Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

Its been three days since my husband of 31 years moved into Memory Care and out of our home.  It appears we are both adjusting well.

I have spent some time around the house eliminating things that we don't need with Gary living elsewhere.  I learned to disassemble raised toilets with handle bars.  We are learning that we don't have to lock certain doors anymore.  WHen one has been sitting on raised toilet seat for months and then the toilet seat is lowered, it is important to adjust the trajectory of sitting can be quite a fall.

I have visited Gary for brief periods everyday and getting accustomed to him being "in a different place".  By that, I mean several things.  The Hospice doctor (with my consultation) had taken Gary off some of the medications and nutritionals he was taking. The doctor studied Pharmacology at UC Santa Cruz and has an extensive background with naturals.  I don't know whether Gary's slight change in behavior is environmental or medication related.  His former leg motions have increased significantly and now moved to his arms.  Its as if he is drumming most of the time.  We sat next to Elsa today at lunch and while I fed Gary, I noticed that she noticed his constant movement.  I asked if Gary's moving was bothering her and she replied, "No, he just has a lot of energy.  Its good for him to get it out!"  Sitting at the table with six Dementia patients puts the world into perspective.

The other difference in Gary is there is so much input in the room that it takes him a few minutes to zoom in on me being there.  He still repeats what he hears and I have to filter his repetition of phrases with answers to questions I may ask.  It challenges every bit of patience I have.  However, when I am there it is my goal to "BE HERE NOW" and give him 100% attention.

I stroke him, rub his arms and hands and make sure he feels love.  He tells me that he loves me, unprompted, and still smiles when I ask for a picture.  

He is well dressed, has no odor and seems to be happy.  He starts with music therapy this week so I took his bongo drums for him to play during the session.  Apparently they go in a private room for that.  Thank Heaven the other residents will not have to hear it!

In the main room where he spends most of the day, they have a cd player and a television.  I glanced at their collection and felt sorry for Gary.  No Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead or anything close to rock. On my way out the house this morning, I grabbed some Elvis and Fleetwood Mac to add to their collection.  The workers loved it and immediately put on Fleetwood Mac for lunch.  Many in the room were signing or tapping their feet while they had lunch and afterward.  I also donated some old Johnny Carson dvds for when they get sick of watching "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang".

When it was time for bowling, I told Gary I was leaving.  All the ladies in the room waived Goodbye.   I talk to them and try to be sweet so I think they all like me.  My community influence just increased!  Who would have thought that my next assignment in life is to be sweet to a bunch of old people in Memory Care.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.

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