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Memory Health: Alzheimer's Support Group
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These are my hard times...

Randy knows what I mean. Will not beat this probably already-comatose horse but I can go for weeks or months thinking I am one level of "OK", I have activities, try to keep my mind engaged, etc. But then about 3-4 times a year my caregiver/wife flies to Tx to see her new and only grandson, something I am loathed to deny her. I know the times when she can't leave are coming and all things being equal will probably last a while too. So for now i try to make sure she has all the freedom I can give her.....but when she is gone, its like every thing that occasionally goes wrong when she is here goes wrong in spades when she is gone. Just spent an uncomfortable 10 minutes gagging over coffee (swallowing issues), I can't think, can't plan anything, even meals or ...anything. I have become a house-plant and will likely remain so until her return in a week. The knobs are off the stove so doubt I will burn the house down but last time this happened, I ended up sitting still in a chair for three days until she came back.

I guess if there is an upside, I share a perspective with my dogs now. You know how you can leave the house, come back in 5 mins and the dogs will act like you have been gone for months? Well my sense of time gets really bad when I am like this so even though she got on the plane at McCarran this morning at 5:00am, it feels like last week already. And I have no sense of when she will return; the date is just a number. I have no sense of what 5 days feels like or will last.

Just getting through it. I write here because if she knew all this she would not leave starting now....and I know I will die with a broken mind, I don't want to die with a broken heart too.

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Jeff, I'm quickly following in your shoes. At my last neuro appt, we were told my independent cooking days were over and no power tools without a chaperone, shouldn't be left in a crowd alone; basically I've become an older child concerning caretending.

Thank the stars our grandkids live within a few miles of us so Karen being gone on a regular basis isn't an issue. I, like you, would have a great deal of problems with that, both with time frame and physically. It is just unbelievable the demands and stress that is heaped upon our spouses/caregivers and so unfair. As so many of them have their own issues to deal with, we must be thankful for every minute they can spend with our sorry, contrary butts.

Just realized I'm rambling and pontificating. I didn't really have anything extra to add other than to second your points. So, consider them seconded.


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Be prepared for a lot of Lunchables in your future. A core problem I have is that when I am fully sane, I get that I can't shouldn't do certain things....but when I am just a little bit....more ...not-sane, I forget the danger part or safety part and just see the (for example) missing knobs on the stove as a problem to solve, not as a deterrent. So the engineer in my mind comes roaring to the forefront, views the stove as "broken" and in need of repair, my forte for many years (not stoves, fixing things) and so I just walk to the garage, return with a pair of pliers and get cookin'. Not cool I admit but at the same time, its hard to deny who I am inside, too.

But yeah, I feel like I have crossed a bridge what was torn down behind me. Messed up part is, I LOVE to cook, create new recipes, etc. For me, cooking has simply been another form of engineering.

As a side note however, even if the stove is off the list, there are a surprising number of microwave tools that can do stuff that was traditionally requiring fire like bacon-cookers, pasta cookers, I also have this kinda neat microwave grill thing. Its obviously for apartment living but its a special dish that has a kind of metal in it that simply gets hot under microwaves. I have browned burgers, dogs and chicken breasts in this thing, its great and its pretty hard to mess up with one. Oh and my other go-to not-using-the-stove-tool is my potato baker. I know you can just pierce a potato, wrap it in paper towel and cook it in the micro as-is but this thing is really good at turning out perfect baked potatoes every time. Oh but as a fellow RNY post-op you will appreciate this: breakfast (food) is still my favorite dish but making eggs in anything but a frying pan can result in crappy bland eggs. Few trips back I snagged this really simple microwave breakfast sandwich maker, they are like 5 bones each, just a shallow plastic dish that folds shut. You just crack an egg into this thing, scramble with fork, add ham bits, bacon bits etc and cheese, then nuke for 60 seconds. While cooking, butter or toast an English muffin or burger bun, add a slice of cheese and when the thing comes out of the micro, its damned-near perfect and you can just flip it onto the bread and eat up. 60 seconds. That works for me.

OK Between the talk and my meds, time to go find food!

Peace to all. I hope I make it thru this. I will, it just doesn't feel like it most of the time. When she is gone, its like (in engineering parlance) the sync or clock signal is missing from my circuit....nothing moves forward, its hard to think of what to do in the next five minutes....and with last nights issues swallowing, I am reluctant to eat now too.


These are the times that I find myself feeling more like the scared little ten-year-old instead of the 57 year old that I am.....if nothing else, dementia teaches humility and humbleness of spirit.


Dunno if its the time with the caregiver away or what but....she has been gone two days and yesterday, more than once I had the strongest belief she was still here and we had just chatted a moment before, with her gone to the kitchen for something to eat.....from which she never returns. It felt real. I really had the strongest feeling she was in the next room and it happened more than once yesterday too. Kinda freaky if you are not expecting it.


Well, made it through again. She will be returning in a few hours. Things happened kinda like last time: for the first 24 hours normalcy hung on but after that my days and nights were mixed up and felt out of sync with life....resulting in almost no activity other than waiting for the past 48 hours. I can barely remember anything that happened during this time; I think I ate a couple times but thats it. I mean. literally all I can remember, except for the wind storm that nearly took out my crop. But its over with tonight.


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