, shaving and freshening up. I called the chiropractor to say we would be late and drove him there. Next I took him for a haircut.
We went to dinner at a long-time Plant City diner, Snellgroves, across the street from the above sign. A meal out seems to be the best way to talk with him and I wanted to interview my husband. I just got the salad bar and he got meatloaf, mashed potatoes and the salad bar, my choice for him as he always has me choose. Steaks will be too tough for him especially when we reheat the meal at home and so we have mashed potatoes and meatloaf in the frig now. Rarely does he finish a meal any more. He did eat his salad at the diner, and as usual had ice cream when he came home--legendary treat for Alzheimer's patients I am told.
At the diner he observed my pad of paper. It's for my seminary paper on caregiving, I said. It is, but it is also for this blog. He has superficial knowledge that I am doing my counseling dissertation on caregiving and no idea about this four-year-old blog. So here is the interview with DH--dear husband for short.
Me: Are you aware that I am both your wife and your caregiver?
DG: Yes, if you say so. You are my wife.
Me: Do I make sense to you?
DH: Yes. (He of late often says that I don't make sense and say too much at once. I really have to be disciplined when I talk with him. The schedule on his clipboard is really a big help.)
Me: What do you like about me? (Hoping for a real romantic answer here, folks, or at least that he likes his new DVD coffee table that I wrote about the last post.)
DH: You feed me.
Me: What do you think about my insisting you take pills.
DH: It's a pain in the ass!
Me: Yes, you forgot today. (I had to leave early to substitute in high school.)
DH: You didn't put it out. (I had it out for him and reminded him when I called him at noon.)
Me: Do you like how I am working on the house. (The House That Cleans Itself series on this blog)
DH: I have no complaints on the house. (Alzheimer's patients love their own home.)
Me: Do you have any questions to ask me?
Me: How do you feel about having short-term memory?
DH: I don't have any problems with my memory, but I'm tired just getting out in the car. . . . I'm in the time of my life where I want everything easy.
Me: Like not camping anymore?
DH: Camping drove me nuts.
Me: Do you want to give up mowing the lawn?
DH: Maybe so.
Me: Can you teach me to use the riding lawn mower?
DH: I don't want my wife to have to mow the lawn. It's hard for me to get out and exert myself. How old am I?
Me: 75. Do you want me to get someone to mow the lawn now?
DH: Yes. How old am I now?
DH: I'm in good health. I don't see [Jake] as much as I would like to.
Me: You were with him at the Senior Center on Tuesday.
DH: I didn't remember.
Me: You go there with him every Tuesday.
DH: I am at that point in my life where what happens happens and I don't have to remember. (I think that this is brilliant. Wish that we all had that godly contentment!)
Me: You take it as it comes.
DH: I kick back and relax! I'd be lost without you.
Me: I'd be sad without you! You are so much more important than our dog Ziggy.
DH: It's amazing how much Ziggy interacts with us That's why I've always had dogs. It would be lonely without them. (I do not believe hubby will leave our home because we don't put a leash on Ziggy to walk him. We just take him out in our large fenced back yard. Also, since the crash in 2010 we do not own two cars now.)
Me: When we went to dinner last night, you suggested we get someone to mow the lawn.
DH: No, I can mow the lawn. It's easy just sitting on the lawn mower to mow it. (So many times he forgets what he decides. Hmmm. That lawn! Oh well, it is Area # 9 to work on here, but those weeds are growing even in winter.)
I am off to substitute teach in a middle school today.