Richard is continuing to fail right before our eyes. It is subtle and unless you know him really well you just might not see all the changes that are taking place. Of course the obvious ones, like he can barely stand any longer, you won't miss. But the changes that are going on in his head are the ones that are hard to spot. But they are there. And it is getting worse day by day.
He doesn't always know where he is. The other night, after he was settled into his chair for the night, he said, "I thought we would not go back to that motel" We were sitting in our very own living room. But it did not look familiar to him. He did not think it was our TV and things just didn't look right. Finally he fell to sleep and things were back to normal the next morning. Well, normal, for him.
He rarely knows what day of the week or the month is anymore. I make a 'sign' every morning so that he can see what day it is. But without that he doesn't know.
He knows who all of us are. He knows our names. He can no longer remember our address, although he can remember the address of the last house that we lived in, 25 years ago. He doesn't remember my birthday any longer. He still gets his right. He knows all the grand kids and their names. He remembers our sons. He doesn't ask very often about the oldest one, but when he does, he tells me he wants to see him sometime. And that breaks my heart!
He doesn't remember that he can't walk. That he can't mow the grass. That he can't help out in the kitchen. That he can't plant a garden. He still wants to do those things. We just smile and tell him he can...tomorrow. And tomorrow he forgets that he asked.
Recently my oldest brother was here. Richard was eating breakfast at the table. My brother was at the table drinking a cup of coffee. Richard was taken to the bathroom. When we returned to the table, he greeted my brother as if he had just gotten there. Like he was seeing him for the first time that day. We all go along with it.
He fiddles and piddles a lot. By that I mean he does a lot of repeated actions. Like he can fold and refold a Kleenex for hours. And everything on his table next to his chair gets moved and replaced over and over again. He struggles with reading the paper. He goes over articles on the front page for an hour at a time. I don't know what he is comprehending. But I let him sit with the paper for as long as he wants. He rarely opens it anymore. The same with the TV. He sits and stares at the screen. But what he comprehends is a mystery.
Today has been really bad. He is snappy with all of us when we don't do it right. He is up and down to the commode constantly. He cannot remember that he just went. And instead of argue about it, I get him up again. I put in a call to the Hospice nurse to see if we can check for a UTI. We will do that tomorrow. But we got news that we are changing nurses. He is mad about that. He doesn't want a new nurse. I hope he forgets that by tomorrow. He really liked his young, female nurse. And now they are sending a guy. We will see how it goes.
Cross your fingers and hope that when I get all the way through the hole there will be a tea party set up for me!