May 23, 2010

Dotty Update --Sunday

Manna, gum drops, pennies from Heaven, keep shooting them in.....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

It is somewhat difficult to say where we are right now. Dotty is still complaining of headaches and a stomach ache from time to time. More or less, comes and goes during the day.

For sure she is extremely weak. She cannot walk more then a few tiny tiny steps without saying I can't walk. I'm sure some of you have seen this. Her feet won't go, they won't move. It is a disconnect between her feet and her brain. She is not falling. Just at a standstill.

Additionally, she really can't get her head up and look at me at times. She just can't get up straight and raise her head far enough to look at me in the eyes.

He voice is very weak. Although she is now talking. Just about every sentence starts with the word, Bobby. In other words, she is asking a question most of the time.

Some of the questions are really off the wall. Not like she is hallucinating though. For example, she asked me if she has a cousin Ruth. I said yes. Then she said, I thought she was dead. Ruth has been gone for a long time. I cannot remember her asking me about Ruth in the last six plus years.

Now for the good news. She did eat a scrambled egg this morning. It wasn't easy but she was not resisting. It did wear her out. She needed to lay down.

This afternoon she did eat a small bowl of homemade turkey soup that was brought over by our neighbor Lidia. She ate all the soup, and she ate it on her own. Good sign for certain. It wore her out. It does appear that her appetite might be returning. I'll try a potato chip later.

I continue to worry about a long series of possible of medical complications. One thing we need to get done is the head scan. We really need to rule in or rule out possible silent or mini-strokes. She can squeeze my hands and does have minimal strength in her legs. Her mouth is straight and she can give me a little smile.

I'll skip my more serious worries for now.

It appears we are moving in a good direction. Will Dotty bounce back? I think it would be more accurate to ponder how far down is she going to be if she bounces back.

She has all the symptoms of a late stage of Alzheimer's right now. It is possible that she is going to be bed ridden soon. Or bedridden to the extent that I will need to move her around. Or who knows, maybe she will surprise all of us.

I want to make this clear. Every single comment and email has made an important difference to us.

I thank each of you for including Dotty in your thoughts and prayers.

I thank each of you for the encouragement.

I read and think about each suggestion even if I had thought about it earlier. I learned a long time ago when the situation seems to be dire it is hard to think clearly no matter how hard you try as an Alzheimer's caregivers. You are keeping me mentally sharp.

Each of you helped return me to myself. I am focused and determined to deal with the situation and accept what is. I have my eye on the ball.

Manna, gum drops, pennies from Heaven, Thank You.

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,400 articles with more than 9,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room