Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Old Timer's Disease
This is rough and sometimes I don't believe that I have enough strength nor sanity to continue through it. This Alzheimer's is nothing like I remembered it to be when my favorite Grandfather was afflicted with it. Then again, I was only twelve during the onset and Grandpop seemed perfectly alright and normal to me then.

In fact, as most 12 year olds tend to do I never listened carefully and thought that Alzheimer's was pronounced "Old Timers".

Old Timer's, after all - are supposed to tell you stories of their earlier eras and experiences. It wasn't until the Chocolate bar incident when I finally got a grip on what I thought Alzheimer's was. Grandpa offered me a few squares of Exlax and of course, I accepted the treats without suspicion. Never in a million years would I had suspected that in twenty minutes I would be writhing on the floor with stomach cramps and camped out in the bathroom for the remainder of the day.

This is what I was expecting and so far have received from Mr. IOH. He is an absolute charm, a sweetheart who sometimes forgets things and needs to be coaxed. Mostly pleasant and much like my own five-year-old daughter - he tends to put his shoes on the wrong feet and would rather lunch be nothing but Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Mrs. IOH is a different story and nobody had a clue that she was afflicted with Alzheimer's also. In fact, we all chalked her behaviors up to personality as she was always quite a stickler over things. However, now that we know doesn't make things any easier for us.

The past few weeks have been easy for me, long hours but easy as Mrs. IOH has been in a Nursing Home to undergo therapy and other matters to prepare her for when she comes home. That will be this Saturday morning and I'm certain work and life as I know it will totally change.

I'm hoping it won't be that bad but must admit I'm a bit apprehensive. Before she went in to the Doctor's she was having me go through closets and drawers with her. Over and over and over again. She can't see and needed to know what is in these things and wanted everything labeled. She took hours contemplating the status of a single pantry shelf.

I'm a patient and kind person, but I can't go through this every single day. For now, I'm going to pray and then pray some more. Plan as well - there has got to be something I can get her to focus on that would be productive and fun for the both of us.

Anyone out there been through this before? What did you do?


Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 6:07 PM  
  • At 6:31 AM, Blogger Judy Thomas said…

    I wish I had some words of wisdom for you... but all I have is a hug and prayers things will go well.

  • At 12:19 PM, Blogger Orhan Kahn said…

    The old laxative chocolate gag.. minus the gag.

    I couldn't imagine growing old with my partner and losing an essential part of my mind. I don't mean to put it in a cruel way but that seems to be what is happening. Considering I've never had people around me long enough to display the problem I can only fear it happening, which I don't mind just as long as I remember how to use the bathroom, have sex and turn the TV on.

    Since I don't understand the disorder well enough the only things I can suggest are simple distractions like a puzzle, whether a crossword or a 100 piece puzzle. You don't really need to access the memory for puzzles, unless 'old-timers' effects the problem solving part of the brain.

    I don't know, Margie. But I'm sure you'll figure something out. You're a special kind of awesome like that.

  • At 8:03 AM, Blogger doctor chip said…

    funny. I've been in Florida for the last week, surrounded by "old".

    makes ya think, ya know it?

    did you know I did in-home health care for an elderly gentleman once?

    true, dat. now, it wasn't so bad, but I do know this:


    I don't wanna be a Klingon, hangin' on for dear life,
    ya know it?

    if I go fucktarded or come up so physically lame I can't take care of myself?

    put the gun to my head, and pull the f*****g trigger. use a latex glove. put the gun in my hand, and leave a suicide note-- I will be better off, and the world will be a better place.

    that said, I appreciate what you do, Margie... as well as how you feel. I know what it's like to get attached to those you care for, and to watch them degenerate (so to speak) is no fun whatsoever.

    here's hoping things are not so bad... maybe after therapy, Mrs. IOH adjusts well; and Mr. IOH stays out of te Ex-Lax when the kiddies are around!

    oh, yeah. that Ex-Lax trickster...

    ... it's a classic, no?




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