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Dementia’s journey

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Thank you all for up your heartfelt comments. I feel much relieved that Lucy will receive better attention than i could have given her. No one at Cats Protection could tell me the details of her history as i believe she was caught just before escaping into the road.

Ive had cats all my life really but always with a partner and then with Bridget to bring them up.

Thanks once again
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Every time i go to the home now I try to take a little video of Bridget inside the lounge, through the window, accepting her flowers, being shown a greetings card, unwrapping some chocolates, having some bananas given and a few taken away for later. All good of course, it’s the nearest i’m likely to be to her for some time.

Today she started to eat her favourite biscuits i brought and looked directly at me and smiled. This really is hard because, on the one hand, it’s good to see her settled and seemingly content, and on the other, when i look at the film later, looking for the smallest gesture of recognition, the slightest amount of softness in her face for me, well, it chokes me and gets me crying again.

Again i see a settled woman and again i fool myself into thinking ( i believe you know what i’m about to say) , oh if only i could bring her home like this and we could have life together. I know it’s foolish but when we miss our loved ones so very much our hearts want to fill the gap made by this cruel and devastating disease.

It’s said that crying is therapeutic. If that’s true why do I feel so wretched. I mean what do I do, not look at pictures of her, not take any videos, avoid looking at her? That i cannot do. Dementia has no comparison. It takes the person away while still there.
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,527
Every time i go to the home now I try to take a little video of Bridget inside the lounge, through the window, accepting her flowers, being shown a greetings card, unwrapping some chocolates, having some bananas given and a few taken away for later. All good of course, it’s the nearest i’m likely to be to her for some time.

Today she started to eat her favourite biscuits i brought and looked directly at me and smiled. This really is hard because, on the one hand, it’s good to see her settled and seemingly content, and on the other, when i look at the film later, looking for the smallest gesture of recognition, the slightest amount of softness in her face for me, well, it chokes me and gets me crying again.

Again i see a settled woman and again i fool myself into thinking ( i believe you know what i’m about to say) , oh if only i could bring her home like this and we could have life together. I know it’s foolish but when we miss our loved ones so very much our hearts want to fill the gap made by this cruel and devastating disease.

It’s said that crying is therapeutic. If that’s true why do I feel so wretched. I mean what do I do, not look at pictures of her, not take any videos, avoid looking at her? That i cannot do. Dementia has no comparison. It takes the person away while still there.
Peter, with you in spirit as always. You are right, there is nothing, nothing that compares with this torment. You know that I know. One day you might, I say might, be able to look at all these things and feel, thank goodness I did my best when she was in the home, thank goodness she sometimes seemed pleased to see me. When Keith was at home with me and when he was in the nursing home I used to write down things he said. When he died I could not read them for ages and then I came across what I had written down when he said how happy he was and lifted my spirits so much.
This is a torment like no other, especially now. Thank God for this forum as we can at least be together with our feelings on here.
With love, Geraldine aka kindred
 

Stacey sue

Registered User
Jan 24, 2020
77
Kindred and Peter your right this is torment, and you would only know if you have been or going through this.My husband has deteriorated so much during this year,
he has advanced dementia. I am so sorry I cannot spend valuable time with him, it breaks my heart .! I like so many others have thought about bringing him home,
It is a huge comfort knowing you are not alone feeling helpless and sad. Thankyou forum friends. SSue.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,010
High Peak
I'm sorry Lucy hasn't worked out for you Peter, though, with respect, I think it was probably expecting too much for her to settle straight in. Sounds like she was scared when she arrived (not surprising) and squeezing into the tiniest hole made her feel a bit safer. Perhaps some preparation beforehand might have helped - arranging a small, safe (no holes!) room for her to stay in at first (not the whole house), till she got used to you and all the strange smells around her. And as others have said, more time, quiet words, treats and gentle encouragement.

But I'm not 'having a go'. You had your other cats since they were kittens - it's much easier for kittens to settle and create a bond with their new owner than it is for an adult cat. New pets need a lot of attention and great patience. Very few are 'instant friends'. Maybe look at the idea again another time when you're more ready.
 

Lirene

Registered User
Sep 15, 2019
241
Bless you Peter, it is hard enough looking after yourself at this time and it is you that needs your whole concentration. You are totally and utterly consumed by grief and frightened of what the future holds for you. A future you imagined as a couple going forward together has been smashed to pieces and now you have to piece your life back together - alone. Firstly heal yourself, be kind to you and only you. Bridget is being looked after and very well looked after, you have absolutely no worries in that respect. However, all the organisations, people, pets, kind words etc,. will not heal you unless and until you are ready to be healed and engage with the rest of your life, the remainder of which be it short or long. No one can change the past, we can only live in the present. Bridget is unable to comprehend past, present or future and try as you may to change her you cannot, and you have to accept that no one on earth can return her to how she was. The only person who can change their life is you - no one else, that means acceptance of the here and now, not the could have been, should have been, if only. The past is gone and there is only your future and you should use it wisely. You cannot change the past, but you can change your present and your future. You will have to learn to let go, ease off, search for a life of your making, and make your life the best it can be. My prayers and thoughts are for you, bless you and I pray for peace of your mind and heart xx
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Bless you all

I’m off to my counsellor tomorrow and i’ll tell her i’m feeling a new sensation that is slowly creeping up on me. That is the feeling of getting used to being on my own. I’m getting used to it and hating every moment. The longer this goes on, day by day, compounded by Covid and not physically touching, i’m drifting apart from Bridget and that scares me a lot. When the woman i’ve lived with night and day, never been apart for even one day for 27 years dementia free, is pulled apart from me and placed in a home for over 14 months, well, how can companionship and intimacy survive.

I understand now why people want the hurt to remain and not move on, because it gives them a connection to their loved ones. Trouble is that i don’t want the hurt and i don’t want to drift away from my darling wife. And i know i have no choice because, unlike long holidays apart or time away, say in the forces, we know our loved ones are coming back. It’s something to look forward to but with dementia they’re gone for good.

God bless xx
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,727
80
East of England
I think you are suffering from ‘separation anxiety’ because you and Bridget were inseparable for so many years. Animals suffer badly from this, 8 out of 10 dogs do apparently. They cannot resist it and need special training to overcome it. Humans can resist even training through cognitive behaviour therapy if they are not open to it. It’s in your own hands with help from your councillor. We all wish you well in your efforts.
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
I seem to be running out of steam. I don’t want to admit to myself that i cry less. I’m becoming numb to it all but now remain in a semi permanent miserable state. And in a way being miserable keeps me connected to Bridget rather than letting her go. Many people have tried to reassure me by saying that at least she’s in a good home and seemingly content. This is true that she is well looked after and i derive some tiny bit of comfort in that.

But there must be a place there somewhere that i haven’t found yet where i can, please just once, accept things and be satisfied and not feel that lurch in the stomach when i arrive at the care home and see her once again. It’s when i leave and again i’m on my own, in the car, going back to the house, that i feel the dread on loneliness land on me once again.

Sometimes when i walk up the path to the front door i seriously imagine her sitting on the sofa waiting to say hello, asking if i want a cup of tea, what shall we have for dinner. There’s that moment when i believe it’s not real and she indoors being busy or just maybe just sitting there doing that hard Sudoku.

Peter
 

Hayley JS

Registered User
Feb 20, 2020
195
Please accept a hug from a stranger, my heart goes out to you Peter for all you are going through, stay strong. Sending you best wishes x
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
77
As I came here yesterday, I just want to send you all good in the world Dutchman.

I am just starting this terrible journey and I feel really miserable and torn.
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,527
I seem to be running out of steam. I don’t want to admit to myself that i cry less. I’m becoming numb to it all but now remain in a semi permanent miserable state. And in a way being miserable keeps me connected to Bridget rather than letting her go. Many people have tried to reassure me by saying that at least she’s in a good home and seemingly content. This is true that she is well looked after and i derive some tiny bit of comfort in that.

But there must be a place there somewhere that i haven’t found yet where i can, please just once, accept things and be satisfied and not feel that lurch in the stomach when i arrive at the care home and see her once again. It’s when i leave and again i’m on my own, in the car, going back to the house, that i feel the dread on loneliness land on me once again.

Sometimes when i walk up the path to the front door i seriously imagine her sitting on the sofa waiting to say hello, asking if i want a cup of tea, what shall we have for dinner. There’s that moment when i believe it’s not real and she indoors being busy or just maybe just sitting there doing that hard Sudoku.

Peter
Peter, it’s really not possible to let Bridget go. Too much to ask of yourself. I know, about imagining her there at home, I know. when I hear little noises in the night I think Keith is home again ... and I know what torment that is.
I know there’s no real consolation in this situation except possibly to understand that we have been as kind as we humanly can and to go on being kind and know that folk on this forum want so much to be kind to you and see you kinder to yourself. With love G.
 

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,527
As I came here yesterday, I just want to send you all good in the world Dutchman.

I am just starting this terrible journey and I feel really miserable and torn.
Welcome to this lovely forum. Let us help you all we can. I am so sorry to hear how you are feeling. Say more when you can.
Kindred
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
As I came here yesterday, I just want to send you all good in the world Dutchman.

I am just starting this terrible journey and I feel really miserable and torn.
Hello and welcome to our wonderful Forum which has been a life saver for me over the past few years. Please unload when ever you want. In one form or other we’ve been or are going through very similar circumstances.

Best wishes , Peter
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
77
Hello and welcome to our wonderful Forum which has been a life saver for me over the past few years. Please unload when ever you want. In one form or other we’ve been or are going through very similar circumstances.

Best wishes , Peter
Thank you, Peter. Best wishes to you too.
Stay strong!
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Peter, it’s really not possible to let Bridget go. Too much to ask of yourself. I know, about imagining her there at home, I know. when I hear little noises in the night I think Keith is home again ... and I know what torment that is.
I know there’s no real consolation in this situation except possibly to understand that we have been as kind as we humanly can and to go on being kind and know that folk on this forum want so much to be kind to you and see you kinder to yourself. With love G.
Good morning kindred. It’s a grey wet day here in Devon and i’m not sure what i’ll be doing but going back to bed seems favourite at the moment. Did loads of tidying in the garden yesterday so that’s quite an achievement for me and at least i can see something for my efforts. Helped out at the church also yesterday with much needed outside maintenance. All this keeps my mind from dwelling on Bridget. Of course thoughts crowd in when i return home.

One acceptance i do have is that there is absolutely nothing i can do that is not already being done to make Bridget’s life any better. I’m in the early stages of sorting out Council funding and I wait their assessment. Covid has slowed everything down but they tell me they’ll back date any money if necessary. I’ll do what it takes to keep her in this home and comfortable for however long she’s got. Thats as proactive and practical as i can be at the moment. I phone the home every day and i’m going again on Friday.

Virtual hugs to everyone and once again loving thanks for your ever going support

Peter
 

big l

Registered User
Aug 15, 2015
63
There is a definite time for hugs, but it can only be a virtual ones. So HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUG, HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUG. HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUG. Every day just a little kindness to YOU x
 

Dutchman

Registered User
May 26, 2017
868
Devon
Every day. To be brutally honest i’m scared how i’m going to handle things when Bridget’s not there anymore. I look into her eyes in the small films i take when i see her and i see a definite vacancy. The pupils are pinpointed, the eyes not really focused. There is a definite difference in her look that suggests to me that she’s deteriorating daily. Or am i just looking for these things? I don’t know.

She looks out at the world and i see utter confusion and i’m frightened for her. And then i’m at home going over these videos and i think, if i’m like this now what’s my world going to be like after she’s died. Most of the books i’ve got are about grief when someone has died but i’m suffering with it now. How’s it going to be different? God help me if it’s more intense because that would probably finish me.

Many say dementia and it’s effect on us left behind sort of prepares us for the eventual death. Can that be so? Is it too painful for someone to comment on this because i would really understand your reluctance. Am i asking too much from the Forum ? There’s on so much you can understand from these books.
 

JohnGroban

Registered User
Oct 28, 2020
77
@Dutchman
I think it helps if you speak about it because the people here understand you more than anyone, maybe even more than friends at the time.
As I am fairly new to this, books/articles help just to the degree to find out more about it, but for my case, it helps to talk about, as there are so many people willing to listen.