I am bemused tonight and wondering.
This afternoon i watched an incredibly talented dental hygienist talk and massage my darling into letting her first look at, and then step by step triage his teeth. Oh not fillings, but checking for pain, cleaning, investigating and fluoride. And some other magic tricks.
Some months ago, he bit and hit her but she agreed to try again.
Lo, the new happier Don, the one off hydromorphone, and with a whack of loving care – kisses from me and her chin massages – Who knew! – and happy calm chat (she kept queuing me back to MY happy memories, managing both my emotional messages and Don’s receptors) …
That Don was perfectly happy to lie down on his bed and let us coo and fuss over him.
It was touch and go from time to time. He can be cranky guy, running on pure emotional intuition. Natually defensive. Anyone would be – will be – if what people were doing to you made no sense that you could understand.
Each time she backed off, came back calmly, and slowly as each step was accepted, extended her wish list for his tooth care.
This dementia whisperer persisted. When we started she told me, “Relax, I have all afternoon.”
As she packed up, he was happily snoring!
Later I realised that her having enough time was totally amazing. It took me awhile to feel or believe the luxury. Not in a rush, not answering a call bell, having the time to just be with us, for as long as it took, and relax us both.
Care is for dementia is so complicated. The talented ones, care aides and the many other professions, should be honoured as special healers.
They give our beloved ones the care they need, mental and physical, and they help heal our tormented caregiver souls.