Parenting Round Two

I have only one child with Bob. I have many stepchildren, grandchildren, and great grandchildren but only one child that we had and raised together. I can say without any doubt that Kyle was the easiest child to raise EVER. No drama. No behavioral issues. No terrible twos or threes or even thirteens. Just a fun, well behaved, enjoyable kid. He was a joy to parent and at 31 he is still a huge blessing in our lives. I only tell you this so that I can explain why I am not doing well in handling what is going on currently in my life. I have no training!

Bob has gotten to a stage where he always needs supervision. It’s been a few years since I stopped leaving him home alone, but it has morphed into my need to be by his side or in the same room. If I do not watch over him like a hawk, then crazy things happen. It’s hard to imagine that he’s my husband. I feel I have another toddler to care for.

Here’s a rundown of the last week:
• Threw his socks and underwear in the trashcan instead of the hamper. Several times throughout the week.
• Spilled large mugs of coffee on himself, his recliner, and the area rug—actually 4 times this week.
• Put meals that he didn’t finish in the pantry. Boy did we have ants from that!
• Wiped dirty plates off with a napkin and put them back in the cupboard.
• Hid a cup of coffee in the cupboard behind the trashcan so that no one would drink it overnight. Of course, it ended up spilling and making a mess.
• Filled the bathroom sink with shaving cream instead of putting it on his head/face to shave.
• Cut the top off several Keurig pods and just dumped the coffee in his cup of coffee to make it taste better. And grittier.
• Emptied the dishwasher and put away the dishes. Would have been nice but the dishes hadn’t been washed yet.
• Heated his coffee in the microwave for 6 minutes instead of 60 seconds so that it boiled over and made a puddle of HOT BOILING coffee in the microwave that nearly burnt him. This is a repeated offense.
• Hid his wallet, handkerchief, and hat so that they wouldn’t get stolen by the imaginary people who are staying here and then in the morning he couldn’t remember where they are hidden and was convinced that they were stolen. This too is an ongoing situation but when he hides the wallet when I’m not watching then we both are hunting for it the next day.
• Moved some furniture in the living room and guest room out of the way to accommodate more imaginary people that needed a place to sleep that night. At least he’s kind and accommodating to these people in his delusions!
And then this morning…
• He cut off his beard with scissors!

While these things happened, I was home but obviously not paying close enough attention to all that he was doing. I was nearby in the shower when he started to cut off his beard but by the time I grabbed a towel and hopped out to stop him, it was too late. There was no turning back. He no longer has a beard.

So, in my defense, I never imagined that I would have to treat my husband like a toddler that needs constant supervision. Due to our well-behaved son, I am ill-prepared for this stage of caregiving to my hubby. This is all new to me!

But I’m learning. I’ve now hidden the scissors. I’ve put childproof locks on bathroom cabinets where there are medicines. I follow him into the bathroom. If he leaves the room, so do I. My neighbors know to tell me if they see him outside. I buckle and unbuckle his seat belt. I taste his food to make sure it not too hot. Like a worn-out mommy, I’m happy he takes naps and sleeps through the night.

I’ve also realized that even though people like helping and babysitting a well-behaved cute toddler, “Bob-sitting” a badly behaved 83-year-old is NOT something they will volunteer to do!

So, THANKS Kyle for making my parenting job an easy and gratifying one. Although I’m not prepared for the task at hand, at least I didn’t have to go through this madness before. Once is plenty.

But for now, I’m off to bed.
Mommy tip #1: Sleep when your baby sleeps.


The Times They are a-Changing or Should I Stay or Should I Go?!

Our walks became strolls and then our strolls became stroll/sit.  Then they became sit/stroll/sit with the emphasis on sit.  Now our walks are nearly nonexistent.  Bob’s so tired and quite often just refuses to get out of the car.  He’s been using the rolling walker for quite some time, but he doesn’t connect with the reason he needs it.  Instead of realizing that it’s giving him support, he thinks it’s a burden because he has to push it.  He shoves it at me and says, “you push it”!  I think the next step will be to try using the wheelchair.  I think he’ll fight me on that and just prefer to not go anywhere but we shall see.

That will be a story for another day.

I had three times in a one-week period where I decided to leave Bob at home with someone “Bob-sitting”.   I went off on my own. Just me. It was crazy just how guilty I felt to not include him in what I was doing.

On the first outing, I took great granddaughter Aubri (from Texas, visiting family in SD) to SeaWorld.  It’s always been a special place for us three—mainly for her and her great grandpa.  Bob used to ride the rides with her, and I wouldn’t! But I knew that Bob wouldn’t be able to walk or enjoy a long day there, so I went without him.  Aubri and I had a great time but still I felt like I was cheating or sneaking out!

On the second outing, I went to a dear friend’s memorial service at Miramar National Cemetery followed by a luncheon.  Knowing that I really wanted time to visit with my friends and knowing Bob would get restless, anxious, and need my undivided attention, I opted to again get someone to stay with him. I went on my own.  Every time someone asked me how Bob was doing, I choked up a bit and probably had a few tears in my eyes. Guilt Trip.

Lastly, I attended a funeral and a reception. My decision to not take Bob was based mainly on his current social skills. I really didn’t want him yelling or being disruptive in their church or taking out his false teeth at the luncheon.  Call me uptight but that just wasn’t how I wanted to spend the day—being on edge over his behavior.

So, all in all, I had three nice days spending some time on my own. But I also felt thoughtless about not wanting to take him.  It’s hard to take him places and just as hard to leave him behind. Or maybe ALMOST as hard to leave him behind.  I’m still glad that I made the choices to go alone.

So how did he do with me being away?  GREAT!  My sister Christie had the “Bob-sitting” duty for the SeaWorld Trip and for the day that I went to the memorial service/luncheon.  She also did triple duty and did the morning of the day I went to the funeral. She stayed until Bob’s son Steve could get here for the rest of the afternoon.  I’m so very grateful to them both for helping us out and holding down the fort while I was away from home. No sure why I fretted over it as I don’t think it troubled him at all!  Bob did just fine with both of them and except for a few funny stories there is no drama to report on. Whew…

So, the times they are a-changin.  More and more, Bob won’t want to go anywhere, or I will choose to not take him some places. We’ve been attached at the hip for so very long that any separation seems foreign and uncomfortable. I know that I should give myself permission to have a little free time and self-care, but it feels a bit wrong to leave my hubby behind.

This might tell you just how happy (or delirious) I was to be out and about on my own—when I saw my good friend at her mom’s funeral, I told her “There is no place I would rather be”.  What a dumb statement!  It wasn’t at all what I meant, of course.  What I meant was I was happy to be able to be there with her and happy that I didn’t have to bring Bob along with me.  I’m sure she thought I was a bit off my rocker with how I phrased my thoughts! Thankfully she’s a dear kind friend and understood my craziness.

So here we go on a new chapter of our dementia journey.

And the question remains.  Should I stay or should I go now.

Great Granddaughter Aubri and myself~~~~SeaWorld~~~~~June 2021

Love Locks and Laughs

When we are out for our strolls, running errands, or eating in restaurants, Bob often sees people he knows.  He really does not know them, but he is sure he does.  He waves at them, he talks to them, and he shakes their hands. Bob even has taken up waving to the piano player/vocalist in our church choir during the worship songs.

Most of the time, Bob thinks he knows the person from the Army or the Navy (he was a Marine), or from the company (not sure what that its), from when he played for the Chargers (NOT!), or from the Police Department (YES!).   Sometimes he’ll just point to people and say, “Who is that?” “Is that someone we know?” Rarely is it someone we know.  But in his mind, everyone is someone he knows.  From the ticket taker at SeaWorld, the person in the car next to us at the stop sign, to the couple walking by us at the beach.  He either knows them or has worked with them.  When he approaches them, it leads to interesting conversations but thankfully, most people are kind and listen politely to his rambling.  I think it’s becoming more obvious to people that he’s off base a tad bit.

While walking across Cabrillo Bridge at Balboa Park this week, Bob stopped to check out the padlocks that have been attached to the bridge.  I have attempted several times to explain that couples lock these padlocks on the bridge and throw away the key to symbolize their love and commitment. He continued to to be puzzled over the locks.  Eventually we moved on—or so I thought!

We were only a few steps away from the locks on the bridge and a man approached us from the other direction and passed us by. Bob turned and started going after him (slowly with his rolling walker) hollering loudly  “Sir, Sir, Sir, Mr. Master, are you Mr. Master?” “You’ve left something on the bridge.”.  The man must have felt that Bob was coming after him for he picked up his pace and scurried away. Thankfully, Bob stopped pursuing him and stopped hollering. Boy was I puzzled as to what that was all about.  Bob eventually was able to explain that that man was Mr. Master and he had left something on the bridge.

 It took me a few seconds to figure out what had just happened.   It was a MASTER Lock on the bridge!!!

So, I had a good laugh (at Bob’s expense, I guess).  Bob did not laugh as he was worried that Mr. Master had lost his lock!

 Hopefully if you are ever in Venice, or Paris, or some of the famous places with bridges covered with love locks, you’ll think of Bob with 1 o and have a good laugh, too.

Making Moments Matter

Back in August of 2020 I wrote a blog about no longer making memories with my hubby but making moments. At the time, I thought I was coping just fine with the fact that I was no longer creating any memories with Bob. Well, I can tell you that I haven’t been coping very well. This living in the moment concept is hard. Darn hard.

Recently Bob’s short term memory has become even shorter. Maybe even non-existent at times. What happens on Monday is forgotten on Tuesday. What happens in the morning is forgotten by the afternoon. What happens at 8 am is forgotten by 9 am. It’s not all the time that this happens but it has become more often than not.

Bob loves to get out and go for a car ride or a walk. If we go somewhere in morning, he’ll wake up from an afternoon nap and ask me where we are going today. If I tell him that we are staying home because we went on an adventure already today in the morning, he looks at me in disappointment and disbelief. No memory of this morning’s moment remains!

Bob has been so eager to go back to church. Watching online just didn’t satisfy him plus he loves the time at church with family. And of course, he likes going out for a meal after church. It’s a time he really enjoys. So now we are attending church again. It’s been wonderful and I know Bob is enjoying it. But sadly, later in the day or the next day he will ask me when we are going to church. I point out to him that we did already go and he just blankly stares at me. He tells me that I might have gone but he didn’t and he tells me that he really wants to go. If I say we aren’t going because it Monday, he gets so mad that he missed church and that I didn’t take him. It makes me so sad that he can’t remember that we were just there. It’s also hard to deal with how mad he is at me for not taking him. I can even remind him of who went with us, where we sat, where we went to eat, what he had to eat, etc. and NONE of it rings a bell. It’s a moment that is gone.

We’ve had some nice times with family lately now that we are living our post vaccination life. Bob is so happy to be able to spend time with his kids/grandkids/great grandkids but by the time the next morning rolls around he is asking if we have plans to see any of his family. It’s heartbreaking to me that the memories are truly just moments that just quickly dissipate.

I understand this in my brain but not in my heart. I know that his short term memories are fleeting but to see just how quickly those moments disappear is so hard on my heart. I want to create moments for him that bring him happiness and joy. But I also want him to remember those moments. Even if its only for a short while. I am not ready for this stage of his disease.

I still feel that Bob benefits from being with his family and friends even if afterwards there is little or no memory of the time together. I think he has a good feeling of being loved and cared for and that’s important. For Bob and for me.

So living in the moment has become a very real thing. I need to stop thinking about how good it used to be. I need to savor today’s precious moments. I need to make today’s moments matter. No matter how fleeting and brief they are for Bob. Prayerfully, these moments will become memories that will last a lifetime for me.

The best portion of your life will be the small nameless moments you spend smiling with those who matter to you most.

Auliq Ice

Still Bob

I saw a YouTube video recently that said that a good way to describe Dementia is to get a big chalkboard and write down all the things that the person with Dementia can do.  And then every day, erase one of those things.  Boy, that’s real. And so sad.

In my mind, I took a quick inventory of some of the things that “Bob with 1 o” can no longer do on his own.  Driving, using a cell or land line, handling his medications, operating the washer and dryer, recognizing the sound of the doorbell or smoke alarm, using the TV remote, understanding a menu, carrying on a conversation that makes much sense, and so much more.  The list of items erased would be long and a bit daunting. So much of the chalkboard would be blank. Little by little Dementia is erasing Bob.

So, I flipped a switch in my head and thought I should make a list of the things that aren’t erased from that chalkboard.

  • Bob still knows me.  Most of the time. Even the rare times that he forgets my name he seems to know that he cares for me.   He smiles and greets me happily when I enter the room and he is eager to give me three kisses in a row. That’s his habit and he hasn’t forgotten that! 
  • Bob still has a deep love for his children, grandchildren, and great grands.  Most of the time he has them all mixed up by age and name, but he still speaks proudly of them and any mention of them brings a smile to his face.
  • Bob loves his home and feels extremely comfortable here.  He doesn’t remember where he has lived before here but daily, he mentions how much he loves this house.  I take that as a WIN!
  • Bob has fond memories of his career on the San Diego Police Department. His stories don’t align with reality very often (he was the police chief of whole United States, he was on the department for 502 years, he has the largest retirement income in the whole world, etc.) but the memories are positive and he has a good feeling about that time in his life.  He did love his job and went to work eagerly back in those days.  I’m glad he has upbeat recollections even if they’re all very mixed up!
  • Bob still likes to have an “adventure”.  Although our bike rides and long walks have been replaced with short strolls with lots of sitting, Bob still enjoys the places we go.  Even if it’s a place we have visited many times like Lake Murray or Mission Beach, it seems new and exciting to him.  Often, he asks me how I heard about these places not realizing that we’ve been there many times before.
  • Bob loves sweets and desserts.  Some things just don’t change.  Daughter Julie recently named him Cookie Monster!
  • Bob loves his “stuff” and can’t leave home without everything he thinks he needs.  And then some. Many years ago, he used to say “Spectacles, Testicles, Wallet, and Watch” and he would check to make sure he had everything he needed when we left the house.  Nowadays he continues to be so worried about having what he needs so he takes too much—3 pairs of gloves, 4 face masks, numerous handkerchiefs, his wallet, a money clip, house keys, loose coin, and a non-working Fitbit. Always a jacket or two.  And of course, a baseball cap.   What was once an organizational trait is now a disaster.  He has so much stuff jammed in his pockets that he can’t find anything or remember what he even has with him!
  • Bob still is an avid TV watcher.  Just nowadays, he pays no attention to what he’s watching.  A Spanish informercial, daytime soap operas, and sporting events of sport or teams that he doesn’t even know.  He calls most programs “the news” even if they are Judge Judy or Doctor Phil. Sometimes he watches for hour upon hour without any sound.  I don’t mind.  I like the quiet time.
  • Bob still has Jesus in his heart.  This is the biggest constant and I pray that his faith only grows stronger and doesn’t get erased off that chalk board.  He enjoys telling people that he wakes up every day and gives thanks to God for letting him live another day. When we say grace at a meal, he’s quick to add his own little version of “Come Lord Jesus be our guest”.  He has a sweet childlike faith that shines through the dark cloud that hovers over him.


Will more and more things get erased off the chalkboard? Absolutely. Dementia is progressive and it seems to be picking up speed as it rolls along.  Steam rolls along. Steam rolls along down a steep hill.


As I type this, I’m focusing on the Bob that is still here.  Changed. Altered.  Different.  But still Bob.


I’m not mourning the losses or thinking about what’s been wiped off the chalkboard. That’s too painful.  I think a big part of my journey with Bob’s journey is accepting the fact that things will never go back to what they used to be. I’m working on that.


Thanks for being on this journey with me. You surely have been a huge blessing on this bumpy ride.

Bob’s many things…

Organized and ready to go before he jams them all in his pockets!

Crying Time Again…

I have endured so much. Does that sound dramatic or what?!  Every day is a challenge with the repetition of questions, the confusion, the forgetfulness, and the delusions. I feel like I can roll with the flow pretty darn good.  It’s been a learning experience, but I’ve learned to not try to reason with Bob or to change his mind.  If he doesn’t want to eat, he doesn’t eat.  If he wants cookies and M&M’s three meals a day, then that’s what he has.  If he wonders who I am and why I am sleeping in his bed, I try to make a joke of how lucky he is to have such a beautiful woman sleeping next to him. If the tells me that he was on the Police Department for 502 years, I congratulate him for a long and happy career.  If he wants to watch a Spanish infomercial and call it football, I don’t change the channel.  If he wants to wear the same clothes three days in a row, I wait until he falls asleep and then I set out clean clothes for the next morning.  If he wants to have my deceased parents over for dinner, I tell him that they are coming soon but not tonight. If I must remind him to put on his mask 100 times, I just do it.

But today I snapped.  What was it that caused me to have a huge meltdown and end up crying out for God to help me?  What was it?  Bob wouldn’t brush his teeth.  He claims he has never brushed them before, and he doesn’t know how to do it.  Bob says the toothpaste doesn’t smell good and he doesn’t want to put it in his mouth.  I dug through the cabinets and found three different types of toothpaste thinking one of them would be the one to spark an interest in brushing his teeth.  Nope, none of them was want Bob wanted.  So, he methodically and slowly shaved, showered, doused himself with aftershave, sprinkled powder everywhere, and put foot cream on his feet.  But no, he didn’t brush his teeth.  I know tomorrow he might but still today, he refused.

I did all the wrong things.  Tried to reason.  Tried to explain.  Tired to use logic.  Tried to appeal to his common sense.  Raised my voice. Got in his face. Tried to convince him that I knew what I was talking about.  Tried to convince him he was confused and mixed up.   Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

So now, I’ve climbed back down off of the ledge I was teetering on and I’m calmly thinking about today’s issue.  You would think I would have learned by now that whatever Bob does and says is out of his control. It’s the disease’s fault and not Bob’s fault.  Being upset with him is a waste of my energy and trying to reason, cajole, or persuade is a total waste of effort. Some lessons are hard to completely learn.

God knows what Bob needs and it is NOT brushing his teeth daily or fighting over brushing his teeth.  Bob needs a loving kind wife who cares gently for him in difficult moments. Thanks for answering my prayer when I cried out.

Next time, God, I’ll remember to consult you first!

Sleep Tight!

Do I really want to know what is going on in Bob with 1 o’s head? It’s so hard to know what he’s talking about a lot of the time.  He either mumbles, uses incomplete sentences, or just mixes things up.  He’s super repetitive, his comprehension is slow, and he’s more and more forgetful. I know none of this is his fault and he can’t help it.  He’s worried as he now notices how hard it is for him to remember anything or even carry on a conversation.  But I feel like I’m making huge strides in having compassionate conversations with him. 

These are some of the techniques I have learned and some examples.

  • Don’t argue.  If Bob says he played professional football for the Raiders and the Chargers, I just go along with it.  I say that I bet it was fun and I hope they won lots of games!
  • Don’t try to reason.  If Bob says that he was in the Marines for 20 years and the Police Department for 50 ½ years, I don’t try to tell him the actual years and try to reason that what he is saying is an impossibility.  Especially if you fit in all the college ball and pro football he played! I just say how happy I am that he liked his careers.
  • Don’t confront.  If Bob tells a story about meeting my dad in WWI and saving his life, I just roll with it. I want to scream when he tells me this story and calls my dad Joe (which is his dad’s name) but I just smile and say, “how interesting” or “thanks for saving his life”.

What I do instead is to try to distract him with a different activity.  When he tells me that there are wild animals on our street, I respond with “Do you want some ice cream”.  That usually get him away from staring out the front window at the wild beasts.

Often, I will have to just leave the room to avoid any confrontation.  That’s my technique when he’s telling me how to set up the Mr. Coffee for the 10th time in just a short time period.

I try to remain cheerful and smile at the stories. It must be pure craziness going on his head to pull together some of the tall tales he tells.  I might as well grin and bear it. Who else has a husband that knows everyone he meets on the street or passes in the store?  Bob thinks everyone is a past football teammate, fellow cop, or high school buddy.  Even if they are in their 20’s, he greets them and tells them that he hasn’t seen them since college and it’s so good to see them again.  How can I not smile and enjoy this friendly guy? (as long as he doesn’t try to get close and shake hands with them!)

The best technique is to respond to the feeling instead of his words.  This is a whole new technique for me, but it works well at times.  If Bob tells me that his dad and mom (both long deceased) are coming here for dinner, I don’t challenge that idea but switch the conversation by saying “I bet you really miss your parents”, “I wish I had met your mom”, or “I remember your dad was super friendly”.  The goal is to redirect and discuss the emotions and not the words.  It doesn’t work 100% of the time but it really can help.

His reality is so different than mine and I can’t control it.  I can only control how I react to him.  I’m working on being patient, reassuring, and agreeable.  I have even been known to accept the blame for something even if I am not wrong.  That’s new for me!

I’m finding that Bob is more agitated and frightened these days.  He wants to be reassured that I am right with him and that he can go with me.  We are attached at the hip!

I often stay up and watch TV or movies after Bob goes to bed.  Last night he really wanted me to come to bed when he did, so I went ahead and joined him in bed.  He was so pleased.  He gave me a lesson on how he folds the blankets, and which pillows he likes just like it was the first time I’ve shared his bed.  I just rolled along with this lesson—even as he showed me the TV remote control and explained what it was for. I start my Prime Video Movie (A Night in Miami is very worthwhile viewing) and we settled in. 

What happened next is one of those things that just comes out of nowhere. There is no way to be prepared for the roller coaster of emotions of living with a husband with dementia.

Bob: Do you have plans for breakfast?

Me: No, we can talk about it in the morning.

Bob: Well, I have $104.00 in my wallet that I’ve had since I worked for the police. Can you call YOUR WIFE and I’ll call MY WIFE and we can see if they want to meet us for breakfast?

Me: (silent gulp) quiet response—Yes, that sounds good.

So, who did he think I was?  What was going on in his head?  Who did he think was sleeping beside him in his bed?  Had he been confused all evening and was that why he was explaining blankets and the remote? Is there a time coming soon that he will not know who I am?

Well, I’ll never know.  I tossed and turned a ton thinking about how “interesting” our lives have become and how going with the flow is going to need to become my permanent style. Bob seemed to have slept like a baby and he woke this morning with no plans for breakfast.

So, the final thing I must learn is to NOT TAKE ANYTHING BOB SAYS OR DOES PERSONALLY.  I’ve been reminded over and over that once someone is diagnosed with Dementia that they are excused 100% of the time.

So, I wonder who will be sleeping with Bob with 1 o tonight. 

I surely hope it’s me!

Bob with 1 o January 2021

New Year, New Word.

Here it is again. 2021. A New Year.  I’m not a resolution maker but I did enjoy having a word for the year last year.  Last year’s word was GENTLE and it helped me through many rough spots.  (If you want to read that blog and see how GENTLE became my word and what it meant, please take a peak at my old blog GENTLE written in 12/2019)

After having such a great word for the past year, I started thinking about what my word would be this year. A million words popped into my head. Love, peace, kindness, fortitude, attitude, persistence, graciousness, and on and on.  None of them seemed to be “my word”.

Then it started…

On New Year’s morning, Good Morning America featured the singing group For King & Country.  They sang a great song (Joy) and it was so stirring that I looked it up on YouTube later that day and watched it again. And then again.  I loved their energy in the performance and that drew me to it.  I really wasn’t thinking about the song title. Yet.

Later that day, I received a text message from a longtime family friend. Her message said she was praying for JOY for Bob and me this coming year.  The light bulb went off.  Is JOY my word?

So today I opened my daily devotional for caregivers and turned to today’s reading. What is the heading?  JOY IN THE MORNING.  Flash! I’m now convinced that JOY is my word.

I will be joyful in the Lord.  I will be joyful in my life.  I will be joyful in being a caregiver. I will be joyful in being a wife. I will be joyful in my dealings with family, friends, and neighbors.  I will be joyful with strangers. And when I am not able to muster up that joy, I will remember that JOY is my word.  I know God has given me this word for a reason and He will remind me of it frequently.

Each and every day, God will give me something that will be a sign or a hint that He is taking care of me and that will be my reminder to be joyful. 

Yes, I am choosing JOY!

Go to Sleep!

The sleep apnea saga continue. 

Bob was diagnosed back in October with severe sleep apnea (he has shallow breathing and has 52.3 episodes per hour when he wakes up to catch his breath). His equipment was ordered.  With the help of the respiratory therapist, it was determined that Bob should start with the least invasive equipment—the nose pillows.  These are the easiest to adjust to.  I had been warned that people with Alzheimer’s/Dementia do not adjust to the CPAP equipment, but I was upbeat and ready for the challenge. The equipment arrived in early November and the introductory period began.

Knowing that Bob would “fight” trying the CPAP, I tried to cajole him into wanting to give it all a try. Over the course of a week, I reminded him of these things over and over:

  • This is incredibly special equipment that was ordered for him by his doctor
  • I told him of other family members who wear a CPAP and are doing well due to it
  • I called it a breathing machine to make it seem less foreign than calling it a CPAP
  • I told him his heart would work better
  • I told him how much better he is going to feel
  • I told him his brain will work better and his memory will improve
  • I told him that he’d be awake more in the day and we could go on more adventures
  • I told him he could start by wearing it 5 minutes and work up to wearing it all night long

I also let the equipment sit by his bedside for the week before we attempted to wear it so he might get used to seeing it and accept it as something “normal”.

Did any of these techniques work?  Heck, no.

Bob would refuse to try.  Bob would let me put it on him and then quickly wanted it off.  He would wear it for 5 minutes and then pull it off.  He would swat at my hand and get angry.  He would say that the “colonel” spoke to him and told him that he didn’t need to wear it ever again. Bob would tell me that if I liked it so much, I could wear it.  He would tell me that he sleeps great.

I spoke with the Kaiser respiratory therapist to see if there were any techniques that they could suggest.  She said I had covered all bases.  She was able to lower the air pressure but even with the lowest air flow setting, Bob said he couldn’t wear it.  More like, wouldn’t try it.

Then along came my knee replacement surgery and I put all thoughts of getting him to wear the CPAP machine on hold.  I felt I had enough going on.

Then comes this morning.  Bob had slept from 8 pm to 6 am and then got up this morning and moved to his recliner.  Within minutes he is nodding off & on. I sat and visited with him a bit and in between saying a few words, he would fall right back to sleep. Mid-sentence.  It so painfully obvious that 10 hours of being in bed isn’t providing him much sleep.   I left him to sleep in his recliner and headed off to shower and dress.

Bob came into our bedroom looking a bit upset— he told me he thinks he is dying!!!!  He goes on to explain that he couldn’t wake up and he couldn’t make his eyes stay open. He seemed very shook up.  I consoled him that he wasn’t dying and that he was just sleepy. I attempted to tell him that he could start using the CPAP machine tonight and that he would get good sleep and not feel like he’s dying.  Did he like that idea?  Nope.  He said he just needed a nap and he’d be fine.  He has slept most of the day since then.

So it is one month post-knee replacement surgery for me and my focus will turn back to Bob and his sleep apnea. 

Pray for a breakthrough for us. Bob’s physical health and my mental health depend on it.


It’s amazing how kind words from total strangers can turn your day around.

Bob and I were walking recently at Ocean Beach.  Holding hands and slowly strolling. I was using my cane as my left knee is patiently awaiting replacement surgery. 

Ocean Beach is quite eccentric.  It’s not pristine and there’s an interesting mix of homeless, folks who live in their cars, hippies, fishermen, and surfers.  On this day there was even a goat.  And then there was us.  I am sure we stood out to most as we slowly strolled along the sidewalk heading to the pier.

I caught the eye of a young man who was smiling and staring at us.  He said, “You two are cute, have a nice day”.  I returned the greeting.  You have a nice day, too.  I really had a big grin on my face behind my mask as his kind words echoed in my head.

We strolled on down to the pier and started up the long flight of steps.  We must take the steps slowly and we both need to hold the railing.  A young spry woman quickly passed us by but as she did, she said, “I want what you two have some day”.  And on her way, she went.  What she saw in us is the us that I forget about sometime.  The us that still loves to be together.  The us that still holds hands.  The us that still looks out for each other.  The us that can walk together in silence and be totally happy.

To have two people remind me of what we have was such a huge blessing.  They may have seen that we were old and slow and infirmed, but they also saw that we loved each other.

God bless them for reminding us.  

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”