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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Roaring of March's Lions

The month of March certainly came to our household like a lion and at this point doesn't look like it's going out like a lamb. The lion reigns.

Behavioral issues have worsened. With the approval of the Dr we increased one of Hubby's meds to help alleviate some increasing anxiety and  anger issues. A quick fix they are not so we deal with things as they come fast and frequent.

As a result of his recent behaviors I felt it necessary to take measures to ensure not only his well being but ours and the well being of others. I applied for a guardianship. He has been aware that I did that.I have not done anything behind his back. Of course he was none too happy about it and I wouldn't be either if it were me. It's one of those necessary hurtful things. Hubby only sees it as a means of control. I suppose on some level it is but with his best interest at heart. There is no cure for dementia of any kind. All we can do is the best we can to keep our loved ones safe and comfortable. We have tried different meds to improve walking and cognition. I rejoice at the good days. I am not deluded into thinking they will last and go away. A dying brain is just that, a dying brain. I wrestle in my own head for ways to make it better. To keep him cognitive and on his feet. I'm a fixer and I can't fix Lewy bodies :-(

Again, our biggest issue is his insistence on driving.
Trying to separate myself from the emotional aspect of this marriage is a difficult job but one I feel I must try hard to accomplish at times. Hubby is in complete disagreement with me and his Drs about driving and I am standing my ground.

The weekend was filled with uneasiness. Friday Hubby was in an arguing mood about driving. He said if he couldn't drive he would take a hammer to all the glass in my car. I actually feared he would do that. Later that evening he was asking about how long I had lived here. He said he was going to move away and live alone. sigh

On Saturday Hubby woke he got dressed. I was sitting at my computer (I had farmville farming to do) He then came and asked me if I wanted something to eat. Thinking he was going to try and drive off I said no. He looked disappointed. I asked if he wanted something and he answered "Well, that's why I have my cap on." Thinking I had 2+2 added up I jumped up grabbed my purse and keys and headed toward the door. Just then the phone rang and it was my sister. I chatted long enough to throw on some very quick, "you don't look too scary" makeup and run a comb through my hair. I decided straight hair was in for the day ;-) I hung up and walked outside with Hubby and he got into my car on the passenger side. whew. We had a nice leisurely "old people supper" and returned home quietly. My 2+2 added up quite nicely that moment.

The next day, Sunday, Hubby slept most of the day. When he did wake he couldn't walk. He stumbled around, lost his balance and we avoided a complete fall. I helped him to the bed so he could lie down. He attempted to sit up but even then he kept falling backwards. He said it felt like someone was pulling him. I checked him for fever, none, blood pressure, normal, pulse, good. The last fall he has was a few days earlier with no bumps to his head. We had to get the bedside toilet for his use as he couldn't get up and walk to the bathroom. I was able to manage him from the bed, pants down and on the toilet and back to bed. I asked if he wanted to go to the hospital but he refused.

Monday came and all was well with the walking and sitting when Hubby woke. He woke with a determination to drive so he got into and started his car. I walked out to talk with him and attempt to get him out of the vehicle. He sat there staring at me as I explained that the he would not be able to drive it if for no other reasons than he himself did not have a valid drivers license, the cars tag didn't have the new sticker on it, the car had no insurance in a very matter of fact manner.

Hubby sat there a long time while I stood close by. He turned the car off and shuffled into the house. I offered him some supper which he refused. He found his vehicle registration with the yearly sticker attached.

Side note: He has been trying to have the car tag renewed as his drivers license but each time he goes into the revenue office he shows them the registration, says he wants to renew the license and they tell him that the car license is still valid. Watching him struggle through this has been exceptionally hard and one time we were there a woman customer said I should help him. It was apparent he was confused and struggling. I had to sympathetically tell her my reasons why I wouldn't help. It was a comfort that she understood my reasoning. Hubby left satisfied that the license was valid. He just didn't understand which license.

I watched as Hubby shuffled back to his car and attempted to put the small sticker on the license plate. While I stood in the window and watched him for close to 15 mins. I made the call to our county police, explained our situation and asked an officer to come and talk to him. They sent someone to confirm to Hubby that he was not able to drive without valid license or insurance on the car.He also looked at the car and made the comment that it would be considered "sub standard" by law and illegal to drive without the hood. (Remember, tire man drove away and the hood flew off) Hubby disagreed with the officer but he never got hostile in word or manner. The officer told Hubby that if he needed to go anywhere he was sure I would take him and that I could because I had a valid license. Hubby got snippy and said "How do you know she does, you didn't even ask her for hers" The officer told hubby he checked us in the computer before he ever showed up in the driveway. Hubby was glaring at this point and told the officer "I wouldn't even have her drive me to a dog's funeral." I wanted to laugh out loud and I'm very sure the officer did too but we both just looked at each other and stayed the course. The officer told Hubby that driving was not an option for him so he made Hubby hand over the car keys then the officer handed them to me. They are safely stashed now. Hubby retreated to his room safely stashed.

The officer was very nice and gentle towards Hubby. I am grateful that Hubby didn't get irate. I kept my cool and calm. The night was tense but Hubby eventually agreed to have some supper. He later came in to talk to me. He wanted to know when I bought the house we live in. I stated that we bought the property and built the home 15 yrs ago. Hubby disagreed with me. He asked me who did the remodeling to it (we turned the garage into a living room) I said that I did and told him about the work and how he had helped me by holding a door so I could get it in plumb.  He said he didn't remember me doing it and went to his room.
I went to bed and Hubby snuggled up all nice and cozy against me. I hope my emotional switch doesn't short circuit.

I found a private process server to serve Hubby his guardianship notice. I opted for a private non uniformed one to lessen the blow and not cause uniform anxiety. Again, trying to make it easy when it really isn't. I had agreed to meet her in town with the paperwork shortly after the aide was to be here yesterday. Hubby had risen bright and early. He was understandably stressed about me meeting the process server. When the aide arrived Hubby I started to leave and Hubby insisted he was going too. If this had been a normal day I would have just waited until after the aide left so she would at least get credited for the time but Hubby said he was not staying. His aide called the office and left. Hubby went outside to the car. I know if I had tried to leave without him he would have attempted to stop me causing himself injury in some way so I agreed to take him knowing I could get him served right then and there.

As we passed the bank he told me to pull over. I reminded him I was supposed to meet the server at a set time. Hubby became irate and grabbed my steering wheel and keys from my ignition. Fortunately we were right in front of the meeting place when he did and I was able to go inside. Shaking and frustrated and scared for driving safety and probably any other emotion you can imagine, I was that basket.

I was able to legally have him served his notice. He started to walk off but only got to the end of the parking lot before getting in the car. He asked me to take him to a friends shop. I obliged but friend was not there. We started for home and as we passed the bank Hubby again told me to go there. I refused and he became irate. Once again fighting me for the keys and the gear shift while I was driving on the highway. I had to try and pull over safely, turned on my flashers and called 911. Hubby gave me my keys before the officer arrived but not before getting out of the car and standing in the grass.

The officer asked about the situation and Hubby said all he wanted to do was go to the bank. As we were just across the street the officer requested I go ahead and take him there. It was drive him or he would try and cross the highway on his own. Either way he was going so I did as the Police Officer requested. And sure enough Hubby did exactly as he said he would do. He closed the account and withdrew the money. I explained the situation to the bank and even showed them the paperwork of what I was doing but their lawyers said he could close it and he did. The best they would do was issue a check for the balance in both our names and both would need to sign. I walked out and went to the car. He returned with check in hand.

What a mess!

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