You know that warrior stuff I spoke of before? That force, that fight in me? I suppose some of that is true, but I am disappointed in myself. My incapacitated husband loves me better in his own limited way than I do him. Oh, I feed him and monitor pills and give him showers and dress him and field myriads of questions all day long....also field myriads of lost objects all day long, some lost in the house, but lately, lost only in his mind. I even muster some good grace about it all, but mostly it's a brusque, "really?" type response to his crazy responses. (I use the word crazy to describe his pouring coffee on his cereal in the bowl instead of milk, for example.)
But as the day grows and my fatigue sets in, my patience thins to nothing. Now I know that this man, the one who thought CPR involved sucking and not blowing, the one who faints at the sight of blood, who couldn't change a diaper, would be terrible in my role. I would probably die in his care if it were reversed. But he would love me, and he would do everything he could think of to help me.
I, on the other hand, would be voted most likely to produce a good looking patient. He will be clean, showered, shaved, teeth brushed, mouth guard in. He will be fed very healthful foods high in the current rage regarding Altzheimers' cures (right now it's coconut oil.)
I fascinates me that I am so much better at this role than he would ever have been, and yet, I know I would be proud of him and I am not of me. He would have done a lousy job, and it would have been a better job than my superb efforts.
Because he wouldn't resent it. He would just love me.
My shrink said an important thing to me tonight. She said I couldn't wait to live my life until after he was gone. I needed to live right now. After I got over the despair of actually talking of such circmumstance, I began to think.
Maybe I should put together a model of care that would meet both our needs right now. Maybe we should start with a model not unlike the coop preschools. Everyone participates in the care and pays according to what they can't provide in effort. That way caregivers would not be isolated and patients wouldn't be either! We could probably use space for free...Altzheimers association spaces, churches....maybe even some oversight might be provided by Altzheimers personnel. I can see it growing into a halfway house type thing so that caregivers can take turns getting away.
I see the image and dream the dream.
I remain too exhausted to begin.