Wrapping up “The face of dementia”

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, and it’s about time that I did. So many things have happened, as they have for everyone. I’m not sure where I should start.

I can understand Bill’s frustrations at being in the nursing home that he was in. One of the problems he and I have is loud noises. Neither of us can stand a small room with noise and no comfort level. I had not realized what Bill was facing every day.

The day I sat with him during lunch, was the day I knew I was going to take him home. The noise in the dining room was totally nerve wracking. One resident was sitting in the hallway sobbing (as she did much of the time,) there was one aid that was yelling at one of the residents and then turned her attention toward another resident who wasn’t able to hold Continue reading

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To End His Nightmare

I can understand Bill’s frustrations at being in the nursing home that he was in. One of the problems he and I have is loud noises. Neither of us can stand a small room with noise and no comfort level. I had not realized what Bill was facing every day.

I missed him and was considering bringing him home. Several reasons were making me consider the move to have him home again, was the price. We were going to lose the car for inability to keep up with the payments. My other considerations were that he needed so much attention.

The day I sat wit him during lunch, was the day I knew I was going to take him home. The noise in the dining room. One resident was sitting in the hallway sobbing (as she did much of the time,) there was one aid that was yelling at one of the residents and then turned her attention toward another resident who wasn’t able to hold her head up. She kept hollering that she had to hold her head up so she would be able to swallow.

I suddenly felt the lack of compassion in the air.  The clanking of dishes, the yelling, the sobbing. Most of the people couldn’t feed themselves, others were unable to hold their heads up, yet they were being yelled at because they couldn’t do these things.

I just had to bring him home. It’s been 2 weeks now and we are both happy. Yes, I do get stressed out, and the solution so far has been for me to sit us both down and talk about it. For instance, he always has wanted to help me and I have always loved it, but now it is more work to have him help. I have to keep stopping and show him where things go, or how to open the door. I cannot even imagine how difficult it is for him to be going through these things and not even be able to express his thoughts and feelings as he wants to. Can you feel the frustration in your loved one’s mind and heart if you had to watch them struggle through these changes?

I can see that my husband needs to be loved and needs help to do everyday what we take for advantage as we breeze through the motions of the day. We take things for granted as they lose another piece of their ability to maneuver through another day.

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Have you ever awakened from one nightmare only to fall asleep and be caught up in another?  We use such a small portion of our brains and that little bit we use is so complex we haven’t the time to wonder why.  All we can deal with is each situation as we encounter them. I’m not going to tell you that every dream means something, or if you dream of certain things, those things are going to come true. That is just not logical.

My nightmare; no, challenge is a better word, was the decision to take Bill home or put him elsewhere. There were no tears, just conversation and I did most of the talking. I saw things that went on and was not happy about them. In fact, they were detrimental to Bill’s own health.

Noise is not something that either of us can tolerate. Mealtimes were not pleasant there was so much noise in the dining room I cringed myself. Things such as an exasperated aid talking very loudly to let someone know what they are supposed to do. Swallow, put your head down a little, and to the poor woman who kept saying, “I don’t know what to do,” over and over again she yelled that she was to eat. Others tried to get away from their tables so as each of their own private nightmares. It wasn’t like this when my mom was there. Mealtimes were quiet, and the staff was loving.

Bill’s own nightmares along with others were driving him to the point of planning to get out of there somehow even if he didn’t know where he would go for quiet refuge. I finally saw the light when I sat with him during lunchtime. Directly after lunch, I made an appointment with the doctor and told Bill I wanted him to come home. If the Doctor said that it was ok then it would be OK.

Well, the first thing that he said when I wanted him to come home was that he did NOT think that would be a good idea at all. Bill was not in the room at this time. After 15 minutes of trying to persuade him that it might be OK, he gave in and said OK, but this was a trial only. If I got back near the edge, Bill would have to go back. If not there, then someplace else.

Happiness filled both of us as he came home and settled into his old routine again. Well, not quite. I sometimes have to  shave him, dress him, and take care of his dentures, but I don’t mind those things at all.

So Bill and I awoke from that nightmare. He has been home for about three weeks now and challenges have been appearing. As I reached for the stronger anti anxiety pills, I put them back down and looked at Bill. He was so happy to be home that I decided to try to work through this. He was starting to want me to do the PCH mailings for him again. This was a big stress factor before.

The PCH was not just a pain in the neck for absolutely nothing, but he wanted me to drop everything right now and do them and then drive him to the post office where he would go in line and hand it to the postmaster.  Very big stress. But instead of taking pills, I told him that this was one of the major stress factors that drove me to the edge. I began to cry when I tried to tell him how much stress this caused me. We both shed tears while we cried, then laughed, then cried once more. In the end, Bill said that he wasn’t aware of that fact and now that he knows that, he will throw them away. We’ll see how long he remembers. One stress put aside for now.

Then yesterday, I had to tell him that I didn’t want him to hang on me. That was another stress factor. I asked him to leave me alone and not be hugging and kissing me constantly. He understood and did not hang on me all day. Another stress handled without pills. I know that these are not permanent solutions, but it is a start. Maybe I can wake up from one nightmare, and keep waking myself up each time the same nightmare raises its ugly head.

My mother used to tell me that if I had a nightmare just turn over and I would have a good dream.  That will last for a while, but dementia slows down for no one. There will come a time that I will have to put him back into a similar environment, but not today, not today.

When the time does come which will be not too far into the future we will find some other solution that will work. When that stops working, we will move on again. In the meantime, we are happy.

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I am Melancholy at This Time

I like the word melancholy in place of words such as, sadness, dejected, gloomy, miserable, glum, despondent, and unhappy. These and other words may be listed in one of the thesauruses that help us to use different words that have similar meanings; therefore making our writing sound a little more intelligent and build our vocabulary. When I write a sentence using the word melancholy, I don’t feel gloomy, dejected or despondent.

If you’ve followed “The face of dementia” Continue reading

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The word “Remember” can invoke many thoughts to each of us. You may even wonder where to begin. I’m sure that each of us could write a book on our own memories. I’m only thinking of the first thing that this precious word makes me want to write.

I remember the reason I fell in love with my husband. We lived in Colorado at the time and I remember the first conversation I heard him have with his mother. (His end of course.) The gentle tone in which he spoke to his mother reminded me how children are supposed to obey their parents. It made me remember that the reason we obey is because we love and respect them. He’d laugh Continue reading

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Downhill Again?

This is another story of about the feelings of the one taking care of a person weighed down with dementia. This is a two person journey from beginning to end. What I’ve seen in Bill is the sadness of losing each skill, each thought, each piece of him to oblivion. I’m not really morose, or a negative person, but this is a sad condition of the mind.

I’ve been with Alzheimer’s people and Dementia so much these past 20 years or so that I forget what really is happening to the person. When you are with a person with such a condition, perhaps every day, you don’t see the gradual change. Others do see the gradual decline.

To those who take care of these ones, it is that all the suddenness of this decline that comes in one swoop. Again, you look at your loved one and realize this seems like he has suddenly gone downhill again. To me it feels as if it has been sudden that his thoughts and speech won’t come together, if at all. I remember the thoughts of his heart wanting to come out, but they were stuck. The thoughts were there, the memories are there, but the words are not.

He struggles to get the thoughts out and it hurts me to the point of my heart breaking in two. As he tries to form the words or remember his thought, the look of desire in his eyes I know that he has something important to say to me. The unwillingness of his mouth to form the words that have already gone into oblivion and as the thought itself enter the doors of extinction, we look at each other helplessly.

I can only hug him and tell him that I love him. Then nothingness fills the void of silence.

In the meantime, his son called us I’m not sure what the objection was, but he was mad at me and he told me that he was very angry with me. He thinks that his dad should be down there with him where he could care for him properly and he could see his grandchildren. I started to cry, and I told him he has a right to be angry and it was OK to be mad. His dad found his voice, grabbed the phone and let him know a few things that his son is not aware of. One was that he was not happy with him that he got me upset.

That was only one small thing that we have to work with. Bill has to remember that his son has not had to deal with older people and never with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It is a shock for him to see his dad like this, and he doesn’t see it as bad as it really is. Thankfully there is no one else on bill’s side of the family that we have to hold their hand and deal with this too.

When you look at this, it comes down to the importance of the relationship that Bill and I have built over the years that is getting us through this. My sister said it all when she said that when you get old, all you have is your family to take care of you.

As for me? I’m just plugging along like everyone else is and taking it one day at a time.

Here I thought that this was going to be another story of my feelings of taking care of my husband, but it turned into something else and that is okay too.



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The word today is “zing.” Take away the obvious synonyms which are repetitive of the synonyms of “zing” and these are “vitality”, “energy”, “vigor”, “verve”, “animation”, “vivacity”, and “vivaciousness” which is just another form of the word “vivacity”. Take these away and let’s see what is left of the synonyms of zing after the repetitive synonyms of zing have been eliminated. First; let’s salvage some of the synonyms of zing which are not repeated and they are “dynamism” which we will talk about later. (Remember we took away the repetitive synonyms that just repeat the same words to describe the word ZING) and “punch” is the other non-repetitive synonym. With that out of the way, let’s take one of the repetitive synonyms which I eliminated but now I’m going to give the repetitive synonym “vitality” back to this lesson which also has its’ own repetitive synonyms and these are “liveliness”, “energy”, “vivacity”, “vigor”, “animation”, and “verve”. Along with the repetitive synonyms of “vitality” the non-repetitive synonyms include but are not limited to “strength”, “life”, “get-up-and-go”, “buoyance”, “joie de vivre”, (which by the way means “joy of living”. It’s French) The word “dynamism” is not repetitive as a synonym of zing, but I repeated it just to give the meaning of it and that is “vigorously active, forceful, and energizing quality”, especially as the hallmark of somebody’s personality or approach to a task. “Punch” is a non-repetitive synonym of zing and I believe that it is self-explanatory. Now, to continue with the synonyms of “zing”; another repetitive synonym is the synonym “vivacity”. If you’ll try and remember that “vivacity” and “vivaciousness” I crossed off entirely since “vivaciousness” is a repetitive synonym of the word “zing” and is also repetitive because “vivaciousness”, if you’ll remember, is only another form of the word “vivacity”. But since you mentioned it, its’ repetitive synonyms are “liveliness”, “animation”, “verve”, “energy”, “vivaciousness”, and “vitality”. Did anyone get the meaning of “verve”? The unrepeated synonyms of “vivacity” which I shouldn’t even have in here since “vivacity” and “vivaciousness” are just different tenses of the same word and the unrepeated synonyms of “vivacity” are: “high-spiritedness”, “exuberance”, “cheerfulness”, “live”, “chirpiness”, and “sparkle”. I just love the words, “exuberance” and “chirpiness” don’t you? Hang in there we are almost done with this lesson. Now, that only leaves one non-repetitive synonym of “zing” and that is the word “dynamism” and this only has 3 synonyms repeated under it. Those words are, “vitality”, “vigor” and “energy”. The ones that are not repeated synonyms I especially love and those synonyms are “zip”, “drive”, and “enthusiasm” and get this; to round it all off the last synonym is “ZING”.
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Even though it has only been a couple of weeks, it seems as if it has been a year since I have added anything new to my blog, in fact, I have added nothing at all to the words that meander down the road to insignificance. At the thought of those words, you can tell that I’m feeling a little melancholy today as I have the past days. Otherwise, had I not been in this state of mind, I might put on a smile as I forge onward to begin again on my blog.

I used to see a twinkle in his eye

And I knew that his smile was nigh.

My expectations left me high

Just waiting for that twinkle in his eye.


Yesterday I knew this was to be true

And now I’m not sure what to do

That smile has lingered like the dew

Oh for the eyes to twinkle a new.


Now his eyes just always look blank

My eyes saw nothing and my heart sank.

I looked around and I began to feel dank

But I wanted to be back into the rank


Of that beautiful and precious smile in his eyes

It’s called a twinkle and follows his guise

I’ve been waiting oh please give me that surprise

First a twinkle and then that smile I idolize.


My heart is broken but still I wait

Because I know it is there, I am his mate

For a while now it is usually late

But it’s there it’s personal, and I need not debate.

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Not as Well as Expected

While Bill’s son has come and gone, my head is left spinning. What I can say for J is that he has not had to deal with older people and especially when they begin to have health issues thrust upon them. He got here and I had already picked his dad up and brought him home. I had texted him earlier and told him that I would like to go to a friend’s house and let him spend time alone with his dad which didn’t set too well with him. If I was reading between the lines correctly, his text was something like this. I guess I have to figure it out myself. The answer was actually yes, but I felt badly about it and agreed to stay.

The first night I had J bring him back to the nursing home. He was quite upset about the choice of that home and he let me know that when he got to his hotel. I would rather have his dad somewhere else too, but this is a small town, and the choices are limited. Bill is younger than many of the residents there. To J it looked like a Hospice ward full of people just waiting to die. I had to agree with him on that point. I had him meet me at the nursing home in the main lobby. We had to wait until the staff got out of their meeting to talk to anyone.

When Tracy got out of the meeting I got her attention to come and talk to us. I had her explain to J that he was invited out a couple of days a week to do some activities in the main section with other residents. We talked about getting some Continue reading

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Sunday Was the Best

Last Sunday began the same as all my visits to see Bill or pick him up for Sunday meeting. We got ready for meeting and got there early enough to visit with everyone. He was a little angst-ridden to begin with, but as soon as our dear friends saw him, they went and said hello to him. There is one little boy about 2 1/2 years that always runs up to him yelling, “Bill, Bill” and throwing his little arms up in the air to signal Bill to pick him up.  Oh what a delight it is to see both of their eyes light up.

That is how our Sunday began. After the meeting we went with our outstanding friends to grab a bite to eat, then said that we would see them later that afternoon at the farewell party being given for a couple leaving for a different language congregation about 20 miles from here. That may sound silly since they are only going 20 miles, but it is a great gap in the time we will be able to spend with them. This congregation is being set up so the Tsurkeese (probably spelled badly) can learn about Continue reading

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