From me to you

We’re back in Florida. We came down for our Nephew, Jason’s marriage to Shelly and to drive Dad’s car back to Michigan.

The wedding reception was so good that we were one of the last people out the door. I heard that the wedding was beautiful, Shelly’s daughter did cartwheels down the aisle and sang a song.  We pulled into the parking lot just as Jason and Shelly were coming out the door.  There was some confusion about the time. Harriet got it in her head that the wedding started at 5:30, (Our Nephew mentioned 5:30 and even though everyone else said 5:00 Harriet couldn’t get it changed in her mind.)

Being late has become a part of our new reality. In the past I was always early for everything. Now, Harriet seems confused about time management and takes quite a long time to get ready to go someplace. This, “New Reality” thing can be difficult to adjust to. However, the best thing, for both of us, is for me just to go with the flow. Getting frustrated, angry, or trying to hurry her along won’t help anything. I am learning to be very patient, which means, I pray a lot. Some people have advised me, “Just lay down the law! Tell her you’re leaving at a certain time whether she is ready or not.” That might help if she didn’t have dementia. FTD means that her brain is dying and is already damaged. Logic, threats, anger, or begging, won’t help her improve her time-management problem. Heck, I know people whose brains are fine who are never on time for anything.

From now on, if an appointment is for 1:00, I’m going to tell her it’s scheduled for 12:30. Some of you are shocked by such an idea. You’ll say, “Don’t you know it’s always wrong to lie?” What I will be doing is helping with stress reduction. Harriet seems to be able to pick up on my stress even when I’m trying to be cool, calm, and collected. I’m not going to tell a lie as much as I will be fabricating the truth. Because, the truth is, unless I change the time, we will continue to be late.

Dad was going to fly home last Wednesday, but his doctor said, “Not yet.” We’re hoping that he will be able to go home next week. The plan is for him to fly home and I will drive his car back to Michigan. He is stronger every day, and if there are no relapses, he will soon be on his way north.

Harriet seems to be having trouble with stability. When she goes around a corner she stumbles and feels like she could fall. I advised her to start using her cane, because dad always says how much his cane helps him stay upright. She said that she doesn’t think it’s so bad that she needs to carry her cane around. But if it gets worse, she will gladly use the cane.  

We had an appointment to see our attorney on Monday the 13th of May. Can you believe at our age we still don’t have our wills made out? I’ll be 69 in August and probably would have continued to ignore the no will thing for a few more years. However, we need to get several legal issues taken care of while Harriet is still competent to sign the paperwork. I called the lawyer and rescheduled for May 20th.

My new medication is still helping. I should say it helps if I follow the other sleep guidelines: No computer or phone use an hour before bed, no exercise two hours before going to sleep, no alcohol or heavy food a few hours before sleep, use reading to wind down, take a warm/cool shower just before getting into bed, and say my prayers or meditate before going to sleep. Tuesday night, around midnight, the television was still on with volume at full blast, and I had the bright idea that I should make a few changes to Wednesday’s blog. By the time I was finished tweaking the blog it was going on one-thirty. Got in bed and tried to go to sleep but I couldn’t shut my brain off; I’d gotten a second wind. Realized that I forgot to take my evening medications, jumped out of bed, couldn’t find my pill box. It was after two by the time I found it and I was hungry. Got something to eat and went back to bed. No dice, sleep wouldn’t come, which, I realized later, was because I had drunk some Coca Cola around ten o’clock.  Got back out of bed around three and took a warm shower.  After that, I couldn’t find my bathroom bag which contained my hair brush and deodorant. Frustration and anger do not help with sleep. Read for a while and finally got to sleep around four-thirty. Not even a sleeping pill can help me when I’m being stupid. Thursday night Harriet kept waking me up, so I went out on the couch and slept.

However, the rest of the week has gone well because I got back on a good sleep schedule and followed the doctor’s guidelines. Another good bit of news is that, despite two nights of poor sleep, I haven’t become insanely angry. I did have a couple of misunderstandings with some friends, but that eventually worked itself out. There has been no cursing, swearing, taking the Lord’s name in vain or crying over nothing in particular. My new, and improved, attitude is a big help to Harriet, and I enjoy being around myself much more than when I’m going crazy.

Wednesday, we went to the local Walmart to pick up a prescription that had run out. We had to have it transferred from Adrian, to Ft. Myers. There were two scripts, but one is way too expensive, $1,300 for a 90-day supply. Harriet seemed quite confused by the entire exchange. She kept looking to me, unsure of herself. The Lady asked if we wanted to wait an hour for the script or pick it up Thursday afternoon. I could tell Harriet was having difficulty making sense out of the whole process. The confusion comes and goes, with somedays being better than others.

Harriet wants to be with our children for Mother’s Day, so she has gone back home to Michigan. She was very nervous about getting confused, not in Ft. Myers, but in Detroit. She got on the plane just as a thunderstorm hit. Usually, in Florida, thunderstorms blow over very quickly. This one just continued pouring down rain, what a deluge. She was on the Tarmac for over an hour before they took off. By the time Harriet got into Detroit Metro, she was exhausted. I spoke with her as she was going to baggage claim and she sounded very confused. I don’t know what happened after that, but our Daughter-in-law called; and said she had been driving around for 40 minutes and couldn’t find Harriet. Somehow a woman from Texas got involved and told Harriet where to go to meet Michelle. I’m not sure why Harriet didn’t just go outside to get picked up. Thanks to the lady from Texas they got together, and Harriet made it to our house in Adrian.

Our car is still in Long-term parking at the Airport in Toledo, Ohio. It’s all arranged for Cindy to take Harriet down to Toledo sometime today.  

God bless you all. Please continue to pray for us and we will keep you in prayer.

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