Rainy days in August have produced sundowner’s confusion and dementia. On this particular day it seems a bit worse.
Cheryl has had a particularly busy week. Two physical therapy visits and an exercise class happened this week. On Monday evening our HOA board had a meeting to discuss maintenance schedules and what new projects we could take on with the money on hand. Jane came across the hall and sat with Cheryl on our back porch while I attended. (Jane is a wonderful neighbor.)
On anything goes pizza Tuesday we had dinner with our neighbor Jane as usual and in addition our new upstairs neighbor Joe joined us. Joe moved into the front condo over the garage spaces. Much of getting to know you conversation happened. Cheryl knew of a woman which she attended high school with who had the same last name. Her name was Kathy. As it turned out she was Joe’s younger sister. Jane’s husband used to play in several bands when he was still alive many years ago and Joe’s last name was familiar to her also. As the story developed it became apparent that her husband John had played in a band with Joe’s father.
It was a great getting-to-know-the-neighbor conversation. There were lots of memories for Joe and from Jane and Cheryl. When we got home Cheryl was exhausted.
Wednesday, I had arranged for my cousin-in-law, Linda, to come and take Cheryl to her physical therapy appointment. I went to visit the lab of a local community college program that I am still involved with. That facility is twenty minutes or so down the highway and I was gone for about two hours. We later met back up in a local diner for lunch.
Thursday it was my intention to attend a exercise-for-care-partners class at Parkinson Community Fitness after Cheryl’s twelve pm exercise class. I had previously arranged for my daughter to pick up her mom so that Cheryl would not have to stay. I found out my class was canceled at the last minute so when Anna showed up we all went to lunch. Our grandson Max was with his mom and he showed off his new laptop he purchased for college. He will start in a couple weeks.
I had hoped to ride my bike for a bit so Anna and Max remained with Cheryl. Alas, the weather did not cooperate. As I entered our condo Anna was helping her mom sort coins. These had been residing on the dining room table for several days but the project was several weeks old. Cheryl found them back in her office a few days ago. Cheryl told her daughter that when they were finished they would give the coins to her dad. She used to help her dad roll coins from his gas station business many years ago.
Max was frustrated with his new laptop. The camera no longer worked. What ensued afterward was a chat via the internet with some Microsoft expert and ultimately a complete reload of the operating system. That seemed extreme to me but I am an old retired electrical guy whose been fooling around with systems, software and computers for fifty years or so. We are living in a new age now. Ultimately it was discovered that Lenovo had placed a privacy slider to cover the camera on the upper edge of the case. It was a mechanical failure or an operational one depending on who is characterizing the action.
On Friday I was still hoping to ride my bike and the weather was still not cooperating. Cindy came anyway And I went to get a haircut and run a few other errands. I returned about an hour later.
This whole week was generally gray and overcast. It was not gloomy like the wintertime but gray and rainy nevertheless. It is still rainy and poopy outside as I write this.
The rest of the day was filled with visions and stories of her family. She was looking for Scott. Later in the evening she told me a story about Easter eggs, coloring them and Mavis. She eventually called our daughter-in-law Mavis to ask about what her objection was to coloring Easter eggs.
Earlier in the evening she asked, “Where is Ken?” I told her that Ken was probably home but I was not sure. She should call him and talk to him. She did not take that suggestion.
It was a frustrating afternoon and evening for me. Later I realized after she had exhausted herself with a very busy sundowner episode that for the first time this week only I was here with her and she could relax and let all that out.
As she laid in the bed she asked me to make sure the kids all got home okay. This morning she slept until 10 am.
I so appreciate your writings. They bring some calm to my day. I am single. Retired as litigation paralegal in 2019 after PD diagnosis in 2018. Managing trials no longer a job I could handle. I recently bought a U Step Walker based on your recommendation plus that of my PT person. I like it. Okay. I will close. Thank you for keeping on. Mark/Minneapolis
Thank you Mark. I hope all goes well for you. The U-Step works well for Cheryl. Our condo is flat with only a small step down into the garage. I built a ramp for that. I have a slightly different routine for when we go somewhere. Cheryl used to carry a cane with her. The U-Step is much better for her.
Thanks Paul I love your blog. It’s wonderful how you take care of Cheryl