Saturday, December 29, 2007
Old Timer's: The Breakthrough
First, my apologies for the past short posts without any explanations. I tried pulling jokes or other items out of my Blog Fodder Folder but found that I wasn't in a creative or funny state of mind.

I returned to work Thursday and Mrs. IOH is now home from rehabilitation with quickly escalating Alzheimer's. I hoped not to exaggerate but this was the worst day of my entire life. I didn't know what to do, what to say or how to handle this entire situation.

Here is a woman who I've come to love, respect and honor as a wonderful friend through the years. Before me was the biggest responsibility I've ever had to take on yet at the same time wanted to take on because I care about her.

She was a wreck, full of anxiety and paced the floor in circles behind her walker in hopes to regain strength. She was worried about the contents of closets, drawers and the refrigerator, demanding that things be in perfect order. I started to get just as frustrated and couldn't get away, not even for a second in fear that she'd tumble backwards.

Thinking I had to nip this in the bud now, I treated her like I thought an Alzheimer's patient should be treated. Almost the same way that I treat my five year old daughter. "Sit down and stay put so I can go make lunch."

"Stop that, your going to hurt yourself."

Then she replied again - the broken record, "But I got to get strong, I have to get ahead."

"Get ahead of what!?" I asked in frustration.

That's when it hit me, she didn't know what was wrong with her. Then ding-a-ling me had to go and tell her she has Alzheimer's. Of course she reacted and that was a mess.

However, it's now been two days and it turns out telling her that she had Alzheimer's was the best thing to do. She's now focused, understands what is happening and wants a routine to help her maintain, feel secure and remember. She needed to grieve, accept and finally come to terms on what is happening at this point in her life. It was very difficult for her.

Today, we spent eight wonderful, fun hours together. If things stay this way we'll both will have many more good times together. I may have to remind her from time to time, but I know I will never forget. I will never forget that here is a woman who I've come to love, respect and honor as a wonderful friend.

To embrace this responsibility and help her write this final chapter to a complete and full happy ending.

Unfortunately, I know all too well - that this will leave me with a heart shattered in a gazillion pieces.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” - C.S. Lewis


Stumble It! .......posted by Margaret @ 10:02 AM  
  • At 4:34 PM, Blogger Pribek said…

    Hey, this is a very nice piece of serious and honest writing.
    Sounds to me like you are on the right track.

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