PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Reply to the Reply


Hi. Thanks for the speedy reply. I am not really depressed or anxious so at least for now do not feel the need for drugs, although not opposed. I do get down time, have a wonderful therapist that I spend time with every week, and have many supportive friends in the area. I am sleeping well, Gregory is not wandering or violent or angry and knows me and our home and our family and friends (even though he might not be able to call them by name.) He is happy and contented and often tells me so.

The problem is trying to keep some sense of normalcy around here when I never know how he will respond or what he will remember or how much he will understand. For example, I can lay out his clothes, no problem, but then he gets more out of the closet, doesn't know how to put them on, or forgets some combination of them. Even when he comes to me for help, short of sitting him down "old people's home style" and dressing him, he cannot follow simple directions, or pointing, or demonstrating. So helping is NO help. That is really what frustrates me. 

Also, I am learning to follow that he does not always mean what he says, like when I ask "Are your pockets filled?" (wallet, keys, etc) and he says NO but they are. Or I'll tell him to go to the bathroom right before we are leaving and he will say OK but if I don't see him do it, chances are he doesn't and then as we are walking out the door he'll say, "Oh I need to go to the bathroom." 

Honestly don't know what I would do with a companion here 6 days a week. Maybe if we had a larger place, they could be getting dressed while I was in my office or whatever. But it is an intimate condo. When the companions are here I will make a play date with friends, or go shopping, or just be somewhere by myself and work on my poetry at the local Starbucks, or go out to lunch, or go on an adventure. I have a massage once or twice a month. A few times when the weather was still nice, G and the companion would go out and I would stay home by myself which was nice. 

It is the day to day that seems to make me nuts. Like asking him to fill the water pitcher before dinner and sometimes he can do it and other times he cannot. If I try to help, that only complicates and confuses him further so I just hold back and let him struggle, which is very difficult for me and him. I often tell him, "It is a question of feel bad now or feel bad later." 

Instead of accepting it gracefully and calmly I find anger and "hate" in my heart and I know it shows in my voice and gestures. Sometimes he will say something which uses the best words he can get out but it will be insulting or demeaning. I still react to the words used instead of the hidden intent. Even though I am becomming more and more aware of the fact that he can use any words is a blessing and I don't always reinterpret or translate them into a positive, understanding statement before my emotions kick in and I get angry with him and have hurt feelings.

In summary, what is really getting to me is that in the day to day functioning of our (my) live, NOTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMS!

P.S. I am using these correspondences on my blog because I feel they are valuable to my readers. Names are changed to protect the innocent:-)


P.P.S.S. We are going to Battle Creed to visit G's family this weekend. I'll send them your love.

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