Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Ghost Busters" revisited. I have turned into a monster.

Gary and I have been at my Dad's house in Virginia for 7.5 days.  I love being around this side of the family since we are not together often.  Since being off work and having "downtime" I have learned a few things.

In the few days prior to the flight here, I had worked up an incredible anxiety over being able to manage (or not) Gary during the flight.  Even though he has only had a few accidents, I worried about him and had him wear a diaper. We had no issues.   I was concerned about the 40 minute scramble in Atlanta.  No issues as the attendant was right there to wheel him to the bathroom and get us to the next gate....which was right across the aisle from our arrival gate. All the planning paid off.  I'm too hard on myself sometimes. And at the same time, had I not planned so well it may have ended differently.

As we picked up the rental car and I had to leave him for two minutes while I walked seventy stalls down the airport garage, I worried he would leave. The attendant said she would watch him.....but would she.  It all turned out well until I pulled up the curb, had him get in the front seat and while I moved to the back of the vehicle to unload the luggage, he locked me out.  It was 28 degrees outside and I was pounding on the window for him to unlock the door.  He just stared at me.  After screaming at him enough, he unlocked the door.  The poor man working at Budget saw my dilemma and held the back door open long enough for me to get in before he locked it again.  I told him that I wished the disease of Dementia on no one he knows.  He said, "Merry Christmas." 

On a side-note, no one here says "Happy Holidays".  There is no such thing as political correctness and I
have found myself delving into gossip and unnecessary caring about others' business.  It seems so silly to be caught up in such minor issues....but it is natural here. 

On the two hour drive, Gary must have clicked the door lock and window at least 400 times.  I could not get him to stop no matter what I tried.  Eventually, I was a wreck.  His anxiety level was not helped even with my magic trick Sedalia.  We arrived safely at my Dad's house and the vacation began.

It has been a quiet week.  We have barely left the house except to run errands, go to eat and some visits.  It is restful except for Gary being confused.  I find that my highs and lows of patient (my patience) behavior are more radical.  When things are calm, I am better able to cope with his constant needs.  However, in a small bathroom, with no air vent and a leaky toilet (new one on the way), I find my patience with Gary's needs non-existent.   The best of me as a caregiver is good.  The worst of me as a caregiver feels evil.  

I watched "Ghost Busters" recently.  When the the evil ghost takes over the body of Sigourney Weaver and floats above the bed, one could substitute my face for hers.  At least, that is how it feels when the rage takes over my emotions.  I can't imagine ever hurting him, but the imagination can run wild.  

I am exhausted.  I sleep well here except for having to take Gary to the bathroom each times he needs to go.  He can't find the right room, nor the light switch (2 feet higher on the wall than at home), nor the raise the toilet seat, nor hit it squarely.  I have cleaned the floor here waaaayyy tooo many times in one week.  Then, I have to wait for him to go back to bed.  Now keep in the mind that our bedroom is three feet from the bathroom.  He just can't find his way.

So, in my spare time, I have thought of the twelve days of Dementia Christmas and would like to share with you all.  Please feel free to sing along. I'll start at the your way backwards. 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my husband said to me...
"Where is my comb? (11)
When do we go home? (10)
My socks don't match. (9)
I can't find the toilet. (8)
Can I have more coffee? (7)
Where is the dog? (6)
Hey, Ada Mae....(5)
What is his name? (4)
When do we leave? (3)
Gee, I'm very hungry. (2)
and a Loving wife who's gonna go nuts! 

We have two more days here and a early morning foggy drive over the mountain to the airport.  Please continue to pray for miracles.  We get them everyday.  

For all the other caregivers reading this.....there is a New Year coming.  Hoping for changes is scary because so far the changes have all been for the worse.  But FAITH can take you through it all.  Just enjoy the good moments.  

Merry Christmas everybody. 

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