The Columbia River in the fall. Before we, in our infinite wisdom reduced the mighty columbia from a moving river to a series of still water lakes, this was the prime fishing spot for the First Americans. We took it from them and gave them money, as if you really could buy someone's birthright.
The picture was taken with a professional grade Canon camera that a friend loaned me. It really did take wonderful photographs.
She still can't walk well and she still wears the diapers. That is OK on both levels and she is not upset about it either. But since she cannot really walk there is no reason to take her back to my little house. She has a terrible time going down the steps in the house and not much easier at the little house. At night the 150 foot long walk is terrifying to her.
Tonight, I fixed her stew in the little house while daughter was here, then I brought it over and we ate together. Daughter has to look after another client in the evening, and the family is on their own for food.
So that worked well.
We will let her stay in the house and we will take turns looking after her or being with her. Tonight daughter 2 is here and will keep an eye on Miriam. Daughter 2 is an RN, but she has spent her career in the birthing areas not in the old ladies department (see how un-medical I am!).
We will keep Miriam here at daughters house as long as we can. No one knows how it will work out, or when it will, but we will do our best as long as we can.
It was the only day we could all get together. All, this year was 3 of 4 daughters and 8 of 11 grandkids. We did include my sister from Idaho and our mother's sister, who lives here in this town, along with Auntie's husband. I think that made a total of 19.
One daughter noticed that Miriam's face was a bit saggy on one side. Then we noticed she could not walk, but slept more. Daughter 2, the RN, bought Miriam some adult diapers. Did she have a small stroke? We cannot know for sure.
Monday she was a bit better, and Christmas she was a bit better yet, but still walking was extremely slow and laborious. She could go to the bathroom alone still, but not as well or as efficiently.
Today we see if we can contact the case worker to get council on what to do next. It may well be that the time when we can easily care for Miriam is over and now we step into a higher intensity of work on our part or we place her in a home.
I am the husband, but only one of the voters in this saga. Largely what will happen will be with my consent, but maybe without my real total approval. I think that is how it works in these things.
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.