Let me share with you my life in these last few months...those months from the time that my wife was first admitted into St Vincent until yesterday...or maybe even today. But first a quick run through of my life so far.
I am one of those people who, sometimes too foolishly, follow my heart in the things that I do. The "rightest" thing that I have done in following my heart when doing the things that I do was when I decided that I will not want to live my life without my then girlfriend - at a time when she was 23 years old and me 21 - and so I followed my heart and asked her to be my wife. She is still my wife today. We last hugged about an hour ago, held hands a few minutes ago and smiled at one another just before I sat down to write this posting. So life has been good for us together. The future I await with trepidation but we will be together through it all - that I have promised myself to do come what may.
I have had many people asked how I am managing now given the condition of my wife today. With my son we are taking care of her the best way we can - it is not a burden, it is not an imposition. I do ask sometimes "why her" but it is a passing inquiry to whoever is listening up there with no expectation of an answer or an explanation.
Today we had the nurses coming in at 12.30 pm to dress her bed sores which is healing well. At 1.30pm the dietitian and physio therapist came together and a good time was had by all while trying to figure out what is to be done next for my wife to get her to fell better and fitter. By 3 pm they were all gone and it was all quiet on the western front. All this care for my wife for the next four months during this transition period to get her settled after her stay in St Vincent costs me Aud$5 a week. We can't complain...can we?
I know that we will need to get her a Wheelchair soon -very soon - because standing up for my wife now takes considerable effort. An impossibility for her to do without my son and me supporting her on either side. The fact that she has lost a considerable amount of weight makes it easier for us to manage these physical tasks but the time will come soon when the wheel chair will be needed.
Her appetite is good. All this attention being given to her has made her more alert and wanting to interact with whatever is going on around her....but the St Vincent nurses have begun to prep me for what is to come. My wife's left hand is now always clenched tightly in a fist....and I am told that as dementia advances, the patient's body starts to regress to a foetal position..and the clenched hand is an indication of what is to come. The nurses tell me things that I should know but they do so with compassion and all done with that "you have to know" look on their faces. I am grateful for the care they lavish not only my wife, but also on my son and me.
Mentally I am prepared to do more for her as each day passes. Last week we could still take her for occasional walks in the corridors outside our apartment. This week I do not think it will be possible. Even standing up has become a chore for my wife. And so it goes from day to day...we adjust....we do less for her and yet we do more...see if you can figure that out!
Enough for now. It is now 10.11 pm and I am trying to decide if I am hungry .....or not. Have not had dinner yet neither have I written anything worth posting on this blog tonight. Decisions decisions.....!