When Systems Fail

Yesterday's post prompted a friend who cared for her father-in-law who had Alzheimer's to write:

"In 2012, our house seemed to be in strong functioning order.  Plumbing, AC, and structure were all strong.  Only the electricity was faulty.  Then in early 2013, the hurricane hit and shook the house to the foundation.  It fell a couple of weeks after."

When I closed out the post indicating that I respectfully disagreed with Mom's assessment of the "state of the house," I was thinking of all that I've read over the past few years where there seems to be a pattern with Alzheimer's that the patient goes along, seeming quite well until they suddenly aren't.

Mom's living with Lyn and sees her changes on a daily basis.  Mom is constantly making small adjustments here and there to accommodate Lyn's current needs and capabilities.  In dealing with the details each day, she's not always able to see that two weeks can show significant changes.  This limitation of perception is not limited to Mom.  I don't always notice the changes in my own children until something or someone calls attention to them.  The fact that my oldest child is undeniably taller than me and quite possibly my husband, while anticipated, still snuck up on us.

I speak to Lyn once or twice a week.  Even then, I'm seeing her search for words more or repeat "I mean..." to the point where she frustrates herself.  I am honestly a bit concerned about her dropping weight.  She's down 4 dress sizes since the fall.  While that's good in one respect, I'm concerned it is less a result of any dietary changes that have been made and more a result of her body not processing food properly any longer which is a known issue with Alzheimer's.

Yesterday, I learned that Lyn had an issue at day hab in which she described being unable to get up and how the staff kept asking if she needed help or was OK.  When she did get up, she needed help and then leaned against a wall because she was shaking.  Mom's noticed her increasing unsteadiness and shakiness as well.  Mom's seeking clarification from the staff at day hab about what Lyn communicated and has scheduled Lyn for a doctor's appointment next Friday.

Yes, the house has faulty electrical systems and there's no telling when the other systems will start showing significant failure too.  When that time comes, I honestly hope it is like a hurricane that shakes the house to the foundations.  Better that than months or years barely being inhabited.  I saw that with my husband's grandmother and wish for a shorter time with Lyn.


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