Wheee! Highlight of the day

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
45
Australia
Don't give up on them

Just though of another bright moment,

My brother was coming to visit and I had twisted his arm to visit dad as well, who he hasn't seen for a year and has not seen since he went to live permanently in a home.

Anyway I knew that my brother was quite hurt by my Dad's 'new personality' in the past and that he would be quite reluctant to visit Dad so the day before I had a special chat to Dad.

I told Dad (these days I can't tell if he understands me most of the time but I thought I'd give it a go) that his boy was coming to visit, that he was coming a long way to see him and that I was going to set Dad some homework for the occasion. (Dad was always very studious) I said to him that his homework was to use every one of his brain cells to try to think of something to say to 'Greg' when he came to visit, so Greg would know he (Dad) was still here. I repeated this 'homework' to dad a few times during my visit and crossed my fingers when I went home, with nothing else to go on as Dad can't answer me or show any signs of understanding or agreement.

The next day, I dragged my brother in to visit Dad and when we arrived at the home they told us he was in bed. So I dragged my brother into his room and as we walked in Dad's eyes opened, saw Greg, focused, looked right at him and then Dad said 'Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy' with a real look of delight. Greg was shocked and over the moon, even more so when I pointed out that I hadn't heard Dad ever say that phrase, (he has some favourite words) and generally one word is the best you can get.

But there was more, then Greg jokes to Dad that he's glad Dad's not going bald cos that might mean he won't, and I said, nuh-uh thats got nothing to do with Dad's genes you get that one from Mum. And then Dad started laughing, still looking at Greg, but laughing (in a nice teasing Dad way). My mum's dad was completely bald as long as we can remember him!

Anyway, I still smile now when I think of my brother walking around the garden with my Dad that day,(they went outside later) Dad held his hand and kept looking at him and smiling. My brother even whispered to me, 'He's not even looking at you.'

And I was SO happy, my brother had his Dad back for an hour, and my Dad had made sure my brother knew he was still in there, somewhere!
 
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Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Perseverance

As dementia develops and reaches the later stages, it seems to take our loved ones away entirely, at first glance.

Many people choose not to visit as they think it makes no difference, or because it is too painful for them.

This is a shame because, as with so many things, the most rewarding results come with some work, or perseverance. At the risk of seeming frivolous, it is a little like surfing - not that I have ever done it, mind you, but I did have a fabulous week this August at Caswell Bay in Wales, so had the opportunity to observe.

The day we arrived the tide was way out, and the sea was very calm. Although the sun was beautiful, no-one could surf at that time.

The next day we went down to the beach earlier. The sun was shining again, and this time the wind had changed and the tide was much further in. There were small waves and some people were surfing, well actually they were laying face down on the boards and coasting in.

The third day the tide was right in, just on the turn. Sun wasn't so good but there were decent enough waves for the better surfers to get up on the boards and actually do some surfing. Made their visit to the beach worthwhile. If they had not gone to the beach on this day then they might have written the place off as a 'no surfing' beach.

Brucie rambling again....... well, no. The first day at the beach was like visiting someone at a care home maybe after a meal and they feel dozy, or after medication has been administered and they are feeling the effects. So there is not too much communication. They may not be like it all the time but if this is the only visit we make, we might think they are.

The next day was like visiting at a different time - or maybe it is just a day when the person felt better, and they could perhaps give a smile or make some show of
recognition.

I had a third type day yesterday, and to an extent today. There was a change in Jan. She was clearly trying to make conversation as she was putting sentences together. What did it matter that I couldn't understand a word? Her face became animated as she tried to speak, she smiled when I guessed the appropriate one word reply. Normally of late, there is no attempt at speech, no change in facial expression, no smiles. Today she called me by my name, or as close as she could get to it. I could almost forget that I was flat on my back on the floor to her side, holding her up in a hands and knees position and she can no longer see me.

We surfed today.
:)
 

rummy

Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
700
Oklahoma,USA
Brucie, that was a tear jerker. WHat a happy day for you!

Yesterday I was over at my folks to help Mom out. They had bought a giant scare crow to decorate for Halloween ( do you celebrate Halloween in England?) Anyway, it was very cute and I made a fuss over it as they were very proud of it. When I left to go home there was a giant scare crow in my pick up truck passenger side. I was shocked, delighted, and we had a good laugh over it. Their way of saying thank you.
 

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
45
Australia
Goose bumps

Ooh, oww, eee, oooh! Shaved legs can hurt when you get goose bumps! I just got a whole bunch when I read your post Brucie. You always talk about how well I hit the nail on the head with my words...well sir you just did the same. I live for those surfing days and it frustrates me no end when the rest of the family visit dad once in a blue moon (i hear blue moons portend bad surfing weather, by the way ;) )and then they tell me how pointless if feels to visit because Dad is 'no longer there'.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Your post was my highlight of the day. :)
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hello Rummy

well we do increasingly seem to celebrate Halloween over here, though established religion seems to see it as a threat [yes, really] and stages its own counter events on the day, to bring light into the life of those they think will be corrupted forever by putting on a pointed hat. There is even some small backlash at Harry Potter. We don't tend to do the wreath hanging, and the trick or treating is not, for me, a very welcome addition to our year, but the pumpkins brighten things up a lot!

Talking about weird passengers in the car.... last year Jan was given an enormous Teddy Bear and I had to get it - via the office because I was at work then - to Jan in the car. [picture below] The passenger seat was the only way. I had some very strange looks as I drove!!!

Hi Nat

I'm pleased you liked it. I find comfort in visualising our situations in what might be thought of as very weird ways. But for me the process works, and I feel I can understand my own - and Jan's - feelings better. Others say I ramble... ;)
 

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Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Joy of the comode

Having had a tough Christmas and New Year phoned mum's "care co-ordinator" on Wednesday and asked for reassessment. Occ Therapist came yesterday and has offered mobile comode. Spoke with Nurse and getting hospital bed. Incontinenct team now going to get involved. What strange things can make you feel happy, but today lie feels so much better!
Amy
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Home delivery

Had weekly shop delivered to the door yesterday! Wonderful! (Feeding husband and three teenage boys there.s a lot of shopping).Must have saved two hours and completely without hassle. It made me feel so good.

I'm determined to use this page; I'm naturally a bit of a pessimist so good to remember the little things that bring a lighter feel to what are often very busy days.
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
Amy
one of the best things I did was to have our shopping delivered.
The small charge is well worth avoiding the hassle in the supermarket,parking the car ,although we have a blue badge it is still not easy
This only leaves my to get the "bits"on my free time.
Another stress avoided.
Norman :D
 

zan

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
96
57
staffordshire
I sometimes feel that life is like a roller coaster ride at the moment. Over the weekend I have been at the bottom of a dark hole but yesterday I was at the top of the slope ( not a high one because I'm scared of those big drops, but one with a lovely view). As well as the AD my Dad was recently diagnosed with cancer in his oesophagus. All sorts of tubes have been tried. He now has one in his throat to keep it open. Thursday it was tested. The tube was OK but he seemed to have forgotten how to swallow. Fluid was going into his lungs when he tried and I thought that he might never swallow again because of the risk of pneumonia. At least he had a PEG into his stomach so he could be fed through that. On Saturday he pulled the peg out, hence the depression. So what happened yesterday to make it so good? He swallowed thickened water. It looks like glue and by the look on his face it tasted like it but it went down OK. After nearly 5 weeks we could be getting somewhere. If all goes well he could try something tastier soon.
 

frederickgt

Registered User
Jun 4, 2005
124
92
Hornchurch,Essex
Highlights

you know how it is for a carer,I forgetfully washed my trouser wthout removing a ten pound and five pound note from my rear pocket.what I want to know is ,can I be prosecuted for laundering money?
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Sounds better than 'the glue'. Enjoy the high whilst you can.

Best wishes,

Amy.
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi frederickgt

no, you can't be done for money laundering but the Inland Revenue might get you for having sat on undisclosed assets. ;)
 

zan

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
96
57
staffordshire
no highlight

Sorry , no hilight today. Dad can't even swallow his own saliva. He has been moved to another ward because the hospital have altered his original ward now to take medical not surgical patients. He had got used to some lovely caring nurses on that ward and they had got used to him. Now I feel we are starting from the beginning again. The rollercoaster is in a deep black hole and I can't see any light. Zan
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
A soggy shoulder

A friend provided a shoulder at just the right time! How good to just be allowed to cry!

Amy :)
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
A memory

Found some lovely photos of mum taken 10 years ago. I'd taken her out with my son (who was 2); she was already poorly, but we had a fun time, and I remember it! She's showing my son baby frogs, and trying to climb a rope in a park - oh she looks so happy. It may sound daft to think this a highlight, but I have found it difficult to remember the good times - in fact being honest, I think too scared to allow myself to remember the good times.
Amy :)
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
That's wonderful Amy, never forget the good times.. That is one of the pleasures I try to share with Lionel - remembering the special times. Whenever he could not remember the occasion himself he would say "I bet I enjoyed it at the time"
Ah, bittersweet memories. Connie
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Amy
I also have the problem of having difficulty remembering the 'normal' times, and Jan and I had 35 years of those before the dementia came along.

I have resigned myself to being unable to bring back those times to myself until something happens to Jan and she is no longer with me. I have rationalised that the memories, while so precious, are important only to me now, and that my priority must be to ensure that Jan has everything she needs to keep her as well as she can be.

In a way, I think that if I try too hard to remember our lives as they were, then that will divert me from the immense task of trying to live our new lives. I hope to have time later to put things back in proportion, Jan won't. :(

That all being said, I do look back at our mass of phorographs, and cherish something that now seems to be someone else's life.