We splurged and ate at Texas Roadhouse.  It is not exactly a gourmet restaurant, but the beef is tasty and prepared well.  Most of all, those sweet potatoes are spectacular.  They have managed to make a veritable health food into a diabetic’s nightmare.  Gratefully, neither Mary Ann nor I have added diabetes to our collection of ailments.  Frankly, given the amount and regularity of our ice cream consumption, I  have no idea why we haven’t both joined the ranks of those with type II Diabetes.

Mary Ann chose the Texas style beans as her second side.  She had white slacks and a turquoise and white top. The combination of twenty-two years of Parkinson’s Disease, a light stroke that effected her right side, and the Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, a Lewy Body Dementia, has made negotiating eating utensils very difficult.  Both the stroke and this particular version of dementia affect the portion of the brain that organizes things in relationship to one another, spatially.  As a result, getting those beans out of that little bowl and into her mouth was no small challenge.

The rule when we go out is that Mary Ann does everything herself, unless it is absolutely impossible for her.  That is her rule.  She will often allow me to cut something into small pieces if it doesn’t come apart easily using only a fork.  She did allow me to cut the meat for her.  I could do that discreetly by reaching across the table.  Feeding her the beans would have been out of the question.

It is interesting to me that she seems not to be at all self-conscious about the food moving out of the dish or plate on to the table, where she chases it to try to get it on to the fork or spoon.  The problem with dexterity and the spatial issues along with her penchant for shifting to the left, with the food then traveling over her lap to get to her mouth, resulted in lots of deposits on her clothes the color of the sauce on the beans.

As soon as we got home, the spray and wash came out and a load of clothes went in.  (I just had to take a dryer break — it is all folded now.) There is seldom a load of wash that doesn’t include a few items sprayed with Spray and Wash.  The Plavix and aspirin combination that Mary Ann takes to help prevent another stroke thins her blood enough that there is often some oral and nasal bleeding at night.  Sheets are almost always sprayed before going in the washer.

I haven’t asked the online group of Caregiver Spouses how many others go through large quantities of Spray and Wash, or something like it.  I suspect that the few hundred in that group contribute a great deal toward the job security of those who manufacture it.

Just as a follow-up to the smoke alarm fiasco on Sunday morning, the security company phoned to say that there will be no charge for the service call coming this Friday.  They determined that our system is so old (almost twenty years), and we have paid for it for so long, that they will upgrade the system at no charge.  That is good news.  I am suspecting that the reason the signal was not received by the dispatcher when the smoke alarm went off was that the system is obsolete.  I am not so naive that I did not check and determine that there will be a contract available that day for me to sign, raising the monthly fee to provide ongoing maintenance.  I should still have the choice that day to decline the offer.  My expectation is that we will still receive the free upgrade.  We will see.

Last night was another restless night.  Here is hoping for a good night’s sleep tonight.

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