Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Sugar Bomb!

4:12 p.m. Today's project was to figure out how to secure our home in light of the strange discoveries I made this morning.

For years, Steve has limited his intake of white sugar and sugar-sweetened foods because of a low blood sugar condition, but occasionally we would have ice cream or dessert at Home Fellowship or someone else's home. His tendency is to become depressed, but he's fine the next day.

However, with the advancing of his Alzheimer's disease lately, even a small amount of sugar can cause anxiety and agitation in the late afternoon or evening, with additional confusion when it comes to simple tasks such as buttoning a shirt. So here's how a sugar bomb went off in our house:

Friday night, I used cookies my daughter Heather had baked to create ice cream sandwiches for Saturday's bridal shower for my older daughter Heidi. I made and froze a small sample with the smallest cookie and just a teaspoon of ice cream, and, since I'm on a low-carb diet for the wedding, gave it to Steve after a full dinner. Not much happened at that point, but at bedtime 3 hours later, he really struggled with his nightly routine, the C-pap mask, and even getting into bed. He rested well, despite removing the mask, and woke up in a good frame of mind. He enjoyed a great day away with our friends the Snyders during the bridal shower, too.

Heather and I had over-prepared our many menu items, so I invited the Snyders over for a full Mexican buffet like the ladies had enjoyed earlier. I had good reason for offering them ice cream sandwiches, which was to get them out of the house, away from Steve. But perversely, there was no way to offer them to Bob and Debbie without offering my husband one, too! And Steve is not like a normal adult with a blood sugar issue who would volunteer, "No thanks. I don't do well with sweets." He would have sat there, down-and-out, looking like a child who couldn't understand why he was told "no," if I had said he couldn't have one. AWKWARD!

I just decided to be gracious and pray the Lord would cover the fallout later! Just as our pastor quoted this morning, I leaned on Psalm 121:1-2:

I will lift up my eyes to the hills--

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the LORD,

Who made heaven and earth.

After our guests went home, we drove to Rite Aid to pick up one of Steve's medications. At the register, I handed him two one dollar bills I didn't need, and we were already out of the store when I had to alleviate his struggle with step-by-step directions for putting the money in his billfold. Uh-oh! The act of pumping gas was a challenge, so after paying, I had to stand out with him to make sure he replaced the hose and screwed the Jeep's gas cap closed.

The worst was yet to come. At bedtime, we got Steve's C-pap mask into place with the right air pressure level and sleep seemed to come normally. Then in the middle of the night, he began screaming--have you ever heard a grown man scream? It's horrifying! He began thrashing around, so I woke him up, calmed him down, covered him back up, and he went back to sleep. I slipped out to the guest bedroom next door, in exhausted dread of any further tossing and turning. The night went smoothly, it seemed.

Steve had gotten up early, so I reminded him to put the dogs out and then continue getting ready for church. When I went downstairs to start the coffee, I made some odd discoveries. The automatic fragrance dispenser in the guest bathroom was opened up and the spray can broken. The door to my office was closed, which it never is unless we have company sleeping on the bed in there. I slowly opened the door, because our youngest son Steven has been known to show up, or maybe Heidi had heard the racket during the night and gone downstairs to sleep. But it was in order...I then found a piece of clean clothing and became very concerned.

When I asked Steve if he'd been downstairs last night, he started shaking and kept repeating, "I kept trying to figure out how to get back into the house!" What?! Apparently he'd gone outside!

So we'll not only be seeing a doctor with a request for a sedative, but I'll re-set the alarm system's chimes that denote a door being opened. Heidi thinks we should set the door on full alarm at bedtime like we used to do 23 years ago when we first got the system. "The initial low alarm will scare him from going out the door, " she reasoned; I think I'll give it a try.

Shocking as the discovery of Steve's getting out at night is, I need to give thanks to the Lord for keeping him on the property and preventing him from getting hurt. While I plan to make full use of the professional medical advice at my disposal, I do know where my help comes from!

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