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.

Showing posts with label medical equipment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label medical equipment. Show all posts

Thursday, January 21, 2010

That Wash Woman

OK lots of times,
Hubby can not remember the name of his personal care aide so He calls her That Wash Woman.
She and I think it's very sweet :-)

Our life before her;

Hubby has gradually forgotten how or was unable to perform his basic care needs. There are times he can function quite well in remembering them but less and less. Shaving was one of the first to go. Mostly as a result of his shaking and trying to use a razor. I purchased him an electric shaver to use but eventually I started shaving him. Hubby is a fall risk so I took measures in trying to prevent that by placing anti slip strips on the bottom of the tub and I purchased him a shower chair to sit on while taking a shower. I also installed grab bars. In addition to what I purchased, the Veterans Assoc supplied many medical supplies that Hubby needed or would need in the future.

Concerned with falling, helping Hubby in and out of the shower was all that needed to be done with shower needs. As Hubby lost the ability to wash his hair and tipping his head back caused him dizziness I started helping with that. Now you wouldn't think that would be such a difficult job would you? Well I assure you that it is very different than sharing a shower ;-) We were both drenched along with the floor and everything else around us. It looked more like a dunking than a seated shower. :-)

We ,OK OK, I, eventually got the hang of it and shower assistance went much smoother.

So now more things to add to my list of caregiver duties.
Some days it feels like raising a child in reverse.

In the beginning leaving Hubby at home alone wasn't a huge ordeal. He was never without his cell phone and was always able to call me if he needed me. I wouldn't be too terribly far from being able to get to him myself or call emergency personnel if necessary. On the rare occasion I was a great distance away I would have our son call and check on him. I felt comfortable in doing this UNTIL
a day of shopping when I returned home Hubby was asleep in bed when I returned, That was normal.
I woke him and let him know I had returned and gave him a kiss on the forehead and he acted like I sent electrical shock waves through his body and grabbed his forehead.

I asked what was the matter and he tried to tell me his head hurt. (I guessed, go me!) I turned on the light to examine him closer and he had a bump and red spot just over his eye. I started twenty questions and by process of elimination surmised he had fallen down but he doesn't know what he hit. I surveyed him for other damage and limb movement.

Then it hit me like a panic, All the horrible "what if?'s " crept into my mind. I called the VA and they made a home health recommendation. I was afraid to leave him alone, no I would NOT leave him alone. I bought a monitor to have so I could hear him if he needed me and I was in a room too far to hear him easily. His safety became paramount. and still is.

Hubby was ambivalent to the idea of someone coming. I just needed a respite so I could run to town and grab milk, toilet paper, and coffee along with other necessities and know he wasn't alone should he fall again. The intake process was slow (dealing with the V.A. imagine) but when we finally got all the red tape ironed out he qualified for a personal care aide. I was so happy to have some relief and willing to let go of some of the responsibilities I carried. Or was I?

After the Nurse left, my emotions became jumbled up.

I was truly grateful to be getting the extra help. Help I had prayed for. I knew how much good it would do physically and emotionally. But at the same time I was stressed about another person caring for my husband in such an intimate way.

This is going to sound so silly and I can just hear your remarks now but my feelings were very real.
The fact that another woman would be in my house, my bathroom, my bedroom to assist my husband with bathing and dressing had me in an emotional spin. I don't know why either. I never ever felt like that when he was in the hospital or had female drs he needed to see. So why? I didn't understand my reaction.
It never even hit me and I never even thought about it until the nurse left. I was so ready for the help that I needed and need. I felt foolish about it.

I cried and prayed that I was doing the right thing.

I realized after much thought that I needed to move mentally from a 'wife' to a 'caregiver' frame of mind. I suppose I worried that in such an intimate setting I would lose the affections of my husband to this other person as she cared for his personal needs. I have lost so much of him to Lewy already I wanted to hang on to what was left.

So I made the emotional transition from physically intimate wife to wifely caregiver and this makes it easier for my heart to endure the things I must concede for his well being and mine. It feels like I have grieved for so many years already.

Please do not think for moment of time that I do not love Hubby. I most definitely do. He is the other half of my heart. It just hurts my heart when he doesn't remember who I am. Lewy Body has forced our relationship to change.

And That Wash Woman, she has been with us more than a year now. We all hit it off quite well and I am more than happy with her. She conducts herself in a very professional manner. Both Hubby and I are comfortable with her and he seems to be more cooperative for her because he knows she will only be here at certain times where I am here all the time he can just put things off until later.

She has certainly been a blessing to our lives :-)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reasons to smile

A new year. Some say a new start. So I shall start something new. I find 
the responsibilities of care giving a little overwhelming at times but I really 
don't want to focus on the negative of it so I want to keep my focus elsewhere. On the positive. I think this will be a difficult task but I honestly believe it will help me appreciate what precious time I have been given.

Now, the task. I hope to find one thing daily that made me smile about my husband.
This is a work in progress...

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Jan 1 : I appreciate my husband's sense of humor. As a Christmas gift I bought Hubby a tray for his walker. I placed something on it that belonged to me and he said "Now I see why you bought it" :)

Jan 2: I appreciate my husbands compassion towards me. I have suffered with a sinus problem and he asked me if he could do something to make me feel better, then offered me sinus spray :)

Jan 3: Hubby was looking through the refrigerator and I said "Honey, do you need help with something?" he thought I said "Honey I need help" and he took off across the kitchen to where I was as fast as he could go. And believe me, with the speed he is at in walking anymore it took quite a bit of effort and I appreciate his concern for me. :)

Jan 4: Hubby enjoys watching the baby kittens play. I let them come inside so he can see and interact with them. I enjoy seeing his gentle nature with them. :-) That was the public facebook post but this is how it went down. For no apparent reason he took a tumble in the dining room. I immediately checked for movement of all limbs and visible injuries. He lay there for a few mins and one of the baby kittens walked in and looked at him. He in turn looked at it and said, "It's a good thing you weren't under me" :)
Jan 5: Hubby has a very difficult time walking. He really needs to use his walker but most of the time he wont. I was behind him as he was trying to walk across the kitchen floor when he stopped and started bobbing up and down several times. I asked him if he was OK and wanted me to get his walker. He replied, "No I'm ...just trying to get some get up in my go". ! LOL! :-)

Jan 6: Hubby was having difficulty turning on a desk lamp so I reached over to help. Our hands collided and both of us retreated. We again reached at the same time with the same effect and once again withdrew. We did this several times so the final time I just forced my way to the switch. When the light illuminated the...re was Hubby standing with a chuckle and big grin on his face. He was doing it on purpose :)