Sometimes I wonder if I’m “losing it”. Losing my edge, my ability to interact, to relate, to see outsie my world? Am I becoming myopic? Am I becoming one-dimensional? Am I boring? Am I relevant? Am I old? Have I lost my identity?
Living with a person afflicted with dementia causes one to exist on a precipice emotionally/mentally. I am drawn into his world of “good days and bad days”….or good moments/bad moments. A world which gets smaller and smaller as days go by. I may wake up and unconsciously expect recognition, recall, or rationality; instead I usually find the polar opposite, poor recognition of surroundings, little recall of the previous day or how to get dressed, requiring coaching and instruction to accomplish the morning bathroom routine or to get into the kitchen for breakfast. It’s nothing for the walk from bedroom to kitchen to take 10 – 15 minutes.
Because dementia causes a gradual decline in status, only temporarily improved by medication, there are slippery slopes alternating with plateaus. About the time I find myself having adjusted to the current plateau, another “slide” begins, and I must rethink my life, change routines, expect less and do ever more.
I have learned to anticipate –, potential falls, bathroom stops, hunger, a hearing-aid battery going dead, needed items – often offering words which cannot be recalled. I have immersed myself in giving life to another and submitting - however unwillingly at times - to the dementia and all it's implications.
How much is not being able to talk with someone a factor in feeling sane? The doctor talked about T’s inability to hear before we got his hearing aid and described that hearing loss as “sensory deprivation”. Can significant lack of conversation cause or be type of sensory deprivation?
Of course, this is not all my "wondering". But all I have time to talk about for now.