Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Reflecting, Summing Up and Signing Off

One of the things I wanted to do with this blog was share the story of living with dementia. It turned out not to be a very typical story though, because it was complicated by my husband's physical ailments. We both experienced them as much worse problems than his mental condition.

Luckily he never progressed beyond 'mild to moderate' Alzheimer's, with the help of medication. The medication had to be monitored and tweaked — as did all his medication for the physical ills — and ironically we had it just about right at the end. But things like infections or high blood sugar would exacerbate his confusion.

Even mild to moderate Alzheimer's can be a problem, of course. Basically I had to live in the moment; things could change suddenly, without warning. He'd be lucid one minute, then in some other reality. I had to be very flexible, responding to whatever was so at the time. I didn't always manage it very well, because there was no way I could anticipate where his mind would take him.

In the end his body broke down in all sorts of ways. His time had come. The doctors think he had a series of tiny strokes, too small to show up on a scan. I think so too.

He never got aggressive with me, never failed to recognise me or other people he cared for, and remained loving and caring right up to the end.

Now I begin the strange journey of widowhood, but that doesn't belong in this blog. I'll probably post on that subject at SnakyPoet. [Later: NO, I created another blog. Details in next (and final) post here.]

I'll leave this blog here as an archive, for whatever use it might be to others.

Thanks for reading!

4 comments:

  1. My MIL had dementia from Parkinson's disease. I think the hardest thing for her family was meeting her where she was at with her memory at any given time and "go with the flow" of it. I am sure that was a challenge for you as well as you mentioned here. I am glad that your beloved husband did recognize you until the end. That in itself I am sure is a bit of comfort as you forage ahead in your new season of widowhood. My best to you.

    betty

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  2. Thank you, Betty, for all your understanding and encouragement!

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  3. Dear Rosemary, I am so sorry to read your news. I don't know you, but have been so grateful for your sharing on this blog and for the insights you've given me to living with and alongside alzheimers. Warmest wishes, Catrin

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    1. Oh, I am late to reply to this. Not for lack of appreciation! Just so much to do when someone dies - incredible amounts of paperwork, for one thing ... and I find myself a litte absent-minded at times. I'm glad you found this blog useful. :)

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