I hear my voice saying calmly, it is alright, we will blame it on the dementia. You didn’t mean to, it is not your fault, but on the inside I am yelling at this PD. Two good days in a row, hardly any tremors, and this is including the day today.
The therapist comes and gives Al exercises to be able to strengthen his arms, so the goal of lifting the full glass up to his lips, instead of lowering his head to the glass, might be accomplished. While the therapist was here, she was telling me that Al is improving, that he has made progress in this one week they have been here.
Inside of me, I am saying show me where? Show me where the tremors are laid back for days. Show me where he did quit soaking the bed? Tell me that now I will not have to cut food up nor feed him. Tell me he can walk better than yesterday.
As the therapist was using plastic, empty cones, laying them on the floor and asking Al to pick them up, which he did, she looks at me with a big smile, and says see? he can do it. I said, yes, he can, the glass is empty. She looked at me and said nothing.
The therapist also said that he had a low-grade fever, and I have heard Al complain the past two days of having a dry mouth, even though he is a huge drinker of water. I told the nurse who came this afternoon what the therapist had said, so she listened to his lungs and took his temperature. Now the lungs are clear, and the temperature is only 97. I see nothing wrong, she says. I mentioned that all morning Al’s voice was raspy and I could hear something rattling when he talked. She advised me to keep an eye on it, but she thought nothing was wrong.
My coffee pot went on the blink this morning right after making me my coffee, so I have to consider this an emergency, and with the therapist suggesting to buy Al a two-handled cup, I said we will get it today, because I must have my coffee.
We go to Wal-Mart and I buy us some lunch at the inside restaurant, Sub-Way, then after done, we go to the grocery aisles and get him some orange juice for breakfast, since he was out. Next, we went to the small appliance department and I saw the coffee maker that I had at home, but guess what, the only coffee makers they had on the shelves were the expensive ones. I glanced around to see if there were any employees around, and as usual, there was not.
I asked Al if he would like to go over to the toy aisle and pick out a cheap car, that cheap is what he could afford this week after buying an expensive car last week. I asked him if he remembered how to get to that department, and he nodded yes to both questions.
He left on his scooter and I grabbed the first employee walking by, and I guess I was not very nice, because I asked her why is it every time I come here to get something much-needed, all the shelves are empty except the expensive ones. I reminded her that with the economy being so bad, they needed to keep the shelves stocked with the common priced ones. She didn’t deserve it, and why I acted that way, I am not sure, but she did go back to the back and look but came out empty-handed.
I did not want to tackle getting Al in and out of the car more than I had to, so I picked out one of the brands I like that was common priced, but it had no timer on it, so now I have to start it in the morning instead of waking up to heavenly coffee. Oh well, it won’t kill me, but it was a nice luxury for me.
I then went over to where Al was and he had a pile of cheap cars in his cart. I think my eyes bugged out, there were so many. I explained that we could not have more than one today, and he said he didn’t know that, that he had heard me say cheap, which each one was $3.59, not bad price, but over $.99, but when you add up several, it cost a lot! He started crying saying he had messed up again,and that his brain is so confused. I told him to pick out the coolest one of all, and he could have that one, but needed to put the rest back, which he did, with no fuss. He kept telling me he just didn’t understand, and I believe him, other wise he would have been throwing a fit to keep all of them, but he did not do that.
So tonight during supper, we were both eating and he tells me the bucket is missing. I ask him what bucket and he says the grey bucket. My mind is going to the movie I just watched yesterday, the Bucket List, and he says it is missing. I question him some more, and then I got it. He was saying to me that the bucket for the commode was missing.
All of a sudden I put my fork down, as I was no longer hungry, because my mind was picturing the mess I was in for when I went in to his bedroom. I went in there and saw no urine on the floor and sighed a sigh of relief. I lifted up the lid, and the lid was on the bucket, but the lid was full of pee. He had peed on the lid thinking it was the bucket.
When he finished his last bite, I told him the bucket was there, and he argued no it was not, and so I took him in and showed him the urine on the lid, and he said that I had placed the bucket back for him,and asked who’s pee was that. I told him that the lid was on top of the bucket and he had accidentally peed on the lid instead of taking the lid off peeing in the bucket. He cried again, and asked me what is wrong with his brain, that it is all messed up. I told him not to worry, that it was an accident, and I would clean it up. He walked out of his room crying and asking himself why he can’t remember things and why he screws up all the time, and then he looked back at me with big tears, and said, I really try Terry, I really do try.
I started crying immediately. My heart was breaking. I felt his pain and embarrassment. On one hand you have therapists and nurses saying he is improving, but in other areas they are deteriorating. Dementia is moving in faster and faster, he could pick up an empty, plastic cone with the therapist, but at supper he could not pick up a plastic half-filled glass. He cries wanting to know why he is messed up, and he didn’t realize prices at the stores.
I don’t know how to feel anymore, I feel confused. I tell myself to get hard-hearted, but I struggle with that. Nurses and doctors say he is in the beginning stages of five, the final stage. The nurse tells me today, to expect things to move quicker now, and that tremors can almost disappear in the fifth stage. All I know is Al is sick, and his body is changing and so is his mind, and as bad as I want to believe that he is improving, I only see him getting worse, when you look at the whole picture.
- Find your perfect coffee maker (johnlewis.com)
- Coffee Keeps the House Clean (emahadeo.wordpress.com)
- Bucket List (cliviavogel.wordpress.com)