Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.
Christ's words are over my kitchen sink. I look at them often.Matthew 11:28-30
Many of the posts on this blog have been downright silly and humorous, but it is time for the rubber to meet the road with the serious days of dementia and caregiving and Hospice in our home ahead of me.
Okay, maybe a little humor--just maybe--as with the Hospice nurse below.
Hallucinations. Our Hospice nurse visits once a week--twice so far. I think her outfit is overkill, and she probably scared my husband who later talked about people in the house. I am not sure if people in the house represents his hallucination or not or if it is our nurse, but she could go Trick-or- Treating on Halloween in this outfit. She looked adorable in it.
Kenny and I had a conversation with DH Friday afternoon after I came home from substituting on March 23 and Kenny had been watching him. Kenny and I assured my husband that the only people in the house were his wife Carol, buddy Kenny and our dog Ziggy. He seemed relieved that those "others" were gone.
Getting hubby to bed. Thursday, March 22, I could not get hubby in bed from that Geri Chair and it was 10:30 pm, w a a a a a a y past our ritual goal of an 8 pm bedtime. I finally got up the nerve to ask two neighbors to lift hubby to bed. Kevin and Angel were glad to do that.
The next day, March 23, the plan to get hubby to bed was that hubby would be in his wheel chair which seemed more manageable. The Hospice Home Health Care Aide had put hubby in the Geri Chair that morning and Kenny got him in the wheel chair. Even so it took time to get hubby to bed. I thought of the verse and how this disease is teaching me to slow down. We both as a couple did it with hubby getting off of the wheel chair, sitting on the bed and managing the scooting over on the Hospice bed. Then I put my left arm around in back of his shouders and with my right arm scooped up his skinny legs and lifted them in the bed as I had seen the Home Health Aide do it.
NO to food. Alzheimer's patients eventually say NO because it's the simplest thing for them to say I have read. NO to food, if you can imagine it. No to pills. But if you leave things out for them to eat, it helps. Our nurse said that if you force-feed them the food can go into their lungs. Of course I don't want that to happen. I had an idea. I had Pretzel Chips and dark chocolate chips and I put them in a small oval plate for his lap.
|Oval Snack Plate|
Pill problem. Now pills crushed in applesauce and pills crushed in yogurt aren't working. Lately I just have given him essential pills to swallow with water. Friday morning he did it for Kenny. Friday night I put the pills in his hands and it took a while, but he did swallow the essential pills I gave him.
Tears. Hubby started to cry Friday night. I asked what was the problem and he said he couldn't see. I didn't know how to respond, but was just empathetic.
Wetting the bed. I asked him how he was yesterday morning and he said wet. Five days Hospice takes care of this. Saturday and Sunday I do. Unlike the last post it is too hard to get him to the bathroom now --I am resigned to have him just wet or poop wherever. HIS BURDEN AND YOKE IS LIGHT. I have used that verse to do these tasks cheerfully.
|A wet hubby sleeping in with dog Ziggy|
A new kind of Sunday. I was not able to go to church today, because really someone needs to be home with my hubby. Since our church meets in the afternoon at 2 pm. I might be able to enlist volunteers to come on Sundays. When Kenny is back in town, he also goes to our church so he cannot be the person to watch hubby then. For several days Kenny will be housesitting for a couple who were married yesterday.
Cognitive skills. Because hubby has Vascular Dementia, the Byrd Alzheimer's Institute said, he will always remember me and most others. Hubby said this morning that women should not have keys. So I gave him his keys, which might give him a symbolic sense of control. I had him put it in his pocket. We actually have simple conversations centered around the procedures for doing things, the layout of the house, our dog and that we love each other. He has even expressed that people pay no attention to the old folks such as himself. The other day Kenny asked him who the President was and what day it was and hubby indicated that he didn't care to know.
I am exhausted, even when I do get sleep. But I remember that verse of our LORD and often look at that verse over my kitchen sink.
Thanks so much for your thoughts
and prayers, folks.