Saturday, February 13, 2016

Continued decline and the Circle of Life

On Friday, I took Gary to the new Neurologist.  We are about to undergo an MRI and an EEG.  His decline has been rapid and the doctor wants to check out all the possibilities.

During that meeting, he recommended that I talk to our Primary Care Physician about Medicare and Financial Assistance that might be available to me as a caregiver. I had my own appointment later in the day with the PCP so I knew that I would ask him.

Unbelievably, when I got there, the doctor asked me about Medicare and whether or not I had registered Gary.  The neurologist had sent him a message during the day to give him a heads up.  At least some people still care and communicate.

During my visit, the doctor asked about Gary and we discussed decline, incontinence, vitamins and the circle of life.  He stood and drew an imaginary circle in the air and talked about the infant, child and the elder as it relates to behavior and body functions.  So true.

I was diagnosed with asthma related to allergies and was given medication.  Its hard to do all that I do when I am hacking up a lung and having difficulty breathing.  I hope it helps. 

Meanwhile, back at the Gerard ranch....Heather and Xander are gone for the weekend so I'm on my own.  Gary and I went to bed early and I followed the normal ritual.

"Gary, please go to the toilet and pee." It is important to point out the part about the toilet as he often whips out his penis to pee wherever he stands. 

He did go to the bathroom and we went to bed.  I was fast asleep at 3:15 when he awakened me and asked me to untie his pajama pants that he was holding in his hand while sti
ll lying next to me.  They were wet.  He was wearing a diaper....the diaper was dry.  How did that happen?  I jumped up as if there were a viper in the bed and immediately tried to figure out how he had soaked the bed, his clothes and the diaper was still dry.  After I awoke better, I thought about it and deciphered that he had just pulled his penis out thinking it was underwear, peed and then pulled the diaper up.  He had no recollection of any of it.

I was grateful for the many years I had slept well without needing to tend to children.  Payback is here.

I changed the bed, which luckily had a water-resistant mattress cover and Googled similar products and ordered Depends Mattress pads to ensure preservation of dryness and my peace of mind. I giggled when I thought of the warehouse person at Amazon receiving this order at 3:30 in the morning.....did they think "Oh my, someone else peed the bed!"?

Today consisted of clean up, trying to get things done and prepare to leave the house with Gary to run errands.  Its more like planning a vacation rather than going to the store.......anyway, I'm sure we will be home safely in a few hours with a story or two.

I have decided not to make a big deal out of Valentines Day as he probably won't relate.  I know he loves me and I sure hope that he understands that I still love much as it hurts.

An old friend from Heald who had suffered from ALS, died yesterday.  She has had a clear mind all this time but her body let her down.  The exact opposite of Gary.  I have to be thankful that Gary is still alive.   

Her husband was an incredible caregiver during her last few years. It is bittersweet that now he will get some rest.  I do not look forward to those days. R.I.P. Susan.

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