The Moderate Stage

I walked out the front door and found Bo trying to get into our locked car in the driveway.  The sad thing is that he had two handfuls of sticks and was looking for a place to put them.  When I asked what he was doing,  he said,  “Well they have to go some place. ”

This illustrates so much of his condition now.

I was reading about the stages recently,  and here is what was on the Mayo Clinic website: “People with moderate Alzheimer’s may: 

           ✔ Show increasingly poor judgment and deepening confusion. Individuals lose track of where they are, the day of the week or the season. They often lose the ability to recognize their own belongings and may inadvertently take things that don’t belong to them. 
They may confuse family members or close friends with one another, or mistake strangers for family.

            Experience even greater memory loss. People may forget details of their personal history, such as their address or phone number, or where they attended school. They repeat favorite stories or make up stories to fill gaps in memory.

            Need help with some daily activities. Assistance may be required with choosing proper clothing for the occasion or the weather and with bathing, grooming, using the bathroom and other self-care.

            Undergo significant changes in personality and behavior. It’s not unusual for people with moderate Alzheimer’s to develop unfounded suspicions — for example, to become convinced that friends, family or professional caregivers are stealing from them, or that a spouse is having an affair. Others may see or hear things that aren’t really there. Individuals often grow restless or agitated, especially late in the day.”

I have seen signs of all four of these areas of decline.  The incidences of poor judgment began almost from the first and continue to increase. They are manifested in so many ways – so often I want to say, “Just think about that.  Would that make sense?”  when he has said or done some illogical thing..  I tell him what jacket to put on and make sure he has hat and gloves when needed.

He’s starting to mix up his past with the present.  Yesterday he was concerned that he was to meet “Michael” who he said is from New York but originally from Spain.  We know no such paerson but he may have as a child.  Today I found an old note — perhaps 10 years old – on his bureau with the name of Michael, a friend we had on our boat. He wasn’t from Spain.  Maybe this is the mixed up thought.

I’m very relieved that there has been no real personality change other than his passivity.  I do everything and it is fine with him.  He is always kind, calm and gentle, and his sense of humor remains.

I  try to make sense of the events in his brain  As they erase,  do they first come to the surface and mix with the present?  Or with some other time?  Is there some new path that they take?   How can one day be clear and the next mixed up?  How can he forget where he is in the morning and know clearly at night?

These are the Alzheimer’s mysteries.

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3 Responses to The Moderate Stage

  1. Barney Hungerford says:

    Nancy, is there anything I can do to help you? I fell on ice 4 weeks ago but I’m now mobile so let me know. I called your home number and it was to old and someone else had your number.

  2. thom sweeney says:

    As usual Nancy, your writing has t touched my heart. Unfortunately I too am familiar with so many of the things you mention. There are so many similarities. As we get ever deeper into this, I pray for strength for both of us. thom

  3. Mimi says:

    Thank you for sharing this mysterious journey with us.

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