I haven’t written a blog in so long. A lot has happened in that time, and I just had writer’s block. Or maybe it was simply no motivation. A dear friend died of cancer, my mother was very ill, another friend had serious surgery, Bo continued to decline … A bad spring.
But summer’s here and Emma has blossomed. All of the flowers are planted, the sun shines and the Jersey mosquitoes are flying. And so ….. our story continues:
Bo’s GPS has failed.
You always hear about Alzheimer’s patients getting lost, wandering away from home. I now see why this happens. Their sense of location and direction simply disappears. This has been happening with increasing frequency for months. He has only lost his way that one time around Christmas when he was on the next block with the dog, but he generally doesn’t know where he is.
When I’m driving him somewhere, he often says, “Never been here before,” and it will be someplace that we’ve frequented. It may be on the main street of our town or just two blocks from our house.
Frequently he gets up from a nap and asks me when we’re going to go home. Today, for example, he asked me if we’re leaving in the morning. This time instead of trying to explain, I just said, “Probably. I’m not sure yet.” Then he asked when we came here and where we were before.
He’s returned to his old love of ice cream. Now it’s a constant …. All day, he forages in the freezer for some, then sometimes returns the box to melt in the refrigerator. I’m ashamed to admit it, but his habit of eating the ice cream with his hands absolutely makes me crazy and I’m not able to keep cool about it. I can’t get him to understand that no one else wants to eat ice cream from a box where someone was scraping around with his hands. There are always 6 half gallons (different flavors) in the freezer and he opens them all.
It’s the little things. The day-to-day, minute-to-minute things that are really causing me stress. The stress is impatience with myself. Why can’t I let everything go …. Just accept everything?
I reached into the refrigerator tonight for the barbecued chicken for dinner. It wasn’t there. Instead, there was just one leg left in the container. Where was the rest? In Emma’s stomach, I’m afraid – bones and all.
I ask him to get a container of sour cream from the refrigerator in the cellar. He comes back up and tells me there isn’t any. But I know there are 3 containers. I go down and find that he was looking in the cabinet instead.
We go to the car to take Emma for a ride. I start the engine and he says, “I need my …..” Opening and shutting his hands he signals that he needs gloves. So I turn off the engine, unlock the front door and get his gloves.
He wants to help me. So I ask him to do a chore. He immediately forgets, and I do it later. I ask him to wash the storm door glass. I get the paper towels and windex. He washes the window, and I find the towels and windex in the magazine basket.
I find five kitchen towels lined up in our bathroom. The trash is in the wrong recycle containers. The dog leash is in the kitchen cabinet.
I should have never bought him that pair of pajamas. It was actually his first pair – ever – but now he wants to wear them during the day, inside and outside.
If I’m not here, he doesn’t know to put milk on his Cheerios and eats them dry.
It’s sad and it’s cruel. He’s becoming a man-child before my eyes, forgetting where he is or how he got here. Sometimes he doesn’t know who I am. He can’t follow the plot of a simple story; often loses words or substitutes others. Today, for example, we were driving down a street where there were small houses and he said, “These sure are small rails.”