I have been tossing and turning lately at night feeling like I just cannot sleep. No matter which way I adjust my pillows I find no comfort. My legs always feel heavy and swollen at night and just a little sip of water makes me feel like a whale. I don’t know whether to keep taking the blood pressure medicine I have been taking, and wonder if the water pills are working. I feel so out of sorts and lonely; tired and afraid. I am afflicted and feel like I am just waiting…waiting…., because eventually I will be no more.
If I could have pictured my life before this time, this would never have been the vision I would have had for myself. I undoubtedly would have envisioned myself as being strong, healthy, full of energy, probably preaching and teaching the Word, laying hands on the sick and really doing something great. I would have seen myself happy and full of joy doing whatever the LORD put into my heart to do. Oh my GOD how things are not the way I envisioned my life to be.
But now, I sit at home with a restless, dulled heart, grieving that one day even though I do not know when, my time on earth will not be. I ache, I pain, in many ways yet wonder how can I change things for the better. I sit and watch my husband as well and wait for him not to exist anymore, because his dementia is getting worse and worse. Then I think about myself and I ask is this what depression is, when one sees only bleakness and hold their breath because they don’t know what is to come or going to happen next.
Take deep breaths I tell myself, to slow down my heart beat from anxiety. I look at my husband stare off into space for hours, apart from shuttling back and forth to the bathroom whether he need to relieve himself or not; because his mind tells him that is what he must do so that he does not pee on himself. He washes his hands over and over saying I don’t want my hands to be dirty. He also sprays cologne on his body and clothing so much that it makes me nauseous. But he will not wash his body or change his underwear which has been compromised and his breath smells abysmal. I hate seeing my husband like this, disheveled, discombobulated, and having no sense of awareness.
I make him rinse with Listerine and when I am not overwhelmed with despair I can sometimes get him to change his clothing; nevertheless, that is a chore. My husband and I have been married forty-four years, but in all those years we have never seen each other’s entire body naked to the T. Call it shyness, prudish, or what ever you will, it just never happened. Sex happened for thirty-something years, but always in the dark.
The only reason I mention this now is because I don’t have a caretaker for my husband and he still is prudish and does not want me to see his naked body and I cannot say that I would be thrilled about it either. So, what do I do, and will I do with cleaning him? I have a friend whose wife is in the later stages of Alzheimer and he keeps telling me I hate to tell you but it will get worse. His wife now wears adult pampers and she fights like crazy to keep water away from her body. I do not know what to do especially with a man who has not much memory but still has a lot of pride and does not want me to see him even in his underwear.
Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is like no other disease because it breaks the spirit of those it attacks as well as those acting as caretakers leaving them in deep wonderment. Although I wait and I watch it is not in me to totally give up. I have to pull myself out of the depths of despair and rely on the LORD.
Jesus once told me when everything looked totally bad in my life and there was nothing for me to hold on to, I had to cling to the truth of him and what he represented and I would see the light. For the truth of Jesus Christ would be my shield and buckler. What is the truth of You dear LORD I asked, he said it is the truth of all that you have learned of me.
I truly am holding on to the truth dear LORD. Even though sometimes I feel like I am about to faint I believe you will revive me.