Tuesday, December 06, 2016

beginning again, beginning again

It's 29 degrees outside, with the threat of snow this week. The fireplace runs much of the time, and we snuggle on the sofa together in front of it after dinner, chatting easily. The Man rolls his eyes at me when I am silly.  There are a few Christmas decorations up, with a few more to come out of hiding. It's a quiet evening in our home.

So much has happened since November 2014 when I last posted... where to even begin, no idea, but a little at a time will suffice. Probably doesn't matter as folks will have given up on me coming back to this blog, but I will try again to have a level of consistency.

Yeah, so much has happened indeed. Both 2015 and 2016 were tough years for us. 2017 has potential to be more of the same... but don't ever believe that I will give up! There is still a bit of joy in each day and I eagerly watch for that small bit of sweetness to savor.

2015 saw me with major injuries, twice. Both times I managed to catch a foot on uneven sidewalk while out running. Both times I broke the fall with my face. (kids, don't try this at home...) Two broken noses, two broken pair of glasses, two concussions... 30 days apart.

First fall saw 9 stitches in my chin, where I split the skin all the way to bone. Really not fun to hear the doc in the Urgent Care saying, "oh, I see bone!" (yikes!!!)  The landing also cracked 2 ribs and messed up my jaw so badly they had to recheck 3 times over 3 weeks to see if it was broken. Thankfully it wasn't.

Second fall saw 5 stitches above my left eyebrow, with some permanent damage to the orbital nerve that still results in some killer headaches at times. The black eyes, both, were spectacular. The cast on my wrist, not fun. The fear of going back out to run... daunting.  Eventually I got over that fear.

So the first half of 2015 was spent recovering and healing. It was lonely and hard, and at the same time, there were some amazing folks God brought, who rallied round to keep me going.  Second half of 2015 was spent trying to regain my equilibrium, but really more battling depression. Eventually I began to come back to myself.

This year has been harder, as I watched a big decline in the Man's health. He became more physically frail, and could not remember how to do most normal things. Sparing all the details of this year, the long story short is that on August 3rd, 2016, we got an official diagnosis of dementia... most likely Alzheimer's.

wow... dementia... Alzheimer's... and he's only 66... dear God in heaven, how do we cope with this?

Yes, I saw it coming. But so much in me hoped that it would eventually turn out to be depression. With my history, we know how to manage depression. One can survive and live for a long time with depression.

Dementia is terminal.

Oh, I know many folks live with dementia for years. And he could. It just seems to move a bit fast already. And others are noticing that quickness.

I've loved this man for 30 years... I'm not done with him yet. Not by a long shot.

For now, I'm thankful that I've been doing my research. Finding resources that will help me as his only caregiver, and still allow me to be his wife. Determining that the medications are a very good fit for him and that he gets very good benefit from them, which allows him to be in better shape for a bit longer.  Learning how to cope with his losses of independence and ability. Loving him no matter what.

Because that's the most important part about all of this. Love.

Yes, at times, caregiving is hard. Loving him is never hard.

And that's my focus each day. To love the Man with all I am, making each day the best it can be for him.

So much more to say, but he needs me now. We have a routine and that part is critical for him to do well.

Love someone well today. It's important.

...may there be mercy and love each day...

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