Saturday, June 11, 2011
The kindness of strangers
Early in the search for answers, I was desperate for some kind of help. Less constant testing and probing and more evaluating and understanding. I was left feeling like I had to quarterback the team figuring out what was wrong and what to do about it. By the time we got to the right people and got the attention and help we needed, I no longer actually wanted it. The straighter, truer, and kinder they all were, the angrier I got. We now knew that he had Altzheimer's disease accompanied by Lewy Body Dementia---two of the big 5 in the dementia circuit. Altzheimer's patients lose their memories of course, and eventually lots of other stuff, including life, so it's no pansy. But the vicious sister in the mix is the Lewy Body...if you are so afflicted you are blessed to be able to lose all language function--speech, reading, aural understanding, while you wait to forget who you are. I have been so angry for so long now, I can't remember NOT being so. You would think that this day, the first day my husband looked into my eyes and asked me if I had a husband and a house with flowers, the very first time he didn't know who I was, would be a landmark of anger for me. But it wasn't; it isn't. Instead the rage has subsided with the awareness of what we are really dealing with and where we are. Sadness, most certainly, but more compassion for him. More easy love for this dear man whom I have loved for 45 years. He looks like my old guy. He sounds like my old guy (if you don't pay close attention to the language). I think I was feeling some relief that the sharp awareness of loss was fading for HIM, and that was bringing some sense of peace for me.