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Alzheimer's, Pain, and the Red cloth

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Okay. Here's a new insight for those of you who have not lived with Alzheimer's on a day to day basis.

DH has Alzheimer's, lives at home, and is constantly teaching me new ways of thinking, both in attitude and action.

DH (bless his heart!) sits on the sofa all scrunched down into an almost prone position. He puts all of his body weight.......the little he has left........on his tailbone. That makes his tailbone hurt all the time.

I give him a couple of Aleve's, and that sometimes helps and other times does not. It all depends on what he believes on an hour to hour basis.

Yesterday he noticed that he had one of those red cloths typical to mechanic's towels. He sat on that, and lo and behold, the pain went away. So now he has one in his bed and one where he likes to sit.

He says the red cloths didn't work as well today when he was sitting on it or lying on it in bed. So he got a third one and stuck it into the back of his underwear. Says the pain is entirely gone now because of the red cloth.

I am telling you this, not to humiliate my husband, but to inform you that Alzheimer's people live in an alternate universe much of the time. That isn't a bad thing once you get used to the strangeness of it all, it is just "IS".

If he thinks the red cloth tucked into his underwear makes his pain go away, the he can use the red towel in his underwear. What does it hurt?? Nothing!

He has also gone back to wearing his rain boots because "it is raining in the house". Okay. I don't see any rain or water or puddles or roof leaking, but if he thinks he needs his rain boots, and that helps, so be it.

There are fewer and fewer times when he and I are in the same universe. But rather than look at his as "this is crazy", I look at it as "what a wonderful world of fantasy he gets to have".

So what if he thinks it is raining in the house, or that a red cloth in his underwear takes away pain, or that (this morning) he says his wife (me) has died?

Inside that wasting away body is my darling husband. He might be inside very deeply and can't come out often, but he is there.

I have learned to smile at his alternate universe, and accept it as just another part of the day. I sometimes still have to remind myself that he simply doesn't know how to do some things, and I don't have to try to teach him or get impatient with him.


He is doing the very best he can with what he has.

Sometimes I have to take Benny out for a walk to get some relief and a new perspective. Benny doesn't know it, but he is the best therapy for me I could ever hope for!

Yes, I miss my husband from before. I wish with all my heart this doesn't have to be. But I have what is left of him, and that has to be enough.

For our first 25 years of marriage, I got all the best from him. Now it is HIS turn to get all the best from me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • RAYLINSTEPHENS
    OMGosh! That is what I say about Ray. He took care of me the first 29 years, now I am taking care of him.

    That's called Love!
    591 days ago
  • ISABELLE84
    My grandda was diagnosed with it early 90's & I used to sit beside him and he would sing to me. Songs I don't remember now but songs he learnt when he was a boy. Or we would play cards - well, it was mostly me "teaching" him the numbers and how to do it but.. this was good days. Until one day he couldn't do things we used to.
    I am sorry to read you have to go through this - Alzheimer is one gut wrenching disease.
    I'll be thinking of you both - be strong.
    592 days ago
  • CHERIRIDDELL
    There are tears running down my face .My Mum died before her Alzheimer's got very bad but I was told she had it.I hope I would have had the grace you have. you are amazing.
    592 days ago
  • DBEAU57
    What a beautiful perspective you have on your husband's illness. God has surely granted you much grace. You give us such hope that should we be faced with a loved one with Alzheimer's, we'll be as strong as you are.

    May God continue to shower you with His graces.
    592 days ago
  • DEBBY4576
    This was absolutely beautiful. The perspective you've arrived at is amazing. God bless you, we need more people sharing things like this. Made me want to relax more with my mom and just let her be where she is. I'm at the point where you are still trying to keep them who they were. Have let go alot, this helped so I can some more. Thank you

    593 days ago
  • TOWHEE
    Thank you for letting us know about the alternative universe. I hope that I never have to deal with Alzheimer's, but if I do, your lessons will be surely welcome.

    Peace to you and to DH

    Margaret

    593 days ago
  • MT-MOONCHASER
    You are a SAINT!! Your thought processes for this journey are amazing. I wish you could teach them to everyone who has to deal with a person with Alzheimers.

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    594 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Ok, I had to quit crying before I could respond. You know, my Mom has Alzheimer's and you're exactly right . . . it's like an alternate universe she lives in. But you know, she believe every bit of it.

    I am glad that the red towels and the rain boots work for your DH. It is really hard sometimes to deal with it but those breaks you take with your fur baby are what I do as well.

    Blessings and hugs.
    594 days ago
  • MNABOY
    Amazing attitude and effort to deal with a heart tearing disease. You have many jewels in your crown.
    594 days ago
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