David’s Journal

This past Thursday, I flew from Ft. Myers, Florida to Detroit, landing a little before Midnight. By the time I picked up my luggage and drove to Adrian it was two o’clock in the morning. Spent some time catching up with Harriet and was in bed by Three. The next morning, Friday, I had a 10:15 appointment with Dr. Li. This was for a physical, with a full blood work. The first thing they do, when you go into the Doctor’s office is to weigh you, which I knew, by the way Harriet has been shrinking all my blue jeans, was not going to go well.

You might recall that right after the first of the year, I was trying to do the Exodus 90 program which includes diet and exercise.  In the blog, You say you want a resolution, I wrote about how I was going to go from 220 to 190 using diet and exercise. A while back I told you how I went from 220 to 214 and back up to 224. Well, yesterday I weighed in at 234. YIKES!! This means that in four months I have gained 14 pounds and my Body Mass Index has gone from overweight to obese. Time to go back to the starting line and get on the Mayo Clinic diet. I will do that tomorrow, (I would start today but I want to finish off the cinnamon rolls I bought).

Dr. Li thinks that the lack of sleep is messing up everything else and wants to start there. He prescribed a mood stabilizer/sleep aid. I have a follow-up appointment on May 24 to see how things are going. He also had blood work done, to see if my anger, rage, and crying, is caused by something other than a lack of sleep. I picked up the prescription and was in bed by eleven and didn’t wake up until eight-thirty this morning.

Dr. Li also stressed the importance of winding down; no computers, work, exercise, etc. for an hour before going to sleep. The bed is only to be used for sleep and sex, no eating, reading, etc. (Our dog Daisy heard about that and now she either sleeps in her bed or humps it.) It also helps some people to take a warm shower or meditation/prayers before going to bed. The final thing is to set a schedule and go to bed and get up at the same time every day. These are things I have known for years but now I guess I will actually put them into practice.

I see my Therapist on Thursday at 12:15. I will let you know how things are going next week. However, I think I had a breakthrough while I was in Florida. There was a lot of stress, lack of sleep and grief, in the hospital, which is normal for an Intensive Care floor. Hearing people use profanity in anger, or just as a matter of course, became very irritating.  Once we got the good news that dad was not going to die, one of the family members celebrated by getting drunk. (He has no memory of the following events,) He is an angry drunk and went around flipping everyone off and screaming F YOU ALL!!! Even when this wasn’t aimed at me it still was unpleasant and added stress and grief to an already bad situation. This whole filthy language thing feels like it is from the pit of hell. Hearing people use the same language I was using, has made me completely disgusted with that language and, with God’s help, I will never use those words again.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

If you remember, last Saturday I flew out of Toronto, Canada, because my dad was in ICU with pneumonia and intestinal problems. Harriet stayed behind and rode back to Detroit with Zach and Gina. It was late when they got to Zach’s house, so she spent the night with them. Harriet and I have an agreement that she will only drive in the daytime and on short local trips. Gina and Harriet had lunch together and following that, Harriet began the drive home. She was using the Google Maps feature on her phone for the trip. She decided to stop at IKEA and Target in Canton, Michigan. She finally got home around 9:30, which means that she was driving for 90 minutes after the sun went down.

The weekend in Toronto and the drive home must have been very stressful for Harriet. Since arriving home Monday Evening, she has been sleeping around the clock. Harriet will go to bed around Midnight and get up, the next morning, sometime between 9 and 10 o’clock. After breakfast there will be some napping in her recliner and then it’s time for lunch. Following lunch, she will read, play games, and sleep in the recliner. Then it’s time for dinner, followed by a bit of television, which will include napping. This is a new thing for her. I haven’t seen her this tired before, and don’t know if it is a temporary response to the stress of being alone, or a new reality. I think I will go on the Facebook support group, Ask the FTD patient?, and see what they think.

Another change is that she cannot get the book, What if it’s not Alzheimer’s, finished. She says her brain is too tired to read. Again, is this a temporary setback or a new reality? She kept saying she would have it, and the report for the blog, finished yesterday. We were talking yesterday, and she told me she was tired of the blog and didn’t want to do it anymore. I don’t know if this will change once, she gets rested.

Finally, we have to go to Florida to attend a nephew’s wedding and drive dad back to Michigan.  She was looking at the calendar and called it a map. Then she said, “I’m just too tired for this discussion. You make all the plans and let me know what they are when we get closer to the day.” This from a woman who once planned a five-week camping trip from Miami, Florida, to the Grand Canyon, up to Yellowstone, through the Bad Lands and back to Florida. Because of her research and planning we saw some wonderful things and only had one day that wasn’t good.

I know that events like travel, doctor’s appointments, family gatherings, and such, are exhausting for someone with Dementia. This is because the brain is working overtime to try to appear normal. For a while they can pull it off. However, once they are back home, they will need a lot of rest to allow the brain to recover. What I don’t know, is this current state temporary or permanent?

Thank you to everyone who continues to cover us in prayer. Your prayers and support help more than you know.   

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