May 15, 2012

Dotty is Still With Us, Tuesday, 4 AM

I'm re-learning something important here. I'm learning that the dementia clock is very different than the clock in the real world. Relative time is very different for the ill dementia patient. You have to be extremely patient, more patient than most of us can normally stand.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

It's 4 o'clock in the morning, I am awake. I slept for about 4 hours. I still had that heavy feeling when I woke up, but I was anxious to check Dotty out, and now I am wide awake.

Dotty is still with us, and is comfortable.

The truth right now I am a bit confused. Dotty had her best night in the last week plus. No moaning or talking, just rest.

I can't say that she is real aware so far, she went back to sleep after I gave her some water to drink.

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Dotty ate more yesterday than any other day in the last  9 days. You can add chicken broth and pastina to her menu.

I don't want to mislead you.  Dotty is eating more; but, she is still not eating enough to maintain herself.

She is eating and drinking more. Please keep in mind this is a relative description.  Right now one might say she is eating more. Eating like a bird. A small bird.

Just now Dotty called out to me. The new yin and yang. Yes Mom? Are you Bobby? Yes, Mom its me. I want something to drink. The new new, she is asking for something to drink. For more than a week Dotty refused to drink, now she asks.

I am not implying that Dotty does not know who I am, but it appears she might not know as she continues on.

I just gave Dotty about two ounces of Boost. I waited a few minutes and then she drank some water.

I'm re-learning something important here. I'm learning that the dementia clock is very different than the clock in the real world. Relative time is very different for the ill dementia patient. You have to be extremely patient, more patient than most of us can normally stand.

I have to give Dotty a little little bit to eat or drink and stop. Wait, Wait. 15-30 seconds of standing can seem like a long time when you are on the regular clock. On the dementia clock it is much different. So I give Dotty a little bit. Wait. Give her a little bit more, wait.

Learning how to operate on the dementia clock, the Alzheimer's World clock, is mentally taxing. You really have to concentrate, and still it is hard to do. Why not, we are still operating on the real world clock. Learning to operate on this new and different clock is a must. You have to practice. Practice and concentrate if you want to succeed.

It seems right now that the dementia clock in this situation is even slower than the clock I learned to use to care for Dotty for the last eight and a half years.

I admire anyone that can have the patience, patience, patience you need right now. It is almost like you have to slow your heart rate down to 20 beats a minute to operate. So slow.

Dotty is still with us. It appears she might be with us longer than was expected. That Dotty, she just never stops proving everyone wrong.

There might be a difficult trade off here. Dotty might go on for a while here. A week, two weeks, or longer. Who really knows?

The trade off is, she might not know me as time goes on. I don't like this thought. But, its not up to me decide. I'll deal with any and all situations right now.

I'm ready, I'm prepared.

I slowed way way down. I'm on this new clock. This is a part of Alzheimer's World I didn't know about because I have never been to this "state". I am getting comfortable here.

I have another story to tell later. It is about establishing this new pattern of eating and drinking.

Love y'all. Thanks for the continued support.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 3,511 articles with more than 297,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room