It has been two weeks today since our caregiver and I delivered Don to the care home, and fled, stunned and shocked. Doesn’t seem like long but changes are afoot.
When I ran in to visit today, carefully planned for no more than an hour, my love was committing complicated walking spirals in the hall with another woman 🙂
Later as I talked with a darling aide who gives great hugs, he wandered off and I saw him in discussion with the other men. Who knows what about. One of the aides said the men will put their heads together about how to fix something (that isn’t broken) and try this and that and then the group will dissolve off and away….
The staff remain concerned about how often he asks for me but the response is now, Your wife is at work, and that seems to satisfy. They don’t understand how much improvement there is, if he only asks a few times a day, instead of dozens of times an hour – even when I am sitting right next to him. The staff also asked about the things he sees running around and I explained they were dogs or children, which seemed to reassure the aides.
And me? I spent the evening hemming up spare pj’s and pants, because it seems about 9 of them have disappeared into the laundry or the labeling room or somewhere. Seems like a lot of accidents, and rather scary although I must admit I am so glad –and sad– this is not happening at home anymore. Hopefully those pants will re-emerge tomorrow, but I have a whole bag of the second set ready to go in the morning.
And me? Pretty hard to give up caregiver mode when it has been your whole life, albeit unwillingly, for years. So now, I am feeling calmer, dreading the future and afraid to allow my emotions to awake.
As one woman said at my caregivers group a few days ago, “I just feel numb.” She said it over and over.
A line in an AD interview rang true: “I liken it at times to being a victim of domestic terrorism. You never know what’s going to set an Alzheimer’s patient off. You have to have an inner resource to keep yourself from getting to the precipice and wanting to jump.” I was on the verge of a complete breakdown when the system finally swung into action.
It echoed what another friend said about the feeling after the patient is admitted to care, “It is like being a survivor in a war zone.”
And that is how it is. I am still, inside, cautiously waiting for the next dreadful barrage.
Oh yes PS – it appears that Don’s Veterans benefits might help with this expense because his care fee, although as low as possible at $1000 a month was going to squeeze our income beyond belief, especially since continence aids, clothes -all those extra pants – and everything else under the sun still has to be provided by me. Anyway, the fact that my sweet love went off to join the Korean War and save the world from communism might be our financial grace now.
So Don heard me mention Vets to the staff, and he asked, excitedly, “The Navy is sending for me?”
Oh my sweet dear heart.