Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Calm Weekend

Those who know me well know that I value a calm atmosphere. I'm not into drama except in movies and TV shows. I've experienced a great deal of drama in the past few years, and because I supervise many people, I encounter drama in my job often. With Billy having Alzheimer's Disease, we don't always have a calm atmosphere, so when we these times occur, I savor it.

I notice that Billy does better in his own environment, so I had dinner at our house for my sister, brother-in-law, and Claire and Connor. Claire LOVES Aunt Kathy's meat loaf, so there is no question of what I make when they come for dinner. Billy really enjoyed the kids being here, and he always loves being around my brother-in-law, Shawn. We teased Billy about his voracious appetite. He was losing weight steadily for months, and with the change in medications, I can't fill him up at night. At bedtime last night, I told him he couldn't eat anything else as he went for his second or third helping of ice cream after having cobbler for dessert.

Things were different tonight, though, as he brought home half of his sandwich from Jason's Deli. As the disease progresses, I notice behaviors that we saw in his mother, and it's unnerving sometimes. One thing she did was wrap up her food in napkins at various meals. A few weeks ago, we were having supper at Whataburger before church, and as we sat down, Billy pulled a bunch of napkins out of his pocket. I asked what he had, and he said, he thought it was a cookie. As he unwrapped it, I could see that it was part of his lunch. He often feels pressed to be finished, and he feels he can't finish his meal. I eat very slowly, so I always tell him he might as well finish his meal because he has to wait on me anyway. He did this again tonight and started wrapping his sandwich in about 5 napkins. It's all I can do not to admonish him, and I appreciated that my sister-in-law went to get a takeout box for him.

Today was a very pleasant day, and I am so thankful for that. I feel certain that Billy gets bored on weekends when we don't have scheduled activities. I love those weekends, but he wants to know what time we're leaving, and I often have nothing planned. I've learned it's best to run a few errands or go get lunch, as long as he has a little outing. He asked to go out for lunch, and he even named the place he wanted to go, so off we went to Joe's Coffee Shop. He rarely has a specific request because he can't remember names of places, so I was happy to comply, even though it would not have been my choice.

It was suggested by my Alzheimer's counselor that I give Billy his Xanax regularly rather than waiting until it's "needed," and I believe that is helping with his calmer demeanor also. He never got into his usual Saturday anxiety of "when do we leave for church" like he usually does.

I know that all of this can change in the next hour, but I want to relate the good times as well as the distressing times, and I know from whom these blessings come. Praise God for still waters.

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