I'm finding it hard to laugh. In Alzheimer world there are not a lot of resources to relieve the caregiver. For Jerry and I, the best respite is private pay. $$$$$. Unless, I get relief on a regular basis, I find myself getting a tad worn down, both physically and mentally. The mental exhaustion is the worst because it takes so much energy to stay positive and clear headed. In Jerry's case, if he sees me getting worn down, he declines with worry. He worries, but can't help. There have been times when he worries about my wellbeing so much, that he makes it worse. Does that make sense? Instead of giving me a little space, he hovers like a helicopter over me. The more he hovers, the worse I get. The worse I get, the worse he gets. It's like carrying a piano on your back, you're not going to get relief until you put it down. Try cleaning your house with a piano on your back.
This morning, my eyes popped open at their regular sun up time, but I decided to stay in bed. At 7::30 , I finally started to move out of the bed, and Jerry said, "don't go." You see, he doesn't ever sleep deep. If I move, his eyes open. Last night, I could tell he needed a hug, so I crawled over next to him and put my head on his chest. He said, "Thank you." Those words speak volumes.
So many times, in Alzheimer world, the person is "written off". But, I see there is a person in there. Just because they cannot communicate like healthy people, doesn't mean they don't feel, don't suffer self worth issues, or see that there is something wrong, Personally, I think there is a lot more inside of Jerry than we think. I know this sounds terrible, but it will almost be a blessing when he is UNAWARE anymore. There, I said it. His AWARENESS is a so much more sad to watch. My armchair analysis is that Jerry is teetering on the edge of unaware and aware. WHICH MAKES IT HARDER FOR THE CAREGIVER. ME!
I'm certainly not trying to be some whaa-whaa martyr. It's just the facts. Mamm! I can tell I need some time away so that I can renew my spirits. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in quite a while. I'm going to visit a friend today who has breast cancer. She's a cute young thing and has just had to move. My helping her move will take my mind off myself and onto her. That will be the best thing ...to help someone else.
Hang in there, you guys.