Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Something's Wrong With My Husband....
The Alzheimer's dementia is rearing it's ugly head and is slowly taking over Bill. He struggles with putting his sentences together with correct word usage. For instance, how’s your coffee was answered by, “It tastes together, honey. It really is.” I got the meaning. At moments- amazingly even at the right moments at times, Bill’s speech is fluent, forcible, and even persuasive. He expresses his emotions strikingly well, although the words often do not reflect what he is thinking.
Right now Bill is the happiest I have ever seen him in the twenty five years we've been married. He's, well, “ likeable” for better words. At times he’s down right delightful. This has really messed with Jack and my grief process. It is so much easier to be mad at him. Just the same, we are trying to make his life (and Jack's) full of good memories while they last.
He talks about living at the facility. He says he hates the food but what I think he misses variety. If you eat out at the same place meal after meal, day after day, it gets old. He has a hard time getting started when he walks, now.
The Thanksgiving holiday went smoothly. With the help of his medications, Bill was able to share the time with us in our home. He was thrilled to see his dog and to be in his "big pretty home" with Jack and I, my mom, my brother and his family. We wanted to make it special for Bill. He's been anticipating a vacation from his "job" at the nursing home for weeks and the Director of Social Services in his nursing home added that we may not be able to take him out much longer due to the increase in his confusion. He spent the day with us Wednesday as Jack and I prepared for company and good eats. Bill wanted to do laundry, so we walked through the steps of washing clothes over and over, same load **). After that he got restless so we ventured out to the garage, his favorite play ground since the dementia. I was able to keep him from taking the mowers apart by redirecting him to clean his equipment.
On Thursday I picked him up very early, and we showered Bill, grooming his beard and mustache and other basic grooming areas he's been so particular about for so many years. He's resisting taking baths for the nursing home, so we make it a big deal at the house. He spent the entire day, once again, at the house, not being distressed at all that his clothes are gone. I was very worried about that.
Even though I live this every day, when I sit down to express myself, to talk about living with Alzheimer’s, I run into so many roadblocks because talking about this brings on so many extreme emotions. I practice meditation faithfully, and believe that refreshing the spirit, rejuvenating the energies is a saving grace. I think one of the most calming admissions I have ever made would be I don't know what I am supposed to do. I also have to tell you honestly that many time the fear of surviving outweighs keeping my eye on the big picture in how I can use this experience to help others, to make a difference. I think back on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs...
Research shows that the practice of long term meditation and filling your thoughts with positive images helps to stimulate the parts of the brain that leads to greater mindfulness. As we stimulate the anterior cingulate cortex, we are developing a natural defense to stress but developing the area of the brain that dampens negative emotion (circuitry in the left prefrontal cortex). I believe that by living a spiritual life has allowed me to be aware of the affects of stress and grief on myself, on Jack and has kept my heart seeking peace, being able to face this with a certain amount of laughter and joy and being able to share the strange experiences in our lives in a matter of fact way with a human touch.
Hugs to all- Lyn