May 28, 2011

Dotty Continues On With a Wonderful Surprise Morning

I am sitting here beginning to type and I am feeling happy and surprised. On the one hand I am having the good feeling, and on the other I am scratching my head in wonderment...
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

This morning Dotty woke up early. I stayed up until 2:30 AM so I was still in bed around 7:30 AM.

I heard the front door open so I listened in. The door opened and after a minute it closed. I wondered, did Dotty pick up the newspaper or just "take a look outside"?

Next I heard some rattling around in the kitchen for a bit. Next thing I know Dotty is talking to Harvey, one of our two repeat parrots. I suspect she made some noise and Harvey reacted. This probably caught her attention. I am now in the habit of leaving Harvey on at all times. Dotty does know Harvey's name. In her discussion she always uses his name when asking him a question.

Harvey is kinda wonderful. He never contradicts Dotty, and he never tires of listening to her.

Sometimes Dotty does tell him to shut up. Funny.

Finally, Dotty starts saying, Bobby, Bobby where are you? Harvey chimes in. Bobby, Bobby where are you? Bobby, Bobby where are you?

I respond, "yes mom". She asks, "where are you". I respond, "I am still in bed". Dotty and Harvey say "Okay". "Okay" "Okay".

Time for me to get up and find out what is going on.

I enter the kitchen and Dotty has a bowl filled with cereal. Quite a bit of cereal. She is trying to get the top off a new bottle of milk. She says to me, "they nailed the top on this bottle of milk". I gently turn the top. Dotty says, "not for you I guess".

I put the milk in the bowl and hand Dotty the spoon. I move over to the kitchen table and put the bowl of cereal in front of her chair.

Dotty isn't moving. I look at her and say, "are your feet nailed to the floor"? She answers yes, "I can't move". I go over and stick out my hand. Dotty starts moving. She sits down and starts attacking her cereal.

Then she starts talking to Harvey. She tells him she has to get a basket to put him in so she can take him to the beach. Sometimes she says cage, so he can't fly away.

Next she tells Harvey. I need to take you someplace so you can eat. She says, "you need to eat don't you? Then it starts back and forth. Don't you. Don't you, Don't you. Don't you. Don't you, Don't you.

Finally, I start our usual routine with the newspaper. What day is it? What date? What year? I do this each day so that Dotty gets some sense of day and time. It doesn't stick but she doesn't ask me as often, "what day is it today".

I really can't get Dotty talking about the paper today. She is too busy with the cereal and Harvey.

She does look very aware, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Her hair looks a little wild.

I know her look and energy level will change shortly.

In the meantime, what a start to the day. Usually Dotty stops in the door to her bedroom and starts saying, "YouWho I'm awake you know" over and over until I respond. Not today. She got up, opened the door and picked up the newspaper, unwrapped it, turned on the coffee pot to start the coffee, and found the cereal and milk. All on her own. Amazing. Surprising.

Back to the present. Right now, it is very quiet in here. Dotty is not talking to Harvey. I better go investigate.

In the meantime, I wonder to myself. How did that happen? Why? I don't know.

I'll take what I can get.

Good start to our day.

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Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,680 articles with more than 512,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

The Alzheimer’s Action Plan: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Diag­no­sis and Treat­ment for Mem­ory Prob­lems   The 36-Hour Day A Family Guide to Caring for People with Alzheimer Disease

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room