How’s Curt?

I get asked that question by someone almost every day.  And I am thankful for their care and  concern for my hubs.   Friends and even those in our community have been more then kind to us in so many different ways.  🙂

But the question remains, how is he doing?

I often respond with, “he is ok.”

It’s been over a year since he was diagnosed so people will often ask, do you notice a decline?

When I think back that over a year ago at this time he was teaching, I know there is a decline, because there is NO way he could be teaching now!

He’s not doing great by any means, but he is not sinking quickly into the quicksand of Alzheimer’s disease.  His symptoms are worsening, but thankfully at a slow pace.  He really struggles with not being able to spell or write.   He knows what letters, or word he wants to write but somewhere in transfer from the brain to the hand the muck and mire of Alzheimer’s destroys that process.  And he can not write even simple words at times.  It is very frustrating to watch. Add to the pot the fact that my husband has always had a determination to get things done….. so he often continues to try and try to get it right.

So he can’t fill out simple forms, checks or even sign a receipt to leave a tip. He has trouble even writing his name correctly.  He recently forgot his Social Security number and the year he was born.  He has trouble with word retrieval at times, he mispronounces words and stumbles over  words when speaking.  His depth perception is off, as well as his understanding of personal space.  He will often just stand in the way of the commotion of the house not realizing he is in the way.  He has some trouble completing simple tasks (shoveling snow off the deck) he just goes about it in an awkward, very time consuming manner.  Yet he can still mow the lawn ok, I think it’s newer jobs that are not as much a part of his routine that seem to give him more grief.  He also rarely reads much anymore.  And as of late he is VERY tired and not real motivated.

  All of this is Alzheimer’s…..who knew, I sure didn’t.  I really thought it dealt mostly with short term memory issues.  That is an issue, but so are the half a dozen other things!

But here is the good news, the guy is still funny and retains a fun, witty sense of humor!  He is still passionate about his Phillies (even when they choked this year!) and the Eagles and follows them quite well.  As a former social studies teacher he enjoys following the world and current events. He is quite into the current Republican presidential nomination process and the debates.  His dream team would be Newt Gingrich for President and Herman Cain as the VP.  He still pitches baseball to Tyler and plays the drums on Sunday mornings at church.  Oh yes and he still loves his beloved Roma pizza.  As well as the meatball subs from his favorite local pizza joint!  When I was in North Carolina for the weekend I found 4 receipts for Roma pizza! 🙂

And for those who truly know Curt,  you would want to know that he still knows how to purchase and eat a Snickers Bar!!!

November is National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month…..I know, you probably didn’t know that.  I wouldn’t have a year ago either. 

So I thought I would do my part to bring some awareness to what people deal with daily when living with this monster of a disease. 

It’s a difficult, frustrating journey we are walking every day. 

But these words Harriet Beecher Stowe penned oh so long ago seem to describe our  attitude towards it all.

So to the heart that knows your love, O Father

There is a temple sacred evermore

And all life’s angry voices causing bother

     Die in hushed silence at its peaceful door.

Far, far away the roars of strife and grief fall silent,

     And loving thoughts rise ever peacefully,

And no storm, however fierce or violent,

Disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord in Thee.

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18 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate Rothacker says:

    Sandy, so sorry to learn that you’ve been dealing with this. Thanks for posting this article…it is such a good snapshot of the effects of this disease.
    Prayers for you and for Curt.

  2. Alva Lee says:

    Sandy,
    With all of your losses, I thank God that Curt has retained his sense of humor and his ability to play drums. I meet each week with a 29-year-old woman who has ALS. As she loses her physical abilities, we talk about what is remaining. Not easy for her. Not easy for you. Keep leaning hard on God and into your friends. And know, again, that people who read your blog are praying for you.

  3. Sandy,
    Thank you for this post. It helps to know how things are going, as you and Curt (and kids) are constantly lifted in prayer. The words you posted from Harriet Beecher Stowe….made me cry …..the soul that dwells in Thee. Nothing can steal Curt away from God. Not. Even. Alzheimers. Thank you, Jesus.

    1. Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate says:

      Thanks Dawn….you are right NOTHING can steal Curt away from the Throne of God. 🙂 You are a dear friend Dawn with such depth of understanding!

  4. Shannon Wallace says:

    Just wanted to say your in my prayers. He was a great teacher to me! He always remembered me even after I had left his class! Only wish I could have told him the love of learning he helped me gain through my 9th grade year was huge! Please know my family is praying and thinking of you guys! Shannon

    1. Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate says:

      Shannon!!!!!! So nice to hear from you!! I will pass your kind words onto Curt, he will appreciate them!!

  5. Peaches says:

    Hi Sandy,
    Thank you so much for your informative blog entry. I appreciate the honesty with which your have shared. I pray for you as you are on this journey, and I pray for the rest of your family. May His grace and peace continue to be with you
    Peaches

  6. Ann Burden says:

    Love the poem Sam, love you and think of you often. Thanks for the update on Curt. It helps to know how to pray. We should talk soon, Ann

  7. Wonderful post – brings tears to my eyes. Prayers for you, Curt and your family. Your strength and grace are inspirational and may God continue to give you plenty of both each day!

  8. Beth says:

    Thanks for the update Sandy… I can’t even imagine how hard it was to write!

    How are YOU?

  9. Loved reading this. I could so relate. I hate the “How is she?” question. I mean, I appreciate that they care and inquire, but what do you say to describe the decline?

    I always appreciate the opportunity to compare notes. The recent eye-opener for me was when I asked my sister about a dosage on a bottle of a supplement – I knew it was either 1000 or 1500 – and she told me “there’s a one and three zeroes.”

    Love you, my friend.

  10. Julia says:

    love ya darling, your writing is an amazing journal and ten years from now, it may even become a book, a memoir a comfort and an inspiration, Praying for you all -bet you have no idea what a blessing you are and what comfort your words of honesty and journey relay to so many in all of our own difficult times,
    Blessings

  11. Faith says:

    Sandy, thanks for sharing this!! A friend of mine and I have prayed for you and Curt these last few months. My husband just looked over my shoulder as I was reading this….I told him how it would be so great to meet you someday! Keep blogging when you can…and thanks for your kind words on my recent post about the students….yes…the job this year is something else! darn budget cuts!!

  12. And no storm, however fierce or violent,
    Disturbs the soul that dwells, O Lord in Thee.

    I love these last two lines. And I love how you are living them out. Thank you for sharing with us. Thank you for being a testimony even during your own difficult time. May the Lord continue to keep you safe in the midst of the storm. Blessings to you my friend!

  13. Betty Jo says:

    Sandy it’s so nice to meet you. I’ve been reading back through your posts. I’m so very sorry for your husband’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. You have such a beautiful family. I will definitely be holding all of you in prayer. I lost my husband unexpectedly three years ago last month so do know the power of our Lord during times of storm. He is our strength! I’ve just opened a new blog today. If you have an opportunity to drop by, I would love to have you visit.

  14. Thanks for the updates on Curt. How are you and the kids doing through all this?
    I can’t imagine how difficult this is for your family, but I can pray for you and do.

  15. I love the quote. So true!

    I just stopped by to say God had you on my mind today. I’m glad Curt still has his sense of humor. And his dream team, I think, is the same as my husbands.

    Hugs 🙂

  16. Thank you so much for sharing this peace of your life. So many of us are unaware of the effects of the terrible disease. I was also unaware that it is Alzheimer’s Awarness month. May God bless you, your hubby, your marriage, and your family.

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