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Dementia’s journey

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
861
Devon
Anyway, does anyone else do this, try to place themselves in that bad dementia past and try to visualise how bad it was. I try because it makes a little sense of why Bridget went into the home. But, of course, now she’s not here with me and I’m missing her like mad, l see the past through rosy glasses. Grief of our kind, anticipating and final grief, really messes with our minds.

Ive bought nearly every book going on grief, looking for that paragraph or sentence that might make a difference, some insight that let’s me make sense of this and give me some peace. If you’ve found anything please let me know

Peterxx
 

marshal

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
70
Anyway, does anyone else do this, try to place themselves in that bad dementia past and try to visualise how bad it was. I try because it makes a little sense of why Bridget went into the home. But, of course, now she’s not here with me and I’m missing her like mad, l see the past through rosy glasses. Grief of our kind, anticipating and final grief, really messes with our minds.

Ive bought nearly every book going on grief, looking for that paragraph or sentence that might make a difference, some insight that let’s me make sense of this and give me some peace. If you’ve found anything please let me know

Peterxx
Hi Peter, Not posted for a long time but I log in almost daily. Not sure if you remember me but my husband and your Bridget entered C.H around the same time.You and I followed a parallel path for a while.
Sadly George's time in care was very different to Bridget's. He never settled to accept his fate and it was dreadfully distressfull for him and me. Those weeks nearly distroyed me ,watching him forever in escape mode , fighting the etablishment , falls, dellusions, infections, challenging behaviour, numerous trips to A+E etc.Awful! Awful ! Thinking about it makes me cry.
Sadly and dare i say thankfully he was released from this hell on the last day of March this year.
My grief is profound. I just cannot put my sadness into words. George is not suffering anymore. I am told 'You' have great memories. I do.. but you know what, at this time I get no comfort from my memories I just get tearful and sad at them because George is not here to share with me.
When you say 'The bad dementia past' I understand what you mean. I have these memories also.I know a 100% that the CH route was the last of my options I never planned for it or wanted it,ever. As for most of us the daily and nightly events determine our path ,it is not by choice.
From your post's I get the feeling that Bridget is looked after well , that she is calm and settled within her world. I truly believe the love for you is deep within her, as your love for her is deep within you.
Dementia does many awful things to our loved ones but I truly believe that it cannot diminish that flame of love for a life long partner ,it just gets buried under all the rubbish ,confusion,+ fog that dementia brings to the human mind. Her love for you is there deep down it just can't find away out.If the tables were turned and it was you in Bridget's shoes, I am sure you would not want Bridget to be torturing herself every hour about things she could not change no matter how much she wanted too. If possible you would wish her strength and determination to keep well, so as to cope with the situation at hand.
A long and loving marriage will endure all things.
We have to live with this sorrow and grief with the dementia and beyond.
It can not make us so weak that we disappear under it.
IF WE DO DEMENTIA WINS .....A DOUBLE WHAMMY!!
DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
861
Devon
I’ve read your post and allow me please to write back later as it deserves more time to absorb. I’m just waiting for the garage to ring and hopefully I’ll be back home around teatime
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
861
Devon
So here i am Marshal ( i’m Peter by the way) and i’ve read your post again and i would give anything to believe that if the table were turned i’d want Bridget not to suffer like we are. Of course i wouldn’t because i love her. But i can’t put myself in her shoes because i just don’t understand how she feels or thinks.
Is she , for instance, unhappy, frightened or just plain confused? When she sleeps does she dream and is it a time of calmness.? i’ll never know these things and it would distress me terribly to think she’s distressed also.

I’m sure you have very loving fond memories of George pre dementia and having memories like these is good and not so good. They remind us vividly of what we’ve lost. Yes, people say the most awful things like “ well you have good memories” but i say “ so what” because you can’t hug, kiss, comfort a memory. I’ve been asked if i’m selling the house now and other insensitive stuff. i suppose they don’t know what to say because none of my friends have been through it.

Does dementia leave the feelings of love alone? i’m not really sure about that. I’m confused. She refused to know me as her husband months before she went in but when i was allowed in back in Jan/ feb she treated me nicely, perhaps someone she felt close to. Perhaps there was some love left, i just don’t know. All i know is that i too can’t find the right words to express my grief, i get ambushed all the time and cry at the drop of a hat. Almost doing it now re- reading your post.

My poor, poor Bridget. People say to me “ she probably not suffering like you” and i half believe that, and for that i’m comforted.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
861
Devon
i’m particularly bad this morning. I don’t know why. I feel the pressure of being alone and the sense of just me in this house alone too much. i’m crying and want to know why us , why me. And yes, i know it’s said why not, but i still ask why us?

Every time i phone the home and ask is everything ok i’m told, oh yes, everything if fine but i know it’s not because how can it be fine when Bridget is slowly wasting away and i think of that cheerful , lively, articulate woman just sitting there more and more asleep.

Most people i meet seem to want to put me right, to somehow expect me to come out of the grief as though it’s an illness that can be cured. But i feel it’s never going to go away. And how can it when Bridget’s life now is neverendingly reminding me of what once was, i mean before dementia tore her down.

i’m still in bed. Don’t want to get up. But i know i must. i feel so very alone with all this even with the wonderful, can’t do without support, of all my friends on the Forum. I’m fairly new to my church and that support is not as strong as i expected but, then again, what did i expect.

I’m not Ok and i’ve read that’s ok too. Perhaps i just shouldn’t expect to ever be how i was when me and Bridget were just a pre dementia couple. God, how we both took our company and love for granted and were a couple amongst others. Planning, anticipating, laughing, banter, companionship in concerns and problems.

Anyway, just had a phone call asking me to join my friends for lunch so that’ll perk me up.

Once again thanks for listening and for being by my side

Peter
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,524
i’m particularly bad this morning. I don’t know why. I feel the pressure of being alone and the sense of just me in this house alone too much. i’m crying and want to know why us , why me. And yes, i know it’s said why not, but i still ask why us?

Every time i phone the home and ask is everything ok i’m told, oh yes, everything if fine but i know it’s not because how can it be fine when Bridget is slowly wasting away and i think of that cheerful , lively, articulate woman just sitting there more and more asleep.

Most people i meet seem to want to put me right, to somehow expect me to come out of the grief as though it’s an illness that can be cured. But i feel it’s never going to go away. And how can it when Bridget’s life now is neverendingly reminding me of what once was, i mean before dementia tore her down.

i’m still in bed. Don’t want to get up. But i know i must. i feel so very alone with all this even with the wonderful, can’t do without support, of all my friends on the Forum. I’m fairly new to my church and that support is not as strong as i expected but, then again, what did i expect.

I’m not Ok and i’ve read that’s ok too. Perhaps i just shouldn’t expect to ever be how i was when me and Bridget were just a pre dementia couple. God, how we both took our company and love for granted and were a couple amongst others. Planning, anticipating, laughing, banter, companionship in concerns and problems.

Anyway, just had a phone call asking me to join my friends for lunch so that’ll perk me up.

Once again thanks for listening and for being by my side

Peter
Always with you Peter. I do not expect my grief to ever go away but function as you do, alongside it. Grief is normal, these are terrible times. With love Geraldine
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,006
High Peak
When I was in the depths of despair (with my mum) and got into the 'why me?' loop, my boyfriend would say to me, 'Count your blessings,' or something similar. And I hated him for it. My thought would be, 'You just don't understand at all!' and I'd slam the phone down and not speak to him for a few days.

But while I was stewing, I couldn't 'unhear' what he'd said and I actually tried it: I am well, I am warm and fed, have a roof over my head. My children are also well and still employed despite covid. I have 4 fabulous cats and can afford to keep them in the lap of luxury they expect! I have free will. I can come and go as I please (covid restrictions permitting) and can pretty much do what I want. I can listen to music or watch TV or not - the choice is mine. I can eat when I like, go for a walk when I want or cry if I want. These are just a few of my blessings. (I'm not in the least religious by the way!)

Some things you can change, others you can't. Some lives are happy, some are not. All lives come to an end and much as we would wish for a 'good death' for ourselves and loved ones, it's often not the case in reality. It's no one's fault and there is no one to blame.

I don't think I'm offering much in the way of help and support here, Peter, and I am sorry! Acceptance of how things are is the hardest thing but perhaps something you could work towards.

Take care :)
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
861
Devon
Well, what’d know!! I’ve been to the home this morning and Bridget was awake, lively and responding to the world.
She saw me but initially wouldn’t stand from the chair , but after some cajoling from staff got up, smiled at me, even blew me a kiss. She grabbed a plate of fruit meant for everyone which had to be retrieved, smiled again at me and then lost interest. I gave her one of those books that makes bird songs when you press buttons.

I got to long talk to one the regular staff and she knows Bridget well now. It was such a joy to have a glimpse of what she’s like day to day. Almost like I’m there. Apparently Bridget's a lovely resident!

With such a positive visit I didn’t want to leave. The only thing spoiling it was that I couldn’t go inside and hold her

At least here is one day when I’m a bit happier.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
861
Devon
Hang onto that day Peter :)
Will do. i’m patiently waiting for my cat Lucy to arrive and that’ll give me a living being to look after. My last cat of 18 years old died two days after Bridget left for the home. He was a dear little thing and very loyal.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
861
Devon
lucy arrived this evening and has found her way into the back of a cupboard. She’s frightened poor thing. i don’t want to force her. Hopefully she’ll gradually get used to me.
 

Woo2

Registered User
Apr 30, 2019
2,949
South East
Ah I’m sure with some time and space Lucy will settle in . Have you got any tasty little treats to encourage her out ?
 

Bikerbeth

Registered User
Feb 11, 2019
1,706
Bedford
With a little time and patience I am sure Lucy will settle. Back of cupboards are a good place to safely view her new home.
I used to ‘adopt’ semi feral cats (They had never had any real contact with people) and I would leave them alone Initially and providing the food was eaten and the door to the outside world was shut tight I would find that they would generally settle within a week. It was lovely to see the transformation.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
861
Devon
It’s hopeless, it really is. i mean it really is. It’s 6 in the morning and i’ve just spent the last 30 mins trying to get Lucy the cat out of a tiny tiny hole behind the cupboards. I managed to get her in the end. At the moment i’ve put her into a cat carrier so at least i know where she is. It’s not her fault, she so scared and i wasn’t made aware by the cat charity just how scared she’d be. I can’t have a cat that will again crawl into the tiniest hole and i’ve got plenty of those in the house. I just wanted a cat that would, after the initial hesitation, at least would be willing to wander round.

With all that’s going on with Bridget i just can’t do this and i feel a complete failure. First Felix, then the greyhound and now a tremendously scared cat. That’s it, i’m not doing it anymore. I’m ringing the charity up and making arrangements to take Lucy back

And i know i’ll get big criticism from some but i just can’t handle what i thought i could. Either it’s too early in the grieving process ( how long is long enough? ) or i’m just hopeless. I just thought that another cat would be company not hard work.

I suppose i’ve been spoilt by my last two who we had from kittens for 18 years and died two weeks after Bridget went into the home. We brought them up together and they were the most placid, affectionate cats you could ever wish for. And i grieve for them as well. Perhaps i’ll always be in a place where their memory will get in the way. I just want an easier way of doing things now, not more anxiety.

I’m writing this because i needed to calm my thoughts and get matters straight in my mind.
I didn’t need to tell anyone but i’m hoping that you don’t shout me me down too much.

There, that’s it really. No need to reply if you’re disgusted with me. I just hope there may be a little recognition of understanding. Please try.

Peter
 

notsogooddtr

Registered User
Jul 2, 2011
950
I think you need to wait until you feel better in yourself before you try another pet. It's obviously all too much for you at the moment. The cat would settle in a few days but your anxiety means you can't wait that long. Take care
 

big l

Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
63
Do you know Dutchman - people used to wear sackcloth and ashes to atone for their sins. It's an unforgiving place to be, but, hopefully, with time, you will no longer feel the need to challenge yourself and then, when it doesn't work out, to feel even less secure, which punishes you even more. I'm caring for my husband at the moment - I'm not the best of carers, but I do my best. I've got a lot of things wrong as the disease progresses, never through malice, more through unrealistic expectations and frustration. Unless you physically or mentally abused Bridget, you need to tell yourself you did and are doing your best. No one will judge you, so you need not judge yourself. But I really feel you need to talk over your feelings with someone who is trained to give you the support you need.
 

Wifenotcarer

Registered User
Mar 11, 2018
328
Central Scotland
The cat is obviously a poor lost soul too. Who knows what her life has been like until now? Unlike the others on TP, I would urge you to give the cat a chance to settle, give it a week or ten days, talk gently to it, put food within easy reach, etc. You will know what to do. If there is no improvement then you have lost nothing, cat can be returned, but if she settles you have gained something - a companion, a dependent who relies on you and a sense of your own ability to work through a difficult time.
My Daughter adopted a cat just before OH became so ill and died. The cat was nothing like the quiet indoor cat that she had been promised - more like a teenage tearaway. If life had been 'normal' the cat would have been returned to the shelter but with all the time spent hand holding in the hospital then arranging the funeral etc., He has been left to his own devices and has settled (well really become the boss of the house). He has been a great comfort during the bereavement.
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,727
80
East of England
It’s hopeless, it really is. i mean it really is. It’s 6 in the morning and i’ve just spent the last 30 mins trying to get Lucy the cat out of a tiny tiny hole behind the cupboards. I managed to get her in the end. At the moment i’ve put her into a cat carrier so at least i know where she is. It’s not her fault, she so scared and i wasn’t made aware by the cat charity just how scared she’d be. I can’t have a cat that will again crawl into the tiniest hole and i’ve got plenty of those in the house. I just wanted a cat that would, after the initial hesitation, at least would be willing to wander round.

With all that’s going on with Bridget i just can’t do this and i feel a complete failure. First Felix, then the greyhound and now a tremendously scared cat. That’s it, i’m not doing it anymore. I’m ringing the charity up and making arrangements to take Lucy back

And i know i’ll get big criticism from some but i just can’t handle what i thought i could. Either it’s too early in the grieving process ( how long is long enough? ) or i’m just hopeless. I just thought that another cat would be company not hard work.

I suppose i’ve been spoilt by my last two who we had from kittens for 18 years and died two weeks after Bridget went into the home. We brought them up together and they were the most placid, affectionate cats you could ever wish for. And i grieve for them as well. Perhaps i’ll always be in a place where their memory will get in the way. I just want an easier way of doing things now, not more anxiety.

I’m writing this because i needed to calm my thoughts and get matters straight in my mind.
I didn’t need to tell anyone but i’m hoping that you don’t shout me me down too much.

There, that’s it really. No need to reply if you’re disgusted with me. I just hope there may be a little recognition of understanding. Please try.

Peter
I think you have done the right thing. It’s hard to accept that things are not working out but it’s in the cat’s and your best interests to stop at this stage. To take on a pet requires full attention and care to settle them down and get them to the point where they are companions. I know because I have got a puppy, had her 4 weeks. It’s full on 6-10 with lots of play, walks, and weekly training sessions with naps along the way for both of us. Now a puppy is a different proposition from a cat, but both need commitment and full attention at the beginning and you are not ready for that yet. It’s not failure it’s realistic and kind. To have a pet you have to be in a good place, they don’t come ready made. Concentrate on getting your mental health restored, have good (and bad) days with Bridget.