Friday, November 4, 2011

"Too many changes."

3:10 p.m. Today's project was to enjoy a good day with Steve, doing errands in the rain.

It was really pouring as I headed down Arlington to Brightstar Caregiving agency to deliver a product.  Steve had had a rough morning, confused more often now while dressing. So I halted my own breakfast and getting ready for my appointment to help him put on a warm pair of jeans. The sweatpants he had on were a little too thin. Steve enjoys outings in the Jeep, just looking around at the streets and traffic. Errand completed, we drove back up the hill, got gas, which I now find myself pumping, due to his confusion, and pulled into Upper Echelon salon for my dye job! It was good timing, since I have a big Mary Kay party this evening.

The salon has been a real source of fun, friendship and now, comfort, as everyone is aware of Steve's condition, and welcomes him in personally to sit and wait for me. When I think of all of the friends God has sent me for support, I realize what a difference it makes in all of our family's lives. One of the weekly clients, and my customer as well, Anna, 85, asked what she could do to help, and all I could do was just squeeze her hand, before I ran into the bathroom to wipe a few tears. Up until that point, I'd been visiting, selling product, and generally enjoying the upbeat atmosphere at the salon. Somehow, for me anyway, hearing an expression of heartfelt sympathy, or a loving hug of support, causes me to break down. It's raw emotion that lies just beneath the surface needing to erupt. And it a blessed relief, a break in my day of making things work, keeping Steve well and safe!

A word spoken in due season, how good it is!! (Proverbs 15:23b)

The last two weeks have seen many many downfalls, literally, for Steve. I've worked on keeping him away from sugar, making sure he had more protein, and giving him more water to drink. He has always been a big water drinker, but with constantly dropping off to sleep, he isn't drinking as much. We also got his blood and urine tested to see if there are any other internal goings-on, and we'll see the neurologist on Tuesday. The falling down, leaning to the left, and inability to place his feet correctly at times, require quick attention. This morning, Steve was making high steps, as if there were something to step over on our flat ceramic tile. Worrisome, to say the least.

There's no wishing Steve's symptoms away--the Lord has made me aware of the urgency and I needed to act! Proverbs 29:1 says,

He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

That's certainly plenty of warning for me!!

Steve's primary care doctor ordered a walker for him, a lightweight, speedy, easy-wheeling model with a supply basket and a seat. When I came in from my weekly meeting last night, there it was, and I urged Steve to try it. He walked with  it for a few steps, and then shoved it away. The caregiver and I reassured him that it was only here for later when he might need it. Now I know why the company rep asked Steve's height and weight--the walker is adjusted perfectly for his height!

Later at bedtime, I asked Steve what he was thinking when he seemed to get angry, and he said, "There's too many changes!" I asked, if it was too many different caregivers, or my Mary Kay business getting more active, and he said, "No, that's what you do." (Half the time I do facials and parties here anyway, and I have even taken him along). I am thinking of these changes:

  • One of our dogs was killed
  • He's now added a toenail treatment to the bedtime routine
  • He can no longer walk the dog by himself
  • He's always tired
  • He's been falling down
  • Confusion with dressing
  • He needs to be guided in walking, even in the house
  • Far less independence in mid-to-late stage Alzheimer's
  • Losing ability to fix or adjust machinery, which he was doing even 6 months ago
That is a lot to cope with! All we can do is continue to pray together, love and treat one another kindly, and trust the Lord in any and all of these situations. As Psalm 7:1 says,

O LORD my God, in You do I put my trust.


  1. Amen Dana. I am praying for you guys in the midst. My heart aches for you Dana. Love and hugs!

  2. Changes for you too, Dana. Looks like a great walker for Steve and will pray that he learns to use it.

    Hugs and prayers,