I"m sorry I haven't written, but I've had a struggle for what to say. Like a boat on a choppy sea, my mind has been tossing back and forth every emotion that there is.
I want to remain positive, but honestly have had some difficulties finding the "positives". There is no sugarcoating the end stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Recently, I had lunch with a dear friend. Both of our husbands were diagnosed at the same time. Fifteen years ago. We sat across the table at the pizza parlor completely bewildered that we are actually discussing the same scenario....fifteen years later. Her husband, Tim, has been in a skilled nursing facility for several years. I had contacted her because I am considering placing Jerry in a skilled nursing facility. There is something positive....a comrade friendship that has lasted fifteen years.
The whole placement thing is so convoluted. Jerry has been in an supportive and loving facility for 3 years. But as we are facing 15 years of the alzheimer journey, the funds are running out. I am at least considering the fact that I may have to place Jerry in a government funded medicaid bed. I've found, for me, that it helps to space out my days (even hours) of decision making. Some of these decisions are so intense that, without realizing it, I become heavy mentally, downcast...sort of like that little fella on the Zoloft commercial...with tired eyes and furrowed brow. (and we women do not need any more wrinkles!) Anyway, it helps to tackle these things every OTHER day. The days in between are spent with friends and trivial laughing and art sales..... my spirits are lifted and revitalized for, yet, another day of searching.
As I walked the halls of four skilled nursing facilities, I couldn't believe the difference. Two... were completely ...unquestionably...not an option!!! Number three would not even take a waiting list. Number four...which was very nice...had no beds but would keep me in mind if they had an opening. I'm praying for that one. It is near to my girls, so they could visit. It was clean, and bright, with a beautiful little garden.
Here's something positive. I AM SO GRATEFUL of where he is now. Thank God that he has provided this place. His care is personal, caring, and complete..all the way down to goldfish at snack time. It is secure and he is without fear.
Jerry seems to have taken another decline. Many days he is unstable and I am expecting a call that he has taken a fall. Today, however, was a full moon...and a good day. I think he knew who I was. He was standing upright. A string of words (unintelligible) came out when he saw me. He was the most " aware" that I've seen him in a few weeks.
Each day in Alzheimer world is different. Up / down. Awareness ebbs and flows. Eyes brighten, then dim. It can make you sea sick. There are no guarantees....except NO guarantees. No expectations..accept NO expectations.
I apologize if I sound so grim and depressing. I have no bridge to jump off of. Besides...that is not an option. We, caregivers, MUST keep going! The sooner we realize that ...the sooner, we suck it up and KEEP GOING! One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. ..and I'm thankful I have two legs that hold me upright and can keep me stable and a relatively clear mind to be a caregiver.
The sun is peaking through the clouds now and the gray sky is turning a beautiful blue. I am hearing the waves rolling in. It's time to get out there and feel the sunshine. That is something positive!