It's been a while since I posted. It is a bit of a challenge to find "alone" time that gives me the privacy to write. When Jim naps, I use the time to do things around the house or make phone calls that are easier to do without Jim being so very present.
I continue to be so grateful for the improvement he has shown on the citalopram. I really don't think that I could ask for a better response. As long as we are home and things are low stress, he seldom becomes anxious. I continue to be careful with out of the house activities, keeping them short, familiar and low key.
My hairdresser offered to come to our home to do my hair. I was a little nervous, not knowing how Jim would respond. But I figured it had to be better than taking him to her shop, which is about a 30 minute drive each way. Add the time spent in her shop, and it just spells disaster. Her visit went great! She is a natural when it comes to interacting. Jim responded so well to her. She offered to cut his hair while she was here and he agreed! So no more worries for me about having to leave the house for hair appointments. I'm so very grateful for her kindness and willingness to travel this distance.
Jim's confusion continues, and I believe is worsening. I'm not surprised by this, as this is how Alzheimer's progresses. He has the hardest time first thing in the morning and late afternoon into evening hours.
This morning was particularly difficult for him. He woke me up about 6:15. He looked worried and said "I don't know anything. I don't know what to do, or where to go. I don't know anything I am looking at."
This was absolutely heartbreaking. He wasn't agitated, just incredibly sad and worried. Fortunately he remembered me. I suggested having some coffee, watching the morning news, to see if that would help. At one point he said "I don't think I have any opioids in my system."
It was his way of trying to figure out why he was so confused. The only thing he could think of was that perhaps he had had some pain medication. Side note: Jim has never had any prescription pain medication with the exception several years ago, following hernia surgery. He did not tolerate them at all and had to switch to tylenol.
It was so hard to watch him in distress. I encouraged him to get ready for the day, shave, shower etc. A few hours later he noted that things were looking familiar to him. What a relief. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to wake up, not know where you are, not recognize your house, and wonder how you got there. Sounds terrifying to me.
I'm learning a lot about house maintenance, yard work and gardening. Most people will not relate to this, but I have to admit I hate gardening! I love being outside, but the pulling of weeds, edging, etc is not enjoyable at all to me. I purchased a battery operated edger and weed trimmer. This eliminates having to deal with gasoline. These things always remind me of what a beautiful job Jim did in keeping up with our landscaping.
Communication challenges continue.
Jim: "Where is the kitchen?' (We are standing in the kitchen as he asks this.)
Me; "Dinner is almost ready; about 15 more minutes."
Jim: "Oh, good."
Whew! Got that one right. I don't always get it right.
Jim: (Pointing to the light switch in the bathroom) "It might surprise the number 5."
Me: "Well, as long as it's not number 2."
We both laughed so hard! I hope no one is offended by the bathroom humor. But sometimes you just have to lighten things up. Got to keep your sense of humor. 𝩀😊
He also incorporates what he sees in the environment/on TV with what he is trying to say.
Jim: (While watching commentators discussing Trump pulling out of Paris Accord) "Where is the Paris Accord shirt?"
Me: Let's go look in your closet to see what we can find.
And so it goes. More confusion, more decline, BUT anxiety is so much better. So grateful for this. When I think about how things were 2 months ago, I remember thinking that I was certainly doing harm to my body and my mind, given how I was reacting to this high level of stress. Fast forward to today, and I am not nearly as stressed as I was before.
I know that things are only going to get harder, but with my stress level better controlled, I should be up to the challenges that Jim and I will face.
Thanks dear readers for stopping by. As always, my heart feels lighter!