Feb 8/13 It seems like a long time since I wrote and I needed to go back and see where I was in my thought process a year ago. By Nov Dec of 2013 I thought that was it. I couldn’t do it anymore. I toured 5 assisted living (dementia) places. That sure makes a person buck up! 4 totally unsuitable. OLD people shuffling about, in wheel chairs sitting, staring with blank faces. The rec therapy “calendar” listed bible study probably twice a week at one place. He never embraced it before, can’t see why he should put up with it now. One place gave me some hope. Completely redone and trying to gear towards providing care for “younger” people meaning recognizing that wandering the hall and a sing a long once a week isn’t going to cut it. You’ve got to wonder what the hell people have been doing? Stokes/MS/parkisons/accidents. You see the odd “younger” person and it must be like a horror movie –locked up with people who can’t do anything anymore and can’t talk to you. Why have their families tolerated it? How does anyone think it is good enough?
Took a break at Christmas, generally just a slow down to our life, taking it easier and it is better. I am not mad anymore. Right now, if I just remember that everything doesn't have to get done, and what really is and is not important, its ok. Its like I have hit my stride and really we are ok. I am going to pursue some respite though, if it works I think/hope little breaks will help me rebuild the energy I need.
For the most part I have learned to control the tone of my voice, low, soothing, assuring. And luckily for the most part he is done a little earlier in the evening and I have a bit of time before I go to bed for a little bit of solitude. And Al? on his worst days, basically quite spacey. I wonder just how much he understands is going on. He walks around looking for Lola, calls the other cat Lola, or by her own name. doesn’t seem to matter. Last week he went to bed and then came down 5 minutes later. I asked if anything was wrong and he said he was crying. His little kitty was all alone now. He was so very sad and took a long time to be assured that we had loved her so much, and taken good care of her and didn’t want to suffer. It has been 6 weeks and now he misses her. But on his good days, and that is almost every day, he greets the day with a smile. In the shower, dressed, shaved, ready to go and meet the world. Still walking lots, being with people. The staff I have now is great and that helps a lot. In the scheme of things – still kind of lucky.