Fighting the fear


Registered User
Aug 3, 2006
In the early stages of my wifes illness there were pointers to her fears. Not only was she hiding things, or 'putting them away in a safe place', but hiding the fact there was any thing wrong. Once we met two of our grand children in town, I tried to show them Jean had problems with her memory. I asked her what day it was, I knew she hadn't a clue, she responded with, "I'm not telling you". The children were telling their dad Nan is fine, grand dad is trying to make out she's ill. There was a party at the local Alzheimer's society house. I took jean along, she flat refused to enter the building. The lady I arranged to meet up with came out, and with a lot of encouraging managed to get her into the garden for a cup of tea. Afterwards as we left the building I remarked "I have never seen you so disturbed as that before, what was all that about?" "You'er trying to put me away" I was shocked and hurt by this. I now understand her fear, as a child in the 1930's & 40's she must have seen old folk 'put away'. At the time I protested "I could never do that what would I do?" But I was to renage on that promise years later by puting her in a nursing home. She also kept trying to go home I once found her walking along the A49 wearing one wellie and a slipper. I pulled up and asked her where she was going, "Home" "Hop in and I'll give you a lift". When I asked her where home was to my amazement she gave the full address of her childhood home in West Auckland. The buildings had been demolished 40 years ago. She also smoked and kept puting the packets in a 'safe place'. I offered to look after them for her and gave her two or three at a time, then one in time she stopped smoking. I opened her glass case to find it full of cigarettes! By now I was taking her to the toilet at regular intervials. Once I found the three pair of new Y fronts I was looking for, she was wearing all three in addition to her own!
About a year after I decided to take over all the driving I was in for a surprise. Because I bolted the large double wooden gate at the end of our drive I felt it safe if she went for a walk around our land. It was a Sunday morning I was making dinner, I noticed she was missing I looked in the downstairs kitchen and some of the bedrooms. No sign of her I carried on with the meal, she turned up "Where have you been?"
"Geting a cake" Smiling I asked,"Oh ye, let's see it then" She left the room and returned with a large cake! I was shocked she had driven the 10 miles to town. Lucky it was early Sunday morning with little traffic on the roads. From then on the keys stayed with me.
Now I thank God I have her all to myself and chose to take control of both our lives. Where I go she comes with me, last month I had an operation on my gum I took her into the operation theater with me. It seems so long ago since we have been through the same pain and hurt I read in Talking Point. Feeding was a skill I had to learn, I recall the GP saying "Don't force feed" that was more than three years ago, even my daughter agreed with him. Now she eats very well. God Bless Padraig

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