Tonight, my wife and I watched a new episode of the television show, "Law and Order, Special Victims Unit". It addressed the effects of Dementia on one's ability to understand the difference between right and wrong. I will tell you that the writers went around the "Prostitution" corner to portray this issue and I wish they would have chose another venue to portray the terrible effects of Dementia. But, at least they DID show the terrible confusion that someone with Dementia suffers.
The person effected with Dementia was a retired professional football player suffering from Dementia from the terrible beating that football players take starting in "Pop Warner" youth football, high school, college, and maybe, if they make it, professional football. However, many military men have had numerous, repetitive concussions and suffered them long before they came under the scrutiny they are now.
In any case, the person suffering from Dementia commits suicide in the end because he finally faced his disease and he could not live with the reality of that truth. One of the facts that this brought out was the need, the absolute necessity to diagnose Dementia early. Why, because when we are still in "The Now" we, the effected persons, can deal with the disease logically. We can talk about Dementia, research it, digest it. The person in "Law and Order" was pretty far down the Dementia path when he finally faced his disease.
Do we, those who suffer from Dementia think about suicide? I cannot answer for everyone, but I have. But, I choose NOT to take my own life because I did not give myself life, GOD did. Therefore, I cannot, I am not authorized, to take my life. Truthfully, it is not my life, but Jesus life, since HE lives within me. So, suicide is out of the question. Yet, I will welcome my "calling home" when GOD chooses to call me. Until then, I will continue to share my experiences and my journey until I am unable to do so. Thanks for being there for me. It helps to know I am reaching so many people.
Another issue came to the fore front today as I read the blog of a fellow sufferer's wife and caretaker. He has lost his ability to remember the people in his life and can be difficult to take care of. She has chose to sleep in a separate bedroom to maintain her sanity. She monitors him by camera and monitor, so he is never really alone. In her blog, she told of the stress, pain, and dismay of making this decision. Those of us who suffer from LBD can be difficult to live with and even worse to sleep with. Bad dreams and the fact that unlike people not suffering from LBD, we CAN act out our dreams! So, we can and DO hit our spouses, not in anger, but in acting out our dreams. SO, I can see the day coming when my wife will have to do the same thing. While I try to be a good patient, I fail and I am not as far down the road as this ladies husband is. She has endured much more than she should have and has bore that burden in love. Separate bedrooms will only make he a better care giver and give her the rest she needs.
The moral of this story is, caregivers need care also. If you are related to a caregiver, step in and give them a day off, and afternoon out, or a special dinner. They will appreciate it.