Jul 16, 2011

Dotty Update, Playing Hookey, Saturday in the Park

As is the usual case, a month or so ago I thought we were heading for "doomsday" with Dotty. Once again she bounces back. Now keep in mind each drop is lower, and the bounce back is also lower. We continue to ride down the up staircase.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Spunky and Tadpole
Many of you are asking for a Dotty update, so here you go.

What can I say, another hard to understand 6 week period.

A month or so ago it seemed like Dotty was going downhill. She wasn't feeling well and she just seemed to be out of it. We were having problems with headaches and Dotty's pulse rate. We ended up at the doctors office five times in the last 6 weeks.

Dotty's pulse was falling below 50 on occasion, and her resting pulse was in the low 50s.

Dotty's resting pulse is now averaging about 57. Better for sure, but above 60 is the goal. We continue to work on this.

Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room

Joanne, my sister, came to visit us in late June and as far as I can tell and conclude, this was the best medicine.

Dotty perked up when Joanne arrived, and still seems more perky.

Maybe too perky. She is starting to get back into things and is moving stuff around all over the place. She also tells me ten times a day that she is going to walk down to the store and buy something to eat. Something to eat is usually potato chips, candy, or a steak sandwich. Well, at least she isn't telling me she is going to "drive"down to the store. So I don't have to worry about Dotty taking off in the car.

I don't think I mentioned this one before. While Joanne was here Dotty ripped me off for 11 bucks. She managed to find my money stack, and peeled off 11 dollars. I caught her red handed. So with Joanne looking on, I ask Dotty where she obtained the 11 bucks. Dotty more or less tells us it is her money and she is taking us out. We look at each other and laugh. Dotty really is like a cartoon character, and if you put yourself in the right frame of mind, you can jump right into the cartoon with her.

Yes, sometimes it seems it seems to me like Dotty is a giant, real life, cartoon character. Well, I like cartoons. So it can be very entertaining.

Did I ever tell you about the time I played "hookey" from school for two weeks before they caught me?

I was seven years old and in second grade. No one actually caught me. After two weeks, the school became concerned and called my mother to find out how sick I was. My mother informed them I wasn't sick at all. Then they asked, how come he hasn't been in school the last two weeks? They finally put one and one together.

When they asked me why I "cut" school I answered, I was watching cartoons. This was in the era before cable television, so you could only catch cartoons in the morning. I liked Popeye, and Spunky and Tadpole.

I really don't remember what I did for the other five hours, but I clearly preferred it to school. They finally determined that I was bored. They did consider putting me in the third grade. By the way, my grades did not suffer one little bit while I was on my self imposed vacation from school. My grade in conduct did suffer. But it seemed to me straight 95s (the highest grade you could get in those days), and a C in conduct where the just right combination for a seven year old. I wonder why I didn't get an F in conduct?

I guess I am a bit off track.

Dotty's short term memory is "dead stone shot" at this point. She can't remember anything past the "right now" on the short term memory side. Although she did somehow remember she won five bucks at Bingo on Tuesday night on Thursday. Meanwhile on Wednesday, I asked her, are you happy you won at bingo last night. She looked at me like I was some kinda nut and responded, what bingo? Dotty still makes excellent faces when she is "aware" and perplexed. My little cartoon character.

As is the usual case, a month or so ago I thought we were heading for "doomsday" with Dotty. Once again she bounces back. Now keep in mind each drop is lower, and the bounce back is also lower. We continue to ride down the up staircase. I am sure many of you understand my meaning here.

Dotty is 95 now. Just amazing to me. When I have time to think I am really astounded. It really is amazing.

Okay, commercial. We are living our life and we are surviving Alzheimer's disease. Ain't no means spirited, vilification expert, going to poop on our parade. There is some Alzheimer's awareness for ya.

Have a good Saturday. Get out there and get some ice cream. It is hot outside. Go get a hot dog. Or, take a walk in the park.

You know you could send me a picture, or video of your time in the park. Or, you could make a podcast. Hint.

More Insight and Advice for Caregivers

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room