Again last night she slept from around 8pm to 9am this morning.  She was very sleepy, but she got up for pills and food before Bath Aide Zandra arrived.  Zandra chuckled that she seemed to sleep through the shower, hairwash and dressing time.

While Mary Ann was with Zandra, a friend from our Kansas City crew of friends of some 35 years called just to check in and provide some words of concern and support.  It helps to know there are people who are aware and concerned.  There are so many who are in difficult times, many worse than ours by far.  A word of support to someone you know can make a difference.

After her time with Zandra, Mary Ann sat in her chair, head down, dozing more until I got her to the table for lunch at about 1pm. She ate reasonably well at lunch.  When she eats on her own with no help, it takes her almost an hour to eat a meal.  Then she watched television for an hour before we took a trip out that we have been waiting at least a year and a half or two years to take.  The nearby Baskin & Robbins that closed then, has been remodeled and enlarged. It opened today!!!

Mary Ann had two scoops in a cup, Gold Medal Ribbon and Peanut Butter and Chocolate.  I ordered what I have been planning for weeks to have the first day it opened, a Hot Fudge Sundae made with Nutty Coconut ice Cream.   Yes it was as good as always.  Mary Ann allowed me to feed her the ice cream even though we were in public.  Ice Cream trumps pride.

I assured the owners that I would be one of their best marketing people.  I had met the owners when we were forced to drive to the other side of town to get our Baskin & Robbins fix when the one close to us closed.  They now own both franchises.  Owner Steve mentioned that the day or so before, he had been outside the new store when someone drove by, opened her window and yelled out that her old Pastor was excited about them opening.  That would be me!  Maybe, if I play my cards right, there will be a free dishes of ice cream for Mary Ann and me some time.  I am not counting on it.  They are likely to need every penny they can find to make this work.  I seem to remember hearing that ice cream places have generally fared well during the downturn in the economy.  I may be wrong about that, but it would not surprise me.

After we returned home, Mary Ann sat in her chair and moved back into dozing position.  She did grab a large stuffed frog that Becky and Chloe had brought for her Saturday night.  Our Daughter, Lisa, who supervised the building of a state of the art dementia building at a large CCRC (multi-layer of care facility for the older population) she helped administer, mentioned to them that sometimes it helped residents with dementia to hold a stuffed animal on their lap.  It helped keep them from trying to get up and it gave them something to hold on to.  Mary Ann hung on to the frog and it ended up serving as a place on which to rest her head.

Mary Ann ate supper by herself, another bowl of the meatball, sauerkraut, and veggie soup.  She went in to get changed for bed shortly after eating.  She has now had her meds and seems to be sleeping soundly.

The last two days have been easier caregiving days for me.  I still would like for her to be more active during the day so that we could get out and do some things.  I get out some when Volunteers are here, but that does not get her out and active.

I am still sort of reeling from last weeks craziness, and certainly do not want to risk repeating it.  At the same time, I want her to have the best quality of life possible at each point in her trip with this disease as a passenger. I will give this medication time for her body to adjust, then look at the possibility of reducing the dosage some to see if she can be more alert without triggering the hyperactivity and hallucinations.

My motives are at one level selfish.  I have a need to feel good about myself, to have purpose and fulfill that purpose successfully.  For those selfish needs to be met, I need to provide Mary Ann the best possible experience.  What is good for her fulfills my selfish need.  I also do love her very much, and it hurts my insides when she is not okay.  In addition I was raised in a family that holds honor and honesty in high regard.  Our last name can be traced back centuries, Norman originally, settling in Cornwall England. I have a great, great…Grandfather who was a hero of the Revolutionary War. We pass his sword from oldest son to oldest son. It is in my oldest brother’s closet.  Our ancestral Coat of Arms has written on it “Honor and Honesty.”  All that is to say, I keep my promises.  Mary Ann and I meant our marriage vows.

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