Wednesday, January 12, 2022 — Yesterday was a very good day. I spoke with both of our sons, with my sister who is now home after being hospitalized with COVID, and with a local friend who’s undergoing cancer treatment. AND, I received an e-mail regarding Space #26 in Mountain Aire Estates which is the home we’ve been waiting on for the past year. AND, I joined a charitable quilting group that makes comfort quilts for kids.
For those who haven’t been following this blog, my husband has Alzheimer’s. This disease has many different symptoms, and sometimes you don’t realize their behavior is actually a part of the disease. I just read an article that stated that Alzheimer’s patients aren’t able to track time. This was a lightbulb moment for me as a daily occurrence for me is to help my husband find a particular game on t.v. I spend several minutes trying to figure out what channel it should be on and when I find the channel, a different game comes up instead of the one we want. I don’t understand this, because we’re paying for every sport channel available. Then, I look at the listing in the newspaper to check the time that the game is supposed to be televised. I compare that time with the clock–only to realize that the game isn’t on yet. It’s too early. This happens almost every day. My husband apologizes and I tell him it’s o.k. But then he says, “It’s NOT o.k.!” And I know what he means, but I can’t do anything about it. The other day, he’d started looking for a game and it was too early, but once I found the channel, I set the timer on the oven so that I could come back in and get the game turned on and running for him. It worked and I felt really good about making things easier for him.
If I hadn’t read that article, I wouldn’t have connected the tracking of time with the instances where Robert was unaware of the actual time. Another thing about tracking time is tracking the days. Robert goes out to the driveway first thing each morning and picks up the morning paper. He looks around and sees what’s going on in the neighborhood. If he sees trash cans out, he knows it’s Tuesday and he has to get our trash can out to the curb. When he comes back in, I will have laid out his pills for that morning because his dementia has progressed to the point where he was taking the PM pills in the morning or missing the morning pills completely. When we had a holiday weekend a couple of weeks ago, he got the days confused and this continued for 4 days. Every day he would state that the day was a different day from the actual day. Eventually, he got re-oriented, but it was a bit scary when it continued day after day. He’s developed little tricks to help him realize which day of the week it is, if not the number.
One day at a time, and even one moment at a time if need be. Do take care of yourself, be safe, and remember to tell those you love that you love them.