Sunday, January 24, 2016

I colored in a coloring book today....for hours.

It has been a normal day.  We awoke early and I decided to fix breakfast.  After waffles and sausage, the coffee tasted good.

Gary took direction well while showering.  All with commands (one at a time), he showered, brushed his teeth, combed his hair, got dressed and got ready to go to the store.  We went to Target with little drama.  We shopped and came home.

I made a delightful chicken salad and we ate.  We took advantage of my new coloring books and colored for a while.  Then Gary took a nap while I watched the playoff game and colored some more.  I colored a lot.  It is good thinking time.  It is good to think.  I made no profound proclamations but feel good. 

A nap sounded good so I joined Gary for a while.  As I "napped" he talked or whispered incessantly.  I am able to tune him out most of the time. How sad that I have to do that but it is a way to stay sane.

He ate dinner and is sitting in the massage chair now.  He has settled in very nicely with the new caregiver.  She is very sweet and capable.  She still has patience. 

So, we will start another week.  Thank you, Lord.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Urine Chronicles - The Prequel

I would like someone to explain something to me. The answer will satisfy my curiosity if it comes from a male or from a female who stands to pee.

Twice now, I have left Gary standing at the toilet preparing to urinate.  Twice, I have left him alone for privacy and walked away.  Twice, he has saturated his pants and socks while standing at the toilet with his penis in his hand.  This last time, he was still standing there saying that he was trying to pee but couldn't.  The only thing I can figure is that he is indeed peeing but not aiming well and missing the toilet and it is just running down his pants.  Thoughts? 

I know that it is weird to inquire but the logic behind how this keeps happening is driving me nuts.  The "adult underwear" is not working because he doesn't often lose control.....but when he does, we will be ready!!! This is more of a Gary-is-not-aware-of-his-pointer or the-stream-is-not-fully-flowing issue.  Any advice would be considered and appreciated.

I am keenly aware that a solution is to go with him every time and supervise...can't do as I am not here all the time and the poor caregivers may not want to do that.  He has the mind control, for the most part, to not go in a diaper.....we are in between urine problems.  So, I have named this blog "The Urine Chronicles" with the hope that there is no sequel.

We start with a new caregiver on Monday.  I'm sure there will be a story or two in our future.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Caught in Hurricane Ada

I had a dream last night.  In the dream, Gary and I were on a sailboat somewhere on the ocean.  The conditions were similar to a time when we were on a sailboat in the West Indies in the middle of the night, riding out a squall with 40 knot winds (this really happened to us).  The boat was rocking and surfing the waves while the fear of not being in control was very real. Panic had set in despite the fact that the crew and captain were well in control.

When in a storm on a boat, if waves and winds get unsafe, the first step is to put out a storm sail.  That is a smaller than normal sail that gives you more control of the boat.  If things get really bad, you can perform a maneuver called a "heave to" which stops the forward movement of the boat and gives you a few moments to breathe while you rest or possibly check the conditions of the boat. 

In my dream, we had done all those things.  I kept hearing water running and slightly awoke to realize that I was not in storm conditions and the sound I hear was Gary peeing. Since his Dementia diagnosis, I normally awaken when he leaves the bed at night.  This time, I guess due to the "storm" I had missed him leaving the bed/boat.  He was standing in the bathroom adjacent to our bedroom peeing on the floor, trashcan and decorator baskets.  I screamed at him as if he were about to go overboard.  (Had we been on a real boat, he might have been in danger of being pushed :)) He was five feet from the toilet and was in a dazed state - or asleep.

At 1:30 am, the rest of the story included clean up, questioning and a tremendous amount of meditation to try and counter the adrenalin/fury.

Back to bed.  He remembers none of it. I remember every detail.  Yuk!

So, there is fatigue on the horizon of today.  I started thinking of the comparison of my current life as it relates to the storm analogy in my dream.  If I can remember my sailing experiences and make sure I just always assume bad weather and sail nothing except a storm sail, maybe I can remain in better control.  If I can remember when tired to "heave to" and stop the chaos, I can think and rest a moment.  I still do not have clarity on how to stop the waves and wind of dementia but if I keep these tricks in mind, I may not join him in the insanity. 

Another trick might be to pretend that I am in the eye of a hurricane.  Winds are raging all around and there are unsafe and confusing particles flying everywhere....but for the moment, I am safe in the eye.  Now, if I can just stay here.....I used to joke about being called Hurricane Ada.  This is NOT what I had in mind.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

* Edited: There is no sobbing tonight. I am numb.

**This blog has been edited as the original was misleading.  I realized that in it, I hurt my daughter Heather's feelings in that it appears I was furious because they keep their door locked.  Quite the contrary.  I am in complete agreement that they keep their doors locked as Gary has been found sleeping in their beds and being there when he shouldn't be.  I was furious with the world and with Gary, not Heather and Xander.  In fact, had the door not been locked, he most likely would have peed in their room as opposed to the hallway.  So, I'm glad she let me know she was hurt....I had another good cry because of it. I love you, Heather.

Today started normally.  Gary and I got were awakened by Xander, our 4 year old grandson squealing about something he considered delightful.  I got up and went to the kitchen to make coffee and breakfast since we can no longer go to church. 

My thoughts were on taking down the Christmas tree and doing some tax preparation. After I finished breakfast, I left Gary at the table while I went upstairs to go to the bathroom.  I was gone about five minutes.  As I walked out into our upstairs hallway, I witnessed Gary standing in the hallway next to a locked bathroom peeing. 

After inquisition, screaming and lots of anger, it was determined that he had to go badly and rather than ask where the bathroom was, he attempted to follow me.  Since Heather and Xander keep their doors locked, he stopped to try those (as he does frequently) before losing all hope.  I was furious.  Knowing that I had a problem, I moved him into the shower and began the clean up process.

I grabbed the carpet shampooer and started the clean up.  In the middle of sucking the now clean water out of the carpet, the shampooer stopped working.  It has been used since Diva was a puppy, so I guess it was to be expected.

I rushed Gary through a shower and did some quick research on a good buy on machines. Once dressed, we took off for Costco.  Gary seemed VERY unclear all day.  As we arrived at Costco, he was moving at a snails pace.  He said he was not in pain, but just moving s-l-o-w-l-y. 

To save time, I asked the door attendant where the carpet machines for sale are kept.  She directed me to the right aisle and amid hundreds of crazy shoppers, I found them.  They were on a shelf and very heavy.  At this point, I was very overwhelmed by Gary, the reality of the situation and the crowds.  I said to him 3 times, "Gary, please help me get this box down."  I guess on the third time I was very forceful and loud.  A couple standing nearby assessed the situation and by the look on the man's face, he knew Gary was not responding and jumped in to assist.  The man told me to stand back while he moved the box and his wife held the buggy still.  I started crying. 

My emotions zoomed from thankful to embarrassed to dependent to pissed off.  I thanked them for their help and they said, "Have a happy New Year!".  God's servants are everywhere.

I did all I could to not lose it in the store.  I choked back the tears.  There was so much traffic in the store and in the parking lot, that I made Gary walk behind me and hang on to my jacket so I would know he was there.  Once we reached the outer parking lot, I put the box in the car, took back the buggy and joined Gary in the car.  I sobbed.  He just sat there.  Finally, he looked at me and asked why I was so upset.  I told him all the reasons.....

We got home and I assembled the machine and shampooed the hallway and our bedroom.  Well, why I was at it, I also did part of the stairs.  The machine has some very cool attachments. Halfway down, I would have had to move to a downstairs electric outlet and realized I was tired.  I've been fighting a head cold and headache for days and determined that I was overdoing.  So, I put the new machine away.  I put the old machine least until I can put it out for garbage. 

Oh yes.  The Christmas tree also came down and was stored. 

After fixing Tamales for dinner, I sat down to write this blog.  Prior to that, I walked Gary to the bathroom and saw him in front of the toilet.  As per usual, I said, "Close the door, put up the toilet seat and then flush."  I closed the door behind him and walked away.  A few minutes later, he walked out and went to the coat rack to put on his jacket.

I asked where he was going and he replied, "Nowhere."  I asked why he was putting on a jacket and he replied, "Because I peed all over myself." 

I looked up and sure enough, despite standing in front of the toilet, he didn't make it.  What was he doing all that time?  He has no recollection.

So, we have finished the second shower of the day and the second urine related load of laundry.  The expletives were flying.

I knew I would know the right time to start using diapers.  They have been preventative until now.  Today, they are going to be part of life.

I don't know how long I can do this.  There is no sobbing tonight as I am numb.