A couple months ago, Wayne was just really happy and funny. If a nurse looked at him, he’d laugh like they had a secret.
This magic carried on for weeks and I dreaded its ending.
One day after lunch, the nurses were happily chatting in the kitchenette. We sat maybe 6′ away.
The nurse group burst out laughing and Wayne looked at me, “Did I miss something???” He was laughing at their laughter and when they heard him, they laughed louder, as did he. It was truly infectious – something I’ll never forget.
(The happiness here is he didn’t/doesn’t make sentences often anymore so it was indeed special.)
There was silence for a few minutes, he had been kind of looking my direction.
“I like your rock.” No emotion, smile, joke – nothing.
Took me a moment to realize he was admiring my wedding set:)
(This from a male resident)
Today the head nurse was showing a gentleman the ward and explaining various things.
I was feeding Wayne his fruit/bran muffin/ plum/peach/ yogurt/applesauce(!) combination.
The fellow looked at me with hollow eyes – probably he hadn’t had a good sleep in years. You will tomorrow night, dear, maybe 13 or 14 hours – and you’ll reach for her to find an empty pillow – your brain reacting with both sadness and relief.
I wanted to tell him how well taken care of she will be – if she is admitted, I’ll hope to get a chance so he can sleep in peace.
There are so many personalities and residents in various stages of Alzheimer’s on Wayne’s ward.
As I was feeding Wayne yesterday I heard, “Why don’t you comb your hair?”
“Why don’t you comb your hair?”
I turned to see Madam “talking” to a very bald man sitting across from her. He didn’t respond and looked right thru her.
It is sadly humorous as he had no hair and hers wasn’t combed!
Please understand I’m not laughing at them but this type conversation gives me a chuckle inside.
I read about an elderly gentleman who couldn’t reach his feet when stretching.
He stacked copy paper and each day removed a few sheets as he slowly worked toward his goal. By losing only a few sheets per day, he didn’t notice the decline.
This is the way our journey thru Alzheimer’s (I hate you Alzheimer’s) has been. Wayne has declined so markedly over the past year but I really just didn’t notice the insidious affects of the disease.
For instance, one day I realized as I was feeding him, “Hey, when did this happen, I can’t remember!”
When did he no longer recognize a toothbrush? Have been brushing his teeth for so long that his doing it is a faint memory.
When did he no longer speak in sentences? He does manage the odd phrase but no longer sentences.
When did his eyes fail him to the point he no longer is able to focus on an item? I often take my I Pad loaded with beautiful flower pics and when I hold it for him to see, he looks at the ceiling, right or left but never at the pic.
One decline that has never happened is his gentlemanly behavior and his thank you’s. Our son said it best, “Alzheimer’s may have robbed Dad of his memory but not his personality.” Amen to that, dear man. What a battle you have fought for over 14 years.