The silence is deafening at times. When I finish my meal and am waiting for her is the worst. I know stimulating conversation is whats needed. But sometimes I just can't do it. Sometimes I'm just tired, mentally. But, lets face it, there is only so much you can talk about when you are together 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And then add Alzheimer's on top of it. It's hard to have a conversation with an Alzheimer's patient. Especially when they don't remember most or any of it. I need to remind myself that the interaction with her, at this point, isn't so much abou what I will get out of it. It's so rare now that I take anything away now. She's deteriorted so much.
Every conversation has the same pattern depending on who started it. If I start it, the reply is always, "What's that dear?" It sounds sweet doesn't it? It started out that it was, but now it's just one of those things she does a thousand times a day. The inevitable question is followed by me, repeating the statement and her questioning it over and over and over... If she starts it, it just doesn't make sense, or it is full of worry. I try to follow along but it's difficult. And her worries are always the same: "Where's my pocket book, my house key, my car, do I live here?..." and the questions go on and on. I admit it. I'm guilty. I just can't handle it sometimes. And so I crave for that silence I'm hating right now. Does that make me bad? Or just normal? I don't know anyone that wouldn't feel the same way, at some point in the same situation.
But we love her. And sometimes all she needs is a hug or for me to tell her I love her. And sometimes that's all I need too. It helps us both cope to be reminded of what we are to eachother. I am here in this situation because I love her. And if it had been me, she would have done the same thing. It's just what you do when you care about someone.
So each day we fight the silence to stimulate the mind, I bite my tongue and keep my patience with the questions, and we just get through it. Caregivers earn a medal in my eyes. To anyone in the same situation, my heart and support goes out to you. The seclusion can be maddening as it gets harder and harder to go anywhere or have your own life. It all slowly becomes all about Alzheimer's. I hate Alzheimer's.
I am writing a more in depth article: Communication with an Alzheimer's Patient: the Dos and Dont's for Peaceful Living and will publish it on my website, Here 2 Help Services. I'll add the link here when it is done. For now, check out the site for other stories and poems about Alzheimers and a variety of other topics including online business tips, poetry and other information.