One Year Anniversary

One Year Anniversary of My Journey with Sumi
Tuesday, February 13, 2018—3:15 pm—26˚F (-3˚C)—Partly sunny

It snowed from last Thursday (February 8th) until Sunday (February 11th). It must have snowed about 14 inches. Yesterday, though, was a sunny day and it felt rejuvenating. My creative juices started flowing after an absence of writing for a couple of weeks. Sumi enjoyed the sunny morning by basking in the sun, getting free and natural Vitamin D!

Tomorrow is not only Valentine’s Day, but also exactly one-year since I started writing My Journey with Sumi on WhatsApp. Having cataloged my journey, I can browse through past postings and see the difference one year has made in Sumi’s and my life.

Last year, on Valentine’s Day, Sumi and I went to Buddy’s Pizza. This year, Buddy’s will not be possible as Sumi doesn’t enjoy going out to restaurants anymore. Also, last year Sumi used to accompany me inside stores like Costco, Papa Joe’s, or Patel Brothers. Now she prefers to stay in the car.

Throughout last year, during our walks at the YMCA, Sumi would walk about 2.5 to 3-miles without halting. When we walk now, she tends to stop in the middle, think for a moment, and only at my urging resumes walking.

Until last summer, when we would go to a friend’s house for dinner, Sumi would recognize them. But now, Sumi has forgotten the relationship. And before, Sumi used to sit and eat with us. Now it has become difficult, so I feed her at home before going.

As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer’s tend to lose weight, even if food intake stays the same. Throughout last year, I weighed Sumi every few days and kept a log of her monthly average weight. It was quite steady, the lowest being in September at 119.3 lbs. (54.2 kg) and the highest in February at 123.6 lbs. (56.2 kg). Now, though, she refuses to step on the scale so I can’t keep track. I will have to devise a way to weigh her.

There are a few things which have remained the same or improved. Sumi’s million-dollar-smile, whenever she gives it, is still the same and makes my day go smoother. Her anxiety, agitation, and aggression have reduced. Sumi used to resent and get agitated by other people coming over to our house, she now easily accepts them and tries to engage and make connections. Sumi also still gets a full-night’s sleep. She doesn’t wake up in the middle of the night to wander, which is a common trait for people with Alzheimer’s. Her eating and toilet habits are like clockwork and she has very few toilet related accidents.

Reflecting further on the past year, as I have mentioned in past posts, I started MJWS at the strong urging from many of you, readers and friends. So far, I have written about 147 pages, which is about three postings per week. This would not have been possible without your encouragement and support. You saw my capability and potential. But really, the strength you’ve observed in me comes from the support you have provided me throughout the year. Whether it was taking time to visit us, inviting us over, calling me to talk, contributing to MJWS, or more.

I wish you all a very Happy Valentine’s day. May your bi-directional love for loved ones get stronger, rewarding, and unconditional.