We managed to get through another week of my husband attending an Adult Day Care Center, but not without numerous questions, asked over and over. I slept poorly all week, gave up coffee and red wine, basically shut down while he was there or when he napped after being there. Felt like I was hitting some kind of rock bottom, then just let it happen. Watched a lot of TV, cried, and felt like a loser. I put on an act, almost robotically cheerful, for meals and random encounters with people. I thought about selling our house, about selling off our belongings. This only made me feel worse about my ability to cope. I can say now I believe it was burnout, because of one special phone call.
Other phone calls during the week were drudgery and mildly productive. The wheels of the Alzheimer's world do not run smoothly. At the risk of using a different metaphor, I felt I had just plugged up one leak in the dam, only for two or three more to spout out stuff that was entirely overwhelming. All the while, my husband, when home, would ask what day it was or what he was supposed to do next. As patient as I am with him, it wears me down until I become impatient with myself for not being able to fix him, for not being able to fix everything that is broken in our small world. His relatives, mine, the chimney, the roof, the fucking fence, our younger son's brakes and tires. I suppose this is a stage in caregiving, as well as a stage in Alzheimer's.
I finally called his neurologist and after I explained what was going on, he suggested adding another medication, Namenda, which needs to be titrated. I have heard both good and bad things about this medication, but I really felt desperate. The doctor offered a free month sample, if I wanted to pick it up, a drive of 40 minutes roundtrip. I declined and had him call it in to the local pharmacy, since I needed a few groceries as well. Locomotion was playing as the pharmacist told me it probably wouldn't help. Thirty dollars co-pay instead of almost three hundred. " Everybody is doing a brand new dance now."
I gave him the first dose last night with dinner since common side effects included dizziness and drowsiness. It worked for two nights, then he woke me again at 5:30am, confused and asking if "today was a work day for him." I sobbed myself back to sleep for two hours, then got up and made coffee. I'm not saying I am totally okay, but I hate self pity more than I hate not living the best we can, no matter what the circumstances.