Last few days have been mostly … well, irritating to the point of wit’s end. Endless questions about “When we are going home,” coupled with a lack of comprehension so deep that the use of fork and knife is becoming problematic, and he frequently asks “Who are you?”
Perhaps it is all aggravated by the fact that i know have a week’s respite schedule for each of the remaining months of the year. We will see if next week’s break at The Lodge is as positive for Don as the first one, because I am truly at the end of my rope.
Certainly here at home he is agitated, restless, very afraid (yesterday he refused to eat his hash browns – his favourite breakfast – because “I’m afraid of them”) and easily irritated. Not exactly a happy camper, and not easy to handle. I have resorted to more medication and I am trying to stay aware that under the layer of reasonableness (is that a word?) induced by the meds, there is a deep and plummeting dementia.
Fortunately, after the medication took effect, I was able to find some photos of Ontario under snow, and that seems to have settled the prospect of driving 3500 miles for now. He, who used to read maps and the atlas for recreation, has no concept any more of distance, space, geography.
He seems to have given up on money, having decided the business cards with his poem on them are as valuable (and who is to argue with that!) He can be diverted by the birthday cards I saved for him.This morning i sat there showing him the cards and thinking to myself, how much i would like to have cards addressed to him showing up in the mailbox — just one every three months or so, from all the people who say they care so much for him.
6 responses to “Tough Sledding”
Thinking of you and Don. Such a tough journey! 😍😍
D- Im giving you a big hug through cyber wire…if it reaches you at powerful as it is sent …you will feel a moment of love and warmth in your heart…enjoy your next respite …Im coming to town ..will PM message you…we need that hug for real
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I have a really fun birthday card I’ll send to Don tomorrow. In the meantime, Delores, please know that there are many of us who think of YOU often and are in awe of your caring. I’ll be working at polls most of tomorrow, but will phone you on Tuesday re organising some respite out on the west coast.
Hey Delores, I hope that this moment in your day is going well. What a roller-coaster ride, that never ends, just gets more and more freaky! I think that Don has also lost the understanding of the phone. He used to see that you were on the phone in the office and he would turn around and come out of the room. Now he hears your voice, animated with conversation and completely assumes that you are talking to him. Even when he goes in your office and sees that you have the phone, he doesn’t get it and wants to stay and find out what you are saying. Augh, I can’t compete! But I was able to lead him away a few times yesterday. That was great when you went out for a walk and he stayed. I was sure that he was going to follow you. We went into the garden for a short time, followed by a short musical interlude and then he wanted to sit by the window or stand by the door looking for you. I think he is also loosing his understanding of music, too. Sign, my ace in the hole. He still enjoys listening to music, but he can’t understand talking about it, or what a cd is for, etc, so it’s tricky to introduce the idea to him when he’s in the office with you, no kidding, I get that he only wants to be with you. And I see how challenging that must be for you (understatement!). Take care, it’s only one more sleep! Norleen
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Hello Delores, I am so sad for what was of Uncle Don and how sad it must be for you. Life is so full of unending challenges, many of which are so hard to overcome. I am keeping Mother updated on his declining mental acuity. I worry for you as I know what a toll it takes on the caregivers. Glenn was hospitalized for 5 weeks this summer for a stroke that h e suffered. He is continuing to have small mini strokes 2-3 times a week where his speech is slurred and his balance problems worsen. Most days he can get around with a cane although he has experienced a couple of falls. I will pick up some cards the next time I am out and will mail them to him. Could you change my email to firstname.lastname@example.org You are both in my thoughts and in my heart. Love Sandra
And thank you to all those who did send cards after this post. He has found them very mysterious!