Sunday, April 19, 2015

When is the last time you were intimate with your Dementia mate?

This is an important question from the point of the LBD patient.  I see couples holding hands. hugging, kissing, and having their arm around each other.  I see wives rubbing their husband's necks and twirling their hair.  These are acts of intimacy between a husband and wife that express love, sexual acceptance, and an intimate connection that we need, no matter our age to medical condition.

But, I have observed that the opposite is true.  Why?  Well, first of all, those of us with LBD and other dementia's loose our sexual function due to the disease.  Our mates then think that loss of sexual function displays our dislike for intimate contact.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I need, cry out for, and deeply desire intimate contact from my wife.  It brings back fond memories of when I was young and healthy.  Many times, I find myself thinking; "I need to have sex with my wife."  Of course, the realities of the disease prevent this.  But, the intimacy that leads up to that act is still needed and wanted.

Dementia of any type is a lonely disease.  You are trapped inside your mind, in another time zone.  Many times, old friends and family avoid you.  Visits, invitations, and telephone calls become few and far between.  Even your spouse struggles to find ways to communicate with you.  I can see that.  On the outside, I am not the same man I was before LBD.  But, inside, I am the same man with all the same needs.  The real problem is, how do I communicate that to her?  Trust me, it is more difficult than you might imagine.  So, I fall deeper into my internal dementia time zone.  Having this disease has permitted me to finally understand why my Father in Law acted the way he did.  The big difference is, I now have a point of reference for him and me, and I can communicate these emotions with others.  My hope is, others will learn and add to this knowledge to actually help LBD patients and caregivers.

I deeply miss those days of loving intimacy.  If you are the spouse of a LBD or other Dementia patient, take heed.

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