I’m in my own home and near the bed as the sun goes down

I live in a box. That is what my husband and my doctor discussed at my last appointment. I have dementia and it seems as if my box is getting smaller. I have SUNDOWNERS SYNDROME. I have to be in my own home and near my bed as the sun sinks slowly into the west. I get terrified if I am not where I am supposed to be at that time of night.

It seems as if lately new things are popping up all the time that put me right back in my little box. Every day at exactly 11 a.m. I am getting my diet soda and an ice cream cone from McDonald’s. I know these things are not good for me but that is what I am used to doing, so Jim (my wonderful hubby) makes it happen every day. But it comes with a stern, “Patti Ann, we need to work on this! It is costing $60 a month!” I know to some people that is not a lot, but we are on a very fixed income, and to us it is a small fortune, or as Jim puts it, it is 20 gallons of milk.

Jim was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and he is having some issues keeping his sugar levels where they need to be. He had an incident a week ago where his sugar level dropped to 59 and his blood pressure did some wacky things. He ended up going to Parkview by ambulance, and the doctor said he had a (vasovagal) incident. That was so out of my little box that I am still struggling to come to grips with it. My main concern is my husband, and I had to pray a lot to get us both through that night.

My doctor told Jim that I need to be reassured every day, so bless my sweet husband’s heart, he puts his arms around me and at least twice a day we dance in my kitchen. I put my ear on his heart and I just rest my head there for a moment knowing that Jim loves me and I need not be afraid of the future, yet I am. Every day is a challenge. I am terrified of forgetting something important. I get confused on names of people, and sometimes they are my closest friends. I am afraid of obstacles in life. Before dementia hit, I rose to the challenge they presented, but now I drag my feet and stumble over little things. Cooking is a challenge. I have my funny stories of messing up meatloaf or boiling a ribeye steak, and now I need help from my daughter Amy. She helps me fumble through a recipe and between us we manage a pretty good meal.

Christmas was a major challenge to me. We had our usual open house, and it was almost too much this year. Our open house went to 7 p.m., but we had some last-minute arrivals and that put me over the edge. I cried until I got to sleep. So as a compromise, Jim said we could end at 5 p.m. this year. Music to this little old lady’s ears!

The sun is drooping and so are my eyelids! I bid you all a fond farewell and a good night’s sleep!

Respectfully submitted, a very sleepy old lady who wishes she could wear jammies all day long!

Love and hugs, Patti <br>

<i> Patti Hagadorn is a resident of Fort Wayne. </i>