Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Weekend Without Alzheimer's

Well, it's Sunday and we have been without Pat since Thursday evening. At first, we weren't sure what to do with ourselves. You get used to ALWAYS worrying about that person. "Shhh, be quiet you'll wake her... did you brush your teeth, put your boots on... yes we're going somewhere... put your boots on... of course you are going with us... put your boots on... of course you have your pocketbook." You get the idea and it never ends. If you aren't thinking of answers to her questions, you are thinking of ways to avoid those questions. And in all the silent times you are thinking about how crappy this disease is, how it used to be, what coud be, and what ultimately will be. So when we are away from her it takes time to adjust.

So, being Christmas, we were more emotional than normal. Visiting with a friend, a few drinks, and the atmosphere of the Christmas tree lights, burning candle, and quiet music playing had our guard down when our friend started talking to us about Pat and told us no one would blame us if we couldn't continue to care for her. We talked a lot that night about her, sharing funny stories about our current situation. We laughed so hard that it turned to tears for me.

Oh, this disease stinks. And we can't walk away. As we told stories about her, you could hear the endearment in our voices. We love her. And just because she can be annoying, frustrating, and difficult beyond what any of us could imagine someone to be, we love her.

We have enjoyed the rest for our minds, voices, and patience this weekend. Our weekend away from Pat has given us the break we needed. Having an extra day away made the difference and we actually got beyond the "wind down stage." Tomorrow morning we'll be ready to jump into caregiving again, no matter what we find.

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