The cure for what ails Mary Ann has been discovered.  Their names are Joy, Terry, and Cherri.  She has laughed and talked and asked questions and given answers. The feisty lady I married has returned.

At one point today we were all laughing so hard, that I, for one, had to wipe watering eyes. Mary Ann was laughing just as hard.  It is a wonder that we weren’t thrown out of Baskin & Robbins for rowdy behavior.

Another time one of the three said to Mary Ann she could hardly believe that she had been married to a Minister for 44years, to which Mary Ann said “Me, too.”  Mary Ann asked one of the three how someone in her circle was doing.  It was a completely appropriate question coming from a full awareness of their history together.  I could  hardly believe my ears.

When Mary Ann and I have been alone together today, or occasionally when she talked quietly with me, she was having mild hallucinations about one thing or another.  She wanted me to clean up the pile of poop on the carpet.  She was looking at the transformer on Cherri’s little Notebuook computer.  When engaged with her three friends, she was completely lucid and able to track what was going on.

Mary Ann slept like a log last night.  The Girls wore her out.  It was a good tired.  It allowed her to sleep well.  This morning she was up for an hour or so before Bath Aide Zandra came, but we held off on taking her morning meds.  As hoped, Zandra had no problems with her, there was no fainting.  She took her meds after the shower/hair washing/dressing time.

Mary Ann did have a mild fainting spell when we were all gathered in the kitchen, having some breakfast, but the girls had seen that before a time or two when we visited them up north a couple of years ago.

After talking for a while, we headed out for a lunch at a great sandwich place called the Classic Bean.  We had a good time there.  After that Mary Ann had an appointment with her Primary Care Physician.  Blood tests had good numbers, there was no need for any change.  Since we see the Cardiologist and Neurologist regularly, he did not mess with those meds.

Next came the trip to Baskin & Robbins, described above.  She wolfed down two scoops of Gold Medal Ribbon as fast as I could get the spoonfuls to her mouth.  We did a mini-tour of a couple of spots with great views and returned to our house for more talk.  In the morning and again in the afternoon, I retreated to my office to give them time to talk without a guy present.  Some things are just better not to know!

I had gotten a frozen Lasagna, a loaf of Asiago Cheese Faccaccia bread and a large container of salad greens when at the store yesterday.  For supper we had a buffet style relaxed meal with a bottle of good red wine.

The three are planning to leave in the morning to head back to Northern Illinois.  I think they were thrilled with how well Mary Ann did while they were here.  A couple of them have been reading these posts, so they were expecting a much more subdued Mary Ann, far less able to be involved and responsive in their conversations with her  The Mary Ann they have known for all these years emerged to spend time with them.

While none of us can stop the disease process in its tracks, the Parkinson’s Disease Dementia took a beating these last twenty-four hours.  For a while it lost its grip and Mary Ann returned.  I will be bold in lobbying for more visits as the months go by, assuming Mary Ann stabilizes.

When the mail came today, there was a wonderfully goofy surprise.  My Sister Gayle saw something she just had to get and send to Mary Ann.  It is a stuffed Donald Duck about 16″ tall.  When a button is pushed, he sings “Polly Wolly Doodle” and walks around.  If he is picked up by the ears, he screams, “Put me down!”  Needless to say there was more laughter when Donald performed.  Gayle knows Mary Ann well.  There were a number of individually wrapped Fannie Mae chocolate candies included in the package.

Mary Ann is in bed now and seems to be settled.  She has to be very tired with such a full day of activity.  As always, I will not presume to predict how the night will go.  I will just hope she sleeps well.

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By the time they arrived she was a little more subdued.  When she got up this morning, she was her feisty self, the one I have known for almost 48 years, smart-ass comments and all (excuse my French as we used to say — no offense intended to those of French ancestry).  There was laughter wound into the interactions.  It was a good morning.

In the course of our interactions, she asked me to tell her about what went on last weekend.  I asked for more help in determining what she was referring to, since I couldn’t remember what went on last weekend.  I thought maybe she was referring to the trip to Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago.  She said that maybe it was just a fantasy, but she recalled events including (again) my wedding to Lulu, this time including some sort of Evangelist and someone stopping the wedding just in time.

I reiterated that I refuse to marry someone named Lulu and she is not going to get rid of me by palming me off on some other woman.  She is stuck with me to the bitter end, mine or hers.  This time she did not seem upset about what she was remembering.  She seemed to understand that it was not real. The conversation was clear and rational, if the content was not.

After such a good hour or two, she needed to use the bathroom.  She fainted three times during our stay there.  Each time we got up for me to do my part in the task, she fainted again.  They were not just momentary lapses but substantial ones.  After that series of episodes, she was very tired and her eyes slammed shut.  If no company was coming, she would probably have gone to bed for a couple of hours or more.

Since company was coming, I did not offer and she did not ask to lie down.  When the crew from Kansas City arrived, she was able to rally to a level of alertness that allowed good interaction for a number of hours as we talked, ate out, drove around a bit and returned home.

When we ate out, she fed herself the sandwich.  Yesterday, she had fed herself some of the time.  When the huge cup of ice cream came after lunch, she insisted on trying to eat it herself.  She often turns the spoon upside down when eating.  It is hard to watch without trying to turn it right side up, but when she is in her determined mood, she refuses to change that pattern.  Finally, after I asked her quietly if she would let me help, she agreed.  At that point she had been working a long time without getting much ice cream into her mouth.  As has happened before, the love of ice cream trumped the pride standing in the say of getting it into her mouth.  It does seem to me that she is regaining a little of her ability to feed herself.

What we did was quite secondary to doing it with folks with whom we have a long history, folks with whom we can be ourselves.  They are folks who have come to be almost extended family.  They are all University of Missouri grads and have little use for the Kansas teams.  None of us is perfect.

In the crew of eight of us there have been struggles of all sorts.  We each have stories to tell.  One in the group has had a chronic form of ALS that was diagnosed maybe eight or so years ago (not sure of the exact timing), long after symptoms of something had been apparent. She, her husband were not able to come since she broke her knee cap and is finishing up a long rehab.  The wife of one who came could not travel yet after a painful test for a problem yet to be diagnosed.

Mary Ann slept on the couch for a couple of hours after they left.  She just did not want to go in the bedroom to nap.  I am inferring from her reluctance to nap in the bedroom lately that she feels if she is in the living room or kitchen, the napping will not be as long.  She will not lose as much of the day.  She will still be in the heart of activity, even if dozing.

The project is continuing to progress.  The sheet rock is up and the first coat of mud is almost complete. It will need to cure until Monday, when Mary Ann’s friends from Junior High years on will be visiting from Northern Illinois.  That is, of course, when the sanding will begin.  The girls and Mary Ann may need to spend time in the lobby sitting area of the hotel to avoid flying plaster dust.  It will be nice to have an alternative place to spend time. After having the view through the sun room glass (even though still covered with cloudy plastic sheets) for a day and a half now, I cannot even imagine the house without it.

After getting up from her nap, Mary Ann was not hungry and would not eat any supper. After I started eating some leftovers, she did eat a few chips and a cookie.  I have little doubt there will be a need for food some time during the night.

While there is no clear reason for Mary Ann to have been doing so much better the last few days, we will take it and simply celebrate.  We have certainly had more than our share of bad days and there will be more to come.  As always, they will come one at a time.  We will deal with each when it arrives.

If you want to write a comment about this or any of the posts on this blog, look to the column on the right side of this page, titled “Recent Posts,”  click on the name of a post and you will find a box at the end of that article in which you can write a comment.  Clicking on the title of the post you are reading will accomplish the same thing.  Comments are appreciated.