By Samra Jones Bufkins
He’s been up since 2am and he’s batshit crazy.
Actually, he has been for the last several days. Yesterday he attacked the light fixture over the kitchen table. He angrily pointed at it and said “YOU HAVE TO GET THAT OUT OF HERE!” Later he did the same thing to the chandelier in the dining room.
Early this morning I heard a strange, repetitive whacking sound in the living room. He had a mop and was hitting the ceiling fan. I took it away from him and said something like “it’s OK, it belongs there.” He said “OK.” Fifteen minutes later he was swinging a jacket at it.
He follows Ted around the house. (Ted is a friend and helper–more on him later.) He’ll get really angry at him for no reason. Because his vocabulary is shrinking, he lashes out physically. Last week he broke Ted’s glasses. I took Ted to America’s Best, and while he was getting his eye exam, Bill yelled at me. “You’re just sitting here doing nothing!” I was reading a magazine that he’d given me.
He walks outside and either tries to get into the truck, or angrily claims somebody left it there.
Right now he has his pants on inside-out, which is always a clue that he’s removed his Depends. I tried to get him to take off his pants and put some new underwear on, and it turned into a wrestling match, with Ted rescuing me. He then put the Depends on outside his pants.
He also picks the lining and absorbent material out of wet Depends. When wet and on the floor it’s as slick as an oil spill on a skating rink. I now keep a broom, dustpan, mop and vinegar (the best thing for cleaning it up) in every bathroom.
The doctor prescribed something for sleep, but it’s not working. I know the medication for aggression IS working because I remember what he was like before he started taking it. I’m waiting for his geriatric psychiatrist to call me back.
He turns on a dime, and then can be pleasant and happy seconds later.
All the books, websites and caregiver trainings say to try to figure out if they’re in pain, sick, or what other conditions trigger such behavior, then make adjustments. They say to remain calm. Don’t get upset. Focus on their feelings, not facts. Shift the focus to another activity.
These “experts” have clearly never actually done this.
Just another day in Alzheimer’s world.