1. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    Have been debating with myself as to if there was any point in sharing this - posting this but was reading the how long thread and thought I may as well....

    some months ago the sociologue said I must put Monique in a home soon or it would become too difficult for the home to accustom her to the new environment. A couple of months ago her doctor said he did not want her coming to the surgery any more but would do home visits and added I really must find a care home for her. --- I chased all over France looking at homes - the good ones have a waiting list and can 'cherry pick' I think - the bad ones are just awful.... I put her name down for the 3 best ones I could find.. two were in northern France and one here in Charante Maritime.. about and hour and a half's drive away.

    About 4 weeks ago the home nearest to me called to say they had a place coming free and did I want it for Monique?.... such an easy question - such a terrible decision... just awful... The stairs had become a major problem, the scatological and urinary occasional problems would soon required me to get rid of the carpets or something just to be hygienic and poor Monique was just sad, depressed, scared, all the time.... I took a deep breath and said yes...

    Monique went into the home on July 5th and my life has changed for ever. Mind you so as hers... The people in the home are excellent caring kind and experience in people with Alzheimer's - the home has 50 beds - only Alzheimer's patients and purpose built... but it is so so sad... just find the tears welling up in my eyes - unexpectedly...

    I took her there by car with the main carer Astrid... we told her it was a hospital for her dodgy knees. stomach and she sort of believed us... we stayed an hour or two helping her to settle in -- settle in!!!! what the hell is that? The previous day I had taken a chest of draws from her childhood and arm chair we had forever and pictures and photos and wooden ducks - all to try to make it familiar.. Pictures she liked from when she was at the height of her beauty - and she was so beautiful - once.

    Did not visit for a few days as instructed but telephoned and sent in friends - she was not eating well --- in fact they were worried about her.. I went in at the end of 7 days and she was so thin... so emaciated... I thought she had just decided to give up... tea time she let me feed her cake and jam and apple juice and the following day I arrived at noon and fed her a full lunch - will go again in a few days... she is going to die in there.. not sure when but not that far away I fear. 6 months - couple of years... She is younger than the majority but probably worse than half of them... All nice people but turned into wrecks by this ******* illness.

    The guilt monkey is having a ball of course... Sometimes I rattle around this house missing her so much - looking in the room she occupied wondering if by some 'chance' she has come back... Sometimes I go out and realise that I do not need to luck at my watch so as not to be late for taking over from the carer... sometimes I wonder if I should have left it longer... I was so scared when I heard Peg had died that Monique would do the same... she did look ill, lost and pretty terminal when I saw her after 7 days... she is stronger now but I get the feeling that whatever fight was there, frequently not that much' had gone and she just wanted to curl up and let the bogey man take her away whilst her eyes are closed and she cannot see what's happening...

    So that's it -- where we all of us who look after somebody - end up.. Not sure any more of what is right or wrong, bad or worse, or if we have any right to make such decisions.. for another human being... and that's perhaps the hardest part - we make decisions that liberate us and condemn the person we were supposed to help - funny old life huh?
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #2 Margarita, Jul 15, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
    I would say you done the right thing for Monique,
    I would say no , even thought you may feel like that, but like you say yes its all sure is sad xx
  3. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006

    I hope you come to terms with your decision soon, it would appear that you had little choice although that is no consolation. You have been the very best of carers and I am sure that Monique would concur if it was not for the curse that has be visited on you both.

  4. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Oh Michael - what a bl.. awful disease affecting both the sufferer and those caring. You have been wonderful (I have detected that from previous posts) - and now oh heck you have to suffer the agony of Care Home etc.

    I do hope you can gain support and understanding here on TP. You have helped others and so now your turn.

    Keep in touch we need you and you need us Best wishes Beckyjan
  5. Natashalou

    Natashalou Registered User

    Mar 22, 2007
    It must be very hard for you. I was lucky to miss this stage as it is my mother and not my partner, and she went from home where she lived alone to hospital to residential .
    I have nothng but huge admiration for those of you who have to cope with partners who suffer.
    I couldnt.
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Michael, you are a few years ahead of me, and I read your post in agony.

    Your only consolation, I don`t feel you had a choice.

    With love xx
  7. Cliff

    Cliff Registered User

    Jun 29, 2007
    North Wales
    Hello Michael,

    Friends are saying I should start to think about a Home for Dee.

    I cannot even start to think about it - so can understand how you must be feeling. But you must know it's best for Monique.

    You're here today and I will be with you some time in the future.

    My heart goes out to you - Cliff
  8. fearful fiona

    fearful fiona Registered User

    Apr 19, 2007
    Dear Michael,

    Just to add my support to other messages here. This is something I will have to face soon for my Mum and/or Dad and I'm dreading it. I can't imagine anyone normal can find this easy, it has to be one of the most (if not the most) difficult decision anyone has to make. But if the doctor and sociologue made the recommendation, then I don't think you really had any choice.

    I feel for you, it's so tough.
  9. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    Dear Michael,
    I'm so sorry that you have had to make such a hard decision. My Mum was very happy in her Care Home for several months, but after she broke her hip we had no choice but to move her to a Nursing Home. For several months she was very unhappy and unsettled but once she made a friend there and got to know the staff, she seemed to be reasonably content.
    Her weight had plummeted after her spell in hospital and she wasn't eating much, but the Nursing Home provided excellent meals which Mum enjoyed and she soon looked much healthier. The staff did wonders with her and looked afer her well. Unfortunately she had an unexpected heart attack and died six weeks ago, but that could probably have happened at any time. I found the Nursing Home a great support to me and it was good to know Mum was being taken good care of.
    I hope Monique settles down soon and you can feel more positive about everything. It sounds as if you had little choice about her future care and you have done your very best for her.
    Take care of yourself now.
  10. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs

    From what you say it seems that the time had come for Monique to go in to a care home some time ago, but that it is only now that you are ready to let go and take that step.

    I know it's no comfort but I think that you would have had those feelings of guilt whenever Monique went in to a care home. That's perfectly normal, but I know from your previous posts that you have done all you can for Monique and the time has now come for full time professional care.

    Take time for yourself now and take care of yourself.
  11. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Michael,
    My heart goes out to you.

    we make decisions that liberate us and condemn the person we were supposed to help - funny old life huh?

    I don't suppose it feels much like liberation at present - more like being condemned to a different prison.

    Can only fall back on the old platitudes, which are of little help at such times:

    You did the right thing - the only thing you could do, considering Monique's stage of illness.

    You have NOTHING to feel guilty about - so try and dislodge that dreaded monkey!

    Time will make a difference.

    Please remember that we are here for you.

    Thinking of you and sending you {{{HUGS}}}
  12. alex

    alex Registered User

    Apr 10, 2006
    Hi Michael

    I read your post and felt so sad, it brought tears to my eyes..............my heart goes out to you............. the problem is, we make decisions we think are right but if we see tears or them looking sad, we think we got it wrong...................but Michael honey, whatever decision you make, you'll always have regrets..............i know i made decisions when Ray was in intensive care and he suffered the most horrendous suffering i've seen in my life, but i loved him so much that i'd have sold my soul to keep him alive.................. if i knew then what i know now, i'd have switched the machines off, but i also know i'd have felt the same dreadful guilt no matter what decision i made.

    Why is it that we can forgive others quite easily, yet we find it so very, very hard to forgive ourselves?

    Michael, you've given Monique so much love and care, you've made decisions that you believed was best for both of you, no one can ask more than that from their loved ones. If roles where reversed, would you want to see Monique racked with guilt or so very unhappy?

    Try to put the guilt behind you honey and make the most of what time you have left............... from someone who's been there, i promise, its one decision you won't regret.

    Much love
    Alex x
  13. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    So that's it -- where we all of us who look after somebody - end up.. Not sure any more of what is right or wrong, bad or worse, or if we have any right to make such decisions.. for another human being

    But you make the decision out of love Michael, because you want Monique to be cared for, and that gives you the right, because Monique couldn't. Get rid of the guilt monster if you can, you have tried your best to find a good place for Monique. Take time to look after yourself.
    Thinking of you and sending hugs.
  14. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire


    No, no, you must not be so critical or downcast. It is such early days. Think logically, cos you are not, you are thinking emotionally, and I understand why. A person does not become emaciated in 7 days, even on a crash diet you don't lose more than a few pounds. You are looking at her, and seeing her withdrawn and confused and calling it emaciation. She is lost and needs to find her space. Give her chance to settle (and I don't understand the home's request that you don't go for a week, myself I would go every day for the first week and then tail it off a bit). Please give it time, keep visiting, find something positive about the place every time you go, and ask yourself "what else could I have done?", and your answer will be "nothing".

    So be pleased that she is in the place you wanted, it is manageable to travel to, she will probably settle in a week or two, and you will wonder why you left it so long. I do hope so. Much love to you, and let us know how you get on.

    We are all in the same boat, remember. It's not a very steady boat, but it keeps floating one way or another.


  15. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    More "advice"

    Michael, I am an absolute novice to all this, I will be calling on you for help in the future. It does seem to me that your Monique has the possibility of a long and happy life in the care home. She needs to get used to it, get used to the routine, the staff, and you might find she enjoys her life again, albeit not the life you wanted for her. Please be positive. Others on this site obviously know you, and I don't cos I am new, so I might be talking rubbish, but please give it your best shot, and know that you have, cos we can't any of us do anything more than that.

    Much, much love, and do tell yourself that you have done your best, and no-one can ask or expect any more.


  16. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Sometimes it is only when we see how much it has helped others - as well as helping us in getting it all out - that we realise just how much point there is!

    It is much of the point of TP, so thanks for doing it.

    I've put off replying because, well, there's far too much of my posting here anyway. I'm running 6 years ahead of you in this
    unfortunately, it has to be that way. Things we once did and took for granted, can now only be fond memories.

    For me one of the hardest things was the realisation that Jan and I would never ever again do the mundane things of life together - the trips to the supermarket, or the local tip, throw away the junk mail, etc.
    oh yes, that still happens after so long - how could it not? Yet, it is sad only when comparing to a past life. The staff at Jan's home are massively dedicated, her needs are cared for better than I could do now.
    Ah yes, I believe this is important to do. Perhaps now the day to day pressure is a bit less in terms of physical caring, you may find you can appreciate that the beauty is still there, just presented in a different way. It surprised me to find that - or maybe I'm deluding myself in an attempt to remain sane...?
    Jan went that way at first, then stabilised, and has since put on some weight - primarily in her face. The body never seems to be able to do it, unfortunately, and lack of exercise does not help.
    yes, I found that very difficult.
    strange isn't it? For ages I just drove home from seeing Jan and did exactly as we had done for many years, keeping the house and meals in order. Then one day, on the M3, instead of turning off to go towards the house, I gunned the engine and sped - wow - as far as the next exit, and spent an hour wandering around the large M&S at Camberley.
    you put it heartbreakingly well.

    None of it is the way any of us would have wanted it.

    Please keep posting and take care. Give our love to Monique.
  17. carol

    carol Registered User

    Jun 24, 2004
    Hi Michael,

    Thinking of you and Monique.

    Much love, Carolx
  18. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Michael, thank you so much for sharing your pain with us...........I hope it has made things just a tad easier for you in doing so.

    You know, deep down, that what you are doing for Monique is right. I admire the way you carried on for so long.

    Take care now, thinking of you,
  19. Lucille

    Lucille Registered User

    Sep 10, 2005
    #19 Lucille, Jul 16, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2007
    Dear Michael

    I was so sad to read your post and sorry to hear that Monique is now in a care home. You have dealt with her illness with patience, humour, much love and I guess, like the rest of us - exasperation at times.

    You have done your best and if, as you said, this ("b***d illness") - hadn't taken her, but you instead, I'm sure she'd be feeling and doing the same.

    Keep posting, I really appreciate your 'slant' on things.

    Massive hug to you x
  20. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Just to let you know I'm thinking of you. I realized that things were getting very difficult for you when your posts became less frequent.

    It's an impossibly hard decision but one that you made beautifully. Yes, you probably kept Monique home much longer than you should have. That's so common with spouses. But you did the very best you could and that's all anyone can ask.

    As for the guilt monster, try to keep the beast at bay. You have NO reason to feel guilty but the human heart is an unruly organ, never to be kept under control.

    My love to you and Monique.


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