My name is Rhonda Brantley and this blog reflects daily living with an Early/Young Onset Alzheimer's Dementia patient; the good, the bad and the ugly. My husband, Billy Ray Brantley, was diagnosed in October 2007 and left us April 9, 2012. I was his primary caretaker and it was the biggest and most important job of my life. He will remain forever in our hearts.
WB is sitting patiently, waiting. Oh wait, that was a stretch....actually he has been pacing for over an hour. No. 1 son, Wade, has plans to take him to our local Bass Pro Shop this afternoon. The weather is nasty, but he has been in all week recovering from the little surgery on his face.
About the face. It was from the sun and doc says its gone. Still bandaged, he looks like a wooley-booger as the better way to handle this is to just not shave. We have real issues with shaving, keeping an electric shaver running is impossible and he's simply lost touch with touch. I normally try and shave his face, but it may not always happen on a daily basis.
So he is pacing and waiting. Today is his 65th birthday. Born in Birmingham on February 4, 1946 to J.W. and Helen Brantley. He was their first child of five and has survived both of his parents and one brother, who he misses in the worst way.
I am younger than WB and was born just a few months before he graduated from high school. His older children and I are close enough in age to have just been good friends, but the way I see it, they are all mine, yours, ours and theirs. I cannot stand the thought of any of the grandies calling me Rhonda. Approaching 20 years of marriage makes me a "Honey".
Digressing, the first news this morning for WB was "Happy Birthday" to which he asked, "uh-oh, how old am I?"
The early birthday fish tank is as clean and clear as a whistle. Only 3 fish have expired and the rest seem to be thriving. Bill's No. 1 Daughter, Susie, sent a gift card for fish, supplies and other aquarium necessities and No. 4 daughter, Katie Bug, will be taking him to buy fish some time this weekend. Michelle is baking his favorite strawberry cake and we will have steaks, salad, grits and au jus for dinner.
(To clear up the numbers on the kids ~ they are numbered in birth order, regardless of who birthed them)
To be brutally honest, I never imagined WB would still be at home with us this long post-diagnosis. Ditto for his doctors, all of them. Chock this up to excellent home care and quality of life. He may not believe he is experiencing the quality of life he expects, but it is something we all take very seriously.
And, except for him looking for his keys all day yesterday and washing his hair this morning with conditioner instead of shampoo, the extra dose of Seroquel has once again made a huge impact. I guess the program will be to add and add as things progress to stabilize the behavior. Dr Counce did say she could treat anything and she has certainly made a believer out of me.
With Wade coming, Michelle leaving for work and Kate traveling back from T-Town, I should get at least 3-4 hours of alone time. Rest, not so much. To the war room I go.
My name is Rhonda Brantley and my husband, Billy Ray Brantley suffers from Early Onset Alzheimer's Dementia. This is the best shot we have at documenting daily living.