This is dementia. It's not just a memory problem.
What you read in this blog is purely my own personal experience in dealing with Lewy Body Dementia every day.

This is not meant to offer any medical or legal advise.
I have no professional training in care giving or experiences in formal writing.
I'm just a woman that loves her husband deeply and wants to provide him with the best quality of life he can and chooses to have.
My prayer though this is "Lord, What am I learning from this; how can I use it help someone else and to glorify You?"
If just one person finds comfort in this public blog. I will feel like it was a success.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Prepare to Swab the Deck

Hubby joined the Navy when he was a youngster. He was so young that his mother had to sign for him to go.
He spent 4 yrs on a ship, the same ship, which is unusual I understand.
He ranked as a GM3 and was top knotch at hitting targets dead on.
He told me that they asked him to stop hitting them at one point.

This was the first time Hubby had ever been away from the tiny rural town he lived in.
It was a life changing moment for him.
It was also during the Korean War conflict.

I am amazed at how clearly he remembers things on his ship. A ship he was on for only 4 yrs.
I am more amazed that after 29 yrs of marriage he does not remember me. Sheesh!

But that isn't the story here.

Once upon a time, OK the other day...

It was supper time.
I was busy in the kitchen preparing the evening meal for Hubby, Niece and myself.
Chicken strips cooked in a fajita mix and placed on top of a plate of salad. A boiled egg sliced and shredded cheese, fiesta blend, topped with a spicy ranch dressing and some raspberry lemonade.

Just as I finished pouring the salad greens in a bowl I heard Hubby moving around in the bedroom.
I looked in and ask him if he wanted Salad.
Hubby was lying in the bed and waved me off. I hurriedly asked if he was OK and again he waved me off so I left the room
I called Niece to wash up and she and I finished putting things on the counter when I heard Hubby again. I went once again to check.
Hubby stood in the bathroom doorway, in his usual slumped over stance leaning into our adjoining bathroom door frame as a support. I asked him about supper. His reply, "I need a...."(long pause) "I need a...."(long pause)

first word, sounds like... oh you get the picture.

Nothing I asked was what he needed. Hubby started looking back into the bathroom. AH HA!!
I deduced Hubby needed something in the bathroom. (I was smart to figure that out)
Towel? no, Wash cloth? no
Hubby was wearing his pull ups and didn't need clean ones, I asked.

"I need a ...(pause)...mess"

"You need a mess?"

Annoyed tone- "No" (Yes yes, I know , I am stupid Hubby)

"In there" Hubby looked again into the bathroom.

I walked to the bathroom and what to my wondering eyes did appear?! (Isn't that a line from a Christmas story?)
Water, ALL over the floor.
What the heck?!

Where did all the water come from?
My first thought, Hubby had broken the water pipe around the toilet. I hurriedly removed my socks and set off into the wetness. No broken pipe but WORSE!! Ok maybe not worse just disgusting

Hubby had stopped up the toilet and tried to plunge it.
It overflowed!!
I stepped in it!!
And Supper is ready!!

So lets back up a little.
Ummm, No pun intended.
One of the difficulties of Lewy Body Dementia can be Constipation.
Hubby is NOT active. Most of the time he sleeps so he never moves like a body needs to in order to have all your internal pipes functioning properly. Typed as delicately as possible.
Hubby on the other hand does eat and anything he chooses is just fine with me. I think, as long as it isn't weird or make me gag.

Moving on.

So to help combat this constipation Dr prescribed a stool softener and a laxative to use as needed. I do not give the laxative to Hubby every day. I think I prefer a little constipation to runny uncontrollable stool.


Fast forward...

I rolled up my pant legs and hurried out of the bathroom. Grabbed a towel for my feet and several disposable bed pads to throw on the floor to absorb the water.
I notified Niece she was going to have to eat alone as it looked like my job would keep me occupied for a bit and there was no reason she should eat a cold supper.

I collected more pads threw the floor rugs into the washer.
Scrubbed my hands and helped Hubby get settled.
I made him a plate of food and a beverage.
He was set.

Mostly, I appreciate any time that Hubby feels like he can do things.
Things like putting on his own socks or T shirt, but never does and he always asks me to help with.
Or throwing away his trash instead of leaving it on his table for me to clean.
Even bringing the empty plastic cups into the kitchen when he chooses to shuffle in there.
Simple things.

I do not appreciate him trying to do things he KNOWS, or should know, he can not do.
Shuffling with a full cup or bowl of liquid.
Carrying glass jars.
Plunging the toilet!

So needless to say my evening may have started out crappy ;-)
BUT on the bright side.
I fired up the steam cleaner and sprayed the peroxide on the floor so the floor got nice and clean.
The rugs got washed and the toilet flushes like its supposed to.
Nobody slid and fell and my supper was still good when I got to it.

One day, I'll miss these days

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