In order to determine whether a person is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, they are given what seemed to be a simple test. My husband was given instructions and asked to follow them:
- To identify the day, the date and the time.
- He was asked a few general knowledge questions like; who is the president of the United States?
- He was asked to pick up various objects in the room and move them to other specified places.
- The social worker asked him to repeat a few sentences that she enunciated slowly and clearly; in the same order.
- He was asked to draw a clock.
I was given few ideas of how to cope with the situation. She told me to be sure to take my husband for regular medical check ups and then, I was on my own. Someone else suggested that I read a book called the 39 Hour Day, which I bought, but was not sure whether I wanted to know what was waiting for us. I preferred to take each step as it came; each day as it arrived.
When I invited friends over, I made sure that there were two couples so that the men would continue their conversation even when my husband ran out of what to say. The children and I made sure that he joined us on family outings and celebrations. I tried to provide a peaceful, supportive, calm environment at home. He needed a whole lot of time in order to complete any task which needed patience and reassurance. I removed the only scatter rug we possessed and replaced it with a non-skid carpet.I discovered that disposable glasses were far too flimsy and always keeled over; hardy mugs were more practical.
The human brain, the organ that performs so many critical functions, only weighs 3 pounds; 1.36 kilograms – which amazed me. I keep going back to those weights and wonder how an organ this small, can carry out so many complicated tasks.