Friday, September 16, 2011

Like a Sugared Up 87 Year Old!

Just Married - 60 Years Ago!
We have been experimenting on my father.  While the word "experimenting" may contain elements of shock - what have we been doing - well, it's not as bad as it sounds.  He's done quite well with our experimentation, actually.

For the past month or so, we've noticed a difference when APR had a breakfast of real oatmeal, sugar, whole milk, and fresh strawberries.  On days he has such a meal, he does quite well. 

We've also noticed when he has a lunch, following breakfast of toast, eggs, and bacon, and the lunch consists of good healthy food for a diabetic, he gets the fuzzies.  The first time we really noticed was in Roswell at Chilis.  He had his favorite Margareta Chicken, black beans, and a dab of rice.  This is a diabetic's dream meal.  Well - within the hour he could not remember where he lived.  He wasn't sure how to get home.  Wasn't even sure what day it was.

Stopping at Starbucks, we tanked him up on a grande strawberries & creme frap.  Within 45 minutes he was great.  He began mentioning if I did not slow down, I was going to miss the turn to the house!

About 2 weeks ago a very dear Christian woman from New Orleans sent me a link to the so called "Alzheimer's Milk Shake" that is being marketed in the UK.  There is one here, that is having mixed results.   The one being marketed here is based on the premise that the Alzheimer's brain does not properly metabolize insulin.  It is not as effective as the one being used in the UK, which is based on food products that are not much different from what he's getting with his morning oatmeal, cinnamon, sugar, whole milk, and fresh strawberries.  It also has a truck load of sugar in it.

Last week, starting on Tuesday, we began experimenting.  On Tuesday, they had an early appointment in Las Cruces.  Breakfast consisted of coffee and toast.  We had lunch at Lorenzo's.  APR had a small salad, Italian dressing, 3 excellent yeast rolls, and eggplant parm on penne pasta.  By the time he had finished the meal, he was getting the directional fuzzies.  We decided to try a dessert on him.  He had chocolate mouse and coffee.  We went from Lorenzo's to Starbucks, to grab an iced tea on the way back up to Ruidoso.  My mother decided to experiment, so she got him the usual strawberries & creme frap.

About thirty minutes later it was like a light flashed on.  He perked up and started remembering numbers, details, dates, locations, stuff he'd not talked about in years!  It was like a sugared up 87 year old!

The next day I learned that my mother had run out of oatmeal.  So, she gave him healthy breakfasts of eggs, bacon, fruit (excluding strawberries). You could actually see him go downhill, to the point where, on Saturday an Sunday he was having hallucinations. 

He was getting desserts.  His blood sugar in the morning would be about 130 or so.

Monday evening she found some oatmeal in the freezer.  Starting on Tuesday morning, he's had oatmeal, whole milk, several tbs of sugar, cinnamon, strawberries, toast, butter and coffee.  He's having dessert, and quite a few sweets.  His morning blood sugar is anywhere from 105-120 or so.  Yesterday, he was doing good.  By today, he was doing very well.

He was great at lunch today.  He had a steak at Cattle Baron.  He did the salad bar, if that's what you call his "salad" which consisted of macaroni something or other, a few carrots, and a marshmallow something.  For dessert he had about a half cup of banana pudding.

About 30 minutes ago he called.  He discussed politics, voting patterns, finances, and mentioned that my mother was annoyed with him, yet again.  She had him sitting on a bench outside the beauty shop.  Glenn Chang, walked down the street for the mail, waved.  He talked about Glenn.  He discussed Obama, and 20 years of oppression under Democrat rule during the Depression until Ike!  While he was doing this he was counting motorcycles.  There's a huge bike rally here.  He said he was counting bikes, had to be nearly a hundred going past while we talked!

What have we learned?

APR requires old fashioned, real, cooked oatmeal in the morning.  My mother is adding cinnamon, sugar, whole milk, fresh strawberries, more sugar, toast, orange juice, butter, and coffee.  I doubt if Michelle Obama would approve of it. Neither would the diabetic associations.  The family care physician's nurse is already on my mother's case because she said strawberries have too high a carb count for a diabetic.

The things we are learning are diametrically opposite to some of the things the official diabetic party line is telling about Alzheimer's.  With APR there is definitely a connection between the amount of actual sugar, the kind Michelle Obama does not want you to have, and the diabetic police say is bad for you - pure refined sugar.  It is what is keeping him from acting like a senior citizen who has a few little problems, and someone who is dealing with Alzheimer's. 

His blood sugar has dropped so much, they've cut his diabetes medication in half. 

I wonder if it's the cinnamon?

There is a moral to this story.  The food police are not always right.  If we were to listen to the party line on what he should be eating, my father would be in very bad shape.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Day After the Day After

By Sunday Evening, Sadie was Exhausted!
It's over. 

Everyone has gone home, intact.  Rachel's SUV made it back to Memphis in one piece.  Laura's apartment and her cat were not harmed when Irene hit NYC.  My cucumber sandwiches were a disaster.  Other than that, and a few shattered nerves, things went quite well (sort of). 

My mother is exhausted.  She's still in her jammies after two days of rest (we hope). Our real fear was that APR would have this tremendous let-down once the 60th Anniversary celebrations were over.  On the contrary, he is doing great (thus far).  He's quite with it.  There were some shaky moments late Sunday, but not bad at all.  Cathy feared major fuzzies.  He did great! 

60 Years! 
Yesterday he called several times while my mother was napping.  He called today, while she was napping, looking for the car keys.  It was obvious he wanted me to come down to the house after I picked up the mail.  I did.  Sadie was a little down, bouncing off the wall, bored after her admirers left the building, but other than that, things were fine. 

We made a major discovery this weekend.  So far, with this phase of the disease, the more going on around him, the more the intellectual stimulation, the better APR does.  I suspect this may run contrary to popular opinion, which calls for calm.  He does great with a group of people and things going on, the more things, the better.   He did not eat as  well as he should have, but we suspect he may have been grazing a little.  I know on Friday, he and Dustin, according to Dust, were tossing back Ensure shooters!  APR had chocolate and Dustin had strawberry, if anyone is interested in the gory details.

Sadie Slept Through the Photo Opt
On Saturday, Dustin pulled the old Buick, my old powder blue 67 Rivera convertible, out of the shed.  They spent the afternoon tinkering with it.  I have this feeling, as the years progress, Dustin is going to be the one to be able to reach him, through their mutual love of cars.  When I told him, this afternoon, that Dust wants to get the Buick running, and take his grandfather cruising down Route 66, he was so excited.  A light went on in his eyes!  Now he has someone to share his car books with. 

Dustin is going to try to get back in a month or so, to work on the car.  I think it will give APR something to look forward to.  I have a feeling things like that are going to be increasingly important.

APR's Perkins cousins, Jean, Kerry, and Jean's husband Lee, arrived on Friday evening.  They had dinner with us on Saturday, and were in and out Sunday and Monday.  Late Monday evening, APR got a few things mixed up with some stories, but that's okay.  By that time, I don't think any of us were quite with it.