Archive | June, 2012

Just when you think things can’t suck any more, they do.

15 Jun

Alaprazolam keeps her seated somewhat but makes her more confused than usual. Lorazopam at least lets her sleep at night but I think that is because she stays up for twelve hours at a time walking from room to room to room looking for what, she doesn’t know. “Why are you getting up?” ” I don’t know.” she says grabbing for her walker, her feet swollen and puffy with fluid from her poor circulation. Halo-something rather has the opposite effect of what ever the hell it was suppose to do in the first place. It is all trial and error. Our attempt at making- whose life easier? I don’t like to keep her medicated. I have cut back to keep her from being too zombie like. The worst realization I have had is that there is no pill combination that will bring her memory back nor pull her out of the fog; B and I living in that season of Lost where the island keeps jumping through time, given little clues to know which era of Betty’s life we are in.

We try and make sense of the swings. Forcing logic, listening for Mozart in a cat’s heat.
“Well, I gave her her medicine late.” “Oh, she didn’t get much rest last night.” “She’s reacting from the company. The pills… her lunch…I noticed when it’s dreary out she gets this way….” There is no rhyme; and reason left the building years ago.

There is just Betty. Betty who always gets her way then screams for help because we aren’t letting her do what she wants. She will let you know, she is NEVER coming back here once she gets home. And if you ask her, she hasn’t had a bite to eat since yesterday. She rolls her eyes at B when he calls her ‘Mom’ because she does not get why her husband is teasing her and why am I touching him? I sleep with the door locked and keep the knives at a distance. He is suppose to play along but pretending he is his father is too much. “Yes, MOM.” “What do you need, MOM?”…Then she looks at me and complains how B never comes to visit and asks again to call her husband.

Her husband. Up until his heart attack, my 79yr old father-in-law was doing everything on his own. Yes, they were in their own routine, and things have quickly deteriorated because that routine has been disrupted but still, a man more than B and my combined ages was taking care of this woman’s madness all on his own for years. Amazing. I have found notes around the house. “Gone to HEB. I love you, Bruce.” We know from him he tried to get all of his errands done while she was sleeping. We know from her, she was scared when she woke and he wasn’t there. It is something she says often in her confused searches, “He wouldn’t just leave and not tell me where he is going! Where is he!???” It has almost been three months.
And like clockwork, once Betty learns that her husband has died she immediately wants to call her parents. Doing some simple math you can see why this is problematic.

If it were merely Betty’s condition we were dealing with I could handle this better. I tell B if it weren’t his mother I could punch out and go home to get some sleep then come back to it with more enthusiasm. But then I remind myself if it were not his mother, we would be home.
We have help but the help has proven themselves unreliable and inexperienced be it private or through an agency. I am always on call. Just in the next room to come out and calm her. To dismiss the sandwich that is about to be made to prepare a real lunch. To stand over the caretaker to make sure she is being properly dressed, or being spoken to with the right tone.
I am tired. Tired of hearing what a wonderful thing we are doing. Tired of telling someone their spouse is dead. Tired of pretending this is the first time they have heard this. Tired of going through the same motions every night. There is a toll being taken. My eyes burn from crying this week. On Tuesday B and I were married ten months ago…
*****
Sitting with the Hospice nurse as she fills our her paperwork, I cringe as Betty leans in to read…
“WHO HAS DEMENTIA!?”
Her nurse smiles and says, “We all do.” She is not wrong.

A negative thought

12 Jun

It is hard for me to be grateful for all that I have when I know that he is not and we have all the same things…But mainly each other.


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