Monday, September 18, 2023

I Don't Know How Much Longer I Can Take This....

 Pam had a pretty good nights sleep last night.  She got up to go potty one time and immediately went back to sleep.  She woke up about 9:30 this morning.  After she brushed her teeth and washed her face, she came out of the bathroom into the hall.  I met her there.  I got my morning hug!  Then I took her hand and led her down the hall to the recliner in the living room.  I said that if she were hungry, I would get her breakfast.  She settled on Honey Bunch of Oats with Almonds.  I watched her as she ate her cereal.  Her left arm was shaking with tremors and the milk was rising to the edge of the bowl.  She was scooping up the cereal with her right hand which was also shaking, but not as much.  She successfully finished the cereal and I took the bowl and put it in the kitchen sink. 

 One slipper was on the floor in front of her, but the second was among the missing.  I checked the bedroom and there it was in front of her night stand.  Apparently, she walked down the hall last night with only one slipper on and never noticed.  I grabbed her slipper and the cup with her morning meds and brought them to her in the living room.   A short time later she began taking her nine morning pills.  I went to clean up the kitchen for about ten minutes.  When I returned to check on her she was sitting with her left palm cupped with three pills in it.  I looked at her face and she was staring off into space.  I looked in her eyes.  There was nothing there.  She was not looking at anything or thinking about anything.  It was as if she were having an absence seizure.  Her brain was momentarily disconnected from reality.  The tears began running down my cheeks.  I just can't stand to see this happening to her.  I just don't know how much longer I can take this!

I fear (or is it hope) that she is entering Stage 6 (of 7) on this journey.  For all intents and purposes this disease has already taken her life.  It's just that her heart is still beating.  Am I supposed to feel guilty that I hope some other ailment stops that heart?  Because I don't. The person that I have been married to for over fifty years is not here any more.  The mother of our daughters and the grandmother (Gmom) of our grandsons is not here any more.  It is so painful to think of that and to see her struggle.  When she had those pills cupped in her hand, I rubbed a finger on her palm.  All I could do was shake my head in sorrow.  Her eyes shifted to look into mine. She saw me shake my head and she returned the gesture.  She knows what is happening and that is one of the most painful thoughts.  I can't stop the tears.  Even as I write this, I have to stop and dry my eyes.  This is torturing me.

May be an image of 5 people and lutefisk

On the good side, this past week was another Sista's Luncheon.  I made our traditional Thanksgiving dinner and it was a big hit.  I topped of the meal with molten lava cake with some vanilla bean ice cream.  After dinner, Pam and her older sister started talking about high school classmates.  So I went into the den and grabbed two of their yearbooks.  It turned out to be a wonderful idea.  They spent the next two hours reminiscing about their high school  days.  Pam stayed alert and active that whole time.  This broke up her pattern of sleeping all night and then most of the day too.    I hope that she can stay awake on Friday so she can watch her grandson play starting right guard for Central High School.  He would like that.  


  1. Such a difficult disease, you should feel no guilt. You are inspiring the way you have continued to care for's a true testament to your love for each other

  2. I have a small inkling of what you're going through. In 2018 a dear friend of mine had a TBI in FL where he lives. His wife brought him to Boston for several months for treatment. His smiles, his voice, and tonal inflections are the same. But he's not there. He lost control of his legs and some other movement. I saw him every week while he was in Boston. He'd introduce met to other patients with the wrong name. Lost most of his memory and even short term is gone. Always cheery ... but not there. During a lucid moment of one visit he looked at me with his former eyes and said "Richard, don't forget me." I haven't and never will and that moment haunts me. We've visited him in FL several times since he returned home and he declines a bit each time.

    Acknowledge that you've done an amazing job caring for her already. Accept that Pam is not the person you shared most of your life with and provide the care she needs for her stage without guilt even when that care is no longer in your home.

  3. Sending you love and understanding, my dear Cousin.