Thursday, October 9, 2014

My wife, my caregiver, my friend

I have not written about my wife in a while.  I am sorry about that.  She is everything to me and I love her.  This is her second time around with Dementia.  Her father died of Alzheimer's in 1991.  Back then, there were no medicines, no memory support units, and no understanding of the Dementia patient.   If they were in professional care, they were tied to chairs if the wandered, left to themselves, and cleaned up and dressed only when visitors or family were expected.

Today, there are medicines to extend mental capacity, memory support facilities that do their best to give the Dementia paint a normal, fulfilling, interesting, life.  And more is being learned.  I have met professional caregivers through the Alzheimer's Association that have degrees in Senior Care!  That never existed when my Father In Law was suffering from Alzheimer's.

Since this is my wife's second dance with Dementia, she has some ideas as to what to expect in me.  Yet, I still surprise her.  For instance, before we knew I was affected by LBD, I would do unexpected, socially unaccepted, behaviors at Church Board meetings!  She would correct me, and even chastise me for my fooling around in an important meeting.  She, nor I, never that I had Dementia and she did not know at that time that I did not know what I was doing or that what I was doing was not acceptable.  She and I do now.

When I has a bowel accident, she never even blinks.  She just says, we can deal with this.  She helps me remember things, find the correct word, and deals with my need to always know where she is, even in our home.  She has never got anger when I ask her what her name is, or where we are, when we are laying in our bed.  She understands these issues and takes them in stride.

It was my wife and my Neurologist in Virginia, Dr. Mary Bowles, that encouraged me to write this blog.  My wife designed both of my blogs and still keeps them up to date and me on track.

She meets my every need.  She even anticipates my needs!  Let me relate something she did for me, early in this journey.  It was the night before an appointment with Dr. Bowles.  My wife wanted me to have my thought together to see her and wanted me to put together as symptoms list.  I did not want to.  I resisted her and became sarcastic.  She yelled at me and let me know this was not just about me!  She had an investment in this journey too!!  That was a very important lie eon for me to learn.  She does have a big investment in me and my well being.  She like being with me and wants me to be as well as I can be as long as God will let me.  Of course, I have to do my best and follow doctor's directions.    Now, I am a team player in this journey.

Her Dad could not help.   We never knew he was effects with Alzheimer's until her Mother died.  By then even if there was a treatment available, it was way too late.  We were blessed in that we were diagnosed early, by a tenacious Neurologist, and medicines were developed that would help me maintain or at least slow the progression of my Dementia.

Now, I am loosing mental ground at a faster rate.  We see evidence of that everyday.   I compare this to a slow leak in a tire.  n the beginning, the tire stays up and you can drive.  Then, as you loose more air, you can feel the car handle different.  Little by little, you notice the car does not drive the way it did.  Then, you hear the flopping noise of the tire as it comes apart and no longer supports that corner of the car.

I am at the stage where the handling is getting worse.  The tire is still there, but after loosing half of it's air, the car wobbles and sways, as goes down the road.

My wife has her hands full with me.  But she manages it well.  I am blessed to be her husband.  Thanks Linda!

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