It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Remember Mr. Rogers?  We're back home now, after spending 3 wonderful days with our kids and grandkids.  I just wuff them so much! This morning, while walking Montana, I noticed the quiet outside all accept for the birds.  I could see a little bird on a rooftop singing to another bird on another rooftop.  There was a whole little birdie community.  Wonder what they were talking about? It's been a good few days.  First we had the "ludicrous" doctor visit. When we arrived, we were greeted by an old friend who had read the blog and knew we would be at the Duke memory clinic.  Kathy has been on this journey with us for over 10 years.  Friends, especially those who have stuck it out with us are incredibly priceless and humbling to know.

Even though it's silly to have Jerry recertified for disablility, I still learned a lot.  I asked Candace (our PA.) about the coughing sound that Jerry makes when he swallows.  She told me that the swallowing process is a pretty complex action that most of us take for granted.  He may be beginning to having difficulty swallowing certains foods.  Most Alzheimer patients pass away from "complications" due to Alzheimer Disease.  When the disease becomes more advanced the swallowing becomes more difficult and they begin to asperate. Bacteria will go down into the lungs and pneumonia develops.   We'll be keeping an eye on that. 

Also, we discussed his right arm and leg.  She referred to them as "parkinsonisms".  Since all of this neurological, Alzheimer patients can develop symptoms similar to Parkinsons disease.   His leg and gate have a little shuffle action and his right arm is stiff and doesn't get used much.  It stays in his pocket most of the time.  She said that limb neglect is when the brain forgets that the limb is there.  She's even known of patients who would, for instance, while pulling themselves along in their wheel chair,  grab onto a handlebar, keep on going and forget to let go of the handle.  Thus pulling their arm our of socket.  Weird what goes on in that brain! 

Enough of that dreary stuff!  Let's move on.  I really think Jerry did great on the trip.  Since it was a busy trip, I made it short and sweet.  He wouldn't have been able to keep it up for very long.  He responded great to the little boys and is in love with baby Mac, the two year old.  Jerry was even smiling and responsive to them all.  Oh yeah, that was another "parkinsonism", the "flat" face.  Sometimes the face becomes kind of stuck in an expression that seems neither positive nor negative.  To me, it seems grumpy or negative, but it doesn't exactly represent what the person is feeling.  It could look grumpy, but the person is happy.  Sigh!  Yet, another thing to be sensative to.

Well, I'm getting to my 500 word limit, so I'll sign off for now.  Glad to be back home, yet sad to say goodbye to the babes.    Ta ta.