Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Falling down now
5:58 p.m. Today's project just arose in the last hour.
Steve has been tripping and falling the last two days, just in the late afternoons and evening. Of course I have a call in to his neurologist, whom we saw just six days ago. At that time, she mentioned that I could taper off his high dosage of Aricept since it has been useless in slowing down any progress of the disease. Sadly, he's stepped down to a worse level and his confusion has grown. I haven't begun that med change yet, wanting to observe Steve more closely one more week.
Two days ago, Steve walked Jada in the morning with no problem whatsoever. Yesterday in the early afternoon, same thing. But in the late afternoon, he fell down the last two steps in our house while walking slowly and carefully downstairs. He smarted a bit, but nothing serious. His feet just began to go awry. I let him rest at home with a medically trained caregiver while I went to Heart to Home, and he had a good evening. Later, he had a very hard time going to bed, and after about half an hour, fell out of bed. After getting him settled again, I "pondered these things in my heart" (Luke 2:19) and at the time, chalked it up to the sugar in the ice cream I'd given the caregiver permission to serve him. Sugar has never been that good for him, but the ice cream wasn't all that sugary, or so I had thought.
This morning, Steve and I stood out in front of our house, relaxing while we awaited the Special Trans Senior and Disabled bus to take him to adult daycare. We clipped off some deadheads from the flowers in our planter and enjoyed the cool air. He had a busy day, with a Bible study and a game of balloon volleyball being the highlights for him. I was able to take care of business and return home to continue gathering pertinent entries from my prayer journal for my next book--a book on our experience with Alzheimer's.
In the afternoon we ran errands and went shopping, and Steve walked very slowly, but managed to keep up at Winco by holding onto the shopping cart. He even loaded up a 50 lb. bag of dog food! At the checkout, we figured that, like any other grocery store, the checker could type in a code for the dog food (or would know the permanent price, or come from around the end of the checkstand and get the numbers for herself) so we wouldn't have to lift the bag again before taking it to the car. Do you know that she said, in a mean way, "You'll either have to read me the UPC code or put it up on the counter." Wow, that's the first unkind employee I've met there, and Steve and I go there regularly! Maybe she couldn't see Steve's confused, blank expression, or notice that I'm much too small to lift a 50 lb. bag, but we started asking, "Where's the code?" and trying to shift the huge bag around in our cart.
Just then, the Lord sent another Winco employee who appeared right behind us, to say, "Here's the code." She then said to the checker, "Ready?" and read her the numbers. I thanked her profusely, saying, "That saved us a lot of trouble." Then she nodded and moved out past us towards the front of the store. I didn't see where she went--could she have been an angel? I had only noticed another customer behind us before, hmmm... I remembered to make a few friendly comments but the checker was having none of it, perhaps having been convicted by her meanness, and the other employee's kindness--who knows? So I prayed for her as we went out.
After painstakingly depositing the dog food in the barrel we keep in the garage, it was time for Steve to walk Jada. I gave him a thick slice of peanut buttered bread, he drank some water, and then off they went as usual, about 4:11 p.m. He returned in his normal time, but kind of flopped into the loveseat in the family room. I was at the counter, facing the kitchen stove, when he said, "I tripped and fell twice."
"WHAT?" I ran over to him and saw that he had bits of grass on his face and a dirt smudge on his shirt.
"Are you hurt?"
"Did Jada tangle you in the leash?"
"No, I just tripped."
"Did anyone help you?"
"A guy in a truck asked" (sentence trailed off).
After I wiped off the bits of grass, we went upstairs very slowly and carefully for him to change his clothes. Back downstairs at the kitchen table, Steve told me he had not tripped over anything, and the dog hadn't run in front of him. I mimicked a person with their head spinning and dizzy, but no, he said, he hadn't been dizzy at all. Then I mimicked a person walking along normally and suddenly falling, and though it took me a while to get it out of him, he said that was it. He described just tripping over nothing, on a smooth sidewalk.
We had the last of the chicken soup I'd served at last night's class, with cornbread of which he ate half of the pan--so far, so good.
I need to hear from the Lord, because He is the embodiment of wisdom. In Proverbs 8:10-11, Wisdom says,
Receive my instruction, and not silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.
And verse twelve mentions all that I need to best help Steve:
I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.
Knowledge: information from the neurologist
Prudence: employing appropriate and timely solutions, without panic
Discretion: Knowing when and to whom to speak as I seek guidance
Wisdom: applying the knowledge gained in the most correct and beneficial manner
Steve dozed after dinner, and now is watching a comedy on tv, after having a hard time walking out on the back patio with me to check on Jada's water supply. By the time he got into the house, Jada took advantage to run in! But Steve quickly shooed her out, which is a good thing.
No one knows what the future brings but Jesus, and He will give me all that I need to do what is best for my husband, and keep myself functional and healthy as well!