Nov 7, 2010

Alzheimer's Disease Dotty Amazes Me

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

For two weeks, Dotty has been running a low grade fever. After all the appropriate medical tests there is no discoverable reason.

On Wendesday, Dotty seemed very alert and communicative for the first time in a long time. Not so good on Thursday. More alert on Friday.

On Friday night I wanted to take Dotty out to dinner. We couldn't go outside because it was too cold by Dotty's standards even though we live in south Florida. So we went to a sit down restaurant. Just the two of us. You can never tell how this might go.

It turns out Dotty was smiling and happy and actually talking. Very communicative.

OK, lets skip up to this morning.

I had to make a run to the Boyz market. This is where we go to buy bread, fruits and vegetables, chicken, lunch meat, and other various items.

While I was getting my boneless chicken breasts filleted, a woman came up and asked the butcher if she could get half of a center cut round roast. He said yes. I told him I would take the other half. Perfect for our small crock pot. Just so you know, never used a crock pot before Alzheimer's. Very handy piece of equipment I learned.

I walked around the Boyz and bought everything I needed to go along with the roast.

I put everything on the kitchen counter an hour or so after we arrived back home. Before I started working on all the cutting and chopping I decided to do a few things on the computer.

Next thing I know I hear some noise in the kitchen. The alarm in my head goes off. I have to get out there and see what Dotty is up to.

Next thing I know my eyes are popping out of my head. There is little, left handed, Dotty cutting the ends off the French beans with a knife. I take a look. She is doing them one at a time and everyone is perfect.

Now some of you might be thinking big deal. If so consider this.

Dotty is in the moderate to severe stage of Alzheimer's. About six months ago I was asked during the Dimebon clinical trial if Dotty still used a knife to cut here food. I answered no. Then I was asked if she can use a knife. I had to think about this. My answer yes. I remembered that she had recently used a knife to open a bad of potato chips. Just so you know, she stabbed the bag right in the middle, in the heart, to get at the potato chips.

Also consider this. If you show Dotty a picture of a fork she cannot tell you what to do with it or how you use it. If you put a fork in her hand, she can show you how she uses it.

What a day. Dotty wakes up early. I put her in a sweat suit (top and bottom) because its cold outside. I get her into the car and away we go. Dotty yaks with me on the way there and on the way home.

So far its a good day. So far no fever.

Once again I learn a lesson, there is always "more there" than you think. Who knew that Dotty still remembered you cut the ends off French beans? Who knew that she could still do it?

I think its been about 4 years since Dotty last used a knife the way it is intended to be used.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,950 articles with more than 95,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room