Monday, January 31, 2011

Dotty Gets the All Clear Signal and I Surprise Myself by Moving Seamlessly into Alzheimer's World


I think that is the first time I ever demonstrated in such an efficient manner how things work in Alzheimer's World.

Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Dotty continues to improve and all tests are negative...except one.

I Surprise Myself by Moving Seamlessly into Alzheimer's World

Dotty continues to improve but is still not back to where she was a month ago. She is still weak and is not doing any real walking on her own. We still need to use the wheelchair to get her to and from the car, and into the doctor's office.

Go here to listen to this morning's edition of Dotty in the Morning (podcast).

The results of the Echo cardiogram came back and their is no problem with Dotty's heart. The blood tests and blood culture were also negative.

Now we reach the point where I start to talk candidly about Dotty's butt. So if you don't like this kind of talk it is time to click out of this article.

I did notice during the last week that Dotty's but was kinda red. In the canal area so to speak. I took a good look and I was also concerned that there might be some tears or something down there. Turns out there are some problems.

The doctor took a look today and told me she has the makings of a Hemorrhoid. That is not a problem.

However, the redness could be a sign of the potential of a pressure sore (I didn't write down the technical name for this). The doctor told me the technical jargon explanation and when she stopped I asked -- "is that like a bed sore in your butt?" She answered, yes.

This did get my attention and had me worried. Once again, I know nothing about this, so it is time for another education in the secret idiosyncrasies of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease.

I asked the doctor to look at Dotty's butt because it did look all narly to me. In fact, I thought if my butt looked like that I would be complaining upside down and backwards and asking the readers of the Alzheimer's Reading Room to pray for me.

Meanwhile, when I asked Dotty if it hurt she said no. Another of the vagarities of caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease -- most of the time they can't tell ya nuttin.

So anyway, I have to keep Dotty off her butt as much as possible, use pillows etc. to relieve the pressure, and rub some Desenex on Dotty's butt until everything clears up.

Come to think of it, part of the problem did look like red baby butt. You know the kind of problem where the baby is bent out of shape and cries like crazy. Dotty never said a word of complaint. Not even when I asked her, does your butt hurt?

There was an interesting moment at the Doc's office. First I told our woman doc and the nurse, don't worry tell me what to do I'll get Dotty into position. They kinda looked at each other in disbelief. I said, don't worry we can do it.

Well I got Dotty right into the butt inspection position without a problem. They were surprised at how easily I did it.

Folks, I jumped right into Alzheimer's world, explained in Alzheimer's speak to Dotty what was happening and what we were going to do, and then we did it.

Yes, I am quite proud of myself.

I think that is the first time I ever demonstrated in such an efficient manner how things work in Alzheimer's World. To be honest I was a bit surprised myself. I didn't have to think, I didn't have to get mentally prepared, I just did it.

It then got better. They were already surprised. But when the doctor told me what I had to do and how to do it, I simply replied, no problem.

They looked at each other and laughed. Probably because I am a man.

But that was not the best part. Their pupils dilated. Both of them, all four eyes.

Pupils dilate when a person registers surprise or interest. Pupil dilation is an involuntary response that cannot be controlled. The doctor and nurse were clearly amazed.

Now to my point about what I learned today. I learned something new that I didn't know before today. You can get the equivalent of a bed sore in your anal area. This in turn can lead to a sepsis infection. It could kill you.

Yikes. Add the title of chief butt inspector to my many roles as an Alzheimer's caregiver.


Go here to read about pressure sores.



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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room