Our Thanksgiving with family has come and gone. Alan is back at his apartment now. I left him there, and waved goodbye, although he did not acknowledge me at all.
Alan was able to stay with us for two days and two nights. We picked him up from his apartment on Wednesday afternoon. He was suspicious of us right away so we promised him a milkshake. We got to the house and he walked in with just his drink. He had nothing with him - I had purchased clothes for him earlier that day so that we wouldn't have to pack anything.
From the beginning he was desperate to go back to his apartment, trying to get out of the doors, yelling at us, begging us to take him back. He threatened to go to the police and have us arrested. Kenny and I took turns keeping watch during the night. We had to be ready at a moment's notice to block his access to the outside doors. His desperation came in waves. Alan would be calm for a few moments, then he would begin to become agitated, and start pointing his finger at us, shaming us for what we were doing to him.
Thanksgiving day itself was enjoyable. He seemed happy to be with extended family. Our only glitch was his unshakeable belief that it was July of 2013. He was upset at the sweaters worn by this aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The agitation continued after everyone left, including two very disturbing bouts of uncontrollable weeping on Alan's part.
The weeping is perhaps the most difficult to experience. I can only speculate why he cries as huge shuddering sobs wrack his body: He must realize something is wrong, but he can't express his confusion in words. He allows me to hold him, whispering that it will be ok. It is in some ways an empty promise - I know it will never be ok again - but I also know that I will do my best to help him as he suffers through this disease.
We find ways to be thankful. Kenny and I are so grateful with the Alan we know shines through and we see that grin, or the happy spring in his step that is so familiar. We find comfort in our family and the support they give just by being willing to be here with us. We are thankful for the staff at Alan's apartment. They love him and care for him with a dedication that is so appreciated.