Loving and Living with Alzheimer's: Musings and snippets of my life experiences while dealing...coping...loving...helping...family members suffering from Alzheimer's. If you can relate, then I hope you will follow my blog and also would love to hear from you as well. Kristy
Alzheimer's is such a sad disease, sometimes it is good to laugh a little... Last week Mom complained of stomach pain, but she couldn’t tell me
where it hurt.I asked the staff nurse
to check on her.Here’s the conversation:
Nurse: So, Flo, your daughter says you are experiencing stomach
Mom: I am?
Me: Yes, remember? You said your stomach hurts?
Mom: I don't think so.
Nurse: Ok. How have you been doing? Any
Mom: Well, my stomach hurts.
The nurse and I exchange glances.
Nurse presses lightly on her abdomen: Any pain when I do
Doctor presses on various areas of her abdomen, pelvic
area and lower back: Doctor: No pain, when I touch it here?
Doctor: Does it hurt worse after you eat?
Mom: I don't think so.
Doctor: Ok, Flo, let's have you lay back on the
table so you can point out exactly where it hurts. We may need to
order an ultra sound.
The nurse assists mom in removing her blouse.Underneath the blouse, her bra is on
backwards and is clasped across her belly.The nurse unclasps the bra.
Alzheimer's Bingo While visiting Mom today I decided to join the other Alzheimer’s residents for a game of Bingo. It went something like this: Bingo Caller: B9. Gertrude: Did you say D9? Other players start frantically looking for D9 on their cards. Mabel: No, she said B9. Gertrude: (sounding garbled): What??? Mabel: (Shouting) B9! B9! Bingo Caller: Gertie, did you put your hearing aids in your mouth again? Gertrude (still garbled): Huh?? Bingo Caller: Spit them out, please. Mabel: Shit them out? That could take days! Bingo Caller: sigh... Mom: What are we doing? Me: Playing Bingo. Amy, the aide, sticks her hand out and Gertie obediently spits out the hearing aids. Amy dries them with a towel and puts them back in Gertie’s ears. All the ladies look around in confusion wondering what is holding up the game. Bingo Caller: Ok, next number is N43. Mabel points at Margaret's card, rolls her eyes and announces in a superior tone: You
Any Special Requests? Just an FYI: When performing for a roomful of Alzheimer’s patients, it may not be wise to ask for song requests from the audience. Not unless you want to hear the same song over and over! A well-known local band visited Mom's memory care facility as a special treat. As soon as they played one re quested song another member of the audience would ask for the same song again! And each time, all the residents would nod their head approvingly at the suggestion! As though they hadn't just heard the song over and over! I was pleasantly s urprised that Margaritaville and Hotel California were the two requested tunes. But now I cannot get either of them out of my head.
Turning Sorrow into Joy Around the same time that my mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, my toddler grandson moved in with us for awhile. I rejoiced as Tyler learned to speak and increased his vocabulary. But I was saddened when my mother struggled to remember words and names. As Tyler advanced from baby mobiles to building blocks, my mother could no longer figure out how to dial a telephone. Tyler loved to pretend that he was driving our car. Mom was turning over the keys to us, knowing she would never drive again. My husband and I would shop for educational but fun items that would challenge Tyler and stimulate his brain as he grew. At the same time we would shop for Mom, trying to find items that would simplify her life, such as remotes and telephones with the fewest number of buttons possible. Having Tyler with us at this difficult time was a Godsend. It helped me come to terms with the fact that although I was facing a progres