I get asked that question by someone almost every day. And I am thankful for their care and concern for my hubs. Friends and even those in our community have been more then kind to us in so many different ways. 🙂
But the question remains, how is he doing?
I often respond with, “he is ok.”
It’s been over a year since he was diagnosed so people will often ask, do you notice a decline?
When I think back that over a year ago at this time he was teaching, I know there is a decline, because there is NO way he could be teaching now!
He’s not doing great by any means, but he is not sinking quickly into the quicksand of Alzheimer’s disease. His symptoms are worsening, but thankfully at a slow pace. He really struggles with not being able to spell or write. He knows what letters, or word he wants to write but somewhere in transfer from the brain to the hand the muck and mire of Alzheimer’s destroys that process. And he can not write even simple words at times. It is very frustrating to watch. Add to the pot the fact that my husband has always had a determination to get things done….. so he often continues to try and try to get it right.
So he can’t fill out simple forms, checks or even sign a receipt to leave a tip. He has trouble even writing his name correctly. He recently forgot his Social Security number and the year he was born. He has trouble with word retrieval at times, he mispronounces words and stumbles over words when speaking. His depth perception is off, as well as his understanding of personal space. He will often just stand in the way of the commotion of the house not realizing he is in the way. He has some trouble completing simple tasks (shoveling snow off the deck) he just goes about it in an awkward, very time consuming manner. Yet he can still mow the lawn ok, I think it’s newer jobs that are not as much a part of his routine that seem to give him more grief. He also rarely reads much anymore. And as of late he is VERY tired and not real motivated.
All of this is Alzheimer’s…..who knew, I sure didn’t. I really thought it dealt mostly with short term memory issues. That is an issue, but so are the half a dozen other things!
But here is the good news, the guy is still funny and retains a fun, witty sense of humor! He is still passionate about his Phillies (even when they choked this year!) and the Eagles and follows them quite well. As a former social studies teacher he enjoys following the world and current events. He is quite into the current Republican presidential nomination process and the debates. His dream team would be Newt Gingrich for President and Herman Cain as the VP. He still pitches baseball to Tyler and plays the drums on Sunday mornings at church. Oh yes and he still loves his beloved Roma pizza. As well as the meatball subs from his favorite local pizza joint! When I was in North Carolina for the weekend I found 4 receipts for Roma pizza! 🙂
And for those who truly know Curt, you would want to know that he still knows how to purchase and eat a Snickers Bar!!!
November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month…..I know, you probably didn’t know that. I wouldn’t have a year ago either.
So I thought I would do my part to bring some awareness to what people deal with daily when living with this monster of a disease.
It’s a difficult, frustrating journey we are walking every day.
But these words Harriet Beecher Stowe penned oh so long ago seem to describe our attitude towards it all.
So to the heart that knows your love, O Father
There is a temple sacred evermore
And all life’s angry voices causing bother
Die in hushed silence at its peaceful door.
Far, far away the roars of strife and grief fall silent,
And loving thoughts rise ever peacefully,
And no storm, however fierce or violent,
Disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord in Thee.