Thursday, December 8, 2016

I don't wish Dementia on any family.

Until tonight, I had not seen Gary since Sunday.  I had a bad cold and did not want to take any sickness into the "Happy Place".  And....to be perfectly honest, I could use the cold as an excuse to get a break.  It is a horrible thought that I have to have an excuse to not go see my husband.  I love him but I needed to stay home and rest.  I did.  Between a spinal adjustment and Alka Seltzer, I kicked the cold in four days.

Tonight, I returned to visit Gary after work. He was sitting at the dinner table with a complete, untouched bowl of soup in front of him and his eyes tight shut.  However, he was wide awake.  I started with a "Hey, Garball."  He responded with a low key "Hey, Garball."  I kissed him and said, "Hi baberoon.  I got my hair fixed just for you and wanted to say hi."  He responded, "Hi babes."  He did not open his eyes.  I offered him soup and he opened his mouth.  He ate.  One of the caregivers kept saying to him, "Mr. Gary.  Open your eyes. Look who is here.  SHe looks so pretty." 

So, when he did not respond, I fed him his dinner of turkey, dressing and green beans.  He ate every bite without opening his eyes.  Finally, when I missed his mouth and got gravy on his beard, he opened his eyes and proceeded to pick the napkin up off his lap and wipe his mouth.  He has no reaction.  I said, "Well, there you are!"  He said, "I'm right here....."

At that point, I put my head on his shoulder and he kissed the top of my head.  One of the angels was taking this picture.



As I gave him his specially made hot chocolate, he drank it with a smile.  I could tell that the hot chocolate was the highlight of his day. 

I sat and thought about his life now.  He wakes in the morning and apologizes to the caregiver for her having to change his diaper.  He gets a shower and dressed for the day.  He eats breakfast and sits in his chair for the morning and is present for whatever activity is done in the main room.  He sleeps in his chair while waiting for lunch.  He has a snack mid-morning and has fluids to keep him lubricated.  Then lunch.  Then a nap. Then he apologizes to the caregiver that his diaper needs to be changed.  She tells him that it is okay and that it is a natural human function.  Then an afternoon activity.  Then dinner.  If we are lucky, the wife shows up and feeds him dinner and kisses him and tells him he is loved.  Then , he goes to bed.  Then he wakes in the middle of the night.  What does he think?  Does he long for days in our bed at night when he could roll over and touch me?  Does he dream? 

Meanwhile, at home, I am thinking, "What is Gary thinking right now?  Is he thinking of me?  Is he asleep? "

Life as a married person living apart is hard.  I feel so sorry for him that I could cry everyday....and most of the time, I do.  Sometimes the tears are silent and sometimes, sobs.

I don't wish Dementia on any family.

5 comments:

  1. beautiful, made me cry... my husband has been in care for a year and half.

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  2. This was a beautiful post. We're just beginning to navigate this horrible road with my dad. Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
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