|Image by Musin Yohan|
Tomorrow holds bleak promise,
but that of darker days ahead.
Storm gathers up its tricks,
You are the burden that I carry,
tote on heavy laden shoulder,
shoulder well leant upon.
I am weary of it all.
Of late I’ve wished you dead.
I shall dream of Medusa, gaze on her.
What better than a heart as cold as stone
no longer beating to your rhythm.
I could be no more petrified than I am.
My handsome one was diagnosed with young-onset vascular dementia while in his early forties, some thirteen years ago. He is in a sense lucky as his dementia presents as apathy and he sleeps perhaps eighteen-nineteen hours out of twenty-four. He could not exist alone and requires prompting for most of his daily living needs. Without prompts he would never wash, shave (he has a beard and it would be down to his knees) or change his clothing. He would eat!
He is never unhappy and it is probable he is more content (he was a worrier) than he was prior to dementia.
His happy apathy has been a blessing in another way, in that I know he is safe when I go to work – I do not have to worry about him ‘wandering’ when I am away from home. I need to work to pay the bills, the biggest being the mortgage.
A recent event has changed everything, an event that could have led to his death and indeed mine if I had been at home. After much angst I have sorted the problem out, removed its potential of harm.
But I know and have known since last November that his decline is accelerating and there will come a time when he will not be safe at all if left alone. But the need for me to work will still exist. In today’s depressed market it is unrealistic to consider down-sizing, and if indeed this were possible, the upheaval and the ‘strangeness’ of a new home would accelerate his decline even further.
So the need to ‘put him in a home’ – a place of safety -sometime in the future, possibly the near future is the only option available.
This is something I have been aware of since not long after his diagnosis. It is something I do not want. How could I hurt him like that? How could I forgive myself?
The stigma of dementia hangs heavy on all those involved. You find out who your real friends are – it appears my husband had none… even close family members, (handsome one’s)siblings back off and you become more isolated…
Dementia is a terminal illness, of that there is no doubt and it devastates all it touches. I do not want my handsome one to go into a home – I would rather he die first; die before he becomes a stranger to me and I to him.
I went to sleep yesterday hoping he would be dead when I woke up. If you are not in the same position as me, you will not understand this. I do not want his mind to die before his body does. It is not a selfish thing; I want him to die now while his personality still exists, I want him to die because I love him.