Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Alzheimer's is killing me. For all I know, it has begun its insidious tortuous path within my own neurological network. Certainly it is taking its exacting toll on my general health in stress, enormous stress in dealing with my patient. I used to call him my husband but that was long before he turned into a very bad acting toddler, with no empathy or awareness of his destructive power. Who requires constant, vigilant care, who is incontinent and has lost any idea of how to clean any part of himself. Who puts nothing in his mouth without my direct involvement...liquid, food, or medicine...who puts on or off no item of clothing without my help. Thus he has become my patient. Strange choice of words as I have NO patience with this patient. I think a stranger would take better care of him emotionally. I am bankrupt emotionally. I actually can't stand this any more and find myself literally pulling out my hair and screaming as loud as I can, no words, no message, just feral screaming with all my lung power. Of course it makes no difference except to make him sad in the moment...but he forgets it quickly. I don't. It is changing me. This journey is killing who I thought I was. I thought myself a kind person, a person who likes to help, a nurturer. I was so wrong. If a worthy goal in life is to learn ourselves, I guess I am becoming successful. But boy is it a shocker to see traits in yourself you would never allow in your conscious thought as part of you. And to find missing what you assumed would be there. Alzheimer's is killing my image of me. My daughter has witnessed a few lesser breakdowns of mine and observed that it was like Jekyll and Hyde. That my behavior was not normal for me. I beg to differ. The behavior she witnessed, the screaming fits are the new real me. We might have to hold a wake and a funeral service in the near future of the death of who I used to pretend I was. Few might come. However, even I wouldn't come to the funeral of the person I am becoming.