Seems like just yesterday I missed the Perseid meteor shower, that I started reading Aldous Huxley's After many a summer dies the swan, but am still on chapter two, the book at the bottom of my tote bag, along with some sand and seaweed, still unpacked from a week at the ocean end of June, beginning of July.
This past week, without the regular routine of taking my husband to the Adult Day Care Center, driving to the hospital instead of working out at the YMCA, packing an odd assortment of food then hoping there will be a leftover turkey on rye in the hospital refrigerator; I've neither gained nor lost weight. I'm definitely sleeping more and better. Everyone tells me to take care of myself and yet I cannot really relax or feel okay.
Trying to relay what information I'm given regarding my husband to family members has been exhausting. His side of the family still doesn't believe he has Alzheimer's. Between 2 weeks in Cape Cod and deluxe camping near the Delaware Water Gap, one of his daughters visited and criticized everything. I'm too tired to give details; suffice it to say she made things worse, then left.
Sometime before this hospital business, I half sold/half bartered my 1990 Mazda Miata to a local landscaper with two sons. His younger son is severely disabled, but he wanted to rebuild the car with his 15 year old son to race it in some Miata thing I'd never heard of before. Still feel really good about that decision. I filled out the title wrong and the two of us had to go to the Motor Vehicle Commission together, where weirdly I ran into our attorney.
I visit my husband every day; I talk to his nurses; I talk with his "spotters" who sit outside his room when he tries to wander, despite alarms on his bed and chair. His diet has been changed three times. If I'm there, I help him eat and encourage fluids. I finally got a TV guide, finding the C.A.R.E. station, which is basically scenes of nature and soothing music. Today, I threw out everything his daughter brought, telling me he needs more stimulation. Word puzzles, a complex Aztec-inspired thing to color, "organic bottled water", etc.
I'm trying really hard to be compassionate but today when I arrived after a brief BBQ for Labor Day at my daughter's, his daughter told me she had him walking the halls (he's already on meds to prevent blood clots) and that I should do the same. I thanked her, then talked with the skeletal crew of nurses. Doctor's orders have been very clear the entire time that he was to be on bed rest or seated in chair with alarm, plus nurse's assistance using bathroom. I used my fury to foam wash his hair and adjust his sheets.
As he drifted off, I spoke with everyone on shift, including a young resident who knew more about the time of surgery than I did. Before all of this, he got another room mate, also an Alzheimer's patient, who was being given Holy Communion as my step daughter was leaving. When I heard the familiar prayer, I told her to stop talking. She had NO IDEA what was going on, a thin green-striped curtain away. Before I left, I told the room mate's distraught adult daughter all that I had learned to ask for, to comfort her father.
God forgive me for any sins I've committed, in my bluntness, my attempts to advocate for my husband, and in writing this, I already know I'm forgiven, even though I feel so inept, inadequate, and awkward. The God I feel moving through my life is far more forgiving than I am of myself.