Sunday, March 6, 2011

Socks Shoes Slippers

Yesterday morning I actually fell back to sleep after helping Lizzie in the bathroom at 6:00, and slept until 9:30. Once again, upon wakening, I had that thought of OMGoodness ... what is my sister doing? I found her walking around the house in her night gown, socks, and running shoes. She said, "Let's go!" I should have taken a photo, but I hadn't had my first cup of java yet to think that fast!

This morning (after 2 awakenings), she was wearing slippers instead of shoes, and each foot had a different slipper. When she sat down in the kitchen and stretched her legs, she looked at her feet and exclaimed, "How did THAT happen?" which cracked me up!

My sister's moods change from moment to moment. She can shout out with vengeance: "Leave me alone!" "Don't worry about it!" "I know what I'm doing!" "Go jump in a lake and drown!" "You're a pain in the you-know-what!" The next moment she might lean back in her chair and chuckle whole-heartedly from her belly like Santa Clause.

These mood swings are typical for AD and are not to be taken personally. It is exactly what is meant by the patient "living in the moment" and being unable to reflect backwards in time even 5 minutes ago or projecting forward as well. My sister knows only right "now".

While Elizabeth is cognizant about knowing people are around her, her responses are (more often than not) inappropriate even in familiar situations. This is a moderate stage symptom of AD. Her recent toileting issue of needing assistance because she has forgotten "how" the process goes, however, is a symptom of advanced disease. I am learning that it is not unusual for an AD patient to demonstrate symptoms of varying degrees along the journey.

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