Thursday, October 31, 2013

Don't get lost!

Another cliff note to get the DL (down low)

So from mid-April to close to the end of August my fiance was working 7:30-7:30 most days of the week & I was living in a new state, in a FOREST (reminder...I'm from the city!), & stuck with a 77 year man that believes "house work is women's work" & he has Alzheimer's... I'm not familiar with anything friends, no family, the house is still a wreck during this time, I'm trying to learn everything about Alzheimer's...I got sooo depressed, gained weight which equaled more depression. I'm cleaning toilets & his grandfather that has done nothing all day but sit & watch TV is wanting me to fix him lunch. REally?! You can't do that...? I'm painting, doing laundry, I scrubbed the living, dining, kitchen, & bathrooms on my hands & knees 3 separate occasions (to get the grout off from the tile) & he can't make a sandwich? Oh I felt like a slave & so alone. Can't go anywhere...well not very often. It may take 2 hrs to get him in the car for anything (dinner, doc appt, groceries)...or he may not go at all! P.S. he is strong...great health....just the mind isn't functioning to it's full capability.

What a hard transition. Luckily my fiance & I went to go visit my family at the end of August. We normally ride 100 miles, I say normally...we did 1 year. The next year Mike decided to break his femur, I drove straight from FL to the hospital...I got there at 6am---I remember bc Starbucks wasn't open yet. I parked & stayed 1 night there & figured I'd unload everything the next find MY ROAD BIKE STOLEN! My baby :( Oh...I cursed in front of my grandfather & just cried! Needless to say my grandfather & I ended up riding the race but only to mile 60 because he crashed & broke a part on his bike. This year we didn't ride well...simply because we have ridden maybe 10 miles in a year....yeah not ready for 100!

We found out on this trip that one of our good friends in Dallas has brain cancer & has a very short period to live. My fiance goes back to visit him (& help his old boss out a little bit) for 2 wks. Of course, I get tendinitis in my RIGHT wrist while he was gone. & I didn't know, had to go to the doctor to find out...joys $450 down the drain! :(

Oh what a learning experience...people keep asking us "have you done this yet", "what about this", "have you..." & etc.... really? We are trying to keep sane... while having a list of a billion things on our priority list! & trying to keep his grandfather happy, healthy, & safe!

I've been doing a lot of reading on Alzheimer's & sundowners obviously. Trying to learn how to "prevent" issues. Next blog will be more on some of the Alzheimer's stories...oh this will be good!

Happy Halloween!!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Now...for the rest of the story

Mike picked up his grandpa from the nursing home to take him to the funeral for his son (my fiance's uncle) & took him back. The house was not sanitary, just wait for the pictures....
The kitchen prior to us moving in...

this is an example of the bathroom before we tore it down to studs. Notice it's's suppose to be white. This bathroom (our bathroom) we stripped to the studs & rebuilt 

I moved in Feb to help Mike fix up the house...oh dear!
 first move in day.... we took the largest UHAUL possible & packed my car with our stuff from Texas.

So Mike's gpa was in the nursing home until mid march. We were hoping to have our bathroom completed before bringing him home but that didn't happen. Poor Mike had to take some showers outside with the garden hose!

We tiled the living, dining, & kitchen, painted all the rooms but his grandfather's, & replaced appliances. Whew.

Oh on March 5th, Mike proposed to me :) Today we are going to look at a wedding venue. Wish us luck

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Cliff Note version to get YOU updated

Let's start from the beginning...
Well maybe not the very beginning..

About 4 years ago I was working for a corporate wellness company in Dallas, TX. I was traveling up to 100% nationwide working for a PREVENTIVE, HEALTH conscious company. I met my fiance, Mike...who was in retail/sales management, temporarily in Dallas-1st & 2nd red flag right?! Needless to say he closed the deal with me, we were inseparable!
He's from Florida...planned on coming back to be closer to his family---my family not so happy about that. A couple years into our relationship I accepted a job in Tampa, FL. Our lease wasn't up in Dallas, it was still "high season" for Mike's job, so we PLANNED on him joining me once our lease was up. By the way...we cycle...he cycled to work, we would cycle to dinner, we rode the Hotter Than Hell, & he was cycling while I was in Tampa. *hint hint* I moved to Tampa in April 2012, (moved 5x but that's another story) Sept. 1st was our last day of our lease in TX. In the middle of July, on a Tuesday night I get a call from him. He was calm and clearly said "I'm waiting on the ambulance to take me to the hospital". He had broken his femur. I packed up my car, picked my grandfather up at the airport & we drove back to Texas in exactly 18hrs! I did not sleep until I hit the Texas boarder.

What does this have to get to Alzheimer's? Oh...I'm getting there. No worries!

We stayed with my gparents for a couple weeks after he left the hospital, I helped Mike at work (he was only in a wheel chair for a couple days!). We visit his family for the Florida.

----Here comes important stuff----
His grandparents are divorced. His grandmother has remarried. His grandfather lives about 45 mins away from his grandmother where his son lives (Mike's uncle).
We visit his grandfather & realize he hasn't been taking his medication properly, probably hasn't been eating everyday & memory is poor. We stopped by his house on our way back to Texas on a Monday morning to make sure he remembers to go to his doctor's appt & he doesn't remember we were there on Sat. On the way home...I told Mike...we need to make plans to get to Florida asap.

In December of 2012, we started getting calls concerning his grandfather. He started going to his old house & trying to get in, being somewhat threatening (several times)...he just couldn't remember he had sold the place. Luckily, he has a terrific & amazing friend that picked him up and took him to the hospital--only thing to really do. After 8hrs sitting in the waiting room his grandfather was admitted for "high blood pressure" & eventually admitted to nursing home.

So remember, mike's uncle lived with mike's grandfather. Well, he suffered from COPD and died in the home while the grandfather was in the nursing home. Mike's grandmother was concerned because he always came over on Sundays for lunch...came over, cops had to break into the house & found him.
Sunday Jan 13th late at night we got the phone call. Monday morning I drop Mike off at work on the way to my work (it was like 7am, I had an hr commute & he's work didn't open til 10). Mike calls in a replacement & rides his bike home before 8am. I talk to my wonderful boss & coworkers about the situation. I get home around 8pm, my grandfather (papa) is there, Mike is packed up & we are ready to drive to FLORIDA. Papa & I drove him there & drove back...we both went back to work Friday am!

3 years is enough for post one right???

Too be continued!!