Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our Thirteenth Anniversary Today

Menu Cover
Our anniversary didn't go the way I expected it to go today. Not at all. It wasn't that we don't love each other very much; it's just the effect of the disease.

A year ago I wrote about our twelfth anniversary here. Two years ago we were camping here and hubby and I wrote each other cards. I saw on that blog post that he wrote on mine:
Do other place I'd like to be than here.
No other person I'd rather be with than you.
I have to find those cards. Think they are part of stuff to still go through in the guest bedroom. What if that is the last romantic thing he writes to me before Alzheimer's takes him further down the road?

This morning started with my giving hubby three main pills: Metforman for Diabetes, Antibiotic for UTI and Imodium for Antibiotic. Later I would give him the rest, skipping pills such as the fish oil tablet which really makes him complain.

"Pill pusher," he said.

"No I am a lovegiver," I said. "I love you and always want the best for you."

Lovegiver is a word I started using almost a year ago when I read and reviewed Mark Shriver's book on his famous father. He used it and I think it is the best way to describe caregiving of your loved one. I must admit that I have been frustrated with the UTI and the disease of Alzheimer's in the last week. I canceled sub jobs to try to get a handle on helping hubby. Our "normal" is again changing.

"So you want to take your shower first or shall I?"

"You go ahead first," he said and he went back to bed. This grand gesture to let me shower first isn't necessarily the gentleman in hubby, but might be the disease. I have read about the lack of motivation with these patients. I was determined to not punish or be the sergeant today. It is our anniversary after all.

Georgene my blogging friend at Living on Less Money put a quote from Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story on Facebook on Sunday.

We all dream dreams and know very well that they don’t always work out. Life is particularly hard on high expectations. Things hardly ever fall together the way we would have scripted them. The fact is, if we put our hope in a certain set of circumstances working out in a certain way at certain times, we’re bound to be disappointed because nothing in this life is certain.

So what’s the solution? To give up on dreams?

No, it is to realize that if we belong to God, there are even bigger dreams for our lives than our own. But in order to walk in those bigger dreams, we may face greater obstacles than we ever imagined and find ourselves compelled to rely on a much more powerful and magnificent God than we ever knew before.
I want my script to be that hubby will stay in one stage of the disease. We may be back to fairly normal after the UTI. This is my script for our 13th Anniversary.

Denny's waitress put
this in my carry out.
We were scripted to go to local restaurant Buddy Freddie's with our friends I blog often about--Sally and Jake. This script didn't work. We didn't go out. We brought in. Instead Sally and Jake came by because hubby was slow moving. Jake stayed with hubby and Sally suggested we go to Denny's and get breakfast for the four of us and bring it back to our home. Our wonderful waitress Chasity heard that she was providing an anniversary meal for one couple to share with another couple and she told me a wonderful story of a man who would come into a restaurant where she used to work with his wife who had Alzheimer's; they would clear the ladies room and he would go in with her so she wouldn't get confused. My husband is in no way that bad off as that wife--take note. He is very sharp. He compensates very well. But we know that dementia is different for everyone.

We brought the Denny's breakfast for the four of us back to our home and we ate at our dining room table about 11:00--all but hubby who refused his bacon waffle breakfast but enjoyed the company.

Below are anniversary cards on the mantel of the fireplace.

Cards with hubby's horse collection

 Hubby's Blue Mountain card at the right said:
Anniversaries are sweet, joyful confirmations. They are milestones in life, looking back on a memory-filled past. They are touchstones for the future, linking together plans and dreams. When two people share so much, their days, their hopes, and their journey, there is little that compares with the smiles that can shine in the hearts of a husband and a wife. Anniversaries are blessings the passing years bring. And they are beautiful reminders that nothing is better than being with the one you love all the days of your life.

My Hallmark card at the left said on the cover:
When I found you my heart knew it was home. Inside it read: There is a safe and quiet place in this noisy, busy, crazy world, and we have found it together.

And Sally and Jim's card had two dogs on the cover who were quoted: It's always fun to buddy up with you. On the inside Sally had written Your friendship means so much to both of us.

Next on the agenda was a 1 pm doctor appointment with husband's doctor. Before that appointment a suggestion came from a family member that hubby needed to be in rehab at a certain excellent center until he got stronger. We went by that facility on the way to the doctor's office. They did have a spot.

At the doctor's office hubby needed help and a wheel chair to get inside. He was that weak. I rushed into the office and invaded the back office, apologize and said I needed help to get my hubby inside for his appointment. Two nurses went out with a wheel chair.

My husband's doctor listened to the situation and said to me before my husband:

Yes he can go there and he may not return home!

That doctyor had also said to me in the hospital last week, Your know, Carol, he is not going to get any better. As we left I told Dr. Chevy that this is our thirteenth anniversary. The plan was that we would go home and that facility would come and interview us today or tomorrow and the doctor was already faxing the form to them. Not your usual happy anniversary to be split up.

Was this in God's providence for our anniversary? On the way home I kept telling hubby how much I love him and that I have his best interest in mind. Was this God's best? I did not know and still do not know. I drove to the front door on our circular drive and hubby got out with the help of a neighbor.

Then I get a call from the facility that they don't take Preferred Care. Hubby will not be going there and we have more time to decide and more time at home. So glad.

Lord, even as my hubby is sleeping now,
bring me sleep and help me to trust that
You are the one who is scripting our days. Amen. 


  1. Four am and hubby is thirsty. He really likes Pediatric Electrolyte and he has some. Will have to get more of this. He doesn't like Ensure. Going back to bed. Thanks for prayers of so many of you who have contacted me. To be continued. . .

  2. I got to the point with David where I didn't plan or try to coax him into anything. With Alzheimer's they can change so rapidly and can't help what they say or do. If I could get David to take a bath once a week, that would be good. I would get a warm wash cloth and clean him .....much easier than trying to talk him into a bath.

    Sorry your anniversary didn't go as planned.

    Keeping you all in my prayers , and the decisions to be made.
    Hugs and prayers

  3. You are a lovegiver, but I had to chuckle at your husband's comment. I know this isn't the kind of anniversary you ever imagined, but you continue to inspire me.

  4. I've been praying for you today Carol and was so glad to read a post and find out how you are doing. Difficult days, hard times.

    I love Elisabeth Elliot's teachings called, The Gift of the Present Moment and it reminded me of your situation. She quotes Ps. 16:5 (going by memory but I believe that's it) about the Lord assigning our portion. I remember her saying that the past is gone and the future is not here but we have this present moment and it's a gift from God. Here is one of her articles. I hope it encourages you Carol. I'll continue to pray.