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Dementia’s journey

blackmortimer

Registered User
Jan 2, 2021
296
0
Hello, everyone. You may have wondered where I've been these last couple of months. The answer is - in hospital! On 27th October I went for a routine appointment with my GP and collapsed with a stroke right in the middle of their car park. As a result I was rushed to A&E and from there through the helter skelter of hospital treatment, contracted a chest infection, nearly died but didn't and then spent the best part of 2 months being rehabilitated. I have only just been discharged home. Fortunately my mental processes haven't been much affected, although I can only walk with a frame and get very tired. However, things can only get better.

Much of what I went through throws light on what people with dementia must go through and I will post about it when i have regained some strength. All I would say for the moment is that it has been an eye opener and a warning to all carers to look after their own health. My stroke was put down to the stress I have been under culminating in Margaret's sad death.

Meanwhile a very happy Christmas to you all. God bless.

a
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
66,647
0
71
Dundee
I’m so sorry to hear your news @blackmortimer. How awful for you. It certainly does highlight the vulnerability of carers and what the stress of caring can lead to.

Sending every good wish for a steady recovery.
 

Violet Jane

Registered User
Aug 23, 2021
848
0
I'm very sorry to hear this news, blackmortimer. What a year you have had! I hesitate to mention the word 'carers' again but I hope that you are getting the care and support you need to regain your strength and make a good recovery.
 

Old Flopsy

Registered User
Sep 12, 2019
312
0
Oh @blackmortimer what a relief to hear from you! I have been quite concerned and feared something had happened to prevent you from posting after I wrote a post to you weeks ago.

How fortunate that the stroke happened in the doctor's carpark- with immediate help on hand. What a marathon recovery process you are going through!

Looking forward to reading your posts. Take care of yourself.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,777
0
74
Devon, Totnes
Hi everyone. As usual Christmas highlights the absence of our love ones when together we celebrated together and as a couple everything was normal and we just socialised, never thinking things would change and we’d end up on our own and lonely.

I’ll be going to the home over Christmas and Bridget will sense something is different but what?? I’ll try to be upbeat and cheerful. I haven’t bothered with decorations ( what’s the point?) and recognise that from now on celebrating will have lost its sparkle ( Bridget was the sparkle).
Whatever you’re doing or not doing this year please keep safe, remember our care for one another on the Forum and that we all are there for each other. God bless
Peter
 

Scarlet Lady

Registered User
Apr 6, 2021
213
0
Oh my goodness, @blackmortimer ! What a shock. I’m so sorry this has happened, but very glad you are on the road to recovery. As you say, it’s a salutary lesson to carers to keep an eye on their own health, although I suppose things like stroke are hard to anticipate.
Wishing you a peaceful Christmas, all the best to you and your family.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
4,836
0
Nottinghamshire
So sorry to hear about the stroke @blackmortimer , but glad you were somewhere where you could get prompt treatment, speed is of the essence with strokes.
Hope now you're home it'll be onwards and upwards.
Hope your visit over Christmas is good @Dutchman . I went to see mum last week and the carers said she'd been going round saying Happy Christmas, but I don't think she really remembers what Christmases past were like.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,777
0
74
Devon, Totnes
Hi everyone. Just come back from seeing Bridget and helping her at dinner time.

I think a lot while I’m driving. The passenger seat is empty and just reminds me of her not being with me anymore.

A large part of me still regrets all the time I was selfish and missed opportunities to study Bridget more, to show her that I did love her and appreciate all she did for me. Towards the end of living at home she said many
times “ you only think of yourself “ and I suppose that was true.

I can think of times, way back, when I was self absorbed and not thinking of her. When you lose someone all those moments come back to haunt me and I need to resolve things and put this right. Trouble is I can’t, as she doesn’t understand or remember. But I do!
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
11,679
0
Southampton
Hi everyone. Just come back from seeing Bridget and helping her at dinner time.

I think a lot while I’m driving. The passenger seat is empty and just reminds me of her not being with me anymore.

A large part of me still regrets all the time I was selfish and missed opportunities to study Bridget more, to show her that I did love her and appreciate all she did for me. Towards the end of living at home she said many
times “ you only think of yourself “ and I suppose that was true.

I can think of times, way back, when I was self absorbed and not thinking of her. When you lose someone all those moments come back to haunt me and I need to resolve things and put this right. Trouble is I can’t, as she doesn’t understand or remember. But I do!
be careful with driving and strong painkillers. how is your leg?
 

blackmortimer

Registered User
Jan 2, 2021
296
0
Thank you all for your kind responses. Now I'm at home I feel able to think ahead and concentrate on some rehabilitation. The NHS is brilliant at this. I've had physios coming in to continue exercises started in hospital and the district nurse daily to oversee my medication so I feel truly blessed. I should indeed feel blessed to be here at all!
Stroke can affect people in so many different ways and in my case the worst affect was on my balance (I have to use a walking frame) and my swallow so that I have to be fed by a tube direct into my stomach. Now I know the meaning of "nil by mouth" as seen on many hospital beds in films and TV. It really means "don't swallow anything" . So Christmas is going to be a non-event food and drinkwise.

But what I really wanted to say was that my experience of hallucinations caused by a chest infection in turn caused apparently something going down the wrong way, the sheer vivid reality of them gave me an insight into what Margaret must have have suffered when she started showing signs of dementia all that time ago . It's truly frightening and I wish I had been more understanding. I thought i could persuade her of the true situation but I now realise that that was never possible. I am just lucky that I got better although having to live out my life without Margaret I' m not so sure that lucky is the right word. Maybe my time hasn't yet come? Who knows? Being in hospital makes you think a lot - perhaps too much.

I may post some more of my thoughts soon but in the mean time I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a New Year better than 2021. God bless.
 

update2020

Registered User
Jan 2, 2020
194
0
So sorry to hear about your plight @blackmortimer and I hope you are on the mend soon.

It’s a final goodbye from me, with love to all of you continuing to live, one way or another, with dementia. cxx
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
76,051
0
Kent
I'm so sorry to hear of your stroke and hospital stay @blackmortimer and hope your recovery will be as full as possible.

When people don't post for a while we often wonder what has happened. Usually it's a crisis situation for the person with dementia and it`s a shock to realise the crisis was yours.
 
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Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,777
0
74
Devon, Totnes
Thank you all for your kind responses. Now I'm at home I feel able to think ahead and concentrate on some rehabilitation. The NHS is brilliant at this. I've had physios coming in to continue exercises started in hospital and the district nurse daily to oversee my medication so I feel truly blessed. I should indeed feel blessed to be here at all!
Stroke can affect people in so many different ways and in my case the worst affect was on my balance (I have to use a walking frame) and my swallow so that I have to be fed by a tube direct into my stomach. Now I know the meaning of "nil by mouth" as seen on many hospital beds in films and TV. It really means "don't swallow anything" . So Christmas is going to be a non-event food and drinkwise.

But what I really wanted to say was that my experience of hallucinations caused by a chest infection in turn caused apparently something going down the wrong way, the sheer vivid reality of them gave me an insight into what Margaret must have have suffered when she started showing signs of dementia all that time ago . It's truly frightening and I wish I had been more understanding. I thought i could persuade her of the true situation but I now realise that that was never possible. I am just lucky that I got better although having to live out my life without Margaret I' m not so sure that lucky is the right word. Maybe my time hasn't yet come? Who knows? Being in hospital makes you think a lot - perhaps too much.

I may post some more of my thoughts soon but in the mean time I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a New Year better than 2021. God bless.
Hi @blackmortimer. Reading your post and really feel for you. I believe you’ve been strong and brave throughout all of this. I’m not sure if I’d be like you. I know what you mean when you question if you’ve been lucky because losing Margaret was devastating and you could have done without getting ill as well.

God bless you and have a gentle Christmas
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
1,777
0
74
Devon, Totnes
I was thinking yesterday ( I do too much of that probably) that I’m in a strange situation emotionally. It’s been over two years since Bridget went into the home. And if you add to that the time at home she was suffering from dementia, then it’s been about 4 years that we’ve not had a normal relationship as a married couple. She didn’t know me as her husband in 2018.

I find it very hard to cry now about the situation. I tried to cry yesterday by thinking of all the losses and the good times gone, my loneliness, her dementia suffering - the list goes on. I find this hard to put into words. The tears never came.

Crying and feeling wretched was my way of connecting with what had happened. Now it’s almost a numb feeling. I don’t want to “ get over it” because, otherwise, it feels like I’m accepting the normality of my wonderful Bridget being in the home. And I’ll never do that because deep down I want her here back with me at home.

I don’t want to “ get used to it” because for me that would be like letting her down, almost disloyal. Our memories and my memory of Bridget, as she once was, is kept alive by me being upset. So is the numbness my protection against upset? I don’t know, but it feels awkward and unnerving.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,433
0
South coast
Emotional numbness is often due to suppressed emotions.
After mum died I felt numb for months. When I reached carer breakdown I felt numb. I have been told that depression and the emotional flatness that goes with it is often due to supressed anger. So yes, I think it is very likely that the numbness you are feeling is due to supressed upset. Our bodies are not designed to cope with continual high emotion and its a sort of safety cut-out mechanism.
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))))))))
 

blackmortimer

Registered User
Jan 2, 2021
296
0
Hi @blackmortimer. Reading your post and really feel for you. I believe you’ve been strong and brave throughout all of this. I’m not sure if I’d be like you. I know what you mean when you question if you’ve been lucky because losing Margaret was devastating and you could have done without getting ill as well.

God bless you and have a gentle Christmas
Thank you @Dutchman. Being at home is, I suppose, the best Christmas present I could have in the circumstances. I suspect the stroke was the result of all the stress I had last year although we shall never know. All I can say is it's certainly a lesson I shall learn and I would counsel you to look after yourself. After all you're no use to Bridget i you're in a hospital bed!!

Treat yourself kindly, try and enjoy Christmas and all the best for the new year. God bless.