Husband's last camping trip

Husband's last camping trip

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Picking up pieces

I am not the best when it comes to patience.  I have been working on it for about 2 yrs now.  I have gotten a lot better, but, still, I will be the first one to tell (or warn) you, I don't have a lot of patience.

Now, having a husband with Alzheimer's is definitely challenging.  Patience wise.  For me.

For instance, yesterday.

Husband wanted to go outside.  He has been having difficulty in remembering how to put on his shoes.  He doesn't know his left from his right anymore.  I have to help him.

Last week, in his frustration, he took out the shoe laces.  It was hard trying to fit the frayed ends back through the hole.  I did it, but, I told husband not to do that again.  He did it again yesterday.   Frustrated, I put them back together, all the while, telling husband "do not do that again!!"   Firmly.  Perhaps a little too firmly.  I think he got the message.  Or, I hoped he got the message.

Took him outside.  Sitting on our porch, he asked me to tie his one shoe.  He wanted  the laces tucked in his shoe like the other one.  I did.

My neighbor came to visit.  Within 5 minutes, husband asked me to fix his shoe.  Again.  He had untied the laces and said, "You didn't do it right".  Exasperated and frustrated, I tied his shoe lace, again, tucked it in his shoe (maybe a little rough) and warned him, "Look, this is making me angry.  Do not touch this shoe.  Again.  Do you understand me?  I mean it.  Enough!!"

I sat back down, so frustrated.  I looked over at my neighbor.  Oh, the look on her face.  Priceless.  We both started chuckling.

So, my patience level is low.  But, just when I think I'm going to lose it, I have to think of husband.  He cant help the way he is now.  He's sick.  Very sick.  Just to look in his eyes, brings me back to our stark reality.  He just can't  help it.  And, I have to keep my cool.

I suggested we take a nap in the afternoon.  He looked tired.  He fell asleep and so did I. I woke up about 1 1/2 hrs later to find husband gone.  I jumped out of bed and found the front door wide open.  There he was on the porch, mumbling to himself.  I asked him what he was doing.  He said, "I have to work on the grounds."  He didn't recognize me.  I got him back in the house.  Then he said he couldn't find the bathroom but he had to go.

Next time we take a nap, I will double bolt the lock.  That was unsettling.

My days are filled with challenges.  My husband tests my patience every single day.  I just can't blame him.  However, it's so easy to put the blame on him.

Most of the time, I can get through it without a scratch.  Other days, I want to beat my head against the wall.

Yes, it's hard, this Alzheimer's disease.  But, it's my life now.  Can't run away. 

Today is a new day.  I always have hope that this day will be a good one.  Sometimes, yeah, it's good.  Other times,  not so good.  Sometimes, I can laugh about the quirky things he does.  Other times, I want to hang my head down and cry.

I am not a Saint.  Far from it.  I just happen to have a husband who has been struck down in the prime of his life with this deadly disease. 

And I am left with picking up the pieces.

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