Have you ever awakened from one nightmare only to fall asleep and be caught up in another? We use such a small portion of our brains and that little bit we use is so complex we haven’t the time to wonder why. All we can deal with is each situation as we encounter them. I’m not going to tell you that every dream means something, or if you dream of certain things, those things are going to come true. That is just not logical.
My nightmare; no, challenge is a better word, was the decision to take Bill home or put him elsewhere. There were no tears, just conversation and I did most of the talking. I saw things that went on and was not happy about them. In fact, they were detrimental to Bill’s own health.
Noise is not something that either of us can tolerate. Mealtimes were not pleasant there was so much noise in the dining room I cringed myself. Things such as an exasperated aid talking very loudly to let someone know what they are supposed to do. Swallow, put your head down a little, and to the poor woman who kept saying, “I don’t know what to do,” over and over again she yelled that she was to eat. Others tried to get away from their tables so as each of their own private nightmares. It wasn’t like this when my mom was there. Mealtimes were quiet, and the staff was loving.
Bill’s own nightmares along with others were driving him to the point of planning to get out of there somehow even if he didn’t know where he would go for quiet refuge. I finally saw the light when I sat with him during lunchtime. Directly after lunch, I made an appointment with the doctor and told Bill I wanted him to come home. If the Doctor said that it was ok then it would be OK.
Well, the first thing that he said when I wanted him to come home was that he did NOT think that would be a good idea at all. Bill was not in the room at this time. After 15 minutes of trying to persuade him that it might be OK, he gave in and said OK, but this was a trial only. If I got back near the edge, Bill would have to go back. If not there, then someplace else.
Happiness filled both of us as he came home and settled into his old routine again. Well, not quite. I sometimes have to shave him, dress him, and take care of his dentures, but I don’t mind those things at all.
So Bill and I awoke from that nightmare. He has been home for about three weeks now and challenges have been appearing. As I reached for the stronger anti anxiety pills, I put them back down and looked at Bill. He was so happy to be home that I decided to try to work through this. He was starting to want me to do the PCH mailings for him again. This was a big stress factor before.
The PCH was not just a pain in the neck for absolutely nothing, but he wanted me to drop everything right now and do them and then drive him to the post office where he would go in line and hand it to the postmaster. Very big stress. But instead of taking pills, I told him that this was one of the major stress factors that drove me to the edge. I began to cry when I tried to tell him how much stress this caused me. We both shed tears while we cried, then laughed, then cried once more. In the end, Bill said that he wasn’t aware of that fact and now that he knows that, he will throw them away. We’ll see how long he remembers. One stress put aside for now.
Then yesterday, I had to tell him that I didn’t want him to hang on me. That was another stress factor. I asked him to leave me alone and not be hugging and kissing me constantly. He understood and did not hang on me all day. Another stress handled without pills. I know that these are not permanent solutions, but it is a start. Maybe I can wake up from one nightmare, and keep waking myself up each time the same nightmare raises its ugly head.
My mother used to tell me that if I had a nightmare just turn over and I would have a good dream. That will last for a while, but dementia slows down for no one. There will come a time that I will have to put him back into a similar environment, but not today, not today.
When the time does come which will be not too far into the future we will find some other solution that will work. When that stops working, we will move on again. In the meantime, we are happy.