Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Jan 31

It's interesting because when I was sleeping last night I had some impressions that I needed to take heed of. I realized that Dan might be faltering because he isn't able to eat like he could even a week ago. I think I wrote about the hamburger that he couldn't hold in his hands and now he struggles to use a spoon. He's not eaten much at all this past week. So, I decided I needed to start purating his foods so that he could suck them through a straw. It was about 6:00 when I got up and started fixing something for him to eat. I took it down about 7:00 and tried to get him to eat a little bit. He seemed to appreciate it. He drank quite a bit and then was done. I got him in the shower and scrubbed him down good, washed his hair and face and got him out. I dried him up and got him dressed in some clean clothes (PJs) and shaved him and brushed his teeth. He looked so nice and I think he felt better. He let me do it all without a struggle. I tucked him back in and went upstairs to get ready for work. It was nice to have the time in the morning to get him ready for the day.

While I was at the Pharmacy, Alisha called around 4:00 to say that Dad had tried to get out of bed but ended up laying on the floor. Obviously, she couldn't get him up so she gave him a pillow and a blanket and then called me. When I got home I got him up and in his chair. I had brought some Ensure home for him. He drank a whole bottle of strawberry and seemed to enjoy it. Then he drank a lot of water. He likes to have his mug of water close by so he can drink when he wants to. After watching some TV and falling asleep in his chair he finally called for me to help him into bed. I'll get him his night meds before I go to bed. Another day.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sat. Jan. 30

The week is almost over, as is the month. And what a month it's been. I think it's been a rough one for many. I'm hopeful that Feb. will bring some sunshine. Such as it is, we have been blessed. Seth came home last night and we spent some time visiting. Then this morning he did some errands around the house for me while I was at work.
Dan came up stairs this afternoon and after trying to eat some dinner, he sat in his chair in the living room. Brother Bennett called and talked with him a little. I know that because BB. came by the pharmacy to visit with me. He said he really couldn't understand Dan on the phone and he was concerned. He offered any help we might need.
Seth stopped by the pharmacy several times while doing the errands and then after work he took me to dinner. It reminded me of a time years ago when he took me out. I so enjoyed the visit and especially the help around the house. There are just so many things I can't do let alone - get to. Thank you, Seth!!

When I got home I set out Dan's meds for the next week, ordered any that need refilling and then took his night meds. down to him. He struggled to put them in his mouth. At one point he actually put them on the lid of his mug thinking he was putting them where they needed to go. Finally we got them in his mouth and he took a drink. I had to get him out of bed to change his pajama bottoms so he could have some clean ones on for the night. It was very difficult tonight. He had a hard time moving his feet and holding on to his walker to stand up. At one point he just let go and although I tried to hold him up, I couldn't! He went down slowly so he wasn't hurt but he went down none the less. Then I couldn't do anything to help with his pajamas because I couldn't move him at all. After several minutes he was finally able to move himself to something steady and pull himself up. I got him to swish some mouth wash and then back into bed. He has a hard time judging when to sit. He's usually way too far from the bed, the chair or whatever so when he sits down he doesn't get positioned where he needs to be. I tried real hard to get him close enough to the bed so he didn't have to try to move himself while on the bed. It didn't happen well but we worked together to get his head where it needed to be and his knees on the bed and under the covers.

I have to write a story about last night. His bedroom is right below mine and so I can hear him move around in his room. Well, last night in the middle of the night I heard a thump and remembering that his knees were awfully close to the edge of the bed when we got him tucked in last night, I was worried that he might have fell out of bed. I got up and went down to see if he was alright. He was fine and so I just tucked him back in and started to leave the room when I heard him say in a soft, quiet voice, "Sweet dreams".

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Jan. 29

I'm making a week of it but I just had to say that Dad did a little better today. He was still in bed when I got home from school. He hadn't been up at all but he was able to come upstairs and eat a little- very little bit of soup. When he was done I helped wash him up and comb his hair and then he sat in his chair. The last couple of days I have the sweet blessing of sitting with him for a few minutes before I leave for the pharmacy. He in his chair and me in mine. - Quite the expected picture. Then I read out of the Ensign to him. I've enjoyed the reading and the time with him. He closes his eyes and listens and then opens them and says, "I'm listening." I love it.

He didn't eat anything for Alisha when she got home but he got out of his chair by himself and went down to bed. A little later Alisha took his evening meds down to him and he took them.

When I got home I took down his night meds. and tried to tuck him in. I was excited that he was able to get himself out of his chair and down the stairs by himself. YEAH!!! Good job, Dan!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Jan. 28

So it's Thursday night and I'm back again. It's late and the others are in bed so I'll just take a minute to write about today.
Like I said, Dad slept upstairs in Alisha's bed last night. He slept soundly and I woke him when I took his morning meds into him before I left for school. When I got home he was sitting in his chair upstairs. He said he hadn't eaten. Actually, he didn't say much of anything but I think that's what he tried to say when I asked him if he had eaten anything today. His speech is very hesitant and jumboed. He slurs most of his words and can't find the right words to say. He's very confused most of the time now.
Anyway, I got him up and fixed him some dinner. He was eating when I went to the pharmacy. Alisha got home later, after practice and they had some pizza together.
He had sat in his chair all day and didn't have the strength to stand up. Literally, he sat there. His chair is wet and the room smells pretty bad. He really struggles to stand up, even with my help.
He wanted to sleep downstairs tonight so I tried to help him down the stairs. It took us 25 minutes to get him down and into his bed. We had to change all his clothes and now we're back to Depends again. It's got to be nicer than sitting there in wet clothes.
I'm so lost as to what to do. I need some information about how to help him but I don't know just where to get it and then when do I do that, too. I was so hoping to get into to see the VA dr. last week, but they canceled because there was no dr.
I noticed on the calendar that it has been a year since we saw Mary at the VA. She was the last person to see Dan consistently. Since then he saw someone else 2 times and then 1 other person. They didn't know Dan or really anything about him so it was rather wasted visits. When I tried to reschedule an appointment with them they said that maybe he could see someone in March.
I'm hoping that most of these symptoms are because of depression rather than the Parkinson's or the Alzhiemer's. He was like this last winter too. Maybe just not so confused but this year he's not suicidal, so that's a blessing.
There, I found a blessing. On that note, I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wed. Jan. 27

Last night I would not have thought that I'm be writing another post tonight. But I need to record what happened today.
I came home from school and fixed Dad a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup but he hardly ate any. I don't think he'd eaten at all today. I thought he'd be pretty hungry, but he only ate a couple of bitefuls. He was worried because he had broken the toilet downstairs so I went down to see what I could do. It was lying on it's side and the water had leaked out. I think he had tried to stand up and had pushed too hard on the hand rails that are attached to it. Anyway, he had actually tipped it right over and pulled the toilet out of the bolts in the ground. It's going to take quite some work to get it back in place correctly. I need to look at the ring to make sure it's still good. I was able to sit it back up right but it's going to take a lot more than that to make it good. I work both jobs straight from now till next Tuesday night so I don't think I can fix it before then.

I called Dan from the pharmacy to make sure he was ok and had taken his evening meds. He hadn't and didn't think he would take them himself. I told him I'd get them for him when I got home later.

When I got home he was still upstairs in his chair in the living room and didn't think he could make it down the stairs again. He thought he'd just sleep in the chair. He was still worried about his toilet. I told him that I couldn't fix it tonight so he decided to stay upstairs. Alisha was kind enough to give him her bed and she went down to the family room. I don't know if this is going to be a permanant change or not, but we'll soon find out. I tried to help him up from his chair but he was so unstable that he wouldn't let go of the chair and I was left there trying to hold him up. When he finally let go, he was able to stand up but he couldn't more his feet for a long time. Finally, he inched his feet forward and with little more than 2-3" at a time we got him into Alisha's bed. I think a lot of the "freezing up" is from him not taking the carbadopa-levo. for the Parkinson's. The dr. told us that he has to stay on a pretty rigid schedule with it for him to be able to move much. I wish there was a way I could do this better.

It's 10:30 and I've been up since 5:30 so I'm going to bed now. It actually feels good to have Dan upstairs where I can get to him if he needs something.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday - Jan. 26

I called home about 12:30 today to see if Dan had taken his "noon" meds. He answered! His speech was a bit more clear and he asked what my phone number was. He had been trying to call me, but didn't remember the number. I gave him both my cell number and my school number for him to write down. We kept getting disconnected. I called him back and said I had "lost" him. He responded with, "It's no fun to be lost." It was good to hear his speak a bit better today.
This is my second day off in a row from the pharmacy. It's good to be home. I went VT and when I got home, Dan was on the living room floor. He had lost his balance and gone down on the nice soft, double padded carpet. (Thank you, Daniel)
I made him a hamburger for dinner but had to cut it up for him. He couldn't keep it in his hands to eat it. He kept asking when Tessha is coming home. I think he misses her attention and fixing him meals. It will be good to get her home in a couple of weeks or so.
I tucked him in bed and headed off to Alisha's last BB game. It's senior night! He was still in bed when I got home so I gave him his night meds and said good-night.
Back to both jobs tomorrow. I worry about him when I'm gone all day and night.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Dan Diaries - Jan. 25, 2010

The Dan Diaries are a special place for me to write about Dan and what's happening in his life. I don't expect many people to read it but I want to record how he is progressing in regards to his Parkinson's and Alzhiemer's. I've thought that maybe someday I'll want to look back over it and see what really happened to us, and not to just survive this illness but to grow from it. Perhaps some of the children will want to read it from time to time, but there is no need to if they'd really rather not know.
I've thought about sending out emails like I did a year ago. But if some of the family would rather not watch it happen; would rather not know, then it is their right to remember him as they do.
But, I am finding times that are very gentle in it all and I just want to remember them, too.

This is just the beginning of the journey. I'll write as I can and as I want.

Tonight I shaved Dan. It was a new experience, both difficult and tender. He was kind and patient but you could tell now and then it hurt him. Afterwards, he took a quick shower (most showers now are quick), put on clean pajamas and went to bed. I tucked him in. He likes his new sheets (850 Egyptian linen). He got them for Christmas and they really are nice. I washed his comforter the other night and it turned out a lot nicer than I expected. It looks pretty good now.
I came home from the pharmacy last Saturday night at 7:30 and decided it was time to clean up his bedroom and his bathroom again. It took quite a while but it was so nice to walk out knowing his room was clean again. I don't get to do that as often as I wish, but when I do, we're both glad.
Dan's been having a lot of trouble walking. He shakes pretty bad and can't always find the strength to stand up. Most times he needs some support in order to get up from a chair. I have to keep reminding him to "don't sit down until you can feel the chair). He tries to sit down way too soon and sometimes ends up on the floor.
He's had some trouble with his speech lately and he can't remember what he wants to say by the time he gets the mouth working. It's been very frustrating for both of us because he wants to tell me and I want to listen but it just doesn't work well.
He's also been forgetting to take his meds. Tessha's been gone to Penny's to help her with the girls while she recuperates from her surgery so during the day, Dan's been on his own. I try to call when it's time to take his meds. but most of the time he doesn't answer the phone-even after repeated phone calls. So, I have to wait till I get home to know if he's taken them or not. Most of the time he hasn't.
However, the other night while I was at the pharmacy he took 3 boxes instead of the 1box that he was supposed to take at bed time. I'm going to have to work out another way to make it happen. I usually try to take his "bedtime" meds down to him when I get home. That way I can make sure he's covered up and warm, too.
He has a hard time moving his body around in the bed and sometimes he gets his head way too high up in the bed. He'd rather just "bend" over than try to move down, so I try to help him get adjusted before I leave him. Some night when I can't sleep, I go down and crawl in beside him and he holds me until I fall asleep. I like those times.
I have to hope that as winter leaves, Dan will return a bit more to us. Winter is always harder on him than summer. Maybe???