Royce here, Liza’s a little slow when it comes to typing.
WARNING….This info will probably NOT “Lift your spirits”. Sorry, but I’ve had so many requests for updates, this will answer a lot of questions. Especially for those of you who haven’t heard from me for a while.
Kind of laid off FB to concentrate on Linked In. Where to start?
Well many of you know we’ve been living in Bullhead City, AZ for the last 3 years or so.
It’s a private club, right on the Colorado River.
Been in my family since the early 70’s.
Almost all the homes are “vacation homes”. Liza and I were permanent residents. As well as an 85 year old wonderful lady down the street. Her name is Shirley Jones (believe it or not) I’m telling you this so you’ll have a better reference.
Almost 3 years ago, Liza developed (although we didn’t know at the time) Alzheimer’s! She was only 55 at the time! Started out with normal “forgetfulness”, can’t remember where the car keys are etc. It’s a very subtle, slow, insidious, F’d Up Disease!
It progressed to “Dementia” when I started to really seek out the best neurologists I could find. Believe it or not, there are great neurologists in Bullhead City.
At that point, I thought there was NO WAY it could be Alzheimer’s! She’s too young! Then we met another patient who was only 31!
We saw A LOT of doctors! Around 25 or so! (and still going) We even flew down to Phoenix to Barrows(one of the leading neuro-science centers in the U.S.)
She had a team of 5 Dr.’s there, and they said it was probably the “A” word.
They did give us hope, they said with the right medication we could slow the progression way down. We continued to seek cures (and tried many) but unfortunately, she continues to “Slip Away”.
Now the CRAZY part…I’ve been her full-time caregiver for the last year and a half or so. She could still feed herself (as long as I cut it up) but needed help going to the bathroom, getting dressed and the worst (for me) showering! She has (had) beautiful long hair. Not much fun shampooing in a shower built for one!
I say “had” because they have given her a new, much shorter hair style.
It was around August 23rd. I was in the back bedroom, and don’t know if I tripped or passed out, but I hit the (Mexican tile) floor. When I came to, I didn’t know what happened, I just knew I could no longer move!
I also knew I was in massive PAIN! I started screaming but since it was just us
(and Shirley) in the club, no one could hear me.
(I had broken my leg, right near the hip)
Liza was freaking out of course! Saying “What’s wrong?” I had no idea; just knew we were in trouble!
On more than one occasion, Liza picked up the cell phone. I was ecstatic!
“Bring me the phone…” Then she would look at it for a while and then lay it back down on the kitchen counter! Which I couldn’t reach!
Here’s what really pissed me off…we had a cleaning lady who came in twice a week, also had “Meals on Wheels” coming every other day. (for those of you that know me, I love to cook!)
But it was either take the food or have a visit 3 times a month from a caregiver supervisor. We chose the FOOD!
Plus, we’d usually take the meals down to Shirley. I’d also visit Shirley at least every other day. Run to the store for her…Etc. I mention all this because even with all those visitors, NO ONE did anything! My car was in the driveway, we were pretty much always there. But nobody called for help.
I heard some messages on my phone later, with them bitching about “Stopping by” but we weren’t answering the door! (Duh)
Later, I even asked Shirley why she didn’t wonder “Where’s Royce?”.
She said, “I thought you were mad at me”.
I would’ve loved to have cameras inside our home! I have no idea what Liza did, but she couldn’t eat (unless it was laid out) or get a drink of water…open the fridge etc.
Help finally came…All thanks to Jessica! For those of you who don’t know,
she’s my awesome daughter.
We usually talked at least every other day. When she couldn’t get a hold of us, she called the Bullhead City Police department. Asked them to do a “Welfare check”.
We have a large sliding glass door in front. The cop (sorry, Officer)
(I have to be correct, since Jason, my son, is an Officer in Utah).
So, the cop is looking through the door and can see Liza walking around. He’s shouting “Unlock the door”.
Instead, Liza put her fingers to her lips and said “Shhh, he’s sleeping”.
(sometimes Alzheimer’s can be funny!).
Liza’s lips were bleeding (so were mine) from lack of water.
I’m sure the Officer thought “What the hell is going on in there!”
The Officer dismantled and climbed in through the bathroom window.
I was passed out for most of this.
When the paramedics showed up, one said “You’re lucky to be alive!”.
How do you answer that?
They estimated I’d been there for 3-5 DAYS! One thought it was more like a WEEK!
So off we go to the Hospital. I barely remember that, except when they put a giant “tarp” (not a medical term) over me and hosed me down. Apparently, I was a little “Funky”.
There’s no orthopedic surgeon in Bullhead, so they stuck me in an ambulance and drove me to Las Vegas., Boy, was THAT a fun ride! (Not) They operated on me and filled me up with all kinds of hardware.
I stayed in that Hospital for ten days. Meanwhile, Liza stayed at the Hospital in Bullhead for almost a month! She was fine, they just didn’t know what to do with her. Luckily, the nurses LOVED her.
After the ten days, they shipped me to a rehab center in Phoenix.
Where I spent a month! When I first got there, I couldn’t even lift my leg at all.
I had to use a walker for a while, now I’m down to a cane.
Thank God for FAMILY…
Breezy (Liza’s sister) and Chris Breck (her awesome husband) have a beautiful home in Phoenix.
Breezy coordinated Liza’s move to a “Memory Care Center” in Gilbert. (A suburb of Phoenix) Now, looking back she was probably ready for full time care a while ago. We’ve been together for almost 40 Years!
So, it was really hard…we would be apart.
Breezy & Chris opened their home for me to recuperate. They’ve been feeding me, given me clothes, an awesome bedroom with a great TV and the company of three cats.
Liza’s doing great (for having the “A” word) Brookdale (where she is) is an awesome center. They have games, movies, even live entertainment. Plus, the staff are human “Angels”!
So here I sit, trying to heal. I’m getting some really great therapy. Since I have (and still am) going through an official “Traumatic Event”. For instance, trying to get some oh, I don’t know…MONEY!
Plus, all of our stuff is still in Bullhead City! From my car on down.
What I’m dealing with, are things like…Do I stay here to be close to Liza?
Where do I live?
Do I go back to Bullhead?
Should I put all of our stuff in storage?
In Phoenix or Bullhead?
I’m open to suggestions!
Thanks for reading this long! If you’d like to check out my marketing website (still adding stuff) it’s at plentyofcustomers.com
Be well my friends,