Tough Times

Things are getting a bit tricky here.

After a weekend of wonderful family visits last week, complete with beautiful grandchildren, partly to mark my love’s birthday, we settled down, and things went well.

But Monday I had a busy work day with people talking in the office, and then a friend came for a week long visit. All ok, but by Tuesday he was acting a bit suspicious, and I gave him a little more of the quetiapine hoping to shift the direction.

Fat chance.

By Wednesday he was unwilling to accept that my friend and I were going out for a walk in the woods (despite the fact that he just won’t and/or can’t do a decent stretch) and then out to dinner. Perfectly normal thing for two girlfriends to do. He was angry with his caregiver, and ran away looking for me many times. The caregiver conjoled him back over and over. But the mood never shifted.

She says, “I disengaged and went into the bathroom at least a half dozen times. He would get quiet for a little while then begin again.  I have seen him very very agitated but never for so long and never running out the door over and over. All the meds and a glass of wine and he never sat down in hours. Kept reminding me he wasn’t going to hurt me even though he was a welter weight champion and easily could. Made sure I knew that.  He pretty much told me how awful and stupid I was and how sorry he felt for me.

“Earlier he had his shoes on backwards and we had a heck of a time sorting that out.

“As I left I saw remorse at the door. We hugged and he even blew a kiss as I left.”

He calmed as soon as I came in, and we looked at some pictures. After a short evening we all went to bed, still adding a tad more quetiapine because he was obviously very upset. All was well until about 2 AM when he woke, agitated and afraid, wanting his children, and calling me stupid (well, that goes without saying!). Prowling the house looking for them, all confused between his children and his brothers and sisters, and accusing me of killing and eating them. He was afraid of me and did not believe I was Delores.

Eventually after about an hour, he settled into “well I love you but you have lost your mind,” so there was a good deal of sadness and pity, and we went to bed, because I was able to convince him that he could sit up all night in bed and keep watch on me which he said he had to do because I was so dangerous.

This morning he said, “so what are we going to do? Just die or try to keep going?” He only knows something was wrong, but not what happened, and of course, there is no “why” to it. We settled on keeping going, sadly.

I phoned the psych nurse and there will be some adjustment in medication. They say they are going to put him on The List. The dreaded, useless list for long term care. [Actually it turns out it doesn’t work that way. That that is a choice I have to make, but the waiting is so long and the need so urgent that it is probably worth even worrying about. The creaky system only works at points of extreme emergency.]

I am crying, and, strangely, in shock.

Nice holiday for my friend. No wonder people don’t like to visit those of us struggling with dementia. It must be exhausting.

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