Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What's In A Name, Anyway

It's been pretty overwhelming, to say the least. So much has happened in such a short time and some days I find myself wanting to crawl in a hole. It is my dear friend Arthur who called me a "Phoenix" and in true OCD fashion, I had to look it up and study on it awhile.

(fee-niks): a person or thing that has become renewed or restored after suffering calamity or apparent annihilation.

There were other meanings of course, but I will humbly own this one for the time being. And, with so many calls, emails and such it was "Mustang Amy" who insisted that creating a blog may be therapeutic for me as well as a vehicle to better communicate just what it is we're doing since we don't know where in the dickins we're going.

First, Bill's 62nd birthday was yesterday and he insisted that it would be low-key. Michelle baked a ham with fixin's and we bought him his favorite strawberry cake from Edgars. He received calls from all of the kids less one and a call from his dentist (which is topic for another day). Bill called his mother who is now living with Candi in Brunswick and then we called it a day.

Still have Dalson and our next court date on February 26th will make 8.5 months. We are hopeful that he will begin weekend visits with his mother then for a month or so and then perhaps he will get to go home. For those who don't know, Dalson is Bill's youngest son Brandon's son - and a great kid. We've seen him grow so much since he's been with us. And, we've seen Dalson's parents grow up as well. Of course Bill has become extremely attached - he and Dalson are fric and frac. They've taken over our bed so I just gave up and moved to the den.

Kate is a different story altogether. Kate is "ANGRY" and I've decided after fighting it for a few months that "ANGRY" she can be. I guess she deserves it. Everybody knows that Kate is a daddy's girl and my job was to provide the discipline. Bill has shuttled Kate to school since she was in K-3 at Kingwood, then on to Bruno and ASFA. That was their time to listen to Hank Williams, Jr., sing along with Alan Jackson, eat rubbish and decide upon all the things they weren't going to tell me. (More on Kate later)

And that's where the trouble began.

We know now that Alzheimer's (AD) patients know early on that something is wrong with themselves but they don't know what it is and are pretty good at covering it up. I cannot say for sure that all the things we recognize now may have been the AD but things sure started making alot more sense. Dr. Lee said we love him so much we compensated for him. The kids did it, the grand kids overlooked it and our subs, employees and customers just dealt with it.

Bill was pretty crafty as well on how he was handling it. He's taking Aricept and Nemanda now and we think we've finally gotten the dosages right for him. Though there is no cure, these new meds are prescribed to slow the progression down. What it has done is change his feelings. We're less apathetic, less anxious, less paranoid but still it is heartbreaking to see how frustrated he feels.

We're keeping him close to home and are not sure how long he's going to tolerate being on such a short rope. He drives around in Pelham as Mayor Hayes and the City crew keep a real close watch over him. Allen McCullers picks him up regularly if nothing more than to ride around town, visit the jobs of our builder friends and recently took him to Mississippi hunting. Ricky takes him out to run errands and we're having alot of passersby at the house to just visit. Several weeks ago we met Sandra and Ronnie for lunch on a Thursday and hung out until way after dark!

The pace is certainly slower and our focus is definitely refined. I am so thankful for his life-long friends who have asked "what can we do - what does he need?" He needs you. To call him and say hello, to come by for lunch or just a chat, to take him fishing, to be the same friend to him that you've been always. He can reminisce about what happened 30 years ago or when he was 13 just not what happened in the last 3 mins/3 hours/3 days/3 months. Short term memory is pretty shot and he sometimes forgets what he wants to say - but with help he eventually gets it out. He generally thinks its Monday on a Wednesday and December instead of February and numbers create a whole new set of problems - but it's still Bill.

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