I know that I have not written in a while as Bill slowly declined to the point that he is at now. This is not my husband that I go to visit. My husband has disappeared into the grips of that ugly monster that has been trying to swallow him whole. In just four days, he went from my sweet, soft spoken, gentle loving man to a man who is a stranger to me.
It started when he fell and hurt his back and ribs on the left side. He would scream every time someone would try to help him up or move him. I had to call the paramedics just to get him off the cold bathroom floor to bed. He didn’t want to go to the hospital so I told the paramedics that he didn’t want to go. After I tried to take care of him and get him up, he would scream that his back hurt. When I sat him back down on the bed I told him that he was hurt and needed to go to the hospital.
When the staff took a CT scan of his head, neck, ribs and back, they could find no medical reason to keep him there at the hospital. The social worker for the hospital said that he needed to go to a nursing home and the only bed that was available was 35 miles away and I said no as to putting him that far away. The staff in the ER asked me what I was going to do with him. I told them I would take him back home with me. They asked how I was going to take care of him. I answered the only thing I could. I would take care of him the best I could, just the way I have been doing.
For the next few days, I had to call the paramedics every day to help get him up off the floor because he would scream every time I tried to help him. He then got diarrhea and at first, I could help him get to the toilet because he could help me. As the days passed by, he was getting quite weak, and I was unable to help him any longer. The paramedics took him once again to the hospital.
It so happened that the social worker for this particular chain of hospitals was there in the hospital. She looked at both of us and informed me that I was not taking him home anymore. He would be placed in one of the nursing homes in town so at least I am able to get there to see him. I asked her where we could talk quietly. We were escorted to a quiet room with some comfortable furniture and we all sat down. The social director talked to me and told me I was unable to care for him myself anymore, I needed help. To make sure that I understood, she asked me to look at myself. I couldn’t even stand up straight anymore, I’m falling down more, and I am in pain from my own illnesses.
At this time, she pointed out that I was getting so that I can’t take care of myself let alone Bill. I finally agreed that he should go to a nursing home. I didn’t wait for him to get settled, but I left soon after I signed the papers. I couldn’t take any more of this right now.
He’s been there a month now and there have been glimpses of recognition of me. One day he remembered me for a couple of hours. It was wonderful; he opened his arms to acknowledge me. He kissed me so tenderly. He was talking to me, and his speech was clear so we lay in his bed talking and I read him some of the bible. Lunch then came and I tried to feed him. He ate some bites of a couple of food items I know he likes, but he didn’t even want to eat more than one or two bites.
There are things that no one wants to talk about because they are far too painful to see. There is no way to escape it, the moods, behaviors, strange things; such as crawling on the floor, or going under people’s beds for what reason we can only guess.
Bill becomes aggressive and has hit aides that were trying to get him to do things he does not want to do. He’s hit me too, but I remind myself that he can’t help it. This is the monster within.