Sunday, July 23, 2017
Last Sunday I had a wonderful afternoon when Carlene Ames Bridenthal, one of my wonderful Laurels when I served as Young Women's president, stopped by to visit us. Over the years we have had opportunities to see each other and each time I was so touched to see the woman she has become. She and Randy are now living in Wyoming where they are enjoying their four children and new granddaughter. I have learned so much from Carlene about generosity, respect, kindness, and forgiveness. She is the best and I love that she is my friend!
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
With Alzheimer's the prognosis is 7 to 10 years from the start of the disease. Although Scott wasn't diagnosed until last year I definitely saw the signs of early onset Alzheimer long before we went on our mission. I think we were all surprised by how quickly he went from early onset to moderate stage Alzheimer's. That was because I was hoping his issues were something other than what is actually turned out to be. With mom's dementia she slowly shut down (much like depression) and then she slowly let her mind go back in time to when she was younger. Everything was from when she was much younger. Scott cannot go back in time. We can drive by our old house, a school he worked at, city hall and they would mean nothing to him. My mom lived in her past and for Scott there has become no past. He thrives on order where my mom was very comfortable going with the flow. She had a healthy appetite much of the time but one day said she didn't want to eat and didn't from February until she passed away in June. Scott doesn't refuse to eat but he is continually eating less and less. My mom loved food (especially Mexican food!) but Scott eats to survive. If I didn't make sure he ate I don't think he would eat much at all. Anything hot or spicy gets him really upset and once the food is sat in front of him he eats like a squirrel stuffing his cheeks. He finished many times before I even sit down to eat with him.
Mom slowly went to a safe place where she felt contentment. Scott has no contentment. He has no connection to anyone or anything. I think I would describe what happens to him is like looking in the old kaleidoscope. Remember how you would twist the end and the beautiful design would change. For him as you twist, the picture slowly disappears as the circle gets smaller and smaller until there is just a dot. Alzheimer's disease will eventually take him away from me and the painful reality is that it is moving very quickly to that end.
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
|Enjoying the pool!|
|Time to finish up!|
Monday, July 10, 2017
I haven't written much about dad's condition but lately I have seen a significant decline and wanted to give you an update on what has been happening. The good news is that he can still tie a tie. That is good because when he can't any more I will have to buy a clip on! Last week when Christian and Amy were here for a visit Christian spoke to him in German and he responded and knew what he said. Those are the highs that I can focus on. Sadly, I have experienced a significant decline in other areas. Twice last week he didn't know who I was until I realized why he was struggling. Once I asked him he admitted that he didn't know my name. I told him I was Elaine his wife and he was so relieved. I know he doesn't know other people but to forget me was a little disheartening! At church he knows four people whenever he sees them. Eddie Freeman who he home taught for many years, Dennis Christoffersen, Kent Christiansen, and Joe Andreasen. He still is good at covering when he doesn't know others and when I tell him who they are he always says, "I know that!" He is sleeping better at night and I found that if I hide his dirty clothes that he wore the previous day he doesn't get dressed when he gets up in the middle of the night. Lately I hear him in the bathroom getting ready to take a shower. He turns on the shower, undresses, then turns off the shower and get redressed back into his pajamas. It is good that he doesn't get in because I am afraid that he may either freeze himself or burn himself depending on how far he turns the knob. He can shower with my help although he hates the water getting on his head but fortunately Andy put in a removable faucet head so I can pretty much get him clean even when he is trying to get away. He does still shave but only once a week. I know he would shave more if I reminded him each morning but I have decided that he looks pretty cool with a little 5 o'clock shadow! I also found that if I brush my teeth when he is brushing his that he does a good job. If I don't he is done in about 2 seconds. He needs my help to get dressed in the morning and undressed in the evening. His appetite was significantly decreased and his list of things that he doesn't like is growing. Pickles! Onions! Potatoes (in any form)! Those are the biggies right now. He often takes one bite of something and says that he is done. Most of the time he eats about half of whatever I give him. I would cut the serving down but when I did that he still ate half so I quit doing that because I would like him to eat at much as is possible. I think if I took him to Jack in the Box each day and got his green burger he would be very happy. He doesn't like change and he doesn't want me out of his site. If I go to the bathroom he stands by the door until I come out. If I go into the kitchen he comes and stands beside me. Several times when I have been at the computer behind where he sits he will think I am gone and walk down the hall looking for me as he mumbles, 'where is she." Again he is relieved when he sees me. There are other things but you probably get the gist of what is happening. His anxiety his very high now and he tells me all the time that things are scaring him. I came back from my walk this morning and the door from the garage was locked. I knocked and he came and opened the door. I joked, "are you trying to lock me out?" He responded no but he had to keep the people out who keep coming in while I am gone. Bless his heart he is struggling and sadly for me I just spend a good part of the day reassuring him that he is okay. Routine means everything and although my friend couldn't walk last Thursday and Friday I left the house for about a half an hour so that he wouldn't be upset that things weren't right. That is all for now. Keep the prayers coming!
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
So excited that cousins got together for Independence Day in Utah. Ellis spent the week at BYU in Provo participating in the SOAR program and so Andy and Angela and Caleb and Ava drove up to pick him up. They stayed with Bill and Cathy and I know Ava and Caleb and Will and Abby had a wonderful time playing together. We didn't make sure our kids got to know their cousins and it is so wonderful for me to know that our children are correcting our error with their children.
Sunday, July 2, 2017
I know every grandparent thinks this but the truth is--I have the smartest grandkids, the most clever grandkids, the sweetest grandkids, and the kindest grandkids, in the WORLD!!!