Had a full week off. Am grateful for it. Julie reminds me here - correctly - that not everybody gets to come up for air. I try to stay mindful of that. I've said this before, but it's worth repeating every so often, and certainly at the beginning of the year - my situation isn't nearly as bad as it gets. Having the patient under your roof is worse. When the patient is your spouse - that's worse. When you're the patient - that's worse. For the record, I don't blog my Alzheimer's situation because I think it's exceptional. I blog it because it isn't exceptional. So remember, however difficult all this seems - and however difficult it is - we're nowhere near the extreme. We may not even be halfway there.
A few quick notes on his situation, by way of a 2009 baseline - judging by phone conversations, he's declined somewhat over the past few days. He referred again to the person in the mirror, who sometimes waves and sometimes doesn't. He had a visit from M yesterday but didn't remember it unprompted - and when he did, said that she'd brought in doctors and worked much closer to him than before... maybe because he'd fallen in front of her. None of this happened, of course. The hallucinatory content is getting really thick. And the descriptions are getting harder to understand. More than half the word count is gibberish now. I try to respond and react but often I don't have the slightest idea what he's saying. He senses this and gets irritated, because I've missed the target and seem to be humoring him. He's right - I am. But I don't know where the target is.
His mood is slightly better - the Seroquel seems to be taking effect. The weekend attendants continue to be bad and he doesn't like them, but he's no longer producing the violent reactions we were getting a couple of weeks ago.
I've started the nursing home transfer process - opening moves, at least. I've formally engaged the Maryland care manager and I'm scheduled to meet with her next week. I'll set up the appointment with the Maryland elderlawyer, too. Within a week or two I need to have the Maryland crew in place and get them talking to the New York crew.
This will be daunting. However, I'm going to see if I can avoid getting overwhelmed. I'm not much for New Year's resolutions but this will be mine - I need to recognize that my churning and my emotional expenditure is, for the most part, completely nonproductive. I wrote about this last week and the week before, and thankfully the idea seems to be taking hold that I can gyrate and gyrate and not affect the situation in the least. That doesn't mean that I'm going to sit back and let things slide - there's plenty of work to do and there will be hundreds of day-to-day situations that need intervention. So I'll do all that. But what I need to keep in mind is that the underlying circumstances aren't going to change. He's not going to recover any capacity that he's lost, and in the course of the year he's going to lose a lot more. And while I can try to make him as happy and as comfortable as possible, he's never going to be happy or comfortable. A year ago he had the capacity for that, but now he doesn't. He's dying and he's going to have a difficult death and nothing is going to alter that. It's its own process and I can't stop it. You might even say that death has a life of its own.
What I need to do for everybody's sake is recognize that and work with the situation as it is and not try to turn it into something else, or come apart because I'm angry at the contrast between the way it is and the way I'd like it to be.
There. That's a good resolution. Let's see how long it holds.
Uptown now - time to get back to specifics.