Disclaimer

This is dementia. It's not just a memory problem.
What you read in this blog is purely my own personal experience in dealing with Lewy Body Dementia every day.

This is not meant to offer any medical or legal advise.
I have no professional training in care giving or experiences in formal writing.
I'm just a woman that loves her husband deeply and wants to provide him with the best quality of life he can and chooses to have.
My prayer though this is "Lord, What am I learning from this; how can I use it help someone else and to glorify You?"
If just one person finds comfort in this public blog. I will feel like it was a success.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Driving Mr Hubby.

Hubby's struggle over his inability to drive is a major obstacle in our life.
Some days bigger than others but always there in the recesses of his mind he believes he has the ability to drive. On some (some) days he may very well be able too. Lately I would be inclined to think so EXCEPT I know better.

Lewy Body Dementia can leave me spinning trying to understand its ups and downs. For example, Hubby has had some pretty decent days of late. Yes, he does sleep almost all the time anymore but he moves a little better and without the use of his walker when he is awake. Hubby has been a little more like his old fun self  the last few weeks joking and teasing. I have appreciated every good moment.

One of the sad things, amongst the plethora, of Lewy is that Hubby is aware he has a problem. he has mentioned it only a few times to me or to others. His actions or lack of them at times also makes me aware he knows he has problems. Truthfully there are times when I wish he didn't know and just forgot about certain things completely, more specifically, driving.
Driving is such an independent thing. So much of his independence has been lost from other things less important to him that he has adapted pretty well. Afterall, having someone to get and do for you sounds pretty good even to me. But driving, that's a whole other ball of wax.

Several months before his diagnosis In March 2007 Hubby bought a brand spanking new truck. He took great effort in adding just the right details to it to doll it up. Bright Red with Chrome accessories and do-dads. It was an eyecatcher for sure. In April and May that same year Hubby wrecked his truck twice, both times in our own yard. The damage was easy to repair but his pride was not. He started driving it less but continued driving his small vehicle. He made me a nervous wreck riding with him.  Hubby was driving erratically. Running red lights, severe tailgating. Swerving all over the road. I think there are permanent finger print indentations in the door arm and a foot imprint where a break should be on the passengers side floorboard. I refused to ride anywhere with him. And by June I took over the driving if we went anywhere together.

Hubby continued to drive on his own and even when he was diagnosed he continued for a very short time. Nobody in authority said he couldn't and Hubby knew he was having problems so he actually drove less and less on his own. The last time Hubby drove was mid July 08 and the time before that was end of May 08 ( I know because I kept a journal and went back to look ) so nearly a 2 months hiatus for this daily driver.
He hasn't driven alone since and there are times when he feels like he should be able to.

At his last Neurologist appointment Hubby's Dr still di not say he could not drive, but did say he didn't think that Hubby could get his license renewed. Unfortunately all Hubby has to do is pass a simple eye test and sign on the dotted line to get his license renewed. I think he could do that.

Hubby's license expires on his birthday next month and he has mentioned to me that he needs to renew them but that was a couple of months ago. He has seen the renewal form and I did not throw it away but placed it on the bulletin board. I am thinking if it's so important to Hubby he will remember but I am not going to bring it up. I know that sounds terrible of me and I feel like a heel about it but I only want the safety of Hubby and others. That is something he doesn't want to or can't understand.

Yesterday Hubby saw a Mental Health professional to discuss his feelings about not driving. I am not sure how much of it Hubby actually absorbed because when he tried to talk to me about it later he got lost in his conversation. One good thing came out of the meeting I was able to attend. Hubby remembered who I was and recalled that we were married and where! I was so surprised and then just as quickly as I was happy I was crushed because hubby said he felt like I was keeping him trapped and he wanted out of our marriage. I am still stung and here I sit between a rock and a hard place. Pressed under the weight of the snow.

Today Hubby sleeps.
Today I cried. Some days, I'm too tired to be strong.

3 comments:

  1. Sending hugs to you, Kathy. Stay strong, sweetie. You're doing an amazing job and you're such a testament to all wives who love our husbands unconditionally.

    BTW, I think you're doing the right thing about driving. Obviously it's not safe for him (or others) to be driving. So, hopefully he'll forget about it.

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  2. I have been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now. My husband has parkinson's, had a fall in October, fractured pelvis and hip, and went downhill from there. Fracture has healed but parkinson's worsened. He has said the very things to me that your hubby says to or about you. Feels I'm holding him prisoner and wants a divorce; other times he jokes and laughs. I cry myself to sleep many nights.

    You sound like a very strong, courageous, and loving spouse. Hang in there.

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  3. Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings :)

    Your support means so very much. It's that little extra umph that helps me overcome the obstacles I sometimes find myself burdened by and gives me a little more get up in my go.

    And it's always good to be reminded we aren't alone in caregiving roles.

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