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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stinky Fruit

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

 I think fruit baskets are so pretty. Big, roomy, beautiful, intricately hand woven baskets. I imagine that inside them contain edible goodies of
 Apples, red, green and yellow, with deep colors. Some sweet, others tart, Some crisp some a little softer to chew.
 Peaches plump and tender with that fuzzy baby soft feel to them. Once bitten into a syrupy sweet juice rolls down the side of your mouth.
 Bananas safely swaddled in their yellow cocoon protecting their delicate sweetness.
 Pears smooth yet soft to the touch.
 Strawberries bright red capped with their star burst leaves.
 Oranges round with their bumpy outer layer encasing the sweet goodness of those small juice filled capsules.
 A tangy lemon that can leave you with a sour looking "lemon face" but beckons you back for more.
 Lest we forget the raspberries or cherries or blueberries or the plethora of others fruits each with their own delicious flavor and appealing looks.

As I envision this beautiful basket my mouth waters and desires to have some of this goodness and upon seeing such a basket I'm sure some of you would even be tempted in wanting to partake of  it's bounty.

 As a child of God and believer in Jesus I consider my body a vessel or basket if you will allow me, for the Spirit to reside in. This does not make me perfect by any means. My basket although intricately woven is pretty bent and lopsided. The fruit inside that I desire to have is not always fresh. Many times my fruit begins to turn. The fruits bare spots of brown. Many times I overfill my basket with sourness and bitterness. Some fruits of the not so appealing kind I have a tendency to throw. Other fruits I completely ignore leaving them to become molded and rotting. As such my basket begins lo leak and ooze leaving a messy trail. Sounds gross, feels gross, smells gross.

Stinky Fruit!

Lewy Body is certainly a strange  and complicated disease. Not only to and for the person that it has been afflicted but also to those who love them.
As a spouse and a full time caregiver I try so hard to be loving and supportive. I have Hubby's best interests at heart and I advocate for a better quality of life for him.
 
I love Hubby. He is the other half of my life. During the time of our 17 month separation I realized that I had not many adult memories that didn't include him in one form or another. I couldn't find much that didn't involve him.

I was joyful he returned even though he was soon diagnosed with Lewy. I still am. I make it a point to look for something daily to find joy in. With Lewy some days are easier than others.

I try and keep an inner peace for both of us. Hubby has a difficult time processing lots of information. We tend to always eat at the same place for the familiarity. The crowd of people, although he is familiar with many of their faces, and their conversations has a tendency to confuse Hubby and he will usually sleep a few days afterward whenever he is overstimulated. We try and remain a drama free zone.

I am fairly patient person. I learned NEVER pray for patience as it's just asking for trouble. Tribulation worketh patience. My lessons learned! Why don't people realize that? LOL! So, it takes at LEAST 2 hrs for us to get ready to go anywhere. So, I can wait 30 or more minutes for Hubby to finish a meal before we leave a restaurant. Yes, it takes Hubby an extremely long time to answer a question or say a sentence. We won't even mention the time it takes to walk from the bedroom to the bathroom. I have nothing else of great importance to do, and if I did, I would have made different arrangements to accomplish my task.

I make an effort to treat everyone with kindness. Hubby is no exception. Kindness goes a long way, even with Lewy.

I seek to do good for Hubby in ways that will make him more comfortable and his life more convenient and less stressful.

I remain faithful in advocating the best care for Hubby. I promised better, worse, richer, poorer, sickness and health until parted by death. I meant it, I mean it. I will do my best to keep Hubby home for care. I do know the day might come that placement in a care facility may be the best thing for him. Should that day ever have to come I will know in my heart that I did everything in my power to afford him a quality of good life and placement does not mean giving up and forgetting.

It is my desire to handle Hubby with gentleness not only in touch but in word.  I let Hubby do the clinging to me if he needs support for walking, standing or whatever. His muscle tone is so weak and skin so delicate that a tight grip can leave a bruise or a mark. I try to speak in gentle tones as not to startle Hubby. Often though he is startled by me whenever I say something to him. Sometimes he even makes me jump.

There are times when Hubby can do or say things that can leave me annoyed or frustrated or angry. Much of the time I have to treat things like water off a ducks back. Sometimes I can remember that becoming immediately upset only leads to frustrations for both of us. SO I take a split moment to ask myself, how much self control shall I apply? The usual answer is a ton!

Now the BAD news. I finds that there are times I get sucked into the rotting fruit category.I don't check the basket for signs of decay and place heavier items on the tops of delicates leaving them squished a unrecognizable by the time I choose to dig them out and engage in a food fight. Sometimes I throw the entire basket. Sometimes I completely trip and scatter my fruit unable to find it. Much of the time because I chose not to really look that hard for it.

There is GOOD news. Human as I am with emotions and feelings of the stinky oozing nature I still covet to have good fruits. So instead of beating myself up over and over about the things I did in a food war I can ask for the loving Grace and forgiveness of my heavenly Father. He, the master gardener and healer purges the bad fruits from my basket. Making it whole once again and replaces it. He plucks the thorns and rocks I have collected. Sometimes it hurts when He does. Sometimes he shows me that the things I have placed in my basket weren't really fruits at all and I hope that I have learned to distinguish them from the real thing the next time I see them. He balances the sweet with the sour and arranges them once again in my lopsided basket.

If I learn something from Lewy I hope it is how to polish those fruits and share them with others. My desire is that others WILL want to partake in the bounty of goodness.

I also hope the Hubby is the recipient of many of those good fruits, just not by having them thrown at him

I serve a loving God who knows how to take care of stinky fruit.

1 comment:

  1. Kathy, caregiving is hard. I know the times when you feel like you are in the rotting fruit category are hard. Still, I believe after having read your blog that the wonderful, sweet fruit shines through much more often.

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