This is another story of about the feelings of the one taking care of a person weighed down with dementia. This is a two person journey from beginning to end. What I’ve seen in Bill is the sadness of losing each skill, each thought, each piece of him to oblivion. I’m not really morose, or a negative person, but this is a sad condition of the mind.
I’ve been with Alzheimer’s people and Dementia so much these past 20 years or so that I forget what really is happening to the person. When you are with a person with such a condition, perhaps every day, you don’t see the gradual change. Others do see the gradual decline.
To those who take care of these ones, it is that all the suddenness of this decline that comes in one swoop. Again, you look at your loved one and realize this seems like he has suddenly gone downhill again. To me it feels as if it has been sudden that his thoughts and speech won’t come together, if at all. I remember the thoughts of his heart wanting to come out, but they were stuck. The thoughts were there, the memories are there, but the words are not.
He struggles to get the thoughts out and it hurts me to the point of my heart breaking in two. As he tries to form the words or remember his thought, the look of desire in his eyes I know that he has something important to say to me. The unwillingness of his mouth to form the words that have already gone into oblivion and as the thought itself enter the doors of extinction, we look at each other helplessly.
I can only hug him and tell him that I love him. Then nothingness fills the void of silence.
In the meantime, his son called us I’m not sure what the objection was, but he was mad at me and he told me that he was very angry with me. He thinks that his dad should be down there with him where he could care for him properly and he could see his grandchildren. I started to cry, and I told him he has a right to be angry and it was OK to be mad. His dad found his voice, grabbed the phone and let him know a few things that his son is not aware of. One was that he was not happy with him that he got me upset.
That was only one small thing that we have to work with. Bill has to remember that his son has not had to deal with older people and never with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It is a shock for him to see his dad like this, and he doesn’t see it as bad as it really is. Thankfully there is no one else on bill’s side of the family that we have to hold their hand and deal with this too.
When you look at this, it comes down to the importance of the relationship that Bill and I have built over the years that is getting us through this. My sister said it all when she said that when you get old, all you have is your family to take care of you.
As for me? I’m just plugging along like everyone else is and taking it one day at a time.
Here I thought that this was going to be another story of my feelings of taking care of my husband, but it turned into something else and that is okay too.