Friday, May 16, 2014

Smiling and Laughing

From Natural Solutions Magazine
Even though we are a Hospice household now, it is not ALL downhill. There ARE things to laugh at and things that bring a smile. I decided to record some this week.

Smiles. I have been so encouraged by the prayers and contacts from others. The comments on the last blog post here are just a small fraction of prayers and concerns from others including Facebook comments. We all are learning about the progress of this disease and every dementia patient has a different course. When you have seen one Alzheimer's patient, you have seen ONE Alzheimer's patient I have heard in Alzheimer's Association workshops. Certainly DH and our friend Jake are different.

A funny. Hubby is social and easily adapted to people coming into the house that are new to him. So pleased. I was on an errand on Wednesday, and when I came home a hospice aide was skillfully giving him a bed bath. Now hubby has a quick wit. Here he is naked with another woman.

Hubby: This is my new girlfriend.

Me (his wife chuckling): Does your wife know about her? 

Hubby: No, I don't think I will tell her. 

The aide was aghast that he said that, but I assured her it was part of his humor that I love and that he wasn't flirting with her and I was not upset he said that. Later he forgot all about this funny incident when I told others.

Wednesday continued to be interesting as I adjusted to suggestions from the nurse. I had to buy a twin bed for me to be put by my husband's hospital bed. Not worried about his walking as he was watching TV in his wheel chair, I went on a second errand to pay for that twin bed I decided upon. Wrong! I should have worried.

When I got home I found Jake, an Alzheimer's patient himself and dear buddy of my husband, sitting watching TV when I entered the family room through the garage. Hubby was not in his wheel chair.  He forgot he doesn't walk well. Ahead of me down the hall was hubby on the floor in the master bedroom. Do not put one Alzheimer's patient in charge of another one without someone else being there!  I found two strong neighbors (men who are relatives of Kenny who is out of town) to lift up hubby.

Do you have people in your life who do not text now and you so wish they would? Probably they know something the rest of us don't know because they have a simpler life. When Sally returned to pick up her husband, I teased her about her lack of texting skills. We always go round and round about this issue. I would dearly love for her to author here as well. However, her granddaughter is scheduled to review a teen novel that features a grandfather with Alzheimer's.

Me: I so want to be able to text you, Sally. 

Sally (repeating what she had said other days): I know, I know, I need to learn to text. 

Stay tuned, folks, there might be a whole hilarious blog post on our texting each other about our husbands--neither one would ever get into texting.

Wednesday proved that no longer can hubby be alone. I do not know that he would call someone if he fell. Jake, on the other hand still uses a cell phone and Sally is glad because he can be the wandering sort. She can call him. AD patients keep teaching us about their disease.

With Jake picked up by Sally and hubby not injured from his fall, I settled in to fix our dinner. Hubby had to poop and so I wheeled him to the master bath which has more grab bars than the other bathroom. Dinner would have to be warmed up later and he would stay in the bathroom a long time.

Got a call from our pastor. He and his wife were coming over. Cool! Soon I was talking with them in our family room about the stress of the past few days. Hubby was still on the master bath toilet. The pastor's wife was sitting on the part of a couch that looks down that hall to the master bedroom with an open door.

She saw more than our
dog, I'm afraid! 
Suddenly there was a streaker! Hubby streaked to the bed within eyesight of my pastor's wife!  I haven't discussed this with her, but she reads this blog and might clarify if she did in fact see a streaker! Horrors!

Can you imagine your pastor's wife 
seeing your half-naked hubby
 down the hall streaking!

And that dinner! I fed it to him when he was in bed after company left. I am starting to realize I need to catch him at the best times for his nutrition.

I am glad that he is walking more, but he forgets he has fallen in recent days and really should not get up from the wheel chair. It has become evident that someone needs to be with him to be his memory and to help him not fall. He needs a sitter if I am not there. My working days are over unless I get a sitter. Kenny cannot do this all the time.

Teen Alzheimer's sitter. Late Thursday afternoon I commandeered two teens in the neighborhood that know us (I have substituted for them also) and fed them and hubby ice cream when I went out on an errand. Sure enough hubby got up to walk to the bedroom! The reliable teens were by his side. In the bedroom he forgot why he was there and they brought him back to the family room.

Apparently that chiropractic visit on May 7th before Hospice was starting to work now--hubby is walking. What Dr. Robyn has done for hubby dramatically helped him last year as I recorded HERE  Her strategy has been to stimulate the nervous system and the muscles and organs to function. So just maybe, when Kenny gets back in town, we may be able to take hubby to church and back to see Dr. Robyn who has helped his functionality since last fall. Note that because of his level of activity and Alzheimer's, the decision was made last July to treat the arthritic bone problems with pain relievers and to give him physical therapy at home. Surgery for a torn ligament is not always recommended and it wasn't for sure that he had a serious torn ligament according to that MRI. But the knee is arthritic and he does take pain medicine for it.  See HERE. Also, see this USA TODAY STUDY. Alzheimer's can indeed impact the walk of our loved ones.

I get to stay home more. I love our home, and it will be interesting to see how the LORD is providing for our finances with my not working. I love that hubby is not in a nursing home now and I would hope he doesn't have to go to one because of the help of Hospice. More on that later.

Putting a smile on the faces of others. I rap for others. I say I'm almost 70 and would you like to hear a rap? Hospice staff love it--our main nurse looked up my rapping channel on YouTube. Young clerks and bag boys who serve me at a grocery store love it; if they ask can I carry out the groceries for you I say only if I can rap for you. Those teen babysitters love my raps. It's kind of a diversion for me. I am also starting a twice-a-month Bible study for several women--something I wouldn't be able to do if I continued to work so much. And, I do hope I put a smile on your face when you read this.

from Dr. Isaac Eliaz
A merry heart makes 
a cheerful countenance,
But by sorrow of the heart 
the spirit is broken. 
Proverbs 15: 13


  1. Happy blog! I enjoyed it! I just started texting this year. I have an OLD phone and so it takes longer than the newer phones.My granddaughter tells me I need to upgrade. I tell her 'not until this phone dies' because it works perfectly fine. :-) God has given His grace and you have found joy! Praise God!

    1. You text! Girlfriend I love you for texting!

  2. This was such a great post to read, Carol! I read in it hope and acceptance of where you are at right now, and I know God will supply all your needs, not sure how he'll do it, but I know he will. It is neat too that you are seeing what things you can do now that you might not be working outside the house and your involvement with Bible studies, which will help you get the interaction you'll need. Wonderful idea to have the teens keep an eye on your husband while you ran errands. Good experience for them to see the other side of life, maybe having baby sat children, but now companion sitting with your husband. Seems like t hings are falling into place and hospice is helping positively.


    1. Betty, you help me have interaction at home with your careful comments on my blogs. Loved your A-Z posts recently. Sure hope to meet you one day! I bet our dogs would even get along.

  3. Excellent read. I dare say my mom in law has progressed in her condition. Not walking for a week now at all.

    1. This is what happens to Alzheimer's patients as parts of their brain shuts down--they can't walk. I am dumbfounded that my husband's walking picked up again. Perhaps it was all those prayers and Dr. Robyn's skill. Perhaps it was those five days a week bed baths.

      Davina, do you text? We can become the fellowship of the texting caregivers, niece! Pray that Sally gets on board with texting. Hubby and Jake are so funny together. I can text you some funnies.

  4. Carol, you have so much fortitude. I love your energy to serve the Lord by caring for your husband, as well as your excitement to study his Word for others, still practice hospitality (even if there may be a little streaking involved), and be a 70-year-old rapper. You amaze me, but I do know that you are comfortable in your suffering as you rely on the Lord's strength in all things. I do pray that God will now bless this time home for you and your husband!

    1. Not quite 70 yet, Aimee. Next month. Let me clarify that!

      When I was a 50 year old widow, the man I was dating but thankfully broke up with didn't get it. When I was 60 and married to DH, I wanted to celebrate by going to a Plant City Tea Room with the ladies at the church and they didn't get it.

      But 70! What will happen? Probably I will just blog philosophically about it. However, I am teaching JP at church to play "Happy Birthday" on the piano so I won't have to play it.

      I surely do appreciate your affirmation and prayers, Housewife Theologian and Internet friend!

  5. Carol, One thing you said that really struck me is where you mention when you've seen one Alzheimer's patient, you've seen one Alzheimer's patient. It's so true. Each person is different, and as you know each day is different. Your sense of humor will carry you far. I have so many good memories from my interactions with my mother-in-law. It was a precious,but it was hard. Praying for you, Carol. I know how hard it is.

    1. And Mindy you sure understand because of your mother-in-law. Thanks for visiting this blog again. Having a blog is a great way to cope and having wonderful Internet friends like you makes it even better.

  6. Dear Carol, thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I just wanted to let you know that we do still pray for you. And this post made me laugh. Your DH does indeed have a gift for making people laugh, among everything else. :-)

    1. I appreciate his humor so much and also glad you enjoyed it. Remember, shhh--he doesn't know about this blog!!!

      I hope to keep loving my husband in sickness and health until death us do part when the mortal will put on immortality. Marriage becomes richer as the trials increase. I know that he would be there for me if the circumstances were reversed.

      Miss you and also praying for you and yours.

  7. We have to find what little humor there is left to be had, you are in my prayers.

    1. Rena,
      Did you catch that last graphic? I just came back from neighbors and I was asked to rap. I did, of course. I think that doing the unusual for others at my age helps them and helps me. Above all do not want to feel sorry for myself, because my LORD is seeing me through each day. Now granted, some days are more tough than others. Then again, some days are more humorous than others. Click on the label "humor" at the right and see there is a lot of humor left to be had.
      Hugs and prayers for you with your multiple load,

  8. For the spell casters who want to get a comment through here:

    This blog is monitored and you have not carefully read what is above. I did not put up your comment because of that, but am praying that you read in the Bible what is said about divinations, etc., and that you read Scripture and find salvation through Jesus Christ to help with the problems you are having.


  9. I love that you rap! I love that you can keep laughing! I love you! One of my favorite quotes comes from Kurt Vonnegut: "Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."

    1. Yep I rapped for an old guy who carried out groceries this morning while my husband's "girlfriend" was taking care of him at the house. Actually he doesn't always remember her, so it can't be too serious of an infatuation!

      Love that quote, Marianne, and yes laughter gives us positive hormones.