Friday, December 11, 2009

Long Needed Break from Alzheimer's Patient

Pat is going to her daughters this weekend and I am giddy! It has taken me a while to feel that way. I used to feel like I was weak and ditching my responsiblities everytime I left her. Now, I know I need a break. As the disease worsens and the woman I know disappears, common courtesies go out the window. And it wears a person down. It's hard to keep your calm with a child that never lets up.

I need to remind myself this break is not a typical break from Pat. We get a one hour break per week from Pat. And in that hour we run around like mad people doing all of our errands. Yes, we can take her with us, but sometimes we just don't have the time... or patience, to shuffle through the store, saying hello to people we don't know. Mark and I make our small hour break about her so what kind of break is that really? We are still thinking about her. "What medicines need to be picked up, groceries - make sure we have the Little Debbies, okay let's split up at this store because we only have 20 minutes left, and okay lets go pick her up..." I am usually exhausted after that hour break.

This weekend I am not doing anything for Pat except a little Christmas shopping. I don't need to straighten her room or throw out her "collected treasures" that she has picked up and stored away. This weekend it is all about what I need. Without that selfish focus, I won't have the strength, patience, love and faith it takes to provide the love Pat needs. We all need a little me time.

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