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Thank you and to be honest his precipitous decline made all the difference. He was a short time away from being transferred to the care home. If we had had to nurse him much longer I don’t think we could have done it because it needed two people. We were into the NHS system and the District Nurses were so good and night sitters were available but we never needed them. I am just like Selfish Pig’s chapter on Afterwards. I no longer have the structure of the day and feel bereft even though I had had enough and he was so ill, a no-win situation with which many of us are familiar. He is no longer upstairs watching his TV and pottering down to see what I am doing. But I miss the man who was not the man he ended up being and a day later I am thinking of him as he was and I was able to look at photographs albeit through tears. You have all been so kind and that’s a great consolation.
What a thoughtful reply and I have an answer to your question. Apparently when my son was on a white water rafting trip in the USA the team of eight on the inflatable were instructed to self rescue in the event that the boat overturned, that they couldn’t rely on the others to help them in that situation. In the event one boat entered a disastrous eddy and flipped over tossing the occupants into a whirlpool. The crew of the other boat did actually reach out and pull one person into their boat where he flopped onto the floor like a beached fish and he had only been under the water for about 10 seconds. He lay gasping on the floor even though he had not got much water in his lungs. I think you are so right Alice, it’s a wonderful metaphor for how I feel, a gasping fish, but I too have had a helping hand from you, my son, my daughter, the professionals and so many friends but ultimately I am going to have to self rescue when the raging torrent of this is over. I may be out of the whirlpool but it’s not the end of the process xxxSelf rescue, where did the the term originate I wonder.
So true though, we cannot really look to others, we really do have to grow up.
We are the only friend we have who shares every moment with us from our first to the last.
Perhaps when we put this into practice we can truly love others without expectation of return? Unconditionally? Openly, honestly.
The opposite of self-centredness, just fitting our own skin so we are not trying to borrow others people's.
The toughest lesson of all though.
You son must be proud of you, xxxx
Wise words @White Rose but sometimes we are unable to do this. Trying to care for a PWD can sometimes be all consuming. If only there was more help out there. If only carers were recognised more by society.It's why I believe we should try to keep some aspects of our own lives while caring because if the caring is all there is then the shock of the death and the hole the PWD leaves is surely so much greater and so much more difficult to fill.
I Know that you are right about keeping aspects of your own lives, but somehow I never quite managed it!! Since retirement we have tended to do most things together and i never imagined that a Dementia would befall us, and I also had no idea that I wouldn’t be able to handle it!! i have always been a capable controlling sort of person, and here I am, in pieces!!! I hope each day may see an end to his suffering, but I also know I will be bereft when it happens.'Self rescue' is a good term to remember. Horrible, horrible disease, robs us of our loved ones even before their death and then we go through all the grief again when they do eventually pass away! All the years of caring, adjusting to every decline and then a massive adjustment when they pass on and leave a crater like hole in your life that you suddenly realise has to be filled. It's why I believe we should try to keep some aspects of our own lives while caring because if the caring is all there is then the shock of the death and the hole the PWD leaves is surely so much greater and so much more difficult to fill.
Unfortunately unless you have the money to pay for help it is an impossible situation. There seem to be charities and organisations who can provide certain types of help but it's such postcode lottery. I found it useful requesting a Carer's Assessment and, although I didn't have the actual assessment in the end, the people I spoke to were very helpful in providing lots of information about organisations and activities in my area. I don't want to impose on Grahamstown's post any further but I'm working on an idea which I'll share with you if anything comes of it.
Double edged sword isn't it @Vitesse. As to not being able to handle it, well you are handling it, we are capable of so much more than we think we are! But fun it's not!!I Know that you are right about keeping aspects of your own lives, but somehow I never quite managed it!! Since retirement we have tended to do most things together and i never imagined that a Dementia would befall us, and I also had no idea that I wouldn’t be able to handle it!! i have always been a capable controlling sort of person, and here I am, in pieces!!! I hope each day may see an end to his suffering, but I also know I will be bereft when it happens.