One of the emotions I try desperately, passionately and thoroughly to live without – is guilt. It doesn’t always work. I think that if I gave up my job as General Manager of the Universe maybe I could get some sleep, some peace, some distance.
You all know my husband has moved to a memory care unit in a local nursing home. Today, for the first time, he asked when he can come home. I didn’t have the heart to say never. But never IS when he will be able to come home.
This is so palpably sad. I feel sorry for him because he has this terrible disease which is shrinking his brain. I feel sorry that I can’t do anything to stop it. I can’t heal him – I can’t make it better. I can only watch him lose more and more of his ability to take care of normal functions. And I can’t take care of those functions for him alone any more.
Now I feel terrible. I wanted to just say okay get your things we’ll go home – I can’t. I know that if I did then he would just keep getting worse and I would have to find some other place, maybe not as nice as this one. He is better off there than here where he falls and where we can’t pick him up. And where he needs help using the bathroom and showering and doesn’t like it if I help and gets mad at me and I get mad at him and we have a row about getting cleaned up – every day. Constantly.
Or being here when he wets the bed and I have to change the sheets at 3 am or when he pees on the floor or worse. And when I have to mop at 2 or 3 or 4 am and then again in the morning. And I can’t run up and downstairs all day long doing laundry. Although I’m not ill, I am tired. The last year in particular has taken a lot of energy.
So I have to decide how to cope with this “I want to go home” stuff. I’m going to try to distract him, much as I would a child who keeps asking why the sky is blue. I’m going to try to get him to focus on what is good where he is at. How he has not fallen since he’s been there and how he has good meals and time to rest and an iPod to listen to and a TV to watch. And me to visit along with his son from time to time.
I’m attending a care plan meeting for him on Wednesday. I hope then to get some clues about how to respond to him. The administrator who is an absolutely lovely person named Amanda, explained that he is quite content when I am not there. He saves the tears and the wants to go homes for me – after all he’s been married to me for 35 years – and he knows I’m a softie under my bitching self imitation. I hope he forgets that soon. I don’t think my heart can take it.
I feel guilty too because quite frankly I am enjoying not having to be a 24/7 nurse maid. I am not cut out for it. I certainly never envisioned myself as a nurse – a doctor maybe, not a nurse. That was a joke. Sort of like I always want to be the boss. I don’t keep a lot of jobs that way …………….
I am enjoying my free time, my time to think and sleep and read and sew and plan what I want to do with my life. I didn’t get to speak to Kripalu today. He had a conflict so all my butterflies went for naught! We will try next week. I need to send in my application fee too. I could forget my head ………. you can finish that sentence.
The 1st of July! Rabbit Rabbit – that’s for luck. I spent 7 4ths of July in Canada and hated every one of them I was so homesick. I would watch The Boston Pops 4th of July concert on TV and cry when I heard the National Anthem or saw the flag. And me, I left my country? I can’t even believe I did that. Although there are days what with the way things are going and how absolutely detached our president seems from reality. It’s like we just have to wait three years and then we can breathe again. I don’t think anyone without experience will get elected in our near future. I think we’ve tried that and it isn’t working out at all. So next time – let’s get some old goat with experience – even if it is Hillary. I can take her. She has her moments. And she sure as hell won’t back down for anyone. Including Putin. And she’ll have really good advice from Bill – who although he wasn’t my cup of tea as a man – was a relatively good president. I didn’t care what he did as long as he knew what he was doing when he put the president hat on. And he did. As did GWB and GHWB. The rest of them? Not so much.
I’m going to crash early tonight and get some extra reading in – hope you all have a great night. Pray that DH forgets about coming home ……………