The Tricky Thing About Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s can be a confounding disease. Some days are a bear, while other days could make you believe your loved one was improving. On good days, we ( and when I say we, I mean his primary care-giver and sometimes my husband or myself) can get Joe up, out of bed and kept out of bed, fed, dressed, and going through his physical therapy exercises. On bad days it is a total fight. He will absolutely refuse to get up, or he will get up briefly to use the bathroom and then sneak back into bed.

On good days we can talk with him, on bad days he says very little.

Jester reading a book (png version with transp...

Recently Joe wasn’t interested in reading. He still picked up a book or two, and thumbed through the pages, but as for actual reading, nope, he wasn’t having any of it. Now that is sad. I personally love to read, if I no longer felt a passion for the written word, that would be truly grievous to me. The good thing for Joe is that he doesn’t realize he is missing reading, or at least I hope he doesn’t realize it. The words just don’t gel for him, the concepts are hard to grasp, the story lines too complicated. I even tried reading aloud to him, but he said he couldn’t understand what was happening. Truth be told, I only read about thirteen or so pages and I was having trouble with the character’s and plot line, but that is something else!

As is so common with Alzheimer’s some things come and some things go. Sometimes those little neurons connect and send a message where formerly they were missing the intended mark. But, just last week Joe started reading again! Is it the Aricept? We don’t know, but it was something positive.

As is our custom, my husband and I pick Joe up on Thursdays and he spends the entire day with us, that is if it is a good day. This time to lure him out of bed we dangled the book carrot. Long-story short: a client of ours recently moved into a new house and didn’t want any of her old books. Of course I said I would take them off her hands, no problem. We came home with twelve boxes of books! These treasures between the covers desperately needed organizing, so Paul said to his dad, “April needs help sorting books. Come over and help her go through them.” That was all it took. Joe spent about three hours sorting books into piles: those he wanted to take home and those for distribution elsewhere. He kept saying, ” This is quite a collection of books you’ve got here!” It was as if I had brought the bookstore to Joe and he was in high hog heaven.

I have to say it was a really good day.


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