Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Rare Victory with Alzheimers Today

Alzheimers doesn't give you many victories.  Pam has been in a nearly ten year long descent with it and there's really not a lot of her left.  My only goal for her is that she is happy and thankfully, we're generally successful in that.  It would be so much harder if she were depressed.

We can no longer communicate verbally as she no longer even understands yes or no.  But, we can still communicate as her life is pretty simple now and very structured.  For years, she's been able to play solitaire on her computer and that has kept her occupied.  Unfortunately, about a month ago, she lost the ability to play.  She's not had much to do and has been pretty anxious on the boat, pacing back and forth.  We've pretty well solved that for now by going over to the shop each day, and working for a little while on the kayak and a little while on the Airstream.  That takes up a couple hours each day and she's really content watching me work or "talking" to that girl she sees in the rear view mirror of the car.  Ice cream from the grocery store usually follows the shop time.

Today was one of those little victories.  I've been really tired lately and I just wasn't up for more ripping apart work on the trailer today.  I laid on varnish coat number four on the kayak and was going to call it a day.  Got in the car and started to head out the gate, but Pam had other ideas.  The routine is for some time on the kayak and some time on the trailer and that's what she wanted as she kept pointing at Island Girl as I started to drive away.  She wanted me to stick with the routine.

Still didn't feel like attacking the wheel wells, so I decided to replace the marker lights that I picked up on sale at Vintage Trailer Supply last month.  Got the compounder out and polished the area around the light mounts while they were off to make overall polishing easier later.  I'd earlier done one light, but today got the other three installed with Olympic rivets.

And Pam got to see that girl she's been "talking" to in the car mirror again:  this time with the girl in the shiny reflection on the trailer.

Good day for us.


  1. I can't even imagine what it must be like for you to deal with a loved one having Alzheimers, but clearly you take very good care of Pam. There are heroes around us everyday, and you are one of them.

    Thanks for the updates, I'm sure Pam enjoys spending time with Island Girl just as you do.


  2. Thanks Marcus.

    Not a hero, just in one of those situations.

    We're so lucky that we've been able to share so much with the boat. Can't put off doing the things you want to do in life, 'cause you never know what might happen.


  3. Steve, my grandfather has been battling Alzheimer's for over 10 years. It it is a terrible disease that takes a heavy toll on both the patient and the care givers. The little victories are very important. I'm so glad you and Pam have been able to enjoy your boat and Island Girl despite the challenges you face every day. I'm sure it is good for both of you.