Well, he said, holding me as we looked out the window, “I don’t know what happened to us, but now we’re stuck here, aren’t we?”
“Yes.” I wonder why the few coherent words he utters have to be such painful ones. But we are partners and we share our thoughts when we can.
It’s been a rough few weeks, as Don developed pain down his leg, as well as the back. The nursing staff said the tylenol wasn’t touching the pain anymore, so he got switched to stronger pain meds, some of which did put him in a very good mood!
The leg pain seemed to be sciatica, but there is really no way of getting a diagnosis, since even if one could get an MRI appointment, he would be terrified at the whole experience, and, in any event, treatment is also impossible given his precarious mind.
So he got a nerve pain medication which made him very sleepy (as in walking around with his eyes closed – rather dangerous for all) as he adjusted, but after a couple of weeks he seemed to emerge cheerful and pain-controlled.
He still is talking a mile a minute, with very rare moments of lucidity. He constantly sees things no one else does, and i think usually has very little comprehension of what is said to him. The words don’t make sense, but he responds to calm, love, and gentleness.
Occasionally, in the middle of the jumble, sentences and sense emerge, before he gets lost again in his broken mind. I think of it like the ruins of bombed cities we see on TV — a jumble of building stones, crumbled walls, and rebar, parts of structures, some bewildered and tattered survivors, all thrown together with just faint indications of what the original structure was.
I should add (now that my tears have dried – again) that I know for sure that he was so tired this afternoon because he had been dancing that morning — a care aide told me how much he reminded her of her dad, and her dad too loved to dance. I also know that another one of his favourite care aide friends came on duty while he snoozed, so he will forget all about anything else and just have a good time hanging out for the rest of the day.
I intend to do the same.