Thursday, October 15, 2009

Meet Mike

Before I begin writing about the subject I intended, I must share my morning "emergency". My mom and Walter had just gotten here around 7:15 am. Brandon was leaving to catch his bus and as usual, we let Gizmo out into the backyard. Two minutes later, he comes running into the house sneezing uncontrollably. I knew it was trouble when he came right up to me. While wiping his nose, I saw blood. Just 5 mins earlier, I had been upset with my mom for coming over this morning (she didn't feel well), but now I was thankful to have 2 extra sets of hands. As Walter held Gizmo's body and my mom held his head, I found the culprit. I proceeded to pull a 4 inch long piece of bush out of his nose. His agitation almost stopped immediately, but it took me another 1/2 hour to calm him down. Times like this that I think - what if I had to take Gizmo somewhere as an emergency and my mom was not around?

On to my main thoughts-
After reading so many e-mails and posts, I was thankful for all your words of encouragement and support, but at the same time, I don't want anyone to forget the person at the core of this story.....Mike. Mike is the most caring, unselfish and loving person I have ever met. This disease robbed him of everything he loved and all you wonderful people will never know the real Mike. Let me share some thoughts with you -
Mike's favorite baseball team is the Yankees (a troubling situation, since I am a BIG Mets fan), his favorite football team is the Pittsburgh Steelers - Why you ask? He told me that becaue when he ws younger, he loved the color of the uniform. He loves Led Zeppelin, Genesis, Cherry Poppin Daddies, The Dave Matthews Band and Blues Travellers. He drank coffee all day long. He was a great bowler, he loved to go bike riding and play baseball/softball. In his quiet time, it was rare to see him without a crossword puzzle. He loved Tom Clancy books and his grandmother's cheesecake was THE BEST, in his eyes. He would do anything or go anywhere for anyone at any time of day or night - no questions asked. When his mom was in a nursing home with EOAD, he would go almost everyday after classes at St. John's to visit his mother, and we would go every weekend. He adored his mom and missed both his parents terribly. He was a good "doodler" and when he was young, he played the accordian. This gave him the uncanny habit of playing the piano one handed. He always dreamed of owning a 1965 black Corvette. He worked REALLY hard and was very conscientous and dedicated. His favorite restaurant was Koenig's in Floral Park where he loved the Yaeger Schnitzel with a Spaten.

I love Mike and miss him everyday. I just wanted to share with you the Mike I fell in love with BEFORE this disease took over.


Diane said...

Hi Karen,

One thing that makes you so real to me is that while dealing with a very sick husband, you still have normal everyday life to deal with too! Poor Gizmo! I hope the poor pup is over his ordeal from this morning!

Thank you for letting me get to know Mike a little bit. I have the impression that he was a little on the quiet side, and very gentle and loving. No wonder you and Mike have such great kids together! As for his choice in baseball teams, I have to side with you, as my kids and I are Mets fans too. However, I don't know much about sports, so I choose my teams by the colors of the uniforms too! I guess Mike and I would have had that in common as kids. :P

I enjoy your blogs Karen. You have such a good heart.

Love, Diane

Liz said...

Hi Karen,

How are you and Mike today? I want to thank you for letting us get to know his personal side and some of the things he enjoyed. Not many people are as kind to others as Mike sounds he was. I am wondering with Mikes family history, did Mike ever fear developing Alzheimers? Was it something the two of you ever discussed? With all the faith I have in God I often have to wonder why certain things in life happen. I do know God will never lead you down a road you can't walk or to a mountian you can't climb. If
God puts us in a situation he will see us through it. I know you have said that you, Brandon and Courtney don't feel you are doing anything out of the ordinary in caring for Mike which is what makes it all so special to us outsiders. You don't even realize how wonderful you three are! What a Blessing that you each have each other and Mike too! Too many other people just would not do what you do. How is Gizmo? Oh my Gosh a 4 inch piece of bush...ouch! I enjoy following your blog, I do wish the "storyline" was different for you, Mike, for your children,for all people with Alzheimers. You have truly brought an awareness to the forefront of Alzheimers and how it can rob a person and their family of a lifetime.
Goodnight Karen.

Karen H said...

Diane -
I have heard from a number of people that they pick their favorite teams by uniform color. I guess Mike wasn't so unusual.

Liz - Mike is OK today. He had a visit with the hospice nurse as well as the priest. My mom said they actually gave him a piece of communion today - which I KNOW he misses so much.

Gizmo has been fine the rest of the day. He's still a little shell shocked, but he appears to be OK. I hated seeing him so scared, but I was glad to be able to make it right.

Thank you both for checking in.