Roller Coaster – UP

Roller Coaster

Alzheimer’s Roller Coaster

How do I explain this?

In August and September,  Bo took a terrible nose dive.  The kidney stone, fevers, blood clot in his lung, irregular blood pressure dragged him down to the point that he was almost unresponsive — at times he was unresponsive.  He lost weight and became so weak  that some days he couldn’t stand, couldn’t go the 15 feet to the bathroom; he fell, spoke in gibberish, couldn’t hold up his head when he sat or stood.   I learned how to nurse him, filled the house with appropriate supplies,  and Hospice stepped in to help.

Since coming home from the hospital, he was  upstairs where we ate with him, cared for him,  and sat  as he slept. My friend came for dinner one night and we ate upstairs by the bed.

We struggled to give him pills and make sure he was comfortable and clean; we thought he was in his final decline.  Doctors said the blood clot would “snowball,”  his pressure was too high,  all indications were bad.  I began to think all the worst thoughts.

But that was two weeks ago. Since then he has  gradually begun to improve, surprising us day by day as he became more clear, began to joke, wanted to get up, was hungry,  wanted to come downstairs.  He knew me again (most of the time), began his frequent “I have something to do” periods. Now  he is almost back to where he was BEFORE August.

On Saturday I was upstairs talking on the phone and Bo was sleeping on the living room sofa,  or so I thought, when Jon called up to me.

“Nancy,  where’s Boris?”

“On the sofa!”

“No, he’s not.”

In a moment he called back, “He’s out front picking up leaves on the driveway!”

This was  the first time in so long that I don’t remember the last time he did it. In fact,  Jon had said, “Well, at least I won’t have to rake the yard every day with him like last year.”  Looks as if he might have to after all.

The Hospice nurse reminded me that this is often the Alzheimer’s pattern,  a deep fall, then a recovery,  but never back to where you were; there’s always some decline.  This morning he awoke confused, but that’s how it was before August.  He still does some very strange things like put the towel into the toilet or not understand that the food on his plate is indeed his to eat,  but he’s still better.

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12 Responses to Roller Coaster – UP

  1. Mary Smith says:

    Wonderful news about Bo’s recovery from where he was a few weeks ago. Make the most of those good times you can have together – and bank the memories.

  2. Jo Ann Kohler says:

    Cherish the moments…….amazing!

  3. Pat says:

    every moment is a blessing

  4. Paula Kaye says:

    I remember this roller coaster so much. The highs were good and the plunging lows and curves were the worst. We learned to enjoy the highs and be aware that a plunge was always coming. I think of you often as you go through this. {hugs}

  5. Thanks so much, Paula. You’re often on my mind too.

  6. A roller coaster is a perfect description. I wish you many happy days at the top of the roller coaster.

  7. Oh, that is wonderful news!
    You are both in my prayers!
    Have a great thursday!
    A big hug to you both from across the world!
    /anna

  8. Lisa M says:

    I am so happy to hear of Bo’s high moments. Did you see/read “The Fault In Our Stars”? I have a 12-year-old daughter, so I have it memorized! But I am so grateful for that reminder of the “last good day” part…I am trying to embrace and capture each good moment with mom. The end is probably closer than I am ready for, but we are being respectful of it and doing our best to be as present as we can so she knows how much she is loved.

  9. Jean Miller says:

    I’ll keep you in prayer. (as well as Boris) Jean Miller

  10. hospicephysician says:

    One of the best ways to cope with the highs and lows is to know and expect highs and lows. I’m glad to know that you have the support of a hospice team that can support you and Bo. My heart goes out to both of you.

  11. dementedgirl says:

    Glad to hear he’s on the up…

  12. Pauline Koch says:

    I hope that Bo is continuing his ‘up’ period. Hugs to both of you. Pauline

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