Friday, December 7, 2012
Looking back- a progressive timeline for my benefit.
Google 'caregiver burnout' and see what you find...you will find a great deal of sites that want you to 'take care of yourself, rest up and find the time to gather the strength to carry on' I would love to tell you that our life is wonderful now that Bill has been diagnosed, that he and we are finally safe.Where are the sites that show what to do when you feel angry? What about all those sites that tell you that it's ok to fight and yell and scream and sometimes even hate your life because the bills outweigh the finances coming in, the nursing home bill is rising higher and higher and you fear they will close their doors and make me take him home again? What about that little voice inside that says, "you really could handle him at home... he probably wouldn't become abusive again? Would he?" What do you do when your husband cries every time you leave him behind those locked doors at the nursing home? When your son feels like giving up? I think back to the moments in life that meant so much: the day Bill proposed to me; meeting him at the end of the aisle and promising to love each other until death do us part;
overcoming my battle with cancer and surviving the threats to our life, our marriage; telling Bill he's going to be a father.
There are a million advice sites that tell you to take a long walk, go get some retails therapy, and to 'take time for yourself.' But where are the sites that talk about what do do when you feel miserable, hopeless, and helpless? Where are the sites that tell you how to cope with your loved ones' onset of paranoia, personality changes, loss of judgement.
How precious life is. How quickly life can change. It can happen in the snap or it can come at us like a puzzle, slowly revealing itself. Thank you, Lord, that I am not able to predict the future. Teach me to remember and focus on the wonderful things in life when the bad things happen. I still believe life is a miracle, and I do love my life.
A PROGRESSIVE TIMELINE FOR MY BENEFIT...
1998 Arlington, KS
February 8, 2009
Just learned I've had two strokes. I am so angry. All Bill wants to know is when will I be home? What is wrong with him? He keeps repeating himself over and over. This is driving me crazy. The pressure of trying to figure out what is wrong with him is making me sick. What am I going to do? Jack is calling. Bill is "walking in his sleep." Mom, he's acting crazy. Help me. What do I do? What if the police pick him up? Hang in there, honey. Mom will be home soon.
SUCK IT UP. THAT'S JUST THE WAY LIFE IS.
RECOVERY AFTER THE STROKES....
March 1, 2009
Well, tomorrow I get back into the real world. What a bummer, huh? Aside from the chaos of feeling pretty good yet wondering if I was going to be hit with another unexpected glip, sit down like I have a millions times, and freeze again. Woe, that was a weird experience. What's even more weird is that it's happened three times and I didn't even realize it. Wow. Talk about making one feel a bit on the fragile side. I don't do fragile well. I wonder how I'll do under stress. Guess that is normal.
But tomorrow, tomorrow I suck it up and get my butt back to work full time and I start the next quarter for my PhD. Oh, whine whine whine. Goodbye watching all my recordings of my favorite shows- you know, the important ones: Twilight Zone, classic Hitchcock, Ghost Hunters, Sci Fi movies or TCM marathons. Good bye restful recovery. Hello real world. I'm back.
Maybe I'll tell everyone I was out having a baby. And here is the little fella. Cute lil booger. Looks like his dad, AYE?
"Motive is the conscious of life,
Action is the possibility of life,
Outcome is the destiny of life."
Life is short! Accept His grace Forgive quickly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. Pray with sincerity.. Live in the now. Laugh uncontrollably. Laugh!
" There is great value in disaster. All your mistakes are burned up.Thank God we can start new."
Sunday, May 3, 2009
MAYBE BILL IS DEALING WITH A HEREDITARY ISSUE?
My Adventures With Dad and Doty
by Lyn Keller McLaurine on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 10:03am •
I am blessed with a wonderful family. We have our issues like all families, but we are a family in the fullest sense and we love each other. Now, keeping this in mind, I begin the journal of my adventures with my in-laws, Dad and Doty. As in all areas of life, we can either face the issues with laughter or pain. We choose laughter and this is an ongoing comedy in the truest sense. This is my opportunity to put the past down in writing to share it with my son, his children, and their children to help them to remember to laugh when life offers us trials.
Dad In his eighties) and Doty (in her mid 70's) share a walker and a cane, often fighting over whose turn it is to use them.
They bought an electric wheelchair several years ago for that day when one of them would need one. That day arrived recently when dad had hip surgery. They plugged it in and it wouldn't charge. The battery had sat so long it wouldn't keep a charge. The cost for a new battery for this buggy that costs as much as my first car? $250.00. Nope, too much money. The neighbor loaned them one of hers.
We don't go out at night very often anymore. We can't see well enough, Dad and Doty relay with laughter. We wanted to go to see the Rockettes. They ordered the tickets and off they go. Traveling down the famous singing bridge in Cinci, their home, Doty is driving and William is shouting commands and panic is flying in the car. Faster, faster, William said. They're on our tail, referring to the semi's and fast flying traffic. You want fast? You want fast? Doty shouts. i "put the pedal to the metal, AND CLOSED MY EYES," she laughs hearily. "I don't think we should drive at night any more."
Dad is lying in pre-op waiting for hip surgery after procrastinating on the procedure to repair his broken hip from fifteen or twenty years ago. The Dr. comes in and introduces himself. I'm Dr. such and such, and I will be assisting you today. What are you here for, Mr. McLaurine?
I'm here for my shoulder, dad says, swinging his arm in a circular motion. I am sure glad we're finally doing this. I can't wait to get full use of my arm again.
The Dr. checks the chart, and say, You're in for what, sir? My shoulder, my shoulder. It hasn't been the same for years. In a panic, the Dr. calls the nurse in and says, Nurse, there is an error on this chart. Take this man back out to admissions and get this straightened out. Dad is laughing hysterically throughout this, insisting that it is his shoulder he's there to get repaired. Doty finally speaks up and says, It's his hip, it's his hip. He does that all the time. All the neighboring preops started laughing out loud as the Dr. walks away shaking his head.
Doty goes on a trip with her sisters for a well deserved retreat from dad. Dad accidentally leaves the bathroom sink water running for three days, flooding the bathroom, two bedrooms, living room, and dining room. He was there the whole time, and walked barefooted back and forth and never noticed it. Oh well, he said. We needed to clean the carpets.
Once again dad and doty decide to venture out for a Christmas presesntation of the Nutcracker Suite. Tickets were bought, and since they were going downtown anyways, they decided to make reservations in a very nice, elite restaurant. They once again brave traveling on the heavily travelled bridge crossing the mighty Ohio river. Oops, they miss their exit, so they swing back around on the singing bridge, circling the downtown area. Back on the original highway, they attempted again, once again missing the exit. Again they cross back over the Ohio/Kentucky border on the singing bridge, circling back to their original route. After a third attempt, they find their exit. Flustered and shouting as usual, they make their way to the restaurant. Sorry, ma'am, you've made a mistake. We have no reservations for a McLaurine party. Listen sonny, I don't know who you think you are, but we've travelled a long way (heck yes, since it took them three times to find the exit) and we're going to have our dinner here. Not wanting to create a scene, the matordee offers them a table in the quiet, low light restaurant. They get their menus. Trying to check out the prices (which aren't listed, by the way) they bring their menus lower and lower, trying to see from the tiny light coming off a candle. The menus catch on fire. Doty grabs dad's menu, rolls both up and procedes to stick them in her water glass. Smoke if rising as the wait staff run to their table. Good God, Doty explains, don't you think these candles are a bit dangerous?
Doty Goes to the Hospital
The phone rings and it's Doty, laughing away. I've been in the hospital, she says. Oh my, when did this happen? I replied. Oh, honey, my blood pressure was off, my thyroid was off, my sugar was off and I felt terrible. I called my sister and she came in the middle of the night and took me to ER. The Dr. refused to admit me. Young man, she said, pointing her crooked finger at him again, I don't know who you think you are, but I pay lots of money for my insurance premiums and I'm going to be admitted. Ma'am, you came in for blood sugar and it has stabilized. You can go home now. Doty's blood boiled, as she argued with the attending physician in ER. Proudly she said, He finally admitted me. I had to go to the Behavior Unit but by God they treated me. She laughs and says, my chart said "patient out of control. Admit to psyche unit." It was nice there. We had activities, and I had a nice rubber room. No tv, no nothing. I just rested. How long were you there, Doty? I asked. Five days, she laughed.
HOPE THROUGH PRAYER
October 24, 2009 Bill receives confirmation that his Ph.D. research has been published.
December 15, 2009Another Blow: Job loss (again)
March 12, 2010
Survival between friends.Seeking help from a friend in a similar situation....
Lyn Keller McLaurine
dear *FRIEND* dear
dear *FRIEND* dear, i miss you. you ok? Wife doing ok? son? time to touch base with your dear *old friend... (*I got an invite to AARP and turned 50 Sunday. Yikes.)
March 13, 2010
Good to hear from you. February was a struggle, probably getting better. Thrilled to hear that you are getting AARP mail also. I am still a dreamer, believer in fairy tales and happy endings, and drug my family to Mama Mia at the Fox theatre last month. May will be busy; ***** I am eligible to retire and still yearn for an adventure somewhere, and there is quite a bit of subtle family pressure to move back closer to the center of the U.S. The Lord hasn't revealed His next instructions to us, so we are presently on hold.
It is good to keep up with people ****** I am curious every day or so to see what's up with everyone else.
Good to hear from you, Lyn. I pray that everything is going well up there in the probably still-frozen arctic.
Lyn Keller McLaurine
You made my day. I was thinking maybe you had dropped off the face of the earth. This year has been a struggle for us as well. Bill got pink slipped (which means hasta la vista baby) and we are waiting for a door to open as well. It has been very difficult for him. I internalize so I am a walking basket case, lol. I'm still a bit pesimistic about fairy tales and happy endings and still plan to kick Walt Disney's ass when I meet with him in the afterlife for letting me grow up believing in happily ever after. Don't panic. I haven't lost my faith in God, just in being a spiritual being trying to survive in this very physical world. I still smile, love life, and live it with gusto.
Miss you very much. Love love love the photos with your mom. You look very distinguished. Give wife and son my love. Hugs to you, dear friend. Lyn
PS we're not frozen! We're behind in snow fall by close to 20 feet. I am assured frequently though that winter is not over. We get snow up to June (in June last year). xxxooo
July 2, 2010
Hello my friends. I find myself in desperate need of prayer. My husband has been through many trials as of lately, and his emotional condition is deteriorating. His initial destination was Florida to attend a promising interview with a college campus.Something is wrong. He is lost- totally unaware of his whereabouts. I am literally two hours away. He's lost his cell phone, his credit cards, and his logic. I am guiding him by phone to try to figure out where he is. I am walking him through stopping and asking for information and directions. Our dear friend Dan, a truck driver in the past, is helping me put the puzzle together but your prayers would be welcomed. I am at a total loss as to what to do. I am two days from him and have no idea exactly where he is. Many thanks, Lyn
July 3, 2010
So, ........... Have the prayers worked yet?
July 5, 2010
Lyn, my friend,
First, the last time we spoke, I was either in or recently surviving a hospitalization of wife. Just hearing from you helped. I just got your post, and tried you at the 1976 number.
If I can help, let me know. I am about twenty hours closer to Lake City, FL than you are. Also, if Bill has a real tumor or something, my observations will be worthless. wife's experience having depression treated was nothing short of miraculous. She went to a doctor down in St Petersburg FL that cured her depression almost instantly. He is completely wholistic, etc. His name is Kerry McCord and has an office called Healthworks. (hlthwx.com or something like that).
Anyway, you must be going through hell right now, and if I can help I will.
I am at work and probably won't actually be able to answer, but my cell is xxx-xxx-xxxx
Lyn Keller McLaurine
******, my sweet friend, wow. Your message is like a hug. I stepped out to go to the allergist awhile ago. It was probably when you called. It is tough, *****. It's been going on for awhile, but he is so defensive when I mention checking things out. He's walked away from four interviews, and it has been because he was so mixed up. In fact, he couldn't find his way to his dad's house in Cinci a few weeks ago. Gets lost here in town, even blocks from the house. When he's gone, I get these desperate calls where he's lost, like in Wisconsin. I'm standing with the phone thinking ok, what do I do now? I knew it would come to a head, and I think this trip did it. He has a rental car (actually, he drives safely. He just doesn't know where the heck he is, lol). He has slept all day. He called a little bit ago and states he feels better and he wants to do the interview now, so I am on a day by day on call status. I can guarantee you I will again do my best to walk him straight into an ER and demand tests. If I try to schedule it, he won't go, so I am going to just walk him there.
July 6, 2010
Lyn Keller McLaurine
Ah, brother ****, I love you, man. Thanks for calling last night. It was so healing and nice to laugh. I wanted to let you know that I talked to Bill and right now he is doing better. Today. I don't know if it is illness, serious, depression, I just don't know. I do know that I appreciate you being there for me during my crisis. Bless his heart, he's been through some trauma with this separation. I think the stress has made him physically ill. He's had moments on trips but this was the hardest. Last night I felt numb. Laughing helps when I feel this tired. Today I've just sort of cried a bit. Now it is time to buck up, keep up with movement activities- I am a stress eater. Wouldn't ya know it, lol. Any way, I wanted to thank you for calling. I feel like I was wrapped up in hugs and felt momentarily safe. Thank God for sleep, too. Anyway, thanks kiddo. I loved talking with you last night.
July 9, 2010
Lyn Keller McLaurine
****, just wanted to give you an update on Bill. He made it back to Jacksonville to the airport Clarion, and was so happy he did it on his own. However, within a couple of hours he was totally confused, couldn't find his car, got stuck in an elevator- ****, I was devastated for him. Brother Dave O'h lives in Jacksonville and had called me to tell me to call him if Bill needed help, so I called him and had him help. Dave helped him find the car, etc, get the car turned in, and arranged a ride to the airport for him today. He also got him a new cell phone set up- Bill somehow fried his, which totally flipped him out because he couldn't call me. He's set up again, now. Danged crazy. Dave was also able to share Christ with Bill.
July 20, 2010
Lyn Keller McLaurine
hi, honey. Things are going better- Bill talks about needing to call brother dave. If the spirit moves you, call him sometime. ***-***-****. Love you
Ok! I will wait for the moment. How are you doing??
Lyn Keller McLaurine
Well, so far so good. I think I'm a bit worried about the what if's- what if he quits trying medication... and to be honest I am sort of worn out. But it's not about me, you know.He refuses to take an MRI. I had it all set up, we walked in to the prep room, and he ran from the hospital. How can I help someone who will not get help? So fucking frustrated. At a total loss.
July 21, 2010
Lyn Keller McLaurine
Pain. Mental, heartbreaking pain. i am such a daddy's girl.
November 24, 2010
Lyn Keller McLaurine
note from Lyn
Hi, ****. Just wanted to reach out to you, tonight. I am sort of feeling dumb struck at the moment and needed to reach out to you, not so much for advise as for someone just to listen, brush me off, and tell me I am going to be ok. I finally got Bill into the dr. and got him in for a neuro consult. The process to get him admitted was grueling- 8 and a half hours just to get him a bed. He wanted to leave of course. I asked the doctor please, tell me this is stress. He of course said, no, this is not stress and it is serious. Good news: they ruled out tumor and stroke. The hospital lost him the second day- miscommunication and elopement issues. Doctor gave him one of those hang me from a cliff diagnosis of cognitive impairment. He wants to teach, He can't do it. Do I tell him? Do i take away his hope? I mean, what the heck, ****? What a strange feeling. I try to meditate and I hear my pulse in my head and feel a lump in my heart. Wow. It's intense. I don't like it.
Thanks. One of these days I would really love to talk to you on the phone, but it's just something I can't do in front of him. It really bothers him when I get upset. OMG ****. How do I do this?
November 25, 2010
The only comparison in my mind is from *****, when I had to put spouse in a psych hospital for **** days ..... My mom and sister had to come babysit me, since all I could do was cry in a closet. I repeatedly asked God for one of us to die, and I did not care which.
I can't necessarily tell you that it will be OK, but only that between the Lord, and time, it will eventually not hurt so badly. Right now, at our age, it seems incomprehensible for either spouse to have alzheimer's (if it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, .....), but I guess it must be possible. I don't have any answers, and naturally, as a man, I want to try to find some. I am sorry for what you are going through, and would be glad to just chat. .....I am at work, but wanted to answer anyway.
Happy Thanksgiving? Yeah, right!
Lyn Keller McLaurine
Ah, thanks for writing my sweet dear friend. Just hearing from you makes me remember I am not alone. My mom is here now and yes she is taking care of me, lol. It's the first time I have had to process it and now I am teary eyed about every 30 seconds.
You had mentioned that son had left the last time we spoke. I am so sorry it has twisted into another heart wrenching event. I can only reach out to you and embrace. We can't change our paths but we can be there for each other, pray together, and seek each other out for peace. I am there for you too. Hugs and friendship always. Lyn
Dec 23 2010
Today so many of us are facing major changes in our jobs/lives due to hard economic times. It's difficult for me to express my own feelings about this as we face the end of Bill's position. I don't know if I am truly calm (I feel like I am) and believe another door will open or if I am in shock and am really just totally flipped out and just haven't faced my denial. In hopes that it is truly the first scenario, this little ditty came up in a prayer group I follow. It really spoke to me in terms of how I can help out spiritually during this stressful time in our life. I hope it speaks to someone else out there!
Peace in conflict-
JAMES DAY 4 PRAYER
Today pray that your husband will have trust in those things that really matter. Pray that he does not count on material items or any occupational position as his means of value or personal worth. (James 1:9-11)
James 1:9-11 (New International Version)
9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
February 5, 2011 The Diagnosis
February 9, 2011
Hey, where are you now? Still in Michigan?
I left a message for Bill on his birthday on your phone, did he get it?
Know that you and Bill are often on my mind, heart and in my prayers.
Don't forget to blog. I actually have your blog marked, so it auto comes up when you write something (first time I have done that)
February 10, 2011
Lyn Keller McLaurine
We did. It was so great and it made his day, We are still in Michigan. I have a teaching contract. Need a job in Ks. Working on it.Can't leave Bill alone. He tries to come find me and if he misses my exit he has to cross the huge Macinack Bridge. It's a free hanging bridge, longer than the Golden Gate, and it hovers over Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. Not safe at all. He isn't supposed to drive at all. We battle over this daily.
SURIVAL: END OF A FABULOUS CAREER AND LOVING FRIENDS AND CLIENTS...
THE MOVE TO KANSAS...
June 22, 2011
Lyn Keller McLaurine
We are in Kansas. Truck unloaded last pm. Will write more later.xxxoo
July 20, 2011
Lyn Keller McLaurine
Mr. B, I've lost your phone number. New phone. Mine is xxx-xxx-xxxx
Here's my number, Lyn
Ms. M: xxx-xxx-xxxx
Ms. M: xxx-xxx-xxxx
In the fall of 2012 Bill began to adamantly refuse to accept the diagnosis of Alzheimer's. By October 2011, Bill began to refuse his medications. Bill was admitted to the Hutchinson Hospital psych unit on December 26, 2011. He was released early because he had no health insurance. Within weeks, further crisis occurred until he was finally admitted to the Prairie Sunset Nursing Home in Pretty Prairie KS under court order.
November 10. 2012 Bill is trying desperately to figure out a way for him to work at the nursing home and drive back and forth from home to work. He has to repeat his choice of scenario over and over. It's like if he doesn't keep repeating it he'll forget it. The need for control is more than evident.
November 10, 2012
A note from barb….
TD told me that your husband had early Alzheimers. I understand that he had gotten violent toward the end. I am so sorry to hear that. I just wanted to write and visit with you about how you are coping with the situation.
My husband had a traumatic brain injury in **** and has not been the same since. Alzheimer's is a possibility with head injury victims and he has "episodes" where he slurs his speech, speaks gibberish, limps, and sometimes hallucinates (he thought the dog was talking to him last week). It is harder for him to problem solve and if it is complicated, he just can't or will not attempt to problem solve.
He is still working, at a lower capacity job, but is able to go, get there on time and as far as I know he is functioning ok. However, some of the strange things he does here, I wonder how well he actually is doing. I don't dare ask his employers, I don't want to alert them to everything he might be doing.
I have asked the work comp insurance to reopen his case and probably will be seeing a neurologist.
My biggest quesion is what symptoms did your husband show early on, or late on with his disease. Did he have a past hx of a head injury? Does Alzheimer's run in his family? Did he have any chronic inflammation, like heart disease, irritable bowel, periodontal disease, etc?
I want you to know I understand some of the things you are going through. It is hard to deal with brain issues. There are feelings of isolation and death of your future dreams with your husband. It changes family dynamics. You have such pity for them but at the same time resent what has been taken away. It is hard to plan-you don't know how things are "going to turn out".
I have been fortunate, my spouse is very kind and loving to me and dotes on me. Sometimes he is like a 13 year old, sometimes like a 4 year old. I literally could worry myself to death. It is important to enjoy "one day at a time" and to remember to be thankful for the good in that day. I struggle with decisions because I don't know what our future holds, or how things are going to play out. I don't know how to financially plan, or what to do. There are support groups and I have been considering getting into one.
How, if you don't mind sharing, what is your story I would like to hear your thoughts. Please know I have thought of you a lot over the months.
Nov 16 2012
Shoot. You're not going to pry. Trust me. I am an open book on this topic, lol. How did it start? Where do I begin? Here's my story from the beginning. Like I said, I am very open about this, but it still makes me cry.So, I'm cheating. I am copying and pasting this from my blog.
"When exactly did I notice something was wrong with Bill? And how could it happen to us? Why do I feel so matter of fact? Where do I go from here? Just over a year ago, my sweet husband of 23 years lost his job. The job search started and interviews slowly started coming in. The stress was tremendous for him and probably worked as a mask for awhile, covering his mounting confusion...."
Barb, he started getting lost, Dr.'s kept calling it stress, I was pretty much ignored . I fought like hell. I really did.Understand when I tell you this, I have to tell you, we were far far from a perfect marriage. Ha. He's lucky I didn't kill him to be honest. (He tended to think it was ok to date around while we were married. I, personally, found it very crowded. If, when, shoulda, coulda.... Oh, well. Shoot me for believing in until death do us part, but I did. Anyway, I kept taking him to Dr.'s. He was all ready very paranoid, so getting him there and getting him to take a test was two different things. So, one night I am out with the girls. One of my girls' night friends was my neurologist when I had the strokes. We were friends before, so it was pretty handy, lol. Anyway, Charlene said, hey, drive up to Petosky with Bill on a Wednesday night, and bring him through ER while I'm on call and we'll find out what's wrong with him. So I did. I thought if I knew what I was dealing with I could handle it better. Ha ha ha ha hah ha ha ha ha... sorry...
Now, fast forward.... Bill progressed- nasty shit, babe. Very similar to what you are going through. Very. He went insane last Christmas. Here's a letter I wrote to everyone who would listen... this is the one that is getting the attention, by the way. Election year, you know...
I would to make the President aware about women in a situation where the Republicans in state governments have cut back on mental health funding and are forcing families to treat violent mentally ill family members at risk to their own health and safety, sometimes under penalty of criminal sanctions. I’ve found it prevalent in my home state of Kansas and suspect it is prevalent nationwide.
I’m a 51 year-old married woman with a 56 year-old husband who has Early Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease, at an advanced stage. He was always verbally and emotionally abusive of my son and I, throughout our marriage. In a short four-week period, he quickly escalated to violence and then to threatening my life with knives. I’m scared to return to the home with my son, fearing we will be beaten or killed.
A family friend saw him intimidate me, threaten me and push me, trying to get the car keys (he’s not allowed to drive) and was horrified. She called the Reno County, KS Sheriff’s Office to get help. The Sheriff’s officer took my signed statement, but refused to file it or escort him to treatment at the county mental health facility, calling it a family matter. My statement was never filed with the sheriff’s record office. They’ve since refused to do legally required wellness checks or assist in any way.
My husband was never declared legally incompetent and I have no power of attorney to force him into care. I did get him to the county facility once, but they discharged him a day and a half later as we don’t have insurance and can’t qualify for assistance on his Social Security and my unemployment and part time online teaching. Those are our only sources of income at present. We have no other resources.
No one, in all my attempts to get him and myself help discussed domestic violence with me or acknowledged that I was even a victim of domestic violence. I was made to feel like it was my fault that I couldn’t control my husband and his violent behavior, if they even believed it existed. The county hospital forced me to take my abuser back, even calling the state on me. They refused to assist me in finding long term care for him, forcing me to take him home.
I've been to state, federal and local agencies and not one of them can help us either because our meager income is a hair too high or they are not willing to provide information. None of them even told me, as a domestic violence victim, how to get help or even a temporary protective order. Only a family friend who had been through Department of Justice domestic violence training recognized it and helped me get help.
One agency, the V.A. Hospital in Wichita, took my situation seriously and advised me to not return home, that he would try to lure me back to do me harm. I’ve followed their advice.
Now, I find that I am going to be charged with a felony for not taking care of a dependent adult by the District Attorney. The District Attorney’s office became involved when I refused to go home to my abuser. Although I had arranged on neighbors to check on him, made sure he had groceries and people to provide meals each day and laid out his medicine for him. The D.A. continues to threaten to send me, a domestic violence victim, back to my abuser under penalty of a felony charge. Charges are likely to be filed any day.
Throughout all of this, I have tried to obtain a list of facilities in Kansas that will take violent Alzheimer’s patients, but no one, at the state, county or even mental hospital level, will provide a list to me. Even the state mental hospital won’t take such patients. We make just a hair too much for the V.A. to assist us.
I feel as though Governor Brownback and the Republicans in the state legislature have abdicated on providing adequate and basic mental health facilities and are using criminal laws and sanctions on terrified family members whose loved ones strike out against them with violence, to imprison us in abuse and endanger our health and lives, all to save the state money.
A family friend told me that the state has given me a Hobson’s Choice – return to my abuser or go to jail. No one, he explained, should be forced to do herself injury under penalty of criminal law.
What I’ve learned is that I’m not alone. Whether from a stranger at the SRS office telling me that she is going through the same situation or learning of the abysmal, antiquated definition of domestic violence that the Sheriff’s office and D.A.’s office use in this county that everyone in the county seems to acknowledge, women are being forced back into the hands of their abusers. Equally troubling is that violent Alzheimer’s patients are left without adequate care when family members are unable to care for them and can’t afford to put them in expensive nursing homes, or even find lists of such homes that provide such care.
I suspect that this problem is nationwide. I would like to help publicize this issue. My attorney and I are willing to provide interviews.
Please help us help all the other women out there suffering in silence, not sure what to do, not sure where to turn and facing abuse at the hands of a loved one who is mentally ill.
My contact information is Lyn McLaurine....
Whew. Did I freak you out? Hopefully not.
Ok, so take a breath, digest this so far, and shout out to me. Hugs, Lyn
August 20, 2012
Today was the first time in several months I felt safe to take Bill out for a ride due to agitation triggered when he sees me. We went for a buggy ride to Braum's and took Grandma a chocolate malt. Thank God for medications to help him cope.
Sept 6 2012
Yesterday was our 25th anniversary. It was a time to think about all the things that have happened to us since Bill has been struck by early onset of Alzheimer's. The last couple of weeks have been pretty intense for Jack and I. Whenever there is a major event for the family it is usually accompanied by nightmares and emotional reactions to every day life until we figure out it is the grief in our life and move past it. Amazing. I did receive a wonderful anniversary gift. I sent out letters during our crisis to attempt to get help. Eight months later I find out my letter got the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women. Nice. Maybe our story will raise more and more support for caregivers.
Oct 3, 2012
I knew something was wrong with my husband at least five years before we finally got a diagnosis. We were seen (and seen and seen) and he was diagnosed with stress, depression, anxiety... I would argue, "but he gets lost? This is more than stress."
We had many months of frustration, months of worry, months of my own health deteriorating (I actually had two strokes within the time of my being a caregiver. Of course I was a caregiver for several years before I realized I was
a caregiver)... My very good friend was my neurologist. She had transferred to a large hospital in another town. She "suggested" I take a drive on a night she was on call and bring Bill in. They hospitalized him for observation.
I got Bill settled in the hospital and traveled back to our home to care for our son, returning at dawn the next morning. When I got to his room Bill was gone. Gone. Nowhere to be found. He had walked away. After several hours and a very panicked hospital staff we found him- on another floor in another unit of a huge hospital. He was having wheelchair races with an old man.
That was when I got the attention I needed and I was finally taken seriously. We started the lengthy process of testing. We finally knew what we were dealing with.
October 17 2012
I was sharing with a friend that one of the frustrating things we went through with Bill was the changes in his personality. Bill worked in a prison for fourteen years. He also served in the Marine Corps. The negative traits associated with these two careers seemed to be intensified for Bill, and the stress resulted in intense and emotionally painful events for us. Here is a guide that discusses many of these issues.
Is he in or under some type of care now? Are you in Reno county? My brother-in-law has left the sheriffs department several years ago due to political reasons within that group. If you are still l having problems navigating the law, I am sure he would be willing to visit with you to give any advice with no judgement. He currently is head of security for the Hutch hospital. Let me know.
My xxxxx was abusive to my xxxx, but in retrospect, there were two sides to that. Not that ANY woman deserves to be abused. I am a survivor of that environment and know the cycle of abuse that can occur.
Are you living in hiding? Is Bill in a ward somewhere?
I have wondered from a legal point of view whether at some point it would be better to divorce so that xx can get proper care without us selling every single thing we own. As you know, right now we are in the process of finding out what is wrong. He fortunately is able to work, but that could end any day.
Mental health is probably our #1 health crisis because most disease stems from mental health issues. Yet it isn't covered under a lot of insurance plans and access to care can be overwhelming and intimidating. I know I read an article on Alzheimer's in nuns and the letters they wrote to apply for nunhood (I guess that is what it is called). The ones who developed Alzheimer's were considered "more negative" from the get go. Anyway, my point is that perhaps due to genetics people tend to have "certain personality traits" early on that could be predictors. I know my nieces husband's father had Alzheimer's and Dave is about the most paranoid crazy fucker I've ever met. I know that is unimportant and I am rambling, but I do think about that article and Dave.
I think you need to go for blood on the DA that is trying to prosecute you, THAT is the guy that needs to be out of office!
Write back. Love Bgirl