Good Memories

Doug and I have such a long and (mostly) wonderful history. I met him in high school, my junior year. We dated all of my senior year and then married just before my graduation. He was two years older than me, so he was in college.

Last night, lying awake like I often do, instead of worrying about bills and our future, I let myself go back in time. To times that make me happy to think about. I remember: Doug and I use to dance. Not a lot of men really enjoy dancing, but Doug did! We would go out, like a lot of young people, on Saturday nights, to the local clubs that had bands. My favorite times were when we went to Nashville and went out with my aunt, uncle, and cousin. Nashville Had some dance clubs, back in the day! My uncle Roger and Aunt Jane (my Mother’s sister), would tear up the dance floor! A lot of times, people would simply stand back and watch them and then applaud.  We had wonderful times!

But the memory that came to me last night was from later in our lives. After the children were grown (we had 3), long after we had stopped “going out” to dance, Doug and I would have our own, personal dance parties. Just he and I. Mostly in the winters, because I remember that fires in the fireplace provided the only light in the room. Maybe a few candles. We would have a few drinks, put on our favorite tapes to dance to; mainly the Bee Gees, James Taylor, Roy Orbison, the Commodores, Little Anthony. I can see us, clearly, swaying and kissing and telling each other how much we loved each other.

Good memories. ❤️   I cling to them.   Stay tuned.

 

Friday

I woke up Thursday morning with horrible allergy eyes. Since that is one of my busiest days I went to work, but because I enter numbers into a computer spreadsheet all day, my eyes really suffered! I finished all my work, but told my boss, if my eyes weren’t a lot better, I would take a vacation day on Friday. Woke up, looked bad, but had several errands to run that can only be done on a weekday. Texted my boss, put on sunglasses and went to the bank. Knew the dogs needed  vaccinations. We get tha done at the humane society.  Remembered they only vaccinate on certain days of the week, but couldn’t remember which days. Before I drove all the way out Louisville Rd, decided I would call, right? No. No one answers; you leave your name and number and they will call you back – at the End of the day! Decided to drive them out there anyway. Yep, I was right. Rabies shots only on Tuesday and Thursdays  Fine. Took them to an inexpensive vet. (He is vet to large animals, so he doesn’t charge a lot for small pets) Got their shots. Check that off the list! Took the dogs home.  On to the next errand.

I am my own worst enemy! Okay, here is my new rule for me. READ IT!  Read ALL of it!   I  made 3 – yes, you read that correctly – three trips to the courthouse yesterday to renew my car tags!
Crazy! I had all of my proof of insurance for 4 cars (I know). I handed them to the girl, gave her my check, left the building. Only when I got home did I look at the tags and realize that I only had 3 tags, not 4. Made trip #2. Asked the girl, “What the ____?” She said, “Well, you don’t have insurance on this vehicle.” I had 4 proofs of insurance in my envelope. Took them out to finally READ them. Found one of them was insurance on a van that doesn’t even Run anymore! (I know). I stepped out of line, called insurance company, got them to switch vehicles and fax to the courthouse. Went home (to rest), then made third trip back to get tags! But, by God! I am Legal and Insured!

Can not Wait to go back to work! Stay tuned!

Getting old is a Bitch!

I am Still trying to come to grips with the fact that I am 6 months past my 65th birthday. What the Hell? I remember when my Grandmother (who lived with us) was 65! She wore house dresses with aprons, heavy, flat rubber soled shoes; went to the beauty shop once a week and church every Sunday.

Nowadays, some people my age (like myself), still work a full time job. We struggle with   1. Health issues that, pretty much, just popped up recently  2. New technology – iPhone 6 or wait for 7 ?    3. Remembering birthdays, phone numbers, doctors and dentist appointments.

Most of the television commercials are geared to our age. Bands that we used to rock out to (seems like not that long ago) are sending their members to hospitals for breaking their hips climbing off the tour buses. We can’t understand the appeal of Kayne West or Taylor Swift. We don’t know, or care what “bae” means or who the new host is on The View.

While we try to stay active and involved, the temptation to go to our homes and “hermit” is very real. Especially in this election year. Don’t get me started! They tell me that I should live another twenty years. I believe the only hope we have is if we are living in the last days. If not, I may have to acquire a taste for cat food and lukewarm showers. Stay tuned.

KEYS!

Please forgive the language, but Jesus H. Christ – the man (Doug) has more keys than Carter has little pills! (You have to be a certain age to get my references). My poor husband, you’ll remember, has early on set Alzheimer’s disease (he just turned 67 a few weeks ago). And we have rental property. Now, add those two together, plus cars keys and…. My poor sister (who lives with us) spends the best part of every day, trying to help Doug find his keys. It does not help that he will go have new keys made for an apartment, and by the time he gets home, does not remember the address – so we can’t tag the new keys. I have, I believe, about 70-75 loose keys, lying around my house – untagged. Around the house. In different locations. Although the kitchen has become a favorite place for him. Now before you get all preachy over how, where, and why I should keep up with this key collection, let me explain. We have had rental property all our lives. Not by choice. Like Everything in our lives together, it just happened. When Doug was 20 or 21, his grandmother, who lived in a mobile home, bought a new one and gave her old one to us. Since we were already living in a new one, she suggested we rent out the one she gave us. And that’s how it started. My husband is a very smart man. Always had business savvy. Over the years, as he acquired more and more properties, I was in charge of the keys. I always had to think of ways that he could quickly locate and grab the key he was looking for. I used different methods, but my favorite one was when I had him buy me a sheet of pegboard at Lowe’s that I spray painted dark blue and attached little hangy things (ok – hooks) for each address. Then, I used my label maker and printed out the addresses and attached to the pegboard and hung this on the wall. He comes in, grabs the key he wants – easy peezy.  Yeah, well.                                            I have to go this afternoon, after work and get him new car keys made. This will make the fourth time. But he’s down to one car key and my sister is starting to panic. My house is a Zoo!          Stay tuned.

 

Sunday

God, what a weekend! When am I going to learn? Please, soon! I just sent him and his puppy to bed. I am so tired of him tonight. I know! That sounds horrible! Too bad. It’s true!
I took a vacation day from work on Friday, giving Doug and I a long weekend at the Lake.
Never mind. This is too depressing. I lived through the weekend. I do not have the energy to recount it. Needless to say – I am Beyond tired! Thank you, God, I have someplace to go tomorrow! I may return to this post. But I am too exhausted tonight. Stay tuned, if you want. Or don’t. Whatever.

Our Journey

Folks with Dementia need schedules, consistency, regulations.  They remind me a lot of 3 year olds. Dinner needs to be at the same time each night, also bedtime. Daily routines can vary, somewhat, but they have to know what to expect later. No surprises.

I say “folks” because, unfortunately, this is not my first go round with this damn disease! My mother, Sarah, passed away last year. She suffered several years with Alzheimer’s and her only sister is now deep in it’s throes.

I did not witness my mother’s early battle with Alzheimer’s. She lived next door to, and then later, with my sister. My sister and I had no experience looking for signs, or dealing with this disease. My mother always was a drama queen and had to be the center of attention (so I come by these traits honestly!).  My sister and I were annoyed that she didn’t remember the simplest things; despite being reminded over and over again!  When she was finally diagnosed  (in the hospital, after a small stroke), we were unprepared for the long physical and emotional journey we would take with her.

Needless to say, I Never expected to have my sweet guy travel down this road! And certainly – not at this age! But I must say; dealing with my mother, I have learned a lot about how to care for my guy. I have huge amounts of patience; something I had to acquire because God did not gift me with that trait!  I am his voice. Especially in the mornings, he simply cannot find his words. He tries to tell me something, but every other word is “that Thing”. We play a lot of charades at my house! I work, full time and get off work at 4:30. I am home, no later than 5:00. He expects me. I am his advocate. I constantly read and research this disease and pray they find a cure – like next Year! I go to every doctor’s appointment, court appearance (when necessary), I am his driver. I make sure he takes his medicine each day. I am his entertainment. I make sure he eats well and naps often. I am his love. I am his life.

None of this would be possible without my sweet, loving sister! It takes a village. As much as I hate that she is dealing with this (again), I thank Jesus every day that she is here to help us. She goes above and beyond, daily, to help Doug get through his day. She makes sure he has a good breakfast, actually swallows his pills, and tries to see that he rests.

He still goes out and works on the rental properties, every day. Mowing, cleaning, doing repairs. He needs to feel useful. He gets so frustrated if things don’t go the way he thinks they should. My sister and I spend a lot of time trying to make that happen for him. I know we are in the early part of our journey. I thank God every day for this man and I appreciate every day Now. I know what’s down that long, horrible road. I treat each one of these days like what they are. A Gift.❤️

 

 

Dougie

I have agonized over whether to blog about this or not. I love my husband, deeply. We have been married for 47 years. But I can see that I am going to need an outlet – just for me! Since I believe only 2-3 people follow my blog, I’m not that concerned about his privacy. I will need to vent, on occasion. I have some truly wonderful friends, but, let’s face it. I can not, in good conscience, burden them with this. So – here goes.

My sweet, handsome, loyal, loving husband (who, just this month turned 67 years old) has early on-set Dementia. He has probably had it for about 3 years now. But he is also a diabetic and his sugar has been through the roof, so different things have presented themselves over this time period. It is only recently that we got a firm diagnosis.

He is seeing a neurologist who, on the first appointment, ordered a cat scan to rule out tumors, small strokes, etc. None of that was the case, but Doug didn’t do well on the verbal test. He got the date wrong. Didn’t know the President’s name (Doug can’t stand him and didn’t vote for him, so, no surprise to me that he forgot his name!)

He is on medication that lets him sleep well and helps control his paranoia. Oh, the stories I could tell about that!  Think, Robin Williams. I have read a lot about his particular type of dementia and see similarities to Doug’s. I pray my husband will not end up as Robin did. I will do my very best to make sure that doesn’t happen.  Stay tuned;  if you want. This will be quite the journey!