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    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2018
     
    Last night, when I couldn't sleep, I went to the computer. One of the things I found was a heartwarming story of four women who met during their first week in college, and had stayed in touch for over 40 years. They had visited together in various parts of the country, and used phone calls, letters, and different electronic media to stay close all these years. There was a nice picture of the four women.

    One of these women was my sister. The same sister I had always been very, very close to, who dropped us like a hot rock when DH was diagnosed. The one who, when I was so distraught in the early days, said a number of seriously unhelpful things like "it's not like it's a brain tumor", and who didn't want me to tell other relatives about the diagnosis. The sister who, back when we still had an occasional phone call, never asked about our situation or how DH was doing--but wanted to tell me all about how stressful her job was. The sister who moved to another state and neglected to send me her new address and phone number.

    This really is the disease that just keeps on giving--just never in a good way.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2018
     
    Most important is that I got hurt badly in all the ways there were. Nothing I'm saying is advice or chin up because there was so much of that kind of stuff and all I did was survive it. I've said it felt for some time as though lifelong friends and family were lining up to hurt me. The common thread wasn't to hurt me though, it was not wanting to or being unable to deal with it - even from far away.

    I still celebrate that the only other woman I could see myself living with died of cancer and instead of going to her funeral, I went to a basketball game in Toronto with other friends. I hated how the four of them just dumped us and hated that they had their 'cozy little foursome' - and they didn't because she was the ringleader and died while my wife was still in the nursing home. I'm fine with that and I'm likely to always appreciate them breaking their silence to tell me. That's where it became clear they had spun the narrative so that it was me that wanted to break it off. What a shock.

    We had easily been in continuous contact with fourty people - half friends, half family. We would overnite or have them overnite, or go to gatherings, or host gatherings. I'm still in continuous contact with two people - my sister and one male friend.

    Finding ways to let go that worked was like a full time job for years and is still a part time job. That's partly because the sheer number of backed-up things to deal with is a lot. Like an exhausted boxer staggering in the ring after fifteen brutal rounds, it's not easy to slip on the tutu and start learning to dance Swan Lake right away.

    Letting go of gnawing thing after gnawing thing wasn't about any of them or any of the other things that come with this. It was that I wanted out of the mental/emotional mess where wishing and hoping had nearly zero to do with that and I had to earn every step. Not because life was mean, but because that's how things like this are.

    It must have been two years after Dianne died that some combination of enough time away from that, enough time in my present, and enough things gone through started to develop some traction together and I literally felt myself slowly emerging from the wreckage - an old man, all alone, and clueless about me in life or my future.

    What we never see and I don't blame us, is that we have also changed by the process of becoming caregivers instead of partners in life. It's not just them. And in our hours of serious need, we learn painfully that most people don't want to be near this disease - and that they forgive themselves completely for anything they do to get away from it. Not one single person has ever expressed any regret or awareness of their actions.

    Instead, just like my feelings of guilt and my memories of all the horrible moments, and my gnawing need for my life partner - I have had to learn to let each one of them go or to accept what they are and live with them.

    I'm sorry, but if my sister had done those things and then wanted to be close again, I would already have closed that door truthfully, and thereby, while what she did rules that past, what I've decided rules both our futures.

    In my case, my sister would often phone in a fake cheery voice having managed to forget, once again, that Dianne (who she knew in high school) had Alzheimer's. She finally got over that and still kept on phoning sometimes to see how I was. THAT's when the solid and real relationship we have now started. I can overlook my own mistakes too if I keep trying as I can.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2018
     
    My older sister (6 years older) whom DNA testing showed our dad is not her bio dad, is not talking to me again, not that we talked much anyway. Mostly would do a quick 'how are you' tweet every couple months. Her daughter is one of them that made sure my adopted kids knew they were not real "B". Guess one better watch what they say because now she is not one either!! Evidently finding out your dad is not your bio dad is more common than one thinks. Ancestry has set up support and there is a growing Facebook support group for those who are finding out. I would have loved to find out he was not my bio dad. This sister was a favorite of mom and dad's. Along with my brother who is a year older than me, could do no wrong. I did email that brother asking if he would consider taking the test to see if he is a bio 'B' but I doubt he will. He is so detached from our family, he would have no reason. I may hit his daughter up if he won't. Moral: when doing DNA testing be prepared for unknowns to come back.

    On the positive, my oldest brother from my dad's first marriage (he is dead) son phoned me the other morning. We have texted but first time talking live since I was about 6, him 11. We talk for over an hour about family history. He has gotten into, even talked with family roots over in England. He has told me about his family I never really knew because we never saw his dad or aunt. To talk to someone for an hour and not talk about dementia was so nice and refreshing.
  1.  
    A TIME TO GRIEVE

    My sister sent me this when I was going through the worst time of my life.
    I'm thinking I should share it with my friends here I personally thought it
    very meaningful..... It helped me a lot.

    Norbert Tackman explained that his wife had died after 49 wonderful years
    and when a good friend's husband passed away, leaving her consumed by grief,
    he felt the need to help her so he wrote her this letter.
    ______________________________________________________________


    What could have been is gone. What was, is still in your memories. You will always think
    there must have been more you could have done. More times you could have said "I love you."
    Times you think "Why didn't I hold him more? Why didn't I do this or that?" You did all those things.
    You just need to remember them.

    Remember the times you held hands as you walked. When you held one another and kissed.
    When you shared a sunset or a walk through a garden. Remember that great vacation you had
    together. Remember when you made love and shared that special time. Remember how your love
    never dimmed but got stronger over the years.

    Remember when you first met and fell in love. Then go through your life remembering the special
    moments, one after another. When you had children. When you laughed or cried. That trip to get
    away. Visiting friends. A party. Going to church. When you redecorated the house. Little things
    that only you and he shared.

    Push out of your mind the memories that make you sad and replace them immediately with good
    memories. Something that makes you smile.

    In the weeks after his passing, the relatives go on with their lives. Your friends don't call as often
    and you're left alone. This is the time to be more involved in your favorite organizations, your church,
    your friends, in other words, keep busy. Be with other people. Push yourself to do things, no matter
    how small. Don't feel sorry for yourself......You have so much to offer to others and your fellowship
    will give back twice as much to you.

    There's nothing wrong with crying. It's part of the loss. It's part of the grief. Accept the aching
    need to have him back and tell him you love him. And always remember to say , "What a good life
    we had."

    He knew you loved him and cared about him. just as you knew he loved you and cared about you.
    Remember, he is watching over you. He doesn't want you to suffer. He wants you to be happy for
    all the time you had together. God Bless You.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2018
     
    Sorry I started August's topic on a grumpy note.

    On a really different topic... I've been watching The Great British Baking Show over and over. Even DH got interested in following some of the shows, probably because I had them on so many times they became familiar to him. Now I'm wanting to make a Victoria sandwich cake and a bakewell tart and scones. And I'm learning a whole new vocabulary for things I thought I already knew the names of. It's my little escape from caregiving. I have a friend who watches Escape to the Country (another British show) every day as her escape. The difference is that she has vacationed in Great Britain, and I haven't. If I could go there for a visit now, I'd want to go to bakeries and tea shops, not museums and other famous places.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2018
     
    Appointment made - social worker comes out on Tuesday to interview hb and give he opinion. She says she has a place open somewhere if she deems him ready.

    Went to the pain doctor this morning for novacaine injections in my neck. Now to see if they help. I have arthritis (who doesn't at our age) and there is nerve that goes down the left side of the neck that is always hurting. Will know by tonight if it helps. If it does, then will be repeated - required by Medicare. If not, not sure what the next step is.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2018
     
    Jan K, like your friend, I enjoy Escape to the Country, too. And I can count on any DVD with Julia Child to restore my equilibrium. Hope the injection helps. Charlotte. Elizabeth, are you okay?
  2.  
    I was in the Heartland for two and a half weeks dealing with the house--had to have some unexpected maintenance and repairs done, listed it for sale, sold it in ten days, cleared out what little I personally wanted to bring back to NY, gave a lot of stuff to the Goodwill, family, and friends, and most of the household goods went up for online auction today. I came back to NY Monday night, July 30, and had the CT scan on the 31st. Bear in mind that I feel fine and have no symptoms whatsoever--fortunately the CT scan showed significant improvement in my lungs over the past two months--they are mostly clear with just some "smudges" remaining. I have to get another CT scan in six months. The closing on the house is scheduled for Aug. 17--I don't need to be there, as documentation can be handled by email, FedEx, etc. Then I have to babysit the grandchildren down in the Heartland Aug. 27-31. I wish DD had not asked, and I wish that I had said no. Oh well, too late now. It is too much, of course, on top of the million tasks and general nerves and tension associated with the house transaction.

    I had a poignant moment when I unearthed a small scrap of paper that had Mim's contact information on it--where I had jotted it down quickly before I put it in my calendar. I've said this before, but she was a lovely, down-to-earth, very pleasant woman---gone too soon, that's for sure. Whenever we got together for coffee, we just talked and talked as if we had known each other our whole lives. I know everybody liked her on our website, but you would have liked her all the more if you had met her in person, as I was fortunate enough to do.

    I keep thinking as I try to get my life back on track post-Alzheimers that it is amazing how the Alzheimers just smashed everything up and caused disaster. An out-of-state move for family assistance, spending a fortune, family assistance turning out to be a cruel joke, the emotional pain of losing my husband and essentially most of my family--losing the future I had thought to have, giving up the pretty, woodsy little house I thought I'd live and die in, and most of my cherished possessions, and the amenities-- the fireplace, the screened porch, the two-car garage, the park across the way--sorry, I am being such a whiner. I am truly much more at home in NY, and while I have less, it is all decent stuff that represents the person I am now and the way I live now. And while I've given up the Metropark in the Heartland, let's be honest--I have the Hudson River five minutes away for all kinds of recreation, and the Catskills in the other direction. And Manhattan, Albany, Cape Cod, Montreal--all a relatively easy run from where I live. I am so much happier up here in the apartment, where there is always something to do and somebody to do it with, and everything doesn't bring nostalgia and sadness. Every single item in that cozy little house was evocative of the past--a past that is gone with the wind. Up here in the NY apartment, I feel fresh and clean emotionally, with a stronger sense of self, and a sense of new possibilities . It was hard to give up my carefully-curated possessions--the house was exactly the way I wanted it in regard to "things"--but things are just things, and it was time for me to let go and move forward.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2018 edited
     
    well said and well done elizabeth. And very glad to hear the cat scan results.

    Charlotte, thanks for the Dairy Queen idea. I found one around the corner from his daycare. I don't think I have ever been in a Dairy Queen before. Isn't that astonishing for someone who is 64 years old? I stopped there a couple of times on the way to pick him up. Would like to share but he is lactose intolerant and I don't trust the pills to handle it. But now I think it is actually better to just sit outside by myself to get settled before picking him up. The other day there was a young girl with her father and they were having fun watching some mice in the bushes by the picnic tables. It was actually sweet. Not much sweetness in my life.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 2nd 2018
     
    thank you Elizabeth for the update. You have been one busy lady for sure. It is far enough in advance, I would tell daughter sorry you can't do it. You are not up to the drive back, even bring your lung condition up.

    Yes, I miss Mim. I will often think about her wondering what she is doing then remember she has passed. She is a perfect example of how we become 'family' here.

    Well, the Novocain did not help. Will go back and see what next. I really think some of it is stress making the pinched nerve worse. Yesterday was stressful, slept 'hard' last night waking up with an all over sore neck. I can't wait to place him. We came home from going to dinner and he promptly let the cat out. He did catch her and I put her on leash. She was sitting on the porch so brought her in. I asked why and he grabbed her an yanked/dragged her out. I told him to stop be cruel to the cat. He let her go, told him to come sit down. Said he didn't want to and walked off. Not sure where he is - can't see him.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    Reminds me of my doberman, Xena, Warrior Princess. She was his velcro dog. But as the Alz advanced I was having to protect her more and.more often. It was interesting to see how she seemed to understand what was happening and would avoid him when necessary. She and I became a.team. Still miss her, but don't want to get another pet.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    His eye exam was sort of hilarious. I warned her at the beginning he has Alzheimer's and won't be able to remember 'which was better' and he didn't. Any questions she asked he could not answer. Finally said his prescription has not really changed so will stay with the same one. Glasses ordered - should be here in a couple weeks.

    Cat showed up at door meowing about 7 - let her in and she is 'yelling' at me!!! Typical cat!

    Made it to Walla Walla with no car trouble. After last weeks problems was worried about it.

    Even after being gone most of the day, he is still restless. He wanted to wear his short PJ bottoms today but I wouldn't let him. Next Tuesday when the social worker comes if he wants to wear them I will let him.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    Elizabeth, I felt so good reading your letter. I too have the woodsy little house and all the rest. I'm reaching a point where the possessions are beginning to strangle me. I can no longer share the memories with DH and he has no feeling, interest etc in our home or belongings.

    It's so good to hear that you are happy and content. Definitely a big move but sounds like you've made the transition.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 3rd 2018
     
    Mine can't use his tools or interest in them until I want to get rid of them!
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 4th 2018
     
    Elizabeth, It's good to hear from you. I'm glad that your lungs are healing. And you clearly made right decision in moving back to NY, where you still have friends and many happy memories of your life with your husband. Any doubts you may have had about the wisdom of leaving the Midwest should be dispelled by your daughter's recent babysitting request. Can you imagine how demoralized you would be if you were subject to her wishes all the time?
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 4th 2018
     
    When I was dumping the black water yesterday I was having trouble getting it to drain. Today I think I figured out why. I leave the container of wipes behind the toilet but today they were up in the cupboard. My thinking is: he was using the wipes and dropping them into the toilet. They do not break down but will clog the tank. I moved them and hopefully he won't find them. As for using them, after his shower this morning he was broke out bad down there. Last Sunday the rash was almost gone. My thinking is he was using them to wipe the creme that was on it allowing the rash to go full force.

    Weird but I think I am having anxiety/panic attacks about Tuesday meeting with the social worker - like how will he react. When I went in Thursday for the shots in my neck my bp was up to 190/80. I had slept hard that night and woke up at 5 with the attack. The same thing happened this morning.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2018
     
    Charlotte - I would agree you're having panic attacks. It's not an easy decision to place your spouse. I also found it very difficult. Inasmuch as we think we're mentally ready for it, it's still very tough. Don't worry about his reactions - he's probably ready. My husband was ready & yours seems to be at a similar stage mine was at. He just might surprise you.

    His first placement was in a private facility. I spoke to the girl in charge of the facility alone & made all the arrangements. I got his room ready ahead of time. I did not discuss with him his placement in case that might have upset him - it was hard enough for me to get that done. Not telling him ahead of time was also recommended by the Alzheimer Society. The day he entered, our son & daughter accompanied me to bring him to the facility. At this point he still did not know where he was going nor did he ask. We all spent the day together getting him settled & being introduced to the staff. We had supper together & after supper we told him he'd be staying there & we'd be back the next day. He did not say anything & didn't fuss, thank goodness, because that made it easier for me - it was one of the hardest moments.... The next day we visited & he was fine with staying there. I knew he was ready & was time for him to be placed.

    I hope everything goes smoothly for you. I'll think of you on Tuesday.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2018
     
    Placing my wife was probably the single worst day. I will also be thinking of you and as Nicky said, I hope this meeting goes as well as it can Charlotte.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2018
     
    200 Escape To The Country episodes in a row

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZmFwPPyThE&list=PLpOu3nUc_eXTUMLktlA7dYHOkViQRYbl0
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2018
     
    Charlotte - I mentioned in my post that I didn't tell him ahead of time where he was going - I just remembered the Alzheimer Society suggested I not tell him too much ahead of time, but could tell him shortly before he enters, so that if he was upset it wouldn't last too long. I had fully intended telling him on our way there, but I couldn't get the words out. Our son drove us & I sat there numb, staring out the window, unable to speak & holding back the tears. So, not telling him may not be the best way to handle it for everyone, but it worked for us & I never regretted it. Good Luck.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2018
     
    I'll be thinking of you too Charlotte. Be prepared for the panic attacks and try to minimize it. I am not surprised you would be having them. It is too much cognitive dissonance going on in your mind. Probably just as much worried that the social worker will say he DOESNT qualify as if s/he says he does. I, too would be a nervous wreck. It is so easy to say worry about what you can control. Just try to keep busy I guess. Remind yourself to breathe.

    Was it elizabeth who would toss out the lifeline and tell us to hang on?
    -----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+-----+----+
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2018
     
    He has been 'sundowning' I guess you could say more. Even after being gone to the VA on Friday where it was nice so we walked the grounds. Since it was Fort Walla Walla, there are lots of old houses that the officers lived in and big old trees. After getting home didn't take him long to start pacing in the MH which rocks the whole thing. Told him to stop so he goes outside. Last night around 8 he took off and fortunately a guy in the park saw him, started walking with him and brought him home. (he gave up sitting in the hot tub to be with Art). While we stood outside chatting Art would pick up the dog - for some reason he wants to carry her all the time. He kept wanting to put the cat inside - kept telling him he was fine. After we had been inside for about 15 minutes I asked where the dog was. Didn't see her outside, didn't come when I called her. Finally dawned on me he had kept wanting to put here in the car. Yep, there she was in the car. Good thing it was not during the daytime when it is so hot.

    It is like everything is coming to a head. He use to wear the same shirt during the day until I made him change and the same shirt at night which is fine. Now he is putting a clean shirt on at bedtime, then wants to wear it the next day. If I had my own w/d I would not be upset but I don't - I have to pay to wash/dry.

    Oh well, I slept well last night except for getting up for bathroom breaks which means taking the dog out too since she is on my pee schedule at night!!!!! Slept in this morning which was nice.

    I think you are right - what if the social worker says he does not meet their criteria for being ready for placement? What if he gets angry and takes off like he threatens when I loose it with him? I had to 'walk' him through his shower yesterday. I keep finding the kitchen hand towel back by the bathroom hand towel. Today he just sits in his chair staring off into space. Shows he likes are on but he is not watching them. I think that bothers me as much too - I know I should be 'entertaining' him but I don't know what to do other than walking which too hot to do. At least when placed he can walk all he wants like his dad use to do for hours.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2018
     
    Sorry, Charlotte - I guess I jumped the gun with my information about placement. I kind of forgot that you don't know yet if he meets their criteria. I personally think he's ready & definitely so are you!

    I sincerely hope the social worker says he's ready for placement. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 5th 2018 edited
     
    Good luck on Tuesday, Charlotte. I hope he is approved for admission. I also hope that your social worker is a good one and that she can help you both through some of the necessary steps. You're overdue for a break.

    I think about Mim, too. You're right, we're like a family here and losing her is like losing a family member.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeAug 6th 2018
     
    Wolf, thanks for the Youtube info. re. the Living in the Country TV series.
    I was thinking kind thoughts about you the other day. Hungry, I opened my fridge to find a scant cup of your special chicken soup, but not enough chicken for protein to keep me going. I added a bit of water, a little V-8 juice (already opened) and a small handful of frozen, chopped kale. When the kale was cooked — in a matter of minutes —I added chopped green onions. I served it in a white bowl with a generous topping of Parmesan cheese. Sweet potato crackers with ancient grains on the side. Truly magnificent, better than any I've ever had in a restaurant.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    Mary, you're welcome. I hope that's some grist for your mill for a little while.

    I believe I discovered one of the secrets of life along with all this destruction. Nothing earth shattering. Just life changing. I don't have to go on about it because your story shows you rediscovering the same thing.

    Food is like litmus paper in that, like few things, it is completely provable and judgeable. Instead of suffering the fridge, you look for opportunities and then the thing exists and then it is judged and now it is. There is no fear of spontaneously bursting out in song or forever being happy because you aren't changed. It's much more likely that the new thing joins the old band of "is this all there is?".

    Yet, there is the evidence of the struggle of life fueled by the human need to see ourselves as working at what confronts us, contrasted with the exercise of our power to change or create something good at will.

    The fact that I'm learning to look for my opportunities more doesn't change my jaded outlook or my loneliness or my newly discovered hatred of aging now. I'm not going to be like this anyway because life has always changed and is a journey of change with only one real arrival. It is we who provide the orthodox and the literal - never life itself.

    Right now in Chad, I think it is, the climate is changing making Maize harder to grow. Some are trying to get them to grow more Millet which does better in the present climate, but there is strong resistance that Maize "is what we've always grown". Which is untrue. Maize was only introduced into the area a few hundred years ago. Before that the traditional local crop was - Millet. It's human nature to create orthodoxy and literalism out of no evidence and then live and die by that - in exactly the same way as the story you told years ago about being stung crossing the river. Because it is my nature, was the answer.

    Change your nature. Can humans do that? Read your own proof just above this post. Does that change your orthodoxy? Nope. Because all the things are like learning to play the piano. You only get good at it by practicing. Never mind.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    As always, Wolf, a great post, thanks.
    Charlotte, Harriet is back in the nest area 7/30/18. She looks healthy and ready for a new season. Now, can M15 be far behind?
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018 edited
     
    He showed up the other day too. They were off in 'yonder pond' together.

    they have camera 3 up and running - at least part of the time.

    The interview went OK I think. She needs to get confirmation from the doctor of the diagnosis. That ought to be fun. She says the VA is not good at it.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    Charlotte - How was the meeting with the social worker today? Hopefully it went well....
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    I was answering as you were posting the question. She did give me the name of a place in Pasco so will call them tomorrow to see if I can take a tour. He was not too happy with the whole thing - the questions he couldn't answer, etc. Early on he asked if I was going to get rid of him. I reminded him when he was diagnosed you promised I would not let what happened to his mom happen to me. Of course he didn't remember which I knew he wouldn't. I have 45 day with this evaluation to place him according to her (which I guess means he meets the criteria), then another evaluation would need to be done.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    It sounds like it went well. But so hard for both of you.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    Hi Charlotte, I hope you will be able to move on with the placement decision, and finding a place you're comfortable with. I almost wish dh was at that point. He's just enough with it to be aware, but not enough to be able to understand. We've had a leak from the shower, that we paid to have fixed twice. But the day we were ready to put the new floor down, there it was again. Since we had company last week, it was yesterday that the plumber came out. Long story short, it isn't a leak that can be fixed, evidently the shower was never waterproofed properly when the place was built, so the water is coming through the tiles and grout, showing up on the other side. Plumber said it should be done right, which means tearing out the entire shower top to bottom and redoing it. I've been looking for other alternatives. Although yesterday dh heard everything and appeared ok with it, the plumber is recommending someone who can come give us a quote and different options. Today, he is off on his -- I'm spending every penny we have on this place -- won't even begin to list everything. Is so frustrating, there are a few things that have to be done, in fact we already have most of the materials -- will probably have to pay for labor - which is a knock down drag out fight every time. I resent the way he accuses me of things, even though I know he knew - and has forgotten - over and over again, it still hurts me. I feel guilty about just going over him to get things done, but so much has been let go because he always insisted he could do it if I'd just get out of his way. I feel like it I could just send him away for a couple of weeks, I could get the necessary things done. Even if he realized the change he wouldn't be aware of the cost. We have to get a couple of things done before winter -- it isn't a matter of just wanting it, it's a matter of being able to stay warm and keeping our pipes from freezing again. We removed the outside walls a year ago, re-insulated, and was good for one year, then last winter we had record cold so froze again. We need to add heat tape, which isn't hard -- but you either have to remove the outside wall, or cut the back of the cabinets out to get to the pipes. It's a no-win situation with him. He doesn't understand, can't do it but won't agree to anything and I can't just go ahead and call a professional without taking the short end of the stick from him. He isn't violent but can "beat you up" with words and actions. Makes for a miserable life. What makes sense to him one day - is totally off the all the next. Keeps me in a constant state of frustration/stress. Honestly I could write pages on how our days go - you might say he should be placed, the doctor has mentioned it if he becomes more than passive/aggressive, but it's not something you can just do. I feel like we are in limbo, not bad enough to be placed, not good enough to be at home. Understands enough but can't rationalize enough to be competent. But can still be scathing with words.

    On the plus side, the heat wave has changed to cooler weather and we had a good rain today. Hay that was selling for $30 a bale last year is $100 a bale this year, and will go higher by winter. We have lots of good pasture, but the drought has really cost us, if we can get more rain we might get by but it's just something else to worry about. So now, I'll stop and try and show him how to work the remote, that is a never ending battle, bad batteries, @#$% Direct TV and so on. Never can accept it's him, :(((
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    Have you considered getting a preformed bathtub/shower or just putting in a shower? That might be a lot easier and cheaper.

    Doesn't it work to leave the water running at night? Even though I have heat tape on the water hose outside, I still leave it running so pipes don't freeze that run to the faucets. Never ending battle fixing up things isn't it?
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    Charlotte - glad to hear things went well. Hopefully you will find a suitable place for him. Good luck.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    Charlotte, we only have a shower, however it's a very large shower with a bench around 2 sides. They used it for parties.....enough said. Too big for a preformed, it's possible they can cut the "marble" walls along the edges and reuse it but I think the tile floor will have to come up and be redone. Tonight I had the idea to use some silicone sealant around the edges in hopes that might help but when I got down on the floor and checked, I could see it had already been done. Can't be seen standing up but I could see where in one corner where the bench meets you can put a fingernail underneath it and one good pull and the entire thing could be pulled out. We've had it "repaired" twice but this time the plumber put covered the drain and let the shower run with some red food coloring in it, after it was about an inch deep it started coming under the wall. Searching the internet for solutions and it seems to be a common problem. Guess we'll have to wait till the other guy comes out and takes a look.


    we have heat tape in the pipes in the barn - why they didn't put it on these I don't know. Yes, leaving the faucet dripping does help, however, dh thinks a drip is a flow - and wants every faucet running day and night. If I just let it run it will drain the pressure tank and pull on the well. We went through that last winter and don't want to do it again. Same with the water trough in the pasture, if I know he's running the water I set a timer, otherwise he forgets about it almost instantly. Went through that more times than I like. We have year round water in the creek but it's been such a dry year, there are only a few small pools where the springs are.

    Let us know how your placement decision proceeds.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 7th 2018
     
    I totally understand with a well. I remember times growing up when tank getting a vapor lock I think is what my dad called. Boy, would he get ticked when that would happen.

    When my sister had an addition put on a few years ago, the shower leaked running through the light fixture underneath. Turns out it had to do with they did not seal the slate in the shower. Weird that is would leak like it did but I think when standing in there the floor would sink hair causing the drain the rise. Why would someone put something in the shower that needs to be sealed because it is so porous?
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2018
     
    oakridge, my sympathy for housing repair issues. My brother has been in house for a few years and it is constant construction work. Every time they have some work on the house they find additional problems that need to be fixed. So much of the work done on the house by previous owners was clearly done illegally and improperly. When they first moved in they had interior walls fixed and the contractor said to not paint inside the house until the exterior walls were replaced but they suspected they might find rotted wood.

    Yes, having someone with dementia in the house makes everything more complicated.
    • CommentAuthorNicky
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2018
     
    Rodstar, we haven't heard from you in a while. How are you doing?
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2018
     
    So he is approved for Medicaid, just needs to write up a care plan. She needed a doctor saying he has Alzheimer's Disease, so I sent her his VA records for the last year. We have been emailing this morning with me explaining some of what the social worker has written about day care. She said I did a great job of being well prepared for the whole Medicaid process. Now to find a place and then deal with placing him. I have 45 days on this approval then he would need to be re-evaluated and I assume finances rechecked.

    Tomorrow I go to look at Tri-cities Retirement Inn run by JEA Senior Living. I can only find 2 reviews by clients, but plenty from former employees most in TN. Anyone have experience with that group?

    Today is forecast 108, tomorrow 112, Friday 108 then down to 88, then back up in the high 90s to 105. Not looking forward to it. The hot weather has stayed around longer than normal. Even though the humidity is low the dew point is around 50 so feels hotter than it is.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2018
     
    That's very good and very stressful news. I would try to remind myself that stress is almost certainly in the red zone whatever it seems like. There's time to think about all this later. I hope you find a place that seems OK to you.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeAug 8th 2018
     
    I agree with Wolf, Charlotte. Even though you have waited this day, still stress. I really hope you find a place. I did a little looking earlier this year and stopped at a place I had never noticed before on the way to the dentist. I was amazed how nice it was. I wouldn't mind living there. Seriously. I hope you find one like that.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2018
     
    Meanwhile, back in the shower:) I did go in and removed all the old caulk and the cracks in the mortar were quite visible. Only had white silicone, but went ahead and really smeared it on in hopes it would not only cover the cracks but keep it from leaking out around it. Doesn't look great but will try tonight. We live in a county that has no building regulations, which is what we wanted since the regulations in town had gotten to be so unreasonable. It has good and bad consequences. I have learned a lot about tile and grout, much of the fancy tile people are using today is quite porous. We haven't heard anything from the guy who was recommended to do the work, but if the new caulk works right now, I'm going to say good enough, for now.

    Which brings me to another subject, intimacy with a spouse with dementia. I studied Proverbs this morning - and then went to the internet to read what others say. Nothing we didn't already know, and truthfully, none apply to my situation. The substance was that you should accept a "good enough" marriage. Also gave the impression older people shouldn't put so much emphasis on sexual relations, just be content with holding hands. Wonder if they will feel the same way when they are senior citizens. So right now, I'm stuck in a "good enough" position with my life, LOL. Nothing seems to resolve the problems, and there seems to be no good answers. As I've said over and over, dh is aware enough to look competent to others, but too far gone to actually be aware. So puts me in a position of sounding like a controlling Bi--h......but if I let him talk to workers he gets things terribly confused and isn't able to make decisions - even when talking to others. I feel damned if I do and damned if I don't.

    Hang in there Charlotte, once you have some decisions, I'm sure you will feel a huge load of stress lifted from your shoulders. It might not be a perfect arrangement - but as the "experts" say, accept good enough, LOL. Seriously, I hope you find what you need and the doctors are on the ball to do their part to make it possible.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2018
     
    Intimacy with spouse: has not been there for 10-15 years. He was in his 40s when he started having ED problems and refused to go to the doctor. I took the blame because I was not thin and voluptuous. I did get him to go to the doctor who gave him viagra but it did not help. I blamed myself more because he would get an erection but as soon as he touched me it went down. The last ten years there has been no intimacy - the hand holding and kissing slowly disappeared. I reacted to his not wanting to hold hands by not hugging. So now we do none of it except now he has started kissing me as he goes to the bus.

    I agree it is highly overrated. Was talking to a guy when he brought hb home (probably in his 50s). He has a girlfriend that is real nice when she is not drunk but when she is does a 180. But, she flashes he nude body and he can't resist - a man needs his sex. I was silently laughing inside wanting to say there is more to life than sex, but that is what TV, movies and music make one think sex is the answer.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2018
     
    Well, it isn't the end of the world, but a lot more enjoyable than holding hands, LOL.
    • CommentAuthorSedgly
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2018
     
    Oh Oakridge, did you really find it to say "good enough" ? I hate being a settler...intimacy is a funny thing.. I miss it terribly but my same age, now ex sister-in-law who I'm still close to was done with it eight years ago.....

    And this»»»»As I've said over and over, dh is aware enough to look competent to others, but too far gone to actually be aware. So puts me in a position of sounding like a controlling Bi--h......but if I let him talk to workers he gets things terribly confused and isn't able to make decisions - even when talking to others. I feel damned if I do and damned if I don't. ««« I could have easily written myself..

    I just started blatantly saying don't listen to anything he says, you'll find my name on the check while laughing... and now, it's the norm....

    A thought for the shower... if you goop the caulk on and get it to seal so it's functional .. they make a nice roll of plastic bathroom trim to use on the outsides of tubs where it meets the floor to keep water out.. I used it in the little house a few years back.. you just peel and stick and it sticks well but can easily tear off... comes in a 90 degree set up ..variety of widths/colors, it might pretty it up if it's gloppy.... we've had no problems using it for inside tub trim there.....
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2018
     
    Did the tour today. Found out the place is owned by the same company that runs the memory care where the monthly support group meets. The woman came up with an idea today I had not thought about. If he is not a flight risk, he could possibly go in assisted living until he needs the secure facility. Assisted living would probably have an opening sooner. I have no idea if he would try to escape/take off. It was sad because all the people in memory care appear to be further along than him and older - like 80s, but we all know looks can be deceiving. He would have to share a room. It is a small memory care - probably 6 men to 14-18 women? It appears to be a nice place, clean, no odors, etc. I made the appointment online with their corp office in Vancouver, WA - they had no idea I was coming. :-) My first choice is still Guardian Angels but he is still #5. Of course, we all know that can change fast - they call #1 who has already placed their loved one, so had 2 and 3, so he is then #2.

    I have concluded I do not look 65. Again today, they assumed I was looking for a place for my mom or dad, not husband.

    So I was sitting here thinking of how far along all those in the memory care section appeared to be wondering do I really want to put him there now? I have to remember many at day care are like that too. Still praying for Guardian Angels. I don't think the place I was at today has a Medicaid bed right now anyway.

    was forecast 110 today, currently 97 but feels like 104, but unless it really heats up later, which can happen, it won't make it. We usually hit our high around 5, so there is still time (only 2:30).
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2018
     
    No Sedgly, I haven't said - good enough. I miss it, I miss the fun of sex, the closeness, looking forward to it....but that's gone. I have had some recommendations, none of which I'm comfortable with at this point. I'll be 76 in November and people seem to think a sex life would/should be long in the past. Not so -- was not too many years ago things were better but danged doctors........ I think some doctors are embarrassed to even have you bring it up.

    Right now, I don't like this feeling of being more like roommates - but can't quite bring myself to accept the suggestions. I'm from a different generation I guess. You know what's really bad for me?? Maybe seems silly, but I absolutely hate to be put in a position of being his Mother. I'm his wife. How can you be a wife, when you're busy being a Mother? It changes the dynamics. Will I ever enjoy being a wife again in this lifetime? Probably not much chance of it.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2018
     
    Will add this note. A few months ago we were walking into a store, holding hands as we've always done. A woman coming out, stopped and said -- "still holding hands, after all these years. I was never able to find that". Been a lot of good years, so -- maybe it isn't all bad.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeAug 9th 2018
     
    I hate playing mother too. I have missed being his wife - been years, seems like decades. A few years ago we had nice discussions going here on sex toys some were using since their husband could no longer perform. So, yes, most of us miss it in one way or another.

    A yes, the prevailing belief is if you are over 60 enjoying sex is of the past or sinful - that is unless you are a man, especially a man who marries a woman 20,30, 40, etc years younger.
    • CommentAuthorRona
    • CommentTimeAug 10th 2018
     
    Charlotte I remember placing my mother in law, then convincing my fil to go into assisted living in the same place. He however was already fairly well along with alz so he didn’t last long. The guidelines were they had to be able to take care of themselves ie know what to do if the fire alarm went, be able to handle their own meds. Don’t know if it would be different where you are but if that is the case would he qualify?

    Oakridge I know the feeling but believe me it is never too late do not give up hope you never know. I am 68 never envisioned having a new wonderful relationship but have found a partner and could not be happier with that side of my life. 75 you are not 76 yet and that is not old don’t give up dream about it dreams sometimes have a way of coming true. The glass is half full not half empty. Feel like I am preaching here hang in there.