One down….

Just after a downpour outside of Fenway. May 2013

Just after a downpour outside of Fenway. May 2013

We can check off #  2 on Jim’s Bucket list . This past week we had a great time in Boston. I think Jim really enjoyed the Red Sox game and I think he enjoyed our time away without distractions of my work, the house, the kids and life in general.

It started off a little rocky. As we went through security at the airport Jim somehow managed to “lose” his wallet. He had it when we walked up to security, showed them his i.d. and then we went through the procedure of taking off his belt, our shoes, jackets, putting our carryon bags on the conveyor belt. No problem.

Then, as we are putting our things back in order, he can’t find his wallet. Not in his pockets, not in his jacket. He keeps trying to walk over to security to ask them where it is. I keep calling him back over to where our stuff is, asking him where he put it after showing them his i.d. This went on for a few minutes and I wanted to shout at the people staring at us, “Stop looking at us. He has Alzheimer’s Disease. Yes, I know he is young and doesn’t look like it. But he has it and now he has lost his wallet even though he had it on the other side of the gate.”

Finally, I look through his bag and there it is. Under some clothes and to the side. He must have gotten a little flustered being rushed through security and during the process of trying to multi task slipped his wallet into his bag. Multi tasking is no longer an option.

Deep breathes. We are on vacation….

The rest of the trip went well with just a few hiccups that don’t seem to bother me as much when the kids aren’t around. It doesn’t matter that he can’t figure out the hotel room light switch. It isn’t a big deal that he actually wondered out loud if the ball park food would be as expensive as the airport food. Who cares that he suggested we buy cereal and milk  to carry on the Charlie around Boston and back to our hotel for breakfast the next morning? (for the record, Jim eats cereal every morning, even if I fix something else)  I could focus on just Jim. No need to keep track of the kids, meals, schoolwork, chores, bills, practices and schedules. It was just the two of us riding the T and seeing some sites.

It was hard for me not to miss the “old Jim.” The Jim that would start a conversation. The Jim that would keep pace, not always seem to be a step or two behind, and help me figure out what we were doing and where we were going. The old Jim that would have a story to tell when we were sitting at dinner and the Jim that would be interested in seeing something specific. We would have to compromise. Go where he wanted to go AND where I wanted to go. For the most part we went where I wanted to go. I think that is one of those things that you wish for when you are married, but when you suddenly have a spouse that lets you make all the decisions, including what to see while on vacation, you think of the saying, “be careful what you wish for.”

We went to Quincy’s Market and Copley Square. We ventured to Boston Commons and ate at the Harbor, where I tried clam chowder for the first time. We made sure we arrived at Fenway Park in plenty of time. We walked around the entire facility. We got hot dogs. We took pictures. He got a pretzel. I got nachos and beer. We saw the Red Sox hit a grand slam. Unfortunately, that was about the only thing they did that game and they got beat terribly bad.

The infamous ball park frank...

The infamous ball park frank…

The stadium started clearing out by the 7th inning. Finally, we headed towards the seats behind home plate (we were out in right field). We tried to sneak past an usher and got caught. Wow. We were so close to the field and could see the players and boy, those seats are cushy! They even have TV’s in the backstop wall to watch. So, we stood just inside the entrance to the section behind home plate, just out of the area where the usher had ushered us away. I was on the phone with my Dad telling him what was going on and low and behold, the usher came back over and told us we could sit in the back row of that section. Awesome. We could see each pitch so clearly. It was such a different perspective and view. I was so grateful he had changed his mind so that Jim could really get a feel for the ballpark and the game before it was all over. I thanked him before we left. I am not sure what made him change his mind, as I saw him send many others away as we sat in those prized seats. Sometimes things just happen that are good and you just have to be thankful.

Jim watching warm ups.

Jim watching warm ups.

I am thankful we got something on Jim’s bucket list done. I am thankful that he was able to enjoy himself.

I am not thankful that we are working on Jim’s bucket list at all.

As I write this entry, I realize I need to change my seat. Just like we did in the stadium. I need to change my view and my perspective of what our family is going through.

Lately, I have really struggled with a lot of things. My job. Money. Schedules. Housework. Jim’s lack of interest or involvement in most things. Just trying to be “me” when I am not sure who that is anymore. This trip was a good perspective on enjoying our time together and focusing on the other bucket list items.

Next up: Chincoteague Island.

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posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (3)

3 Responses to “One down….”

  1. Glenda Miller says:

    Sounds like an awesome trip! Scott loves racing and I want him to see one more NASCAR race while he can enjoy it, so we’re spending the first weekend in June in Chincoteague and going up to Dover on Sunday. Yeah, we love Chincoteague too! Hang in there Karen, you’re doing great!

  2. Lynne Ellis says:

    Glad you both had a fun time! I have similar experiences when we try to travel for fun — it’s a lot of work to have a good time. I’ve learned a thing or two on traveling with my husband now — put him in front of me in line, and don’t assume he remembers how to go through security. The last few times it was very stressful, and he also “lost” his watch and his eye glasses. And his belt. I don’t ask him to carry anything if I can help it — all his stuff goes in my bag, so he isn’t worrying about it. Easy adjustments, you just need to think about it ahead of time. Good luck on the next trip.

  3. Oh goodness I can really relate to all of this. About 2 years ago my hubs also had trouble going through security, it was one of the things that made me realize something was really wrong with him. I understand what you mean about missing the old Jim…I have had to forge ahead on my own in so many areas….I miss my in charge, great decision making hubs also. Sometimes I wonder if all the distractions with the kids busy lives and my job are good. It doesn’t give me time to really grieve the loss of watching my sweet hubs fade into the big black hole of Alzheimer’s. So glad you two could savor a special time together. I do believe what they say sometimes that the disease is worse for the caregiver, who sees all that is going on with their loved one. So glad you could cross something off that bucket list! :)

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