It's Not a Rumour

a rock and roll journey through life and Alzheimer's

Monster

March 11, 2019
schyjer

Rick is so much friendlier the last 2 years. He gives great bear hugs now. He hugs me, he hugs my sisters, he hugs his caregiver, and he can hug friends or homeless on the street.

He used to be very shy and Midwest Minnesota Swedish reserved. But now he’s just “lovely” as Faby says. Some days he is good and others not so much. One day he can be agitated for some weird incomprehensible reason. He doesn’t want to make conversation with anyone. He complains about everything. For instance, everything hurts. It’s too cold, it’s too hot, it’s too loud, and it’s too bright, pretty much everything is annoying. But then the next day for example, when Faby arrived he shook her hand and kissed it. She kissed his hand back. She is very sweet with him.

Other days he decides to play monster. He puts his hands outstretched and walks like the walking dead and comes in our direction dragging one leg. I try to discourage him because he can’t do this in the middle of the street, crossing the streets, or at my sister’s house, and sometimes the kids can be afraid of him. He wouldn’t hurt anyone but it’s hard to stop him when he thinks he’s being funny.

On the other hand, Faby and he are like kids. She plays with him and she said one day she decided to grab his hands when he was trying to tickle her but she said he was so strong that she couldn’t hold onto his hands. Do you know a weird thing? How can she be so weak? When I do the same thing with him and grab his hands, he is really soft. He is never strong. Faby said that’s she thinks it is because he used to take care of me. We met when I was 13 years old and we only started dating when I was 16. We were more like friends, and he was always teaching me something, taking care of me, and maybe he always had this feeling towards me.  Maybe he thinks of me as something to be cherished. He is never strong with me.

Something strange is, when I am giving him a shower or helping him on with his clothes, I knock him around a little and he seems very frail. My sister’s think that he is afraid of me. Who knows? I give him a lot of love, but I also speak with him about serious subjects. I try to help him learn everything again, for example, we wait for the light to turn green and I always tell him not to touch hot things, like his coffee or tea. He still does, like a 2 year old. If he is crabby, or acts out, I try to talk to him.

Lately Rick does strange things. For instance, he decided he has to pick up every dirty cigarette butt on the street and throw it in the trash. He can’t remember my name but he can remember to clean the streets??? I don’t understand it… Anyway the point is that he is not strong at all, with me. Most of the time, he is lovely and sweet. However things change from day to day. As Forest Gump said, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Since I love consistency and really like having my expectations set, I have had to learn to adjust every day. I love order and calm and not extraordinary or irregular times but these days, things change every day, sometimes the mornings are different than the afternoons, he changes and I just need to accept and deal with it.

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