For every dark night, there is a brighter day…
The last 7 days have been 7 days from hell. Martha became so affected by her alzheimers that I was no longer able to care for her safely and she was admitted into Auckland Hospitals Secure Unit for Older People. Work became over bearing and a real challenge, I made poor eating choices and I only managed to get to the gym once last week. My emotions have been so up and down that I am nauseas from the roller coaster ride and I am sure those closest to me have whiplash form my every changing moods.
The stresses of the past few days have passed and I have worked through a lot of damage that was being created inside my head. On many occasions over the past week I have been reminded that caring for Martha is similar to that of caring for a infant/small child. Not in a developmental way but in the way that at each moment something can happen that will reshape your world. I am still learning how to deal with Martha’s daily progression as alzheimers takes more and more of her. Of late Martha is confused about who family members are, she has no idea what city we live in and will open about 4 containers of yoghurt a day but does not finish any. It is frustrating and sad. My heart breaks every time something new happens, every time Martha doesn’t remember what a fridge is, or the name of her sister. This all weighs heavy on my heart and soul and when I think back over the last week I cut myself some slack and know that all that I have felt is valid for my situation.
But then the magic happens, in this very moment, as I lie in the comfort of someone else’s bed, and listen to nothing but fingers tapping on keyboards I am bathing in the knowledge that I am happy. The emotions I have had and the way I have been feeling as of late seem so far away it’s like I am a different person
Just 12 hours ago I was agitated and nervous and scared that I might have to start medicating my depression. It was just 24 hours ago that I was seething with anger; 48 hours ago that I was constantly thinking about the sweet embrace of death, and 62 hours ago that I was looking for a fight from anyone that dared get in my way.
But right now I feel renewed that I have found my equilibrium again. Martha is back in my care and we are managing a lot better. After being in our health system that is somewhat disempowering at times she has come back to me and wants to engage one-to-one, be physical and contribute to the household. It is so nice to be in this moment where for snippets of time Martha is my Mother.
It is nice to be cared for and looked after by friends. It is nice to be flooded by good news and know that I live in a community of generous people all willing to donate to a Good cause. I am reminded once again of the magic that alzheimers has bought to my life, of the love that so many people have for us, and for the amazing person I am and am becoming as Martha and I walk on this journey. Some days will be hard, sad and frustrating and somedays will be magic. I am prepared for that.
‘If you resist it’ll be cruel to you, if you let it in, it’ll be magic!’