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.