I say cautiously because last summer is all too vivid in my memory. The plague of anxiety, the delusions, constant watchfulness and attempts to reassure, living in weird circumstances trying to avoid electricity and evil spirits. Oh my.
And then it went away, rather suddenly. It was as if he just decided he was wrong and didn’t feel any of the harmful sensations he had been feeling.
We have had a fall, winter, and spring of stable cognition and emotion. I am thankful. I cannot know for sure why it’s been easier. I guess I don’t need to know. We are continuing to do what we have been doing, in case some of that is helping. From time to time Dennis thinks of adding or subtracting a supplement, and if I don’t think it makes a lot of difference I don’t argue about it, although I do get tired of the chore of filling the daily pill bottles.
Dennis elects to stay home more and more. He doesn’t always go to visit the relatives when I go, or out to eat either. With COVID 19 restrictions he has gotten used to more inactivity – no church, no trips to library or grocery store. TV is his entertainment and he watches it so much he has adopted TV people into his family. I often find him with the TV on while he’s also listening to something on his phone. But he is interested in what he watches and refers to a lot of it as his “research” on various topics.
He’s done a lot of checking up on old friends from our days of teaching at Ambassador College. He calls and follows the trail from one person to the next, finding out how they are. He sometimes picks up his horn and plays something. He tries to take one or two short walks every day, or rides the stationary bike. He knows exercise is important but he often is more comfortable sitting still.
His biggest problems are the constant tremor in both hands now, overall weakness and instability, regulation of his bowel and bladder, some hypertensive spells, diminished sight and hearing, and the inability for planning or complex thinking. He does some of his own hygiene care, but I do have to shave him and remind him to shower and change clothes. He can get snacks from the fridg, but his meals are up to me most of the time. He’s okay by himself at home and I can leave him alone while I go to the garden or to Mom’s for several hours at a time. All in all, life is quite manageable.
Things I notice:
It takes him a long time to come to his chair at the table, pull it out, position himself in front of it, and put his body down. Long time = almost forever.
His skin problems are still severe. He is always scratching skin flakes from his beard, neck, head. His eyeglasses are always so dirty I don’t know how he sees through them. His shirts are always covered with skin flakes and unsightly.
The shuffling is his normal walk now. He’s started a forward lean that sometimes propels him forward faster than he wants to go. He looks old and frail when he walks, his hands shaking but not moving normally with his leg action.
His voice is hard to hear. He talks slowly, so slowly, and his words don’t have edges that make them easy to distinguish. I’m always saying “what?”.
He takes a morning nap and an afternoon nap most days.
So from day to day, not much has changed for the last few months – which is why it’s hard to think what to write. We are mostly praying that he will be able to go to Seattle for a wedding in August (youngest daughter) and another wedding in North Carolina sometime after that (oldest daughter). Travel is not something he looks forward to anymore so the planning will be challenging.