I was having a conversation with granddaughter Emily one day a while back. "Do you know what I want for Christmas, Papa?" "It's something you could give me." Carefully, I urged her to continue. "I want you to grow your mustache back. That is what I want for Christmas." How is an old guy to deal with that one?
It is both amazing and scary how this disease affects different people.
Some wonderful grandmothers (and grandfathers too) turn into total monsters as this disease has it’s way.
At a support group the other day one person was talking about how her sweet, kind mother had turned abusive and mean, particularly to her only grandchild. The grandchild is an adult woman, but still it is hard for the mother/daughter to see.
The abuse gets worse when mother/daughter is not around, or grandma thinks she is not.
Miriam has always been very even tempered. I would argue that a bit more temperament swing might have been good for her and for us, but that is not how she was.
Sometimes when we go camping and I forget to take her meds (oops), and she does not take her anti depressant for a few days, her mood begins to change, so I try to not do that very often.
The grandmother I talked about first is on all sorts of very heavy duty medications, a bunch of them, and no one in the world knows exactly how all of these work together or against each other, there are just too many variables.
I am glad our lives are a bit smoother. Right now I like smooth!
I repair my own computers (with help from these guys), but i am not smart enough to fix my own cars. When I had a VW years ago, I fixed them, but I had to fix them. In spite of the legend, they did not stay together too long. But that VW sure was fun to drive!
Between the time I took the car from the repair shop to the inspection shop and back, the owners wife (who is the office manager) had an appendicitis attack and was taken to the hospital, so I did not see either of them.
I left the car and got a ride home.
Next day the Mike, the shop owner, called. There was nothing wrong with my car. Apparently I did not get it warmed up enough to get the cat converter working right. Mike sent his son out to drive the car for a few miles to warm it up. Back at the shop, checked on their machine, it passed easily.
So Mike had his son take the car right then to the inspection shop and it passed easily.
We will take it on our trip next week, and save about $150 on gas!
Mrs. Mike will have surgery this week and she will be as sweet as ever in a bit!
I never did own a Chevy of this vintage, but on Fords, we would exchange the door handles, left to right etc, to hide the wear on the handles and keep them at the horizontal position. My memories of these old cars is confused on a good day. They might have been romantic, but I don't remember any of them running terribly long or well.
I did not change the bedside clock so Miriam thought it was an hour earlier than it was, which is OK for today.
Her brother is coming for his monthly visit, and if she is slow getting going in the morning, he is here before she is ready.
He is not a patient soul. He will arrive pretty promptly at 8:30. He will talk loud and continuously for about 30 minutes then he will say he has to "press on" and he will drive 25 miles back to his apartment in a Lutheran retirement home. (He is not remotely Lutheran).
So it is not like he uses up a lot of that extra hour we have today.
I slept almost 7 hours last night, which is a lot for me, and it will get dark about 5:30, so maybe the day is not so long after all.
It is that time between dark and bedtime (about 6 1/2 hours in my life) that is the challenge.
This blog began as a spot to vent about my life with Miriam and her time with Alzheimer's disease.
She was diagnosed in '99 and her decline has been quite slow. In fact some of our best years of our long marriage have been these recent years.
Alzherimer's, at least her version is a disease of waiting. One shoe drops and it can be a very long time before the other one drops.
So life goes on.
At the beginning of this blog I told the story of our courtship and marriage, about out family and our personal journey with this disease. The part that scares the most is the anticipation as the disease slowly progresses.
So, I will touch on that subject from time to time, but the entries will tend toward comments on life. I'll leave politics and religion for others to worry about, not that I don't have strong opinions!
I have my hands full just looking after my wonderful Miriam.
We met when we were 6, began dating at 15 and have been together since. We will have our 56th anniversary this June.
We have four wonderful daughters. Smart, independent, awesome. They have given us 7 grandsons and 4 granddaughters. None of them are little any more. The oldest is 28 and married, the youngest is 14.
Until this last fall we lived in a hosue I designed and built in the '70's and it is pretty weird and wild, but very comfortable. Last summer the girls came to the conclusion that I really did need help dealing with Miriam. Now we live on a couple acres with daughter 1.
Life has been good. There is not much I would do different even if I could. We are rich beyond belief but chronically short of cash!
And, unless stated otherwise all the photographs are mine.