Sunday, July 10, 2016

I'm married to a different man!

I woke up early again.  I laid in the bed thinking of my day yesterday.  I spent about 1.5 hours with Gary.  That is not enough to me. 

It is still awkward figuring out where I fit in there.  When I arrived, he and the other residents had just returned from a "field trip" to the Assisted Living Side of the facility (about 200 feet away from his area).  They had gone to a church service and all seemed to be in varying states of being.  Gary was wide awake and seemed to be more alert and stimulated.  Others were either in the same state or were starting to nap.

Gary was sitting in his new wheelchair and seemed comfortable and unaware of it.  I turned him a little sideways, kissed him and made small talk.  He kept reading the country on my blouse "Aruba".  I told him that we had visited Aruba once together and showed him the turtle bracelet I wear that he bought me there.  I asked if he remembered going there on a business trip with our then friend, Frank.  He said no but smiled when he touched the turtles.

During my time there, we loved on the unit dog Annie.  She is a six month old white puffy dog that has taken a liking to me.  As she pounced at Gary's feet to be picked up he said, "Up Diva Gerl!"  I explained that Diva Gerl was at my house and picked up Annie and let him snuggle with her.  After about 15 seconds, she lost interest and wiggled away.  He had a moment of a smile.

We watched part of a video on New Zealand.  Though he did not watch the TV, he repeated much of what he heard. Like many other times at our house, I kicked off my sandals and put my leg over his lap.  He instantly stopped shaking his leg and focused on my foot.  He rubbed it, separated my toes and massaged it lightly until I took it away.  He started shaking again.  I put the other foot in his lap.  Again, he stopped the body wrenching and focused on my foot.

We have to find a way to give him something to do tactilely more often. I could be wrong but it seems all that movement, uncontrolled would just wear on him.

When they started moving the residents around the room to seat them at their lunch tables I left.  It is awkward sitting next to him.  It is a horrible experience kissing him Goodbye and walking away. After leaving, I decided that I need to get over feeling awkward and sit next to him and be with him.  I have NOTHING better to do. I am the one with the problem and as a healthy individual and his wife, I have every power to overcome my created issue.

So, today, after I go to church, I will attempt to stay there all afternoon. I miss Gary so much.  But I also have to realize that the Gary I miss is not the Gary I visit.  He is different.  He still has feelings....I just have to look deeper.

On his chart yesterday I noticed that they have him labeled as Introverted and quiet.  Wow!  Certainly a far cry from the man of before the FTD.  He was outgoing and certainly never quiet.  But now...he is different.  I now love a very different man.

After leaving, I came home and did laundry and other stuff.  Our dog needed to go to the vet so we made a trip down the Anaheim Hills.  After 45 minutes in the waiting room, Diva Gerl was shaking just like Gary does.....its all nerves.
She will need an echocardiogram as she has developed a heart murmur and after all shots, treatments etc....I had spent almost $400.  In August, she will be boarded while I visit my family and friends in Virginia.  While there, she will have a medical treatment.  I have never before considered the cost when making decisions.

With Gary's housing and care costing around $6500 - $7000 per month, I have started living differently and making decisions based on "how long will the money last?"  We are okay for now, but it is certainly a concern.

If you have the wherewithal, buy your family member insurance that will cover long term care while they are still healthier.  The cost of long term care is astronomical if you do not have insurance and if you could be too late.

Thank God I have a good job and some savings.

 For years, Gary worked at home. I so miss being somewhere else and picking up the phone to call him and hearing his signature "Happy Day!" when he answered the phone.  For now, I wish you all a "Happy Day" from Gary and Ada.  I intend to make it one.

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