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The grief and feeling of loss...


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Old 06-14-2014, 06:31 AM   #1
scorptired
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The grief and feeling of loss...

My husband has been having violent episodes while hallucinating most easily avoided by just getting away from him. Last week while sundowning he was fighting with some imaginary people and conveniently I became one of them. He picked up an end table and was going to hurl it in my direction. I called 911 and an ambulance and the police came and took him to the local hospital. He needed evaluation and I didn't want him placed in the hospital mental ward to wait so they sent him to a university hospital in Chicago that has a 12 bed ward specifically geared towards dementia. The doctors were amazed that he was that far into dementia and still walks albeit, compromised at times. He has been there for a week and is slowly losing the ability to walk. Last night when I visited him, he walked with me but, I had to coax him to take steps. He leaned completely on me and didn't know how to take the steps. The doctors suggested a home up there that ranks at the top of the scale and specializes in dementia patients. I agreed to it because I know I cannot care for him at home once he becomes immobilized. I have a heart problem that prohibits heavy lifting. He is very happy in the hospital he is in right now and claims they really like him. Lol. At home, I'm still waking up at night to listen for him, holding out my hand when walking through a door expecting him to hold onto it, getting his bowl and plate out at mealtimes, looking around for him all the time, speaking in a low voice to avoid waking him up, etc... even though I know he's not there. It has been such a routine for so long that I do them automatically without thinking. Our dog is confused too. He watched over him every day and now he doesn't know what to do and looks for him. When I go to the hospital to see my husband, I give him a massage and when I get home, his dog rubs his face and his body all over my hands cause he can smell him on them. He only mumbles and groans. Once in a while a word comes out. He is losing the ability to walk quickly, the cognitive part is very compromised, and he recognizes me as the person that he feels safe with, not as his wife. The doctors say, he is going to start deteriorating very quickly once he stops walking. There's a knot in my stomach and heart. It's an overwhelming sense of grief and loss even though he's still alive. I miss him and am not ready. I cannot believe he's leaving me....

 
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:24 AM   #2
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Re: The grief and feeling of loss...

Scorptired, my heart goes out to you and I so understand what you are saying here. I am so glad that you refused a regular psych ward and had your husband moved to a specialized unit. You know you have done what was right for you both. Yet the sense of loss can be overwhelming. You have spent every waking moment, for an extended period of time, with one thing on your mind....What do I need to do to take care of HIM. It does become your habit, your routine, and even who you are. Then in a flash it is all gone and your life is turned upside down. We worry about the person we care for and then it hits us that we have lost our own identity and our purpose for getting up each day.

You husband is in good hands and obviously where he needs to be. Even though he is losing his abilities, he is much more content. The best we can hope for in this disease is that they have contentment. You have achieved this for him. Now you have to achieve the same thing for yourself. It will take time and effort to redesign your life to find your new normal. This will still include watching over your husband's care but it must also include taking care of yourself as well.

My bet is the first thing you are going to need is sleep and some down time to decompress. It will take time to relax enough to sleep without one eye and one ear open for him. Remind yourself each night that a good night's sleep is now possible. Remind yourself that he is being cared for and you do not need to be on alert. Then you need to get back into a routine that involves socialization and activities which will bring you back. Get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors and friends that have been set aside to care for hubby. Say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. At first it will see odd, but you are redesigning your life and the opportunities are endless.

I have done this a number of time. Once when Mom and Dad were admitted to Assisted Living, again when they died, and recently when my daughter passed away. It is grief and loss... but it is also a moment to redesign your life as you would want it. It is a moment to count your blessings instead of your losses. It is a moment to move forward....

Love, deb

 
Old 06-14-2014, 03:55 PM   #3
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Re: The grief and feeling of loss...

Thanks, Deb! I just got back from seeing him. He seemed happy and content. He's getting one on one care because he's at a very high risk of falling because he doesn't know how to walk anymore but, still wants to stand up.

 
Old 06-14-2014, 05:08 PM   #4
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Re: The grief and feeling of loss...

Then he is getting good care. That is a typical but difficult stage between ambulatory and non ambulatory for many with dementia. The brain tells them to stand up but the legs will not hold them up. Went through this with Dad. Mom walked a long longer than I expected her too but when she finally sat down, she did not get back up. Now, be grateful that your husband has good care... and do something nice for yourself! Break out of the routine a bit

Love, deb

 
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