Sunday, September 27, 2009

Feeling Better Today

Sue seems to be feeling better today. She slept in which is probably good for her. When she got up she started making her daily phone calls. One old friend told her she was cleaning house and needed to take a break. She ask if she could come over to visit. That made Sue happy. I can hear them laughing and talking in the living room right now. This visit will mean a lot to her I'm sure since it was the old friends idea to stop in when there wasn't anything special going on.

She has a scheduled appointment for a check up tomorrow afternoon. I'm sure we'll find out more about the ear infection while we're there.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Took Sue To The Emergency Room

I'd planned on working three and a half hours today. Since Sue hasn't been feeling well for the last two or three days I figured I might get a phone call. It came at noon, Sue needed me to take her out to the emergency room. She still said it was the Crohn's Disease that was causing the problem. She had me convinced that yesterdays fall was because of a limp she has had every since she broke her leg years ago. She still claimed she had not hit her head when she fell and didn't know why there was swelling around her ear.

When we pulled up to the ER doors a nurse came out to get Sue and take her in while I found a parking spot. By the time I got to the registration desk Sue had started letting the hospital staff know that she'd better not be shown the disrespect she was shown the last time she was there. Not many people like this hospital but its the only one within a forty mile radius. After we made it into the exam room they drew blood and gave her a shot of morphine. After all of her test results came back the doctor said it was not Crohn's Disease that was making her sick, and the swelling around her ear was not caused by hitting her head. Sue has an ear infection. I brought her home. Except for when she was eating shes been asleep every since we got home. They gave her a prescription's for Lortab, Ciprofloxacin and Ciprodex (ear drops).

It has started to rain since I started this post. The sound of rain helps Sue sleep. This could be a blessing.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What A Day

I guess I should have known this was going to be a rough day when Sue woke me at 1:30 AM to ask me if I could hear our dogs barking. Yes I did. I looked out back in the garage and dog run area. There was a strange pickup parked in our drive. I went out to check things out and found the dogs were looking toward our outside basement stairs. There was a twenty some year old woman at the bottom of the stairs. She said she was looking for someone I'd never heard of and took off on foot. I called the police to report a prowler and an apparently abandoned pickup. The officer never found the woman but he did find a meth/crack pipe in the pickup. He had it towed in. I got back to bed around 3:AM and had to get up to officially start my day at 6:30.

Sue got up at around 8:15 AM and went in the rest room. Shes been limping the last few days and says its because of arthritis in a leg she broke years ago, she also has Osteoporosis. She fell on her way out of the restroom. She said she'd be OK. Every since she has complained about not feeling well. She said she needs Morphine and antibiotics. There seems to be some swelling around one ear but it is not discolored. She said no, she did not hit her head when she fell and no(!) she does not want to go out to the ER. "They never do anything anyway and then they send you a bill". I won't argue with her that's the way most folks feel about the only hospital in our area. She wants to wait and see if she can make it until she goes in for a regular check up Monday.

A Saint Joseph Police Department Captain called me this afternoon. He said they think the woman I found at the bottom of my basement stairs is the ex wife of the owner of the pickup that was abandoned in my driveway. They think she was driving when they tried to stop the pickup for speeding earlier.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Am I Getting Worse?

A while back an article in our local paper told about a new insert magazine "Kin" that will soon be a part of their Sunday addition. The magazine will have articles about family issues and activities. The publisher ask for suggestions. I told them that Sue and her Mother both have Alzheimer's and that she had lost her Grandmother and a Great Aunt to the disease. We believe her Great Grandmother also had Alzheimer's but that was never diagnosed. Today I got a response from the papers health reporter. She said that she wants to do an article on Alzheimer's in November, Alzheimer's Awareness Month. That still has to be approved by her editor.

When I shared the above with Sue she was happy to hear that someone with the paper planned on doing an article on Alzheimer's. Then she ask, "Am I getting worse?". She said she thought she was doing OK but she thought others might see something else. I did not lie, I told her I see her have good days and bad and that so far the good out number the bad. That seemed to ease her mind. This has got to be a rough time for her. She sees what it has done to her Mother so far. She watched it take her Great Aunt. We were her Grandmothers care givers for five years. Now shes told she has this devastating disease. I'm not so sure I could handle it if I were in her place.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

World Alzheimer's Day, 2009

Also posted at A Republic, if you can keep it.

Please don't forget tomorrow September 21, 2009 is World Alzheimer's Day. I'm thinking that would be the perfect time to contact your elected officials to urge them to support S.1492 and H.R. 3286, the Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act of 2009. If passed this legislation will help provide researchers with the funds they need to find new and better treatments and possibly a cure for Alzheimer's Disease.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thanks go to:
Alzheimer's Disease International

The Weekend Is Going Well

This weekend is off to a great start. I took Friday off to take care of some things that needed to be done. I hated the idea of missing work but it was necessary. The plan for Saturday was to go over to Sues Mothers house to get an oak dinning room table and chairs she wants us to have. That plan got changed when Sue decided that table will be going into our kitchen. Other things need to be moved before that's going to happen. A friend is coming over to help me take a kitchen table and our freezer to the basement tomorrow.

Sue and a couple of friends are planning another friends October birthday celebration. So she spent a good deal of time on the phone with old friends Saturday. That is great. For a while it seemed old friends were leaving her out of things. She felt she was being abandoned because of the Alzheimer's diagnoses. Shes been hearing from them more this past week or so. I'd been trying to figure out how to let them know they were hurting her without causing a problem and they started coming around and calling again without me saying a word. Possibly saved me from being the bad guy.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Obituaries And Memories

I found a familiar last name in yesterdays obituaries but the first name of the deceased didn't ring a bell. I did find a familiar first name in the list of survivors. I told Sue that I could remember one of the survivors names but I couldn't put a face with it or remember where I knew the name from for sure. She told me we went to high school with him. Neither of us ran around with him, he was just a face in the halls or class rooms (We attended Saint Joseph, Missouri's largest high school). She had a smile on her face when she told me her Alzheimer's lets her remember people we knew, places we went and things we did years ago that I may have forgotten and I can remember the people we talked to yesterday that she has forgotten. When you talk with Sue it is clear that she knows what she is facing a good deal of the time. That smile means a lot to me. It tells me the lady I've loved for years is still here and ready to face the next challenge.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Truck Insurance

When Sues birthday rolled around last April she decided she didn't want to renew her drivers license. She says shes afraid to drive. I've heard some say it was hard to get a loved one to quit driving so I should be happy. I didn't know she was told to turn in her old expired license. I guess a letter was sent to us, I didn't see it. Sue may have got it and put it up for safe keeping. The insurance company has dropped me over this, this letter I saw. So the truck (pickup) is parked until I can get this straightened out. I guess it could be worse. I could have been in an accident or pulled over before I found out I'm uninsured.

Lesson learned. Watch the mail closer.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teen Stricken With Alzheimer's

Some of you may have read this Washington Times article. Now it seems Alzheimer's has no age limits. It seems to me that in eighteen years Ashton has already faced more hardships than anyone should have to face in a lifetime. Ashton and her Mother will be in my thoughts and prayers.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thanks go to:
The Washington Times

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Little Concerned

When the day first started I was a little concerned about how today was going to go. Sue was looking at some magazines and catalogs that came in yesterdays mail. I mentioned it being about time to take her medicine. She snapped, "I can only do one thing at a time". A few minutes latter I mentioned it again and she thanked me for reminding her.

Later I mentioned a video clip I'd seen. The name Jack Webb didn't mean a thing to her. I seem to remember her saying she liked the TV show Dragnet as a child.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Having A Real Good Day

Sue slept the whole night through despite the fact that she went to bed before dark. She started off with more energy than normal. She helped with some of the household chores then said she had to make her daily phone calls. She talks with her Mother and one of her Cousins every morning. Today she added a couple of old friends to her morning calls.

She was very happy to hear a friend is letting us use a TV until we decide what we want and can afford. A couple of our friends and I were talking about how I'd get rid of the old one since trash haulers won't take them. Sue suggested I leave it in the back of my pickup parked out back, she figures someone will go by and steal it. That's the old Sue.

I have noticed today that she hasn't seemed to have trouble remembering things, no confusion. She is really happy. I know there will be good days and bad, for now I'd have to rate this one great.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Friday, September 11, 2009

TV Shot Craps, Sues Bored

At about 6:15 PM our TV shot craps. Sue called her Mother right after it happened. When she hung up she said her Mother is about as bored as she is. She didn't want to get on the computer. She doesn't want to go watch the old TV in the basement. "There's just nothing much to do". She laid down at 6:40. I hope shes able to go back to sleep after I get her up to take her medicine at 10:PM.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Letter To The Editor

Also posted at A Republic, if you can keep it.

I wonder if the title my local paper gave my letter to the editor means someone on the editorial staff sees the importance of passing both S. 1942 and H.R. 3286 the Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act of 2009. If that is the case I'd count writing that letter as a battle won. The problem is one battle doesn't decide the outcome of any war. More letters to our elected officials urging them to support the Alzheimer's Breakthrough Act of 2009 are needed. If you haven't contacted your United States Senators and Representatives about this matter would you please do so now? If you have contacted your elected officials take the next step. A letter to the editor of your local paper will let the folks in your area know where you and your elected officials stand on this important issue. If someone develops Alzheimer's every seventy seconds I'm thinking just about all of us have been touched by this devastating disease. So getting public support for this legislation should be fairly easy.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thanks go to:
The Saint Joseph News-Press

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day, 2009

Sue did have her just before bed coffee, and she woke up without a headache, or problems with her Crohn's. Of course she was awake longer than on most nights. Might have been the coffee or a real good night for SyFy and Fashion Design TV. She got up this morning and took her medicine as usual. When she made her morning call (Part of the daily routine) to her Mother (A widow with Alzheimer's) she found out Mom's house is going on the market tomorrow. She is moving in with her Son Mark until spring then she is going into a care facility where she will have her own little apartment. Being the owner of a pickup and a moving dolly I fail to see any logic in moving twice in a short time period but that is between Mom and Mark.

Sues Mother moving causes me to think of something I don't care to think about. We have talked about it. What happens if/when the day comes that I can no longer take care of Sue at home? Do I continue to live in our house or throw my hands in the air and walk away? Sue is concerned because I did that once before. Years ago I was to marry a lady that developed Lou Gehrig's Disease. After she passed away I found there were to many memories in the house, I didn't want to be there. I gave most of our possessions to her family and signed the house over to her parents to use as a rental to recover some of their losses from helping get her to out of town doctors. I've promised Sue I would not do that again. Life without her around would be strange/lonely, but I intend to keep that promise.

I hope your having a great Labor Day. Ours is to be a quiet one at home. I'm thinking this would be a good day to grill some Bratwurst but I could say that on most any day.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


We postponed having friends over Saturday because Sue was fighting a headache for a good deal of the day. She woke up with one again this morning. Several years ago she had to see the doctor about what he said was cluster headaches. He had her on Valium for a while. I don't know if she could take that now because of other medications she takes for Alzheimer's, nerves/depression, blood pressure and high cholesterol. She says she doesn't want to see the doctor about the headaches. We'll leave it up to her for now. She has an appointment later this month. She just came in to tell me that if she has a cup of coffee just before bed she won't wake up with a headache. She may have forgotten that she cut back on her coffee because it was causing problems due to her having Crohn's disease.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Reminisce Magazine

A post at the Dementia Caregiver's Toolbox reminded me of an annual Christmas gift we get from my Brother-In-Law. A paid subscription to Reminisce Magazine. A magazine about the good old days packed full of interesting articles about and photos of life in the 20's 30's, 40's and 50's. Sue seems to spend more time reading and looking at it now that she has been diagnosed with early-on-set. It does stimulate the memory. One of my favorite parts of each issue is "Name That Car". You see a photo of a car and get some info on it. You are ask to name the make and model of the car. The answer is found on another page. I feel some of you might find a subscription to Reminisce Magazine to be a helpful tool as you care for your loved one.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Friday, September 4, 2009


One of Sues old friends did stop in for a short while this evening. Right after she got here she told Sue she couldn't stay long because she would miss the baseball game on TV. Sue offered to tune it in here. The old friend told her no she was going to go watch it with a friend from work. Maybe she figures Sue will forget she said that. I won't. To me that's like she told Sue their friendship meant less to her than a televised baseball game. To be honest I'd just as soon Sue would forget that part of their visit, I'm sure it hurt her feelings.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


In the past couple of days we have had visitors four times. By visitors I mean people that just stop by to say hi I wanted to make sure you guys are OK. Or call on a cell phone and tell you their in the neighborhood and want to know if your home and up to company. Their actions tell you they really care. We're hoping to see them and some other old friends Saturday.

God Bless America, God Save The Republic.