Sunday, December 25, 2022

And We Just Keep Marching On ...

Over the last few months I have noticed an increase in the Parkinson's-like symptoms that are prevalent with Lewy Body Dementia.  Pam has had the 'shuffle walk' for at least six months, and walks all hunched over.  The tremors are more visible in her arms and hands.  The other night I noticed that the tremors happen in her sleep as well.  I have noticed that her voice has become very weak.  I am often asking her to repeat what she said as I strain to hear her.  It is also starting to affect her body functions.  Her nose has been running on and off for weeks.  A few of the symptoms are quite alarming to me.  First is body temperature regulation.   At times her skin feels as cold as ice to the touch, and she is bundled up on the couch even though the condo is at 70 degrees.   That can not be a good sign for blood circulation.   The other is sleep patterns.  There have been days when she wakes in the morning after 12 hours of sleep and then sits on the couch dozing off.  And I have observed her sleep for almost 24 hours straight.   These are on the list for the next doctor visit.

This march of symptoms takes its toll in some funny ways.  I recently had to buy some heat-resistant gloves from Amazon because she keeps burning her hands while she is trying to use the curling iron.  All because of the tremors.  I find that I am helping her, almost daily, getting her shoes and pants on or off.  And it is affecting her more personal body functions also.  I tried to be very discreet when I purchased Depends in anticipation of their need.  After one or two accidents, I showed her where they were if she ever needed them.  I never mentioned them again, but I have reordered once already.  I understand how emotionally traumatic this is for her.  It will be even worse when she needs someone to help with this.  Getting into and out of the car has gotten to be more difficult. I am thinking that she is losing muscle tone and lifting her legs is getting harder to accomplish.  And I am having to do her seat belt more and more for her.

We have had a pretty busy calendar recently,  with a condo association Christmas party, two plays, and a condo-sponsored dinner night out.  I just hope this does not stress her as she struggles with the physical limitations.  Christmas has always been one of the holidays that has gotten her most excited.  She has always decorated the house in so many ways. Lately she has built up her collection of Santa statuettes with the help of our daughters.  Kendra has contributed several unique ones in the past two years.   A few weeks ago, I had to go in for an overnight sleep study.  So our eldest, Courtney, stayed with her mother and then took her shopping for several hours on Friday.  She bought more holiday decorations and a couple more statuettes.   They are all lined up around the fireplace... which I guess we'll not be using this holiday.  Theses Santas are even mentioned in our will. 

 It is now early Christmas morning, and it's already been an interesting day.  I had set up a temperature sensor in the garage, where we have our food pantry.  I had the alarm temp set to 31 degrees.  That alarm went off at 2 am.   I plugged in an old electric heater to mitigate the near zero outside temperature.  Then Pam woke me at 5 am a little aggravated that Courtney and her family were not here yet.  I explained that they will be here around 11 am.  And I received that haunting blank stare back.  I just can't tell if she understands.

 To all of our friends and family, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and  joyous New Year.  


 To my fellow memory caregivers,  I hope that you have a Happy Hanukkah / Merry Christmas.   I offer that we must continue to be strong.  Each day we need to muster more physical energy, more  emotional energy, and more courage to face what is known to be a losing battle.  We do it for their sake.  Peace.


  1. Merry Hanukkah and Happy Christmas to you, Pam and your fam, Cuz. Here’s to strength, patience, love and understanding in the New Year!

  2. That's a lot of Santas! Merry Christmas to all.

  3. We are sharing a journey and you articulate this very well! Peace to you brother!