Jun 13, 2010

Alzheimer's Shower, Shutters and More There

I already know what I am going to do, but before I reveal my answer I thought I would let some of you chime in. What do you think I should do?....

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I wrote the following on December 26, 2009.

Let me preface this article by recounting something I learned almost five years ago.

It was wonderful, important advice from Doctor Chiriboga. He counseled me to let my mother do whatever I believed she could do. He told me, you are the one and you know what she can and can't do. He further advised me not to let anyone deter me with criticism or negative Karma (my word).

If I had not received this advice, I feel comfortable in saying that most of what I have accomplished with my mother would not have happened.

So five years later my mother turned off the shower today for the first time in at least two years.

On May 10, my mother had a complete blood work-up, urine analysis, EKG and a check-up by a neurologist. She was fine.

On May 18, my mother woke up very sick. She couldn't walk, and she wouldn't eat. About a week later we learned she was suffering from "possible pneumonia."

As a result of the above, I had to give my 93 year old mother a shower. I wasn't looking forward to this day. I mean, who wants to give their 93 year old mother a shower -- for the first time?

I did it. I was surprised. I enjoyed it. I probably gave my mother the best shower she had in her entire life. She was so clean you could have eaten off her. I mean, I had her shining. Hair, toes, and everything in between. She looked like she had been waxed.

I really felt like I had accomplished something. This is not how I expected to feel. Well, I don't know how I expected to feel, but I do know I was not looking forward to the time when my mother would no longer be able to give herself a shower.

Piece of cake.

I did learn something I would never have expected. It is easier to give someone else a shower then it is to give yourself a shower. I mean I was married etc but that thought never crossed my mind.

In fact I decided, if I hit the Powerball lottery one of the first things I am going to do is hire someone to give me a shower every day.

I am still giving Dotty the shower. However, every time she asks me if I am nuts. She now says, no way you are giving me a shower. Then I give her the shower and she cooperates -- completely.

So now my dilemma. Should I let Dotty start taking her own shower before she forgets how to do it? Or should I keep giving her the shower?

I already know what I am going to do, but before I reveal my answer I thought I would let some of you chime in. What do you think I should do?

On a side note. Today we are going out the door and Dotty asks, where did those things go? Those things she was referring too were the shutters around the windows. She noticed those things were gone. Those things are getting painted. On the way back in Dotty asks, where did those things go?

She no longer remembers what those things are called. But she did notice that those things were gone.

This just goes to show you. There is something going on up there in the brain.

Once again I am reminded "there is more there then you think."

In case you didn't notice, my little Dotty is starting to bounce back. Amazing.

Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,565 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room