Nov 15, 2010

Dotty Comes Back From the Listlessness -- Again

Its like a miracle. What can I say. Once again Dotty comes back from near listlessness.

Dorothy DeMarco
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Many of our readers are new. Lately the Alzheimer's Reading Room has been growing fast.

The background. My mother, Dotty, has Alzheimer's disease. She was officially diagnosed in 2004. At the time, Dotty was 88, she is now 94.

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Dotty is some kind of amazing machine. She always has been. Dotty never had a major illness, she doesn't get sick often. She does have high blood pressure and her cholesterol and triglycerides fly around all over the place. Several years ago we added some medication for her thyroid.

Back in May, Dotty took a turn for the worse. It was so bad I had to wheel her around in a wheel chair for the first time in her life. Somehow after about a month she bounced back.

In late September, Dotty was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection. She seemed fine after about a week on the medication. Then all of a sudden she started running a low grade fever. She was diagnosed with another UTI but the urine test showed that as a false positive.

Dotty continued to run her low grade fever for over a month. No sore throat, no congestion in her lungs, nada. A round of tests showed nothing.

She remained listless for over a month. She really wasn't there and she could barely walk.

Then all of sudden last week she came back. She surprised me beyond my own imagination in the video I posted here -- Dotty Live, Ice Cream Time (Video).

I just looked at that video again. I am still scratching my head. I never know what will happen with Dotty, but that time I could never have anticipated her awareness and positive nature. All of a sudden she was really with it. This has continued.

The only changes that occurred of late were the return of our neighbors and a change in the weather. I know from experience that cooler weather here in Florida seems to energize Dotty.

Dotty did get really pumped up when Jim and Ruth returned for the season. 

It was like she had received a giant shot of Adrenalin. Both Jim and Ruth were surprised at the way she behaved and the amount of energy she seemed to have. Amazingly, Dotty went down to see Jim and Ruth twice since last Thursday.

This compares to her refusal to go for the last five years.

The only way she would go to see them is if I would take her. Even then, she usually didn't want to go. Her response when I asked her to go was usually they aren't home, they are taking a nap, or they are probably in bed. Dotty would have no way of knowing if any of those were true.

Last Friday night, Jim, Ruth, Dotty and I went to the Banana Boat. Dotty was full of energy and was communicating all the way. She was really engaged. Jim and Ruth had not seen Dotty since last May. They understand how Alzheimer's disease works, and the stages of Alzheimer's. Like me, they were very surprised at her behavior.

On Saturday around noon time Dotty agreed to go to the pool with her friend Josephine. She had a good time and was smiling when I went to pick her up.

It is getting to be like a ride on a giant Yo-Yo. What can I say?

We will continue to live our life one day at a time. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

I'll see about getting Dotty on a podcast tomorrow morning.


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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room