Mar 28, 2011

Dotty Says, Bobby Bobby Lets Get Out of Here

Frankly, the entire episode startled and amazed me as I thought about it later on. So much so that I actually said to myself -- you've come a long way baby...
By Bob DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

Bob DeMarco
There can be little doubt that Harvey and Petey (the toy parrots) are heightening Dotty's awareness.

However, I don't want to mislead anyone, they are not stopping the progression of her Alzheimer's disease. Slow things down? Who knows.

Dotty is smiling more, laughing, and singing more. She is also driving me crazy. This heightened awareness has turned her back into a hunter. She is constantly hunting for food.

Is Dotty a food-aholic?

Today I caught Dotty in the kitchen right after lunch scavenging for food. She was eating a peanut butter bar while trying to get a second one out of the wrapper. The reason she couldn't get it open was because she had two glazed donuts in her hand. She had procured the donuts from the freezer.

Hiding the donuts in the freezer worked for a couple of years until recently. Recently means since the parrots showed up.

Next, I noticed that Dotty had opened a package of peanut butters cracker and had eaten four of the six crackers.

Right before all of this, Dotty had a half of a turkey breast sandwich, three olives, half an orange, a piece of celery, and one baby carrot. And, the dreaded prune juice (which worked today I might add, and I mean worked).

Unlike many years ago when this kind of activity drove me nuts, I just shook my head and laughed at myself. I put the donuts back in the freezer. Then I said to Dotty, pick peanut butter crackers or bar. She took the bar and I shuffled her out of the kitchen.

For the next three hours Dotty looked like she had been dipped in doo doo.

She was not a happy camper. However, she did not try to run for the cover of her bedroom. This continued until I announced that I would make her one of her favorites -- the beloved hot roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Several years ago, Dotty would complain about the size of the portions -- meaning they were too small. Since then I learned how to make the small portions look big by spreading them all over the plate. Now Dotty usually says, look at all the food. I can't eat all that. Then she scarfs it down.

We did have one very unusual event very early on Sunday morning.

Dotty woke up around 6:30 AM. The next thing I know I hear hell yelling -- Bobby, Bobby, lets get the hell out of here. While I am making my way there, I am yelling back -- what is wrong Mom. Dotty continues to yell lets get the hell out of here. I get there and I ask her -- where are we going?

She tells me -- home.

I must say several years ago this would have set me into a major blue funk. Oddly, I laughed and said Mom, we are home -- right Harvey. Right on cue Harvey chirps up -- We are Home Dotty, We are Home Dotty.

Then something happened that I did not expect and had never seen before. Dotty kinda shakes her head and says, there must be something wrong with me. So I ask, what is wrong? She continues shaking her head and says, I don't know but something is not right with me.

Dotty did not get all disoriented and bent out of shape. I didn't start falling into a deep blue funk.

Instead we started our usual morning routine, which now includes Harvey, and all was well.

Frankly, the entire episode startled and amazed me as I thought about it later on. So much so that I actually said to myself -- you've come a long way baby.


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+Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized expert, writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide. The ARR Knowledge Base contains more than 4,600 articles. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.
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