NOISE IS A PROBLEM

We spent the remainder of our vacation at Mudeford in the Hotel, getting into a little routine of going for breakfast, seeing friends for a short while, going for a walk, then invariably Alan was so exhausted by entertaining, he usually dozed off.    I’d arranged with various friends just to come and visit us for a few hours in the morning before he started sundowning( *** see footnote)  Alan was his usual effervescent self in the morning,  trying to join in conversation, but he quickly tired of keeping his “game face” on, then I would give the signal it was time for us to be on our own.  He seemed to enjoy all the company and attention although I’m not sure he remembered everyone.

One night we went to a restaurant which we had previously visited with his sister – the food was good, it was quiet and he seemed to enjoy it; so I decided to take him back.  We arrived, ordered our food and everything was fine until hoards of people started  streaming into the restaurant and the level of noise ratcheted up considerably –  it seems they were having a Quiz Night.  Our food had just been served, and Alan jumped up from the table and ran out of the door.  I quickly pulled a bundle of cash from my purse, threw it on the table and chased after him.  If you had known Alan before the disease, you would have found this very strange – he loved loud music and dancing – particularly rock ‘n roll – Meatloaf in particular.  In fact, as I have said before his favorite song was “I would do anything for love”, and there is a line in that song that says “I’d run right into hell & back” – quite often I thought that very apt.

When I got in the Parking Lot he was visibly shaken and extremely agitated, so we drove back to the Hotel, and once in the familiarity of the hotel room, he settled down and I called room service.  After that, I never attempted to take him out at night again.  We spent our days, just walking, watching the boats and the birds, then strolling back to the hotel, and ordering from room service.   In the mornings we usually walked over to the Quay; there was an old brick wall which was leaning, and with his usual mischievous nature, he would place his hands on it, and anyone who walked by,  with a laugh and a broad smile on his face he would ask them to help him push it over – thankfully he never succeeded!

 

The day we were due to check out of the hotel, they were having a wedding reception and someone had hung these letters from a tree – needless to say, I couldn’t resist.

 

For some reason the flight back home, was no where near as traumatic as our flight out – unless I was feeling less apprehensive.  I was just feeling so pleased with myself, I had managed to pull it off – to make him happy, one last time.  It had all been worth it – sometimes I think you just have to go with your gut feeling.

*** SUNDOWING

Symptoms are not limited to but may include:

  • Increased general confusion as natural light begins to fade and increased shadows appear.
  • Agitation and mood swings. Individuals may become fairly frustrated with their own confusion as well as aggravated by noise. Individuals found yelling and becoming increasingly upset with their caregiver is not uncommon.
  • Mental and physical fatigue increase with the setting of the sun. This fatigue can play a role in the individual’s irritability.
  • Tremors may increase and become uncontrollable.
  • An individual may experience an increase in their restlessness while trying to sleep. Restlessness can often lead to pacing and or wandering which can be potentially harmful for an individual in a confused state.

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