Mar 14, 2012

Dotty Eats A Whole Cantaloupe, Sits in the Pool for an Hour

The man asked, can you draw, I answered no, and then asked, why? He said she (Dotty) would make for a great comic strip character.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Dotty's Cantaloupe
Dotty woke up around 10:30 today. We went through our usual routine. Take AM medication. Get the day and date from the newspaper, discuss current events in the newspaper. Dotty seemed very alert and I'll get to that shortly.

Next Dotty had oatmeal and held a discussion with new Harvey. All was well.

I had to get on the telephone to discuss a plan of action with a doctor friend of mine. A plan to get a friend of ours a memory test. I was on the phone for quite some time discussing a range of issues.

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When I hung up the phone I thought I better check on Dotty. At first, I could not figure out what I was looking at. I actually said to Dotty, why did you stuff that trash into the cantaloupe? She answered, its gone. I said no it isn't, its new. I then pulled the napkins, etc out of the cantaloupe and to my surprise there was a big hole where there use to be a brand new, whole cantaloupe. The picture up top shows what was left of the cantaloupe. In other words, Dotty somehow got her hands on the cantaloupe, I had cut off the end, and managed to eat most of it using a spoon.

As you can see she didn't eat the seeds. By they way, I only cut off a small piece of the end of the cantaloupe, Dotty ate the inside of a very large cantaloupe.

After a good chuckle, I started berating new Harvey for not keeping an eye on Dotty. New Harvey really fell down on the job if you ask me.

Dotty of course was quite pleased with herself. She did not say, "I can't believe I ate the whole thing".

Yesterday I took Dotty to the pool for some sun and walking. Things started out with Dotty informing me she would not be going in the water. She told me this all the way there, and even when she was standing right in front of the first step into the pool.

She did go in after huffing and puffing a bit. Much to the amazement of the folks sitting around the pool.

We were in for about 30 minutes when I said, time to get out. What do you think Dotty said?

She said, I am not getting out. I asked, why not? She informed me she didn't want to get out. So, I got out.

After a while, Dotty managed to shimmy over to the steps and sit down on the step in the pool. At this point she started to entertain anyone within earshot. Mom you have to get out, you are going to get sunburned. No I won't she said. What makes you think that? You know I have that skin that doesn't get burned. Really? Yeah, you know I am half and half. I'll leave it to you to figure that one out.

Every once in a while, I said, mom time to get out of the pool. Each time she had some smart aleck retort. Frankly, I was enjoying this and so were the people sitting around the pool. I mean Dotty with her "mouth" was actually like the Dotty of old. Kinda, sorta.

Finally after an hour, she decided she would get out. Well, actually she was in the pool 90 minutes, 30 with me, and 60 on her own.

I have to tell you, sunlight is like magic as far as I am concerned.

It certainly makes a difference in Dotty's level of awareness, demeanor, and mood. It certainly makes her communicative. And, it makes her laugh more.

As Dotty was getting out of the pool, I said to one couple sitting nearby, I have my own real life cartoon character here. The man asked, can you draw, I answered no, and then asked, why?

He said she would make for a great comic strip character.

Of this I have no doubt.

I am taking my camera with me next time we go to the pool.

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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 3,361 articles with more than 397,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

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