I write blogs that I don’t post.
Sometimes I tell a story, and then when I re-read it, I think that it may not paint an accurate picture. I don’t want to sound too negative or too optimistic.
But as I write this, there is a noticeable decline.
I looked up a website this past week to re-read (for how many times?) the stages of Alzheimer’s. There are usually seven listed. (See resources in the right hand column) That blade that cuts through you when something true hits your conscience hit me again. I recognized so many of the symptoms. We are still in the fourth stage, I believe. Or perhaps, I hope.
I’ve learned through this experience that Alzheimer’s destroys in much the reverse order that a person develops. Slowly the adult becomes a child. Step by step: not only memory but judgment, reasoning, and learning ability reverse their course. It takes away self-confidence, decisiveness, and the speed with which the person can think things through or do them. Multi-step tasks become more and more difficult, and then slow motion steps in.
I watched this yesterday when we went to Home Depot to buy a cordless edger. I made the choice with Bo’s encouragement and began walking purposefully toward the check-out. I looked back to see Bo moving slowly, the long box propped on his right foot. He was walking step-by-step keeping the box there. It was like a distracted child. Never ever would he have done this before.
Almost every day he asks me if he should mow the grass. He tells me it’s my decision, but if I don’t say yes, he asks again. So now I’m trying to decide what to do. If I make a calendar and say we only mow on Thursdays, he won’t pay any attention to the calendar. Sometimes I think it might be best to let him mow whenever he gets the idea.
In a way, the yard is a wonderful thing because it gives him something to do and gets him in the fresh air. He spends time in the yard every day collecting leaves, cleaning, whatever he sees that needs done.
But at the same time, he’s always tired. Exhausted, actually. Doing any one task wears him out and he needs to take a nap. He’s sleeping longer at nights now, some times as many as 13 hours.