Saturday, July 24, 2010

talking it out

Joe just told me about the lady in the previous post. So here's to helping her at least dog paddle. Joe does not talk alot about how he is feeling anymore and as he puts it I nag. It is not so much nagging but wanting in to his thoughts so I can understand what he is thinking and how he is feeling. Yes I know he does not know what he is thinking alot of the times but when he does it is really good. So I am relegated to asking only once a say certain questions such as "what's on your brain?" To which the answer is usually mud, eh, or I forget. I have to ask specifically about how he is feeling to a body part. If I ask in general I can only ask once a day. So if I know his fingers hurt or his head hurts I ask specific questions. I also have learned how to ask the same question in different ways but he is catching on. So he will ask me if I have already asked that for the day. And don't be afraid to say hey it's not my fault I am here for you but let me in once in a while. I need to know how he is feeling so that I am prepared to help with either just holding his hand or letting him be on his own. Even though they have this problem going on in their heads they still need alone time too.
Hope this helps a little.


Peaches said...

When I would take my dad to the Dr's Office or the ER it was so difficult for him because they would ask him questions and he would get confused so of course he looks at me and I have to break down the question for him one by one.
My father suffered from depression through out the time he was suffering from AD. I tried in everyway to make him laugh once a day. Whether it be silly faces or taking him to pizza and pinball games.
When I stepped away from my problems and just focused on making him smile and laugh it relieved my stress. I went along with what he wanted to do. Eventually after the steal gate to his emotions came down I would tell him how I really loved him and I want to give him the best like he wanted to do for me. Then it seemed to help him past the anger and be able to tap into the soft emotional side of his and we could talk about how he felt.
We as caregivers really do have to be mind readers and therapists it seems.
My dad's birthday was yesterday and I remember how making that last birthday the best one and how he smiled and laughed.
So I say hang in there and take breaks from your caregiving life so you dont become resentful and it allows the time to let go of the fight you just had....because they have already forgotten about it so we need to as well.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Lynn & Joe. You two sound like such a perfect couple. I'm sorry to say that I am not feeling that way about my husband and I. My spouse is 17 years older than me. He was diagnosed about the same time as Joe and yes, he seems to be experiencing relatively the same stages that Joe is going through. But I must confess, I am not feeling like the pleasant, let me make you feel better caregiver right now. The TV can only be on one of the two channels he chooses, Fox News or the Weather Channel and he doesn't even watch them. He, like you Joe, stares off into space. I try to strike up any type of conversation by commenting about what they have just shown on TV but he wasn't watching it and has no idea what they were talking about. Then he gets angry with me because he is confused about my comments. Lately, he is always crankey and YELLING at me and our extended family (5 children, 6 grandchildren) so they don't seem to come around anymore. I do go to work part time but he is insistant that I not leave him for more than a few hours at a time and demands that I not go anywhere away from him for any type of enjoyment. He doesn't even want me to go shopping to get things that we need, only to the grocery store a half mile away. He makes me feel guilty that he is afraid he will die alone and that I must be with him at all times. And I don't mean just at our home, he insists I be in the same room with him ALL the time. People say to me that I should get out and do things for myself. I agree. But the reality of life is that other people don't include you when they know you have to be home with your spouse all the time. They don't want to be the cause of his anger either. So here I sit feeling so all alone in the same room as him. I provide his meals, cut his hair, do the grocery shopping, take care of our expenses and accounts, pick up his prescriptions, do his laundry and clean up after him. He refuses to go ANYWHERE. Will not leave the house and wants me to do the same. I do understand that what he is going through is very difficult. But there is never any expression of gratitude or even acknowledgement that this is difficult for me to go through also. He used to tell me every night when we went to bed that he loved me, but even that has gone. Now I only seem to be the object of his anger and frustration. But all the same, I will keep on keeping on. I won't give up, but it does help to have an outlet to release my feelings, even if it is to someone I have never met and never will.

Joe, please give Lynn a hug and let her know how much you love and appreciate her. Sounds like you have a real piece of gold to hang on to through this journey we all pass through. My love to you both.

karen said...

God bless you both. I do Love reading Joes post . And yours lynn. I hope he starts up posting again if he can