Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘Alzheimer’s’

SLEEP

When I was young, I seldom had trouble sleeping. As a matter of fact, I usually was able to sleep for 8 hours or more. Having children didn’t change my ability to sleep. I usually slept soundly, through the sounds of the city — fire engines, ambulances, police cars. I woke if my children needed me, but other than that, I slept on.

That is until my father was affected by Alzheimer’s disease. I became a light sleeper, waking at sounds in the household. I was still able to sleep through the street noise. Of course, working — needing to be on the road at 7:00 AM changed my ability to sleep late. Normal time to wake in the morning became 6.

Robin doesn’t realize that she is a dog. She thinks she is people — like us. We get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. She should be able to do the same. Sadly she has gotten into the habit of needing to go out almost every night. Of course we do too. I won’t write down how many times a night we get up. Robin needed to go out at 3:30 in the morning. She woke me up — I am under orders to wake my husband. He can go back to sleep. I have problems. And she did all of her business, no messing around. She has gotten older — she wanted to go back to sleep. BUT I DIDN’T.

I was still awake at 4:00. My right hamstring was hurting. I must have stressed it during the night. I tried the various rubs and pills I take to help me sleep. Next it was my left ankle itching. I tried various creams without success. It continued to itch. I took a couple of Motrin. It was 4:44 and I was still awake.

I laid with eyes closed on the bed and tried deep breathing. Hamstring felt better, ankle still itched. Then the corner of my left eye began itching. What do you do when an eye is itching? QUESTIONS! WHY? What is going on? Why can’t I go back to sleep?

Finally I was able to fall back to sleep. I stayed in bed until 7, an hour later than usual.

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NORMAL DAY

It started early, too early. Sadly I have not been able to sleep more than five, six hours each night. I used to be able to sleep for eight hours, wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day. But that seems to be a long time ago. Why it changed, I don’t know. Some of it was because I listened for my father when he had Alzheimer’s disease but that was 25 years ago. Has it really been that long since I was able to sleep deeply? And time passes.

I usually open the Bible and Queen of Angels in the morning. The Bible opened to the introduction of Sirach,, Queen of Angels opened to the empty page after Angels as Playmates and Confidants. Interesting!

After spending many days in the country we were back in town. Besides laundry, our plans included shopping — the temperature was predicted to be in the 90’s for too many days. I needed supplies in the house so I could cook, AVOID the heat, the crowds, the stores.

First stop — Half Price Books. Our son had books to donate — we were happy to help. My husband found three books from an author he enjoys. I found FROM JUNK FOOD TO JOY FOOD by Joy Bauer. Hopefully the recipes will help my never ending battle to lose a few pounds. Paging through the book, I found many recipes that might help. I have a couple of her other books and have found the recipes flavorful.

On ward and up ward, store after store after store. We ended at Wal-Mart. I have found the super store carries many of the food supplies that I use. While I picked up food supplies, my husband wandered through electronics and automotive. Heading for the bathroom at the back of the store, I saw my husband talking to an employee. He was glad I came by so he could leave.

The woman he was talking to shared her recent experiences. Her house had been on fire and it took more than three months before they were able to get back inside. Water damage had caused mold, requiring massive repairs. My husband shared the information that I had been in a fire when I was young. And the conversation jumped from topic to topic. She was amazed at the number of similarities we shared. Not only the experience with fire, but also a parent with Alzheimer’s and my writing of three books and a blog. She planned to write but many of her notebooks had been destroyed by the fire.

When we returned home, I shared our day with our daughter. It was from her that I got the title of this thought ramble. She told me, “Mom, you had a “normal day”. Most of your days are like that. Thinking about it — she’s right.

LITTLE THINGS

It is the littler things that slip through the cracks!

Sunday was the feast of Pentecost — the day the Holy Spirit descended on the disciples in the closed room and changed their lives. I find that feast significant because I realized that I am celebrating my six year anniversary of Wandering With Spirit this month. I can’t say that the blog has changed my life — but maybe it has. If I don’t write on a regular basis, if I don’t have something scheduled to publish every week, my life becomes more interesting than I want it to. More things go wrong. I’m REMINDED that I have work to do. Since I am always on the lookout for a writing idea, I might pay more attention to my life.

One of my favorite sayings is: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him/Her your plans,” I had been at the Garden the day before. I had many steps on my pedometer. I planned to do NOTHING. The phone rang at 8:10. It was I Dot — we have a transponder that allows us to speed through the tollway gates at a decent speed, not wait in line forever. It was a present to my husband a few years ago. Now I was told it wasn’t working. We would be charged a cash car rate any time we went through. Camping season is starting. We use the tollways a lot. I learned where an office was. I learned that the battery might have run out. The number I received for our credit card didn’t match. I had no idea where the number came from. The one thing I did know — WE HAD TO GO FOR A DRIVE AND SOLVE THE PROBLEM. It was an easy solution. The battery on our transponder had run out, we just needed a new one.

On the way home, I suggested we stop at Wal-Mart so I could try on some shorts. I’ve noticed that my old ones are slipping down. It is most uncomfortable. I planned to order from a catalogue, but in order to do so, I needed to know my size. I tried on a smaller size and IT FIT. My husband suggested I buy a second swimsuit for back up. I like to exercise every weekday at the camper. If my suit is still wet, it is too cold to wear again. I saw a swimsuit that I thought might work. It has to be one piece, two pieces DON’T WORK for exercising. The hanger had my size so I tried it on. I looked at the tag on the swimsuit — it was the smaller size. HAPPY!

I picked up frozen pizzas at the store. My husband put them in the downstairs basement for me — saving my knees. I found them on Friday morning in the fridge — not the freezer. When I asked him — he said I told him to put them there???? Saturday, we went to a steakhouse to celebrate Mother’s day. He drove a different way, and said that was how he always goes. ????

One plus one didn’t add up. I was becoming concerned. On Sunday — Pentecost — I said a couple of prayers — asking God to “help” my husband. My father had Alzheimer’s disease. I REALLY DIDN’T WANT my husband to be affected. I decided that I wasn’t going to worry. Hands off — God was in charge.

Walking home from church — I noticed a shiny lilac object lying on the ground. I almost passed by. Then I backed up and took another look. It was a lilac sparkling gem in a hanging earring. It had a stopper to keep it from falling out of the ear. It reminded me that the night before, I had lost the backing on one of my crystal earrings but luckily the earring had not fallen out.

THANK YOU! Enough said.

FREE FALL

I don’t know what happened! Normally I’m very careful with money. When I use plastic, I note the charge in one of our checkbooks. I keep a running total of our Visa charge so I’m not caught off guard when the bill comes in. That is my normal accounting practice. That is NOT what happened this month.

I forgot to note the charge for our rental car when we drove to Texas. I forgot to note the charges we incurred for part of the trip. When I finally figured out how to cover those expenses, when I phoned the credit card to make sure their balance agreed with my records, I learned that the bill was $300 higher than I expected. Evidently the money I spent on the first of June must have been free because I did not record it anywhere. I found the receipts. They were where I always keep them. Why they were filed but not recorded is anybody’s guess. It is beyond me.

I know we were planning the next day to go to Central Illinois to watch our grandchildren for a week. That doesn’t explain why I would have neglected to note the charges I incurred.

The only thing that I can think of to blame was that all the traveling caught up to me and I was exhausted. Of course, I knew I was tired. I thought I was being very careful. Of course now I know that I was wrong. Hopefully that absent mindedness won’t happen again. If that is what occurs with Alzheimer’s disease I want no part of it. That I was so careless is scary.

I don’t think there is any way I can recapture my youth, but I can try to allow more days in between travel to recuperate. I can continue with my plan to try to lose weight, exercise and regain the use of more of my body parts. Thankfully my lapse involved a credit card — not the debit card and a bank balance. I don’t like checks to bounce.

DENTIST

It should come as no surprise that I’m not a regular at the doctor’s or dentist’s office. Sadly I have been without a dentist for many years when my last one retired because of cancer. I didn’t have any problems with my teeth and didn’t look for a new one. Then while eating a hamburger, I thought a rock had been included in the meat. Actually, it was a filling. I had lost a portion of a tooth which made inhaling interesting. I didn’t even want to think about drinking or eating. Thankfully a friend had returned from Florida and shared the name of her dentist. Thankfully the dentist was able to fit me in that evening — remaining after closing time. After he fixed my tooth, I made another appointment. I figured I might need more work done and I knew my teeth would need cleaning.

I was right. I don’t know the last time my teeth were cleaned — how many years had passed. The hygienist used interesting equipment to take the x-rays, which showed that my teeth required more than a surface cleaning. I needed DEEP CLEANING. The top right side was cleaned that day and I made another appointment. She warned me that the bottom would be harder.

The day of the appointment my horoscope told me that “Its important to know that, for whatever reason, people notice you today.” The comics made me laugh. Dennis told a friend that his parents use the house phone to find their cell phone. I used ours for that purpose the day before. Garfield noticed that his owner didn’t know how to use the phone. Our friend had just commented that her brother didn’t answer the phone when his words weren’t working. (It reminded me of when my father had Alzheimer’s.) Marmaduke provide a laugh when he stole the leg bone from a dinosaur.

I arrived early at the dentist’s office and they were running late. A son had accompanied his aging parents. His father had a motorized cart and a walker. His mother was still receiving treatment. I found a current Times magazine for the Dad, and National Geographic’s for myself. The issue was dedicated to the Vikings. I was amazed when I learned that it had been discovered that men were not the only warriors. Woman’s bones had been discovered with high ranking weapons and gaming pieces. Indicating that they had played an important role in the conquests.

I used that information during the cleaning. I’m half Swedish and kept reminding myself that I’m woman and I’m strong. Most of it wasn’t too bad, except for the part that wasn’t numb, under the gum line. I still have one lower part to go.

I have straws in the house for our grandchildren. They came in very handy when anything I tried to drink didn’t make it into my mouth.

The next morning the bible reading made me laugh. Abraham popped up. I was reminded of God’s promise to him. Abraham pops up regularly in my life. Exactly what it means, I don’t know and haven’t tried to figure it out.

TERRY’S BIRTHDAY

Following is an email I sent to family and a few friends after I was surprised by my brother. He passed over with my mother 60 years ago when he was two. A few years ago I decided that the “friend” who hits me on the head is my brother. Isn’t that how brother’s show love to their sisters? ” My friends in high places” often “help” me with my writing. Today is no exception.

“I have NO ENERGY TODAY! In order to accomplish something, I wrote two blogs. One titled GLASSES, the second SUNSHINE!

I was reading the preview of SUNSHINE on the blog’s finished page when in the MIDDLE, Sunshine disappeared to be REPLACED by GOOD IDEA which was published in AUGUST of 2013.

I probably should mention that today is my brother Terry’s birthday. Good Idea concerned the Fast Metabolism diet that I successfully lost weight on. Sadly the weight is back and my attempts to restart the food plan have not been successful. Looks like I should be a little more serious about it. After all, I have “friends in high places” who watch out for me.

There is no way I can explain today’s happening. I did wish my brother, Terry, a happy birthday this morning.”

I can not explain most of the things that occur unexplained in my life. All I can do is share the stories. If you can profit by my experience so much the better but don’t get discouraged. Remember I have had experiences for most of my life. For many years I was unaware of the “help” I was receiving. My mother was EXTREMELY GOOD at working behind the scenes and my brother probably followed suite. I didn’t start to become more aware until I REALLY NEEDED THEIR HELP when my father had Alzheimer’s disease. He passed over more than 19 years ago and my life became really more interesting after that.

Although I’m writing this on Memorial weekend which coincides with my brother’s birthday this year, it won’t publish until after my mother’s birthday. For years I didn’t know the dates of either of their birthdays. I didn’t know the date of the fire either. Facts were hidden from me.

I’d thought of taking the summer off, putting the blog on summer vacation. Evidently that is not in their plans for me. But I’m receiving idea’s so I can schedule rambles to publish while we are busy with other things. If life becomes really interesting, as it often does — I’m sure I will be inspired to put more ideas in print.

PRESENTS

I was asked today what my favorite Christmas gift was by one of my daughters. I had to admit that my many gifts were not material. I started listing my favorites for this Christmas.

The first has to be that my husband’s health is improving. Although we had a health scare, it didn’t require a hospital stay and his cough is improving. Our children that are in driving distance of our home were able to join us for the celebration of Christmas — even if we celebrated on different days.

The medical personnel we encountered had my husband’s health in mind. They took their time, ran the tests and tried to investigate to the best of their abilities. Sometimes answers were not immediately apparent.

When we went to the doctor’s office. I was at the right place at the right time to share my experience with a woman who was grieving not only a son who passed many years ago but more recently a dog. I hope the stories I shared brightened her day.

Our dog is becoming more comfortable in our home. When our youngest daughter arrived with her family and two dogs — Robin met them at the door and was ready to defend her home and us. She didn’t care if Maggie, a golden retriever, was bigger. She was ready to defend us. It took a bit of time before peace reigned. Robin forgot that she had met them at Thanksgiving. They are still not friends but good playmates. What surprised me was that Robin was ready to defend me. Hopefully we will never have the need for her to defend me when we are out on a walk but it is nice to know that even though she is timid, she is ready to defend her family.

It didn’t feel like Christmas to me, in fact, on Christmas Eve I had thought about not going to church on Christmas morn. My husband decided to stay home but I changed my mind and was very glad that I did. First off, I reminded myself that it was Christ’s birthday, time to say thank you. The music was beautiful, two violinists joined the piano or organ music. The cantor had a beautiful voice. Of course, the church was beautiful. The Mass was celebrated by an older, retired priest who has a touch of dementia. I always enjoy his thoughts and homilies. He focuses on what is important to me. I have a lot to be thankful for.

I was surprised to see an older acquaintance whose health is declining. I have known the family since our youngest daughter was in kindergarten. He was sitting in a corner which was hidden from my view. At communion I helped him walk back to his seat. I also shared my blog address with his granddaughter. It might come in handy at a future date.

Christmas isn’t about material things. It is about spirit and the gifts that come from God. Those are much more valuable than worldly possessions. Hopefully my sharing of my stories brings some brightness to your day.

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