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    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2016
    You seem to have gotten quieter. Are you ok?
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2016
    I've been wondering, too.
    Me too, Myrtle. Hope everything is ok.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2016
    Thanks, everyone - I'm still here. I guess I went into hibernation for awhile. I didn't even realize it until you guys pointed it out. Now that you've mentioned it, I realize I have been dragging myself around every morning, getting very little done, visiting my husband at supper time and then crashing when I get home. So I just took my SAD light out of hibernation and turned it on.

    BTW, one person I have been missing is bqd, who used to post here often. I hope she is OK.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeJan 14th 2016
    I can't speak for her but I heard from her some months back and my impression is that she's taking her own tack on this.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016
    Are you OK, Myrtle?
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016
    Yes, I'm OK, but furious at Windows 10, which I downloaded last week. I just typed a long answer to Wolf on my word processor and then went to copy and paste it here but I don't see a function on Windows 10 that allows me to do that. Does anyone know if I can cut and paste via Windows 10? Grrrrrrrrrr.
    Control C, Control V ? But I never went past Windows XP. I have a MacBook Air.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016 edited
    Thanks, elizabeth. Control V worked.

    Yes, I’m fine but have not been at the computer. Although I’ve checked this site on my cell phone, I don’t post comments on it due to fat-finger syndrome. What has happened is that compared to my normal depressive life (as elizabeth describes it, sitting in front of the computer all day without changing out of pjs or brushing teeth), the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.

    I belong to an informal group where some members volunteer to open their gardens to others on Monday evenings. It’s a nice group of people, very relaxed and low-key. I offered my yard for a tour, which forced me to go out every day and weed, water, stake, tie up vines, etc. It went really well but the prep nearly killed me. The she-shed was a big hit and several people said they were going to do the same thing with their sheds. Then Thursday was the annual cookout for the dementia units at my husband’s facility. He didn’t know he was at a picnic but seemed to have a good time and liked the hog dog and beans. Talked with several other spouses and they are just like we are – trying to survive. Tonight I’m going for dinner with some friends who live at the other end of the state and will stay overnight, which is a big deal for me. It makes me nervous to be away from home and that far away from my husband. Then, yesterday I learned that a nephew of my husband will be hosting a family reunion on Sunday. He lives halfway between my friends' house and my house, so I could stop by on my way home from the overnight, but I'm not sure I will have the energy. Also, I don't think I want answer questions about how my husband is, asked by people whom I have not heard from in years. Finally, yesterday I got an email from an old friend who lives on the west coast, saying she will be visiting here at the end of the month. I'm really looking forward to seeing her.

    This is more social activity than I have had in two years. Strangely, though, it has not changed my introverted frame of mind. When I read MaryinPA*’s post about her taking cruises and then going home and ignoring the world, I recognized myself. I lurch from one event to another and between them, I hide in the house like a mad hermit. Odd, eh?
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016
    You sound Canadian there. Odd, eh?

    I read MaryinPA's post too. What I read is that even though she ignores the world sometimes she also goes out into it sometimes. I wondered in her case if it was being alone that was troublesome. Reading your post tired me out. I can't agree that you should be allowed to use the word hermit in a sentence when so much is going on and I also think everyone who is a caregiver has every right to find anywhere at all to hide for a while. It worked for me most of the time. Sometimes nothing worked and I just clung on until some dry land appeared again.

    Telling people anything about what's going on who haven't been in touch for years is like talking to hand puppets. They're nodding as though they have real feelings but are actually hoping you don't give out too much information. "He poops you know." "Oh My God!" "Yes, well, so do you." "Oh My God!" and so on.

    I learned early in life that half the people walking around are complete Freakasaurases and that every single one of them has their own unique brand of nuts. In the first few weeks of dating Dianne I was at their house for dinner and I mentioned my father hunted in the fall. My MIL was disgusted and berated him for being a barbarian. I pointed out that the only difference was that the supermarket butchered the animals for us and she started shrieking that she didn't want to hear this. Look, I'll just take the daughter and go.

    Which I did. Which is why I have no life except a mountain of odd stories. What was I saying? Oh yah, drive safe.

    [None of the characters described are real people. Any resemblance is strictly co-incidental. No animals were harmed in the making of this (com)post]
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016
    I'm practicing the Canadian language in case I end up moving there. Thus far, "eh" and "hoser" are the only words in my vocabulary.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016
    Hee hee hee. I'm not allowed to comment except that sites about moving to Canada have been seeing heavy traffic lately. We had Michelle and Barrack up here a couple of months ago giving a speech in our Parliament and at the end the members spontaneously started chanting "four more years!" even though we know about term limits. His approval rating up here is over 80% whereas The Donald has an approval rating of 19% nationwide before this last week. We're planning to legalize pot which will probably take another year or two to get arranged. We legalized gay marriage ten years ago. Last year I read an article that if Canada ever became the 51st state, the democrats would own the presidency. There is no fear of us ever doing that because the republicans would never allow it. The USA is also never going to allow anyone to mess with us because they don't want anyone else on North America. We're safe as houses as long as you like tundra and long winters. No ice age either. It was due to start somewhere around now but global warming has seen that off I suspect.
    It's virtually impossible for a Yank to retire to Canada. They don't want us. I think the idea is that even with plenty of retirement money to buy a house, support ourselves financially, and all that--and even though I think most of us would become part of our communities and be useful library volunteers or whatever...we would still be too much of a drain on their infrastructure. It's a shame--I could see myself up there. Guess I'll just have to visit a lot.

    Myrtle, don't forget the loonie. It is a dollar coin--called a loony because it has a loon on it. I think the two-dollar coin is called a toonie--but I'm not sure about that one. Eh?
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016
    Not that many Americans want to come to Canada. We do take in over 250,000 immigrants a year though of which about 10,000 are Americans and we took in over 30,000 Syrian refugees in the last year. These days the largest immigration group is from China numbering some 35,000 last year. That's been consistent over the last several hundred thousand years where the North American Aboriginals are all of Asian descent except now they don't come over the Bering land bridge.

    We do indeed have a two dollar coin called the toonie which is worth about $1.50 in real money. I'll tell you something you may not know. The biggest trading partner of the USA is Canada. You ship more goods up here than to any other country. You are also our biggest trading partner by miles. Your exports to China are going to pass us soon and then China and the USA will become the world's largest trading partners.

    And since this is the Myrtle thread and she's off driving all over the country tonight where she likes this kind of thing, the American armed forces are stronger than the next ten countries combined where almost all of those countries are solid allies of the Americans. The USA is so strong that only a lunatic would mess with them and thanks to Japan, the USA is going to stay exactly where it is - so far out in front that only a lunatic like Caligula over there who just shot a missile over Japan would consider armed conflict with the USA. And when loony tunes over there in North Korea does have a bird, guess who the USA is going to team up with to solve the problem? Their largest trading partner that's who.

    Again I have to tell you that I enjoy reading your perspective of everything in the world.
    I've always thought that Canada is a truly great country, and you are a truly great Canadian.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016
    Hi George, I haven't done anything great but thanks. That reminds me of the word Myrtle will definitely need up here. Sorry. That's our international identity. We're polite apparently although we don't think of ourselves that way. We're just as crazy as anybody else. Think of us as Scandinavian Americans and French Scandinavian Americans (see how polite that was - I included our Gallic province even though they almost voted to leave Canada a few years ago).

    Lets have a little fun then and take Myrtle's mind off Brexit for a bit. The USA is going to resist China's military build up every step of the way but not block it which would be done by war. That's sound military strategy. You can't stop the new giant from flexing around but you're in his face. So, these last few years the center stage of the new order has had nothing to do with ISIS or any other middle east acronym. It's the South China Sea which is unfortunately named. China some years ago put out what it called the nine dash line which basically claimed everything right to the shores of Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and other countries. It's an outrageous claim and in these last two years China has moved in aggressively. They are building up low islands and putting infrastructure on them while patrolling the waters with as much muscle as they can manage. They claim all of that water as China which is bellicose and unreasonable to say the least. They shrilly threaten to react to any incursion as an invasion of China and so on.

    So the Americans sent a warship through with lots of notice and gave the Chinese the exact courses they would be following. The Chinese were livid because in so many ways they're new at all this power and interaction on the world stage and are desperate (as any country in it's position would be) to assert themselves on it. The Americans however were on that world stage and were doing what the rest of the countries couldn't dare. They were disputing the Chinese claim that they own the whole thing while following the strategy from the first paragraph - resisting and staying in their face.

    Recently The Hague ruled against the Chinese on part of their claim. That was maybe two weeks or so ago. This is a body that China recognizes and by that relationship should take that ruling seriously. China is exceedingly put out and will almost certainly raise the ante. You are now up to date with a brief overview of the center stage of imperative world affairs because ISIS is a pimple and terrorism is a sideshow. The disgruntled fanatics of the world are blowing things up and killing people - how 1914 and how John Wilkes Booth and how Harvey Oswald and so on.

    The forge of the emergence of the new and massive world power is in the waters off China. China doesn't give a rats behind about the Atlantic Ocean and right off their shores inside the straight of Taiwan (USA area of interest) and off the shores of South Korea (USA area of interest) and inside the Japanese straight (USA area of interest), they are surrounded by staggering American military might right off their shores.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2016 edited

    Put yourself in China's shoes. You've been hired to advise them. They know they're becoming the biggest thing on the planet, they have resources coming out of their ears, and these people are seriously capable. The USA knows that ten and twenty years from now China will own much, much bigger fleets with much more advanced capabilities. The USA also knows that maintaining superiority right off China's shores 6,248 miles away (LA to Beijing) is untenable.

    Now step back a minute and take in what two groups we're talking about. Americans and Chinese. Do you know where many of China's brightest are right now? At American universities. They're up here too. They're in Europe too but they're mostly in American universities. China invented gunpowder long long ago and made firecrackers. White men found out about gunpowder and made cannons. China is an inward and business minded culture exactly like the Americans. Twice the Americans held such a balance of power in such a state of readiness that it would have been easy to consolidate and empire build. Twice they went home because Americans are an inward and business minded culture.

    Every year another set of the 300,000 Chinese students in American universities graduate and bring that back to China. It will still take another decade or two I'm guessing for some kind of Magna Carta or limited declaration of rights where the poor Communists released the genie and the middle class half a billion strong like it and no one can ever put that genie back in the bottle. The Chinese are inventing state controlled capitalism where the state controlled part will erode like the shores of poor England are.

    The days of the Mediterranean are ended and the days of the Atlantic are ended. Europe is a lame duck until they figure out you're either one or 27 countries and you can't be a pig with feathers glued on because it doesn't fly. The future age is in the Pacific and it's not hard for me to imagine that it can work.

    If you want to know my answer it's that China will get most of it's South China claim - but not all of it. Each of the other countries will get a piece of their own claim but no where near what they want. The europeans would have gone to war. The europeans did little else. And whenever anybody in europe thought they had the biggest army they used it to take their neighbor's stuff. Asians do that too and have throughout the same history where we were only taught what white guys did.

    Like I said, twice the Americans owned it all and went home. Soon the USA and China will be doing more business directly with each other than anybody else on the planet and neither of them could possibly be serious about invading the other guy and actually winning. It's going to be a different world and I would be willing to bet that some time after 2050, the USA and China become formal allies and that my friend is a new world order. All my opinion.

    I'm not a truly great anything, but I'm a truly unusual person there is no doubt.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2016
    another Canadian (and British) word to get use to is holiday instead of vacation. Last week a lady was doing her laundry and I asked where she was from. She didn't say at first but was saying they were on holiday. I said 'you must be from Canada'. Yep. In 1964 I went up to Vancouver, BC with a neighbor whose parents lived there. My first experience of vinegar on french fries and a sofa/couch being called a chesterfield.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2016 edited
    George, That's really well put - Canada is a truly great country and Wolf is a truly great Canadian! Actually, so are our other Canadian friends.

    Wolf, Now that I know how to copy and paste on Windows 10 (which appears not to have a toolbar), I've copied your explanation about China and will print it and read it off a hard copy.

    I had a nice time yesterday. Over dinner, after we sorted out the world, my friends asked me about the details of my husband's condition. I thought about this as I was getting ready for bed and I figured it was as important to tell people what they were doing right as it was to gripe about people who were doing wrong. This morning at breakfast I told them that many friends of Alzheimer's spouses either abandon them or avoid hearing about the gory details. I said that it meant a lot to me that they had stuck with me. Their response was to suggest that we get together more often.

    Did not attend the family reunion. In fact, traffic was so heavy and I just made it to my husband's facility in time to help him with his supper. Brought home some laundry in a condition I would rather not describe. Oh well.
    • CommentAuthorLindylou*
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2016
    Oh Myrtle, isn't it wonderful to have friends who both care and hang in there. And suggesting that you get together more often, in addition! We have several friends who are making a point to get together with us regularly. They are mostly from church, and without them in the picture we would be so isolated. My partner continues to refuse to stay with anyone but me at home. But folks coming in to visit, is making a whale of a difference.

    Drove past your neck of the woods today. I took partner to Tanglewood to hear the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and then another concert, Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, that I had been dying to see since I heard them once on television. We managed to stay through the first half of the Yo Yo Ma (partner enjoyed the music, but she was getting tired). Leaving when we did meant we got home by midnight which was a good thing. Just winding down now. Kept thinking while I was driving up that I really needed a third person on this trip, but apart from a few manageable rough spots, I can actually say we both had a good time. Now we are home, though, she doesn't remember a thing.
    • CommentAuthorbobbie
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2016
    after months of being away, I'm back. Our Houston daughter thought that her dad and I would enjoy assisted living in Houston. We tried it for 2 months and it didn't work out. I am recovering from knee replacement surgery, 6 months ago. I have put my hubby in a skilled nursing home. He hates it and I feel so guilty for keeping him there. My family all say I can't take care of him at home. He is a type 1 brittle diabetic, mostly in a wheel chair from hip replacement and a stroke. Some dementia. I know I need to get out more, I visit him twice a day and am just ready to be "home alone", Any suggestions?
    That is an awful lot of visiting, bobbie. Why not bring it down to once a day, so you have more time to recuperate, find some relaxation, and do some things that might be interesting for you?

    Welcome back!
    • CommentAuthorbobbie
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2016
    thank you Elizabeth. We really don't have that much to talk about. But this morning, when I told him I wasn't coming out for lunch, he got furious. He doesn't go out of his room and keeps the door shut. That is his choice, and at 79,maybe he should just get to do what he wants to do. It's hard not to feel guilty over most of what I do. thanks again
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2016 edited
    bobbie, I was also going to make the suggestion of visiting once a day. By visiting twice, you are really moving your base of operations over to the NH, which is not good. If he gets furious and keeps his door shut, so be it. He has the right to his own feelings. Although you naturally want to help him feel better, allowing his emotions to rule your behavior is not healthy. Also, when you do something that might be a treat for him, like wheeling him out on the grounds or to another area? Sometimes a change of scene helps one's mood.

    lindylou, You sure are willing to take on a challenge! A concert and driving home at midnight. I cannot imagine doing how you did it alone.
    • CommentAuthorLindylou*
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2016
    Kept asking myself, how much do I have to give up.

    The summer is passing by so fast. In the past my partner and I always anticipated our vacations and we've had some spectacular ones. In recent years, while I did all the planning, we've still been able to have a wonderful time taking our little Aliner camper on camping trips to state and national parks. This summer we've done nothing except for occasional family barbecues and walks in a local garden. I was getting desperate, but not so desperate to think we could possibly handle camping. We can't.

    My partner has music in her soul. She sings and used to play the guitar. We've gone to Tanglewood every year, and had a wonderful time each time. So let's go to Tanglewood, I thought. The worst that could happen was we'd leave and come home. Which is the way I'm approaching everything now, truth to be told.

    And I have to take her out for extended hours on days she is not in daycare, anyway, because when she's home she is always busy dismantling things nonstop until she is totally fatigued. I'm glad we went. But I'm the one that was totally fatigued at the end of it.

    So last year we went camping for the last time. This year, we will have gone to Tanglewood together for the last time. My mind boggles at the extent of her losses this year. And mine too.
    lindylou - the sad sad part of this is that she didn't ask for this, either. You are doing such a wonderful job, and your love is shown through your patience with all the tribulations she is putting you both through. If you don't mind my saying this, I believe that afterwards you will be so thankful that, in spite of the hardships and stress, every sacrifice is worth it, because she is so lost and confused. I do believe that even when they don't know exactly who we are anymore, there is still comfort knowing that someone familiar is with them. Staff told me that even close to the end, my husband just waited and kept saying "Where is she, where is she?" As soon as I arrived he calmed down. We are all different, but I can truly say that I have no regrets about the way I cared for my partner. My thoughts and best wishes are with you as you struggle along. I do hope this doesn't sound soppy, but it is the way I feel.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2016 edited
    "Kept asking myself, how much do I have to give up?"

    Lindylou, That is a good question. Sadly, I had to give up almost everything that was fun or pleasurable. We did not take big vacations but we would take weekend or day trips and go to a baseball games, concerts, or museums or just go for a ride. I had to give up all that. I don't think my experience is at all unusual for an Alzheimer's spouse.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2016
    Bobbie when leaving don't saiy anything about going back in the afternoon. If he ask, don't commit but say something like see you later. Don't let him make you feel guilty.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2016 edited
    bobbie, I agree with Charlotte. Also, it might be better not to come at exactly the same time every day, since you are establishing an expectation not only that you'll visit but that you'll visit at a certain time.
    • CommentAuthorbobbie
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2016
    Thank you. I had him home today and it was a nice day. When I left, I just said "I will see you tomorrow". We watched t.v. the olympics and it is nice to have some one watching with you. Didn't really understand the water polo, but just enjoyed being together. At least we could agree on the fact, that neither of us knew the rules
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2016
    I know the feeling over the last yeAr we did things and I would think this is the last time. Last year last rv trip south, December last trip to Mexico, July long weekend last trip to the cabin. Now she is in care will be 4 weeks on Thursday. A very difficult four weeks for both of us but I feel we are moving in the right direction. The last few visits she has not been angry with me but happy to see me and leaving has become easier.

    Bobbie I always say I will see you later it is getting better.

    It is settling in that I am truely at home on my own. I feel strong some days and other days not so much emotions just Below the surface. As many of you have said It is just going to take time.
    • CommentAuthorbobbie
    • CommentTimeAug 10th 2016
    my dh has been in the skilled nursing home for several months. We tried assisted living, before that, and it was not enough help for him. This certainly wasn't what we planned------just laughed about getting old. I have so much guilt about leaving him there. I know that I could bring him home and take care of him. But I can't find anyone who agrees with me. My 3 grown children, all say "no, mom, you can't". We live in a small town, where 24/7 is nearly impossible to get, so expensive and so invasive.
    a relative was here for a visit, who works with stroke victums and he assured me that if I brought him home, we both would end up laying on the floor--hurt. His left side is affected, he is a type 1 brittle diabetic, some dementia, and nearly 80, very weak. But he is my husband, and I promised "in sickeness and in health", Can anyone help me feel better.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 10th 2016 edited
    bobbie, What I promised was, "to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part . . . to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honor you all the days of my life." My husband is in LTC and I am still keeping that promise. What I did NOT promise was "to always live under the same roof even if you need care" nor did I promise "to be your nurse." Quite frankly, I would not have promised that nor would my husband have wanted me to promise that. In fact, he himself would not have promised such a thing to me.

    Others may be able to tell you how to stop feeling guilty. I can't because I'm probably the only person on this site (perhaps the only person on the planet) who did not feel guilty when I put my husband in LTC. (In case you are wondering, I am not a sociopath - I am capable of feeling guilt and remorse. But in this case, I did not feel that I had done anything wrong.) What I DID feel was intense grief and sadness at losing his physical presence. I cried every day at first because I missed him so much. It also felt very wrong to me that we were living apart. If part of that what you are feeling is grief, try to separate the grief from the guilt.

    I am also wondering if you are a trained medical professional who is in tip-top physical shape. If not, what makes you think that you are capable of giving 24/7 care to a person with such significant physical disabilities? Frankly, there are some situations where a demented or disabled person is neglected at home because their caregiver spouse, who has the best of intentions, simply is not up to the job. Few people are.

    You are not alone in going through this difficult period. It is so hard. Here is a poem I wrote about my feelings. It was posted elsewhere but I copied it here.

    "Home Is Where the Heart Is”
    by myrtle

    We’ve lived here now for many years
    This house held all our hopes and fears
    With many bright and sunny rooms,
    A garden where the lilac blooms.

    We slept together since we wed
    His arm a pillow for my head
    It was the life that we had sought
    This was our home, or so we thought.

    This house no longer’s his abode
    He now sleeps eight miles down the road
    I go there almost every day
    Our house is only where I stay.

    Before, the burden was so great
    In life I couldn't participate
    Now my days have opened wide
    But all I do is stay inside.

    Meanwhile our house gathers dust
    I tend it only when I must.
    My heart is with my husband dear
    But he is there and I am here.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeAug 10th 2016
    I love that poem Myrtle, you are such a delight, in so many ways, here on this forum
    so I hope that you don't pack up and leave as well!
    Perhaps as marche suggested we should have to sign in, to read as we do to post?
    I know that I only sign in to comment, never to just read.
    All the best, cassie.
    • CommentAuthorbobbie
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2016
    My only medical training is "on site training." I love the poem and the advice. I guess all grief is mixed with something. And mine is guilt. I keep thinking, it is so selfish of me to want to have him taken care of by other people, when I could do it myself------but I can't find anyone else who thinks it would be possible. Maybe my head know one thing and my heart feels another.
    He keeps asking me to bring him home or if I think he will ever be out of the jail. I brought him home one day this week and we did just fine. But I didn't do anything but sit and watch t.v. with him. I would be afraid to leave him alone, because he is so sure he can do anything.
    • CommentAuthorMim
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2016 edited
    There is so much I want to say, but I'm just too tired right now to think! Just for husband has been in a nursing facility for almost 4 months now, as I am dealing with cancer & chemotherapy. I knew from the get-go that I could no longer care for him at home, I felt some guilt at the time, but not so much now. Between my fatigue, etc., & him being about 25 miles away, I don't even get to see him more that 3-4 times a month. It's okay because he has no comprehension of time. I've learned to be careful of my wording about things also...I never say (anymore!) about me going home now. That sparks something in him so that he wants to go with me. I just have to say that I'm going to leave for a while & that I'll see him later. Learned that one the hard way!

    Myrtle, I just went back to read your lovely that is. A painful truth beautifully written.
    Myrtle, I have not seen your poem before. I love it!
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2016
    Bobbie, maybe that's love - not guilt. I felt guilt strongly but I was always going to. I don't anymore. I hope you come to accept this more.

    Myrtle, I still like that poem. It's tight and it moves through the soul revealing everything by it's imagery. Sociopaths don't cry when they're alone.