Saturday, November 26, 2016

High Activity in Memory Care

After a week back on his seizure medication, Gary has had visible improvement in cognition and responsiveness.  I know not to get my hope up for any long term improvement. It hurts too bad to get disappointed.

Last night, I saw Gary for dinner and he was chatty in complete sentences .....they didn't make sense for the context of the conversation or what was going on the room....but complete sentences none-the-less.  He held my hand and would not let go.  If I tried to get up to get more water or talk to another resident, he held on.  It was a cross between sweet and scary.  I could not tell what he was feeling.

Today, I went to visit about 10:30 am with the plan of staying through 12:45 and then meeting a friend at the grocery store.  He was sitting in his chair sound asleep.  I said hello and he raised his head.  He was in such a stupor that his eyes rolled around and he went back to sleep.  I took his hand and held it.  He grasped my hand and went back to sleep.

I sat there for almost an hour.  The room was busy with activity.  Nancy, who is non-verbal and confined to a wheelchair was quite lively today.  She recognizes me now and smiles when I smile at her.  I talked to her for a while and she laughed. 

Then, Margee, who is normally quiet and holds her hand over her mouth, was sitting with both hands on the table.  She watched Annie the dog lick my toe.  Margee laughed out loud and said, "That dog licked your foot!  How funny!" Her eyes were bright.  Throughout the time I was sitting with Gary, both Nancy and Margee had unusual cognition of what was going on in the room.

The kitchen staff delivered the food and left the door open for too long causing an alarm to sound.  One of the funniest residents, Norbert, said, "Hey, one got away!"  All the angels laughed! Debbie was helping with cookie baking. I wish their families were here to see it!

It made me stop and think that perhaps there are times when Gary has moments of clarity and I am not there.  Do their families think of me?  Since I'm not here all the time, perhaps the families are there more than I realize and I should not feel so sorry for them. 

I chatted with Juan, one of the caregiver/angels.  He indicated that Gary has been very cooperative getting in and out of bed and sat down by himself on the shower chair.  He certainly noticed the improvement.

The morning moved on and it was time for lunch. I awakened Gary from his deep sleep.  He perked up and had cheese pizza and four glasses of water.  I had to leave him.  I am not sure of his level of activity today.  I do know that he knew it was me holding his hand.  I treasure every moment of love I can get.

Tomorrow is a new day.  His disease is still terminal and we have no way of knowing how he will be from day to day.  I don't mean to sound morbid.  I seem to stumble through most days feeling empty.  My purpose has changed....or has it.  I am still Gary's wife and I still take care of him. The only thing is, there is no reciprocation.  I miss our lives together. 

Juan asked what Gary and I normally did on Holidays.  I told him of times we rented a cabin in Yosemite and skied and ice skated under Half Dome.  There was a time when we went to Monterrey and sat on the beach on Christmas eve under a full moon and the sand looked like snow.  Oh yes, and the trips to Napa to eat at the Napa Valley Grille and drink Opus One. So many good times.  What will holidays bring in the future?

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