Who, you might ask, is Lewy?

The short and sweet answer is that Dr. Lewy and Dr. Alzheimer were working together when Dr. A found the tangles in the brain cells which are characteristic of the symptoms we know of as Alzeheimer's Disease. Dr. Lewy identified a second type of dementia, characterized by structures in the brain cells which are now known as Lewy Bodies. Dementia with Lewy Bodies is a lot like Alzheimers, but symptoms come and go, become more intense and less so, from day to day and sometimes from hour to hour. (Can I say minute to minute?) It is the third most common type of dementia.

Not sure where this adventure will take us, but my husband Ranney was diagnosed with DLB (shortcut) this past fall. To most of us it seemed a sudden thing, but looking back, we could identify occurrences that were definite signs that this was coming.

In this blog we will chronicle some of the heartbreaks and humor that come up when living with DLB. And yes, humor, we laugh, often.

Thursday, 30 March 2017


The short term memory is sometimes seriously impacted by dementia--all kinds of dementias. (Don't worry if you go into another room and forget why when you get there--that's not necessarily dementia.)

Long term memories, however, stay with a person. Let them talk about what happened years ago, listen and agree. It will be good for them.

Here's a strange memory thing that happened with Ranney. While he was at the first Nursing Home (oh, more about that later.) there was a piano in the chapel. Now, apparently Ranney had taken piano lessons for a while as a child. Didn't we all? He had never played during our nearly 49 year marriage--even when we had a piano in the house.

Lupe and Tino visited him one day and he played the piano for them. Not a virtuoso, but not just chopsticks either. Did that long term memory bring that back? Strange, right?

About that first Nursing Home. This was where he went after being released from the hospital. At the door to exit you must enter a code. The code was pretty short and is posted at the door so that visitors can get out. Too simple, as my smart husband just entered the code and left for a walk one evening early on. They call in an "elopement." It became necessary for him to move to a facility with tighter security.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The flowers on the quilt

Here is the story of the flowers on the quilt. This happened early on, and I thought, well that's odd, but didn't bring it up at any doctor appointments or anything. Perhaps if I had...

We were sitting on the bed and Ranney says: "Those flowers are fighting."

"They are?"

"Yes. Those over there are okay, but these are fighting."

We went back and forth about it for a few minutes and then I change the quilt. I don't believe we used that quilt again while he was at home.

One thing that happens with Lewy Bodies is visual hallucinations. This would be a form of that. I put it together later that it was.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Nursing Home

It's tough to have to live in a nursing home, even one that is nice and well fitted for your needs.

Ranney told me one day, "This place is okay. I don't mind living here."

Sigh of relief.

Until a day or two later when I read in his journal: "Kathy just doesn't understand sarcasm."

I am back to tell some of the stories.

Ranney passed away last June 16, 2016 at approximately 6:15 a.m. The nursing home had given us a room to ourselves. Rachel came the previous day from Boise. Friends came and sat with me until she got there. She had been there with the family the weekend before, and Karen and the whole crew a week or so before that. Chris had come the previous day, and Monsignor Ecker came and anointed him. We knew it was coming.

It was my birthday.

Rachel and I had been keeping vigil. Taking turns resting on the other bed in the room. She woke me early and told me she thought the end was coming. I held his hand. Suddenly, he opened his eyes, looked at me, then squeezed my hand, and he was gone.

In the wake of Robin Williams wife talking about his Lewy Bodies, friends have asked about the symptoms. I have decided to rewaken this blog and tell the stories. Some of them are terribly sad, some are scary, and some are downright funny.

They might give some wake up calls to some of the readers--to see things earlier than I did.