Saturday, March 25, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

I Smiled Today

My last two posts have been pretty down and this morning I knelt in prayer and asked for the help I needed to see the good and feel capable of doing the work that is needed now to take care of Scott.  I almost daily pray that I can be kind and with Scott that is something that in the evening I can express gratitude because I did accomplish much to make Scott happy and comfortable.  This afternoon I was at the stove making spaghetti sauce for our dinner and all of the sudden I had this incredible feeling of joy--so much so that it made me smile.  I realized that I love taking care of my sweet husband and that even with the challenges I am never alone in accomplishing this task I have been given.  I know that in a minute I can pick up the phone and call any of my children or my friends and will receive instant comfort as I sense the love and concern they have for both of us.  But just as important I realized today that I received comfort from our Savior who understands and loves me even when I don't always love myself.  One of the great blessing we have is being able to serve others.  How blessed I am to serve my eternal sweetheart!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Update for Banner Visit

I took Scott in for his 3 month appointment on Wednesday.  On the way to Arizona the Doctor's office called and asked us to come an hour earlier because he would need to retake all of the tests they gave him when we first started there.  The first time the doctor was surprised by how well he did and thought that he had something different than the Alzheimer's disease.  After the brain scan he said that the tests he had taken were an anomaly and that indeed he did have early onset Alzheimer's disease.  This time when he took the test he wasn't able to complete any of the tests correctly that he had previously been given.  When I came back into the room he looked so bad and told me that he "failed" everything.  I have seen a big decline the last few months so this wasn't a surprise to me.  I explained to him that what was important was that he tried. The Doctor we met with was really helpful and very encouraging.  After asking him and me numerous questions she said that his condition is now moderate and  although there isn't really a medication that will help improve his memory she gave us a good deal of information on what can be done to help him.  It is always interesting that when we leave I often feel good in spite of being told that reality is here and won't be improving.  Later in the evening Scott said, "I think that I am going to die."  At that moment I realized that although he doesn't always seem to realize what is happening he is aware that he isn't getting better.  I assured him that he isn't going anywhere soon and that I would be right by him to help him be safe and happy.  His response was, "oh good, thank you!"  From this point on they will give him the same battery of tests each time and we go back in September.

One problem that I want to mention was that he often chokes on water.  I talked to the Doctor about it and she brought out the tests and showed me something he had done.  This showed, she said, that the part of the brain that regulates swallowing is not reacting fast enough and when he drinks water the thorax doesn't close in time, hence his body reacts as if he is drowning and he coughs and gasps to get it cleared out.  In time she said that he will have to drink thicker liquids in place of water so that the brain can sense it and close the thorax up.  I remember thinking while she was saying all this what a miracle Heavenly Father created when he made the human body.  When we left the office we were given three brochures with an overview of what moderate Alzheimer disease entails and recommendations of what we will need to do to help make the process a little easier on Scott.  He is still my anomaly! 


This is not a title I sought out but one that has become necessary to embrace.  Most of the time the job is very doable and often gratifying and then there are days (or nights) when I have a good cry when I realize how important it is.  Sometimes I fail miserably.  When we went to Arizona for Scott's doctors appointment the doctor that we met with told me it was time to increase his medicine that helps him be calmer.  That increase should make it possible for him to sleep better at night and also help him from getting overly agitated.   I decided that I would wait until we got home on Friday night to increase the dosage.  The trip home had been painful for him and for me so it was easy to begin the medicine that might help him feel a little more at peace.  At about midnight the routine began where is was up and down the rest of the night getting dressed and redressed a number of times.  By morning I decided that we wouldn't increase the dosage and just keep doing what we had been doing but again by bedtime I was ready to try it one more time hoping that the additional medication dosage just took a bit longer.  It didn't help and by 4 a.m. we were both wide awake and he was pacing back and forth worried about when he should get ready for church.  In that moment I realized  that the reason the medication wasn't working is that I gave him additional Donepezil which is what he takes to increase his clarity instead of the medicine to help him relax and sleep better.  Poor Scott was so wired he couldn't sleep because I made a mistake.

Being a caregiver requires an great deal of attention to detail and on Friday and Saturday night I messed up.  I had a good cry when I realized what had happened.  I corrected the medications for Sunday night and we will try again, hopefully with better results.  The reason I started giving him his meds when we were in New Hampshire was because he would forget and take extra doses or not take them at all.  Until this weekend that wasn't a problem any more.  Now the problem seems to be that we have the "blind leading the blind!"

Friday, March 17, 2017

Family Crest

The Whitney Family Crest
I love the family crest that Christian and Amy and their kids designed.  We have such talented family members!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Spring Break

We were so excited to have Owen come and spend a few days with us during his Spring break.  I wish he could have stayed longer!  We picked him up on Tuesday morning at Concordia and then we drove to Rancho Cucamonga and took him for lunch at the Islands.  From there we came home in time to have the Webelo scouts at our house for a visit with a therapy dog and his training.  He spent the rest of the evening reading a book that was assigned for one of his classes.  On Wednesday he slept in and we were so glad because this grandson of ours works extremely hard!  We drove around and showed him the "hot spots" of Victorville--like where his dad went to elementary and high school.  Told him a few stories about his dad with an occasional embellishment for effect!  And made sure we fed him continually so when he got back to the dorm the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches would be a little more bearable.  On Thursday we decided to make a trip to the Los Angeles area for lunch at Pinks and a visit to the Santa Monica Pier.We would have done a few more things but we ended up driving 20 miles at hour on the 405 freeway so our trip back to Irvine took us 2 1/2 hours.  We settled for a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant and then sadly we had to say goodbye to Owen.  What a fine young man he is and it was such a treat to get to know him a little better. He is a wonderful young man and we were so grateful for the time we had to spend time with him.

Blue Cheese Burger

Homework doesn't stop on Spring Break

We loved his hours of practice because he
is so great

He is officially our California boy and has the flip flops to prove it!

He helped us with our bird bath which neither of us could carry


Pink's Hot Dog Stand

Pastrami Hot Dog

Santa Monica Pier

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Our Newest Cougarette!

We found out last night that Meggie has been accepted to attend Brigham Young University in Provo in the fall.  If ever there is someone who has prepared for this opportunity she is that person.  We have watched her grow from a little ballerina to an very accomplished dancer who will have the opportunity to learn more about the dancing that she loves so much.  She has practiced for hours each day for years and it is now paying off.

We are so proud of you Meggie.  You will do good at whatever you set your mind to and BYU will definitely be getting an amazing young woman.  I don't think that she will miss a beat as she enters this next phase in her life.

Stay on your toes Meggie!