It has become harder, much harder these last few months to take care of my wife. I find myself losing my patience, my goodwill, my temper ….but not my love for her as her dementia starts to take more of her life away….the life that I have become familiar with for the last 45 years of our time together that started when she was 23 and me 21 in London. It is hard because I forget too easily that not only is she growing older but that she is changing in everyway while I am only growing older. It is hard because time brings only the reality that things are only going to get harder not easier for me….and being selfish I think why me?
Thank God for my son…the other day I watched as we go through our normal routine at mealtime….I cooked for my wife and bring her the meal…the pieces of meat, fish or veggies cut into small bite pieces so that eating it would be easier for her. Then he takes over because I have been losing patience with my wife as she tends to chew her food but does not swallow. She keeps putting food in her mouth without swallowing…and I get very annoyed with her for doing so. I deal with it by being angry with her…not my son. He pulls her plate of food way from her and will not allow her to have another spoonful until she swallows what is in her mouth! Why did I not think of that myself!
A few days back a nurse and an assistant from the Dementia support group of the nearby St Georges Hospital came over to our place - a house visit arranged by new our Doctor (we just changed Doctors because the old Asian GP we have been going to attributes my wife Dementia to her growing old and nothing else…most unsatisfactory!). I told them that my wife has not been swallowing her food and the trouble I had in trying to deal with it….and what she told me made me understand why my Lucy was doing so…Haile the Nurse told me that the reason my wife was doing so was because her brains only tells her to chew the food not swallow it and what your brain tells you to do, you do. So we need to prompt her to swallow! Such a simple explanation and it made me understand dementia better! So now eating is no longer a problem.
My son understood this better than me…that was why he was more able to deal with it better than me. That is the way things are now…always learning to adjust to the changing ways of my wife…but when I understand why it is changing…things are good….and I must confess that my son is better at this than me...but I am not too far behind....