Tuesday, November 1, 2011

This is the Way it Now is!

     Well the stoke now was more than a month ago. We went into the hospital for an uneventful overnight stay and had the carotid cleaned out and stents placed. Now it is just the day to day living.
     Not much has changed. Richard's memory is much the same. He remembers everyone. And most long term memories he still has. But there are some things he4 does not remember. The layout of our house seems to cause him a big problem. He has to be told each time which direction to turn when we are going out of the living room to the bathroom or to our bedroom. He doesn't go anywhere without me. He asks me to help him with everything. It is like he has forgotten how to do the simple things. Like fasten his pants, shave, brush his teeth. It is very interesting. I have taken care of many stroke patients over the past 28 years that I have been a nurse. But I have never taken one of them home with me.
     The first few days were really a struggle. For me....not for Richard. I kept thinking that we would wake up one morning and he would be normal again. We found that reading the paper was a real struggle. Doctor had warned us that his eyesight could come and go and not to try to see the Optometrist for at least 6 months. In the beginning, I read the paper to him each morning. But now he can read most of it himself. But by noon he cannot remember that he read it so he will read it again. And it is news to him all over again.
     His personality seems to have changed also. He is much more gentle with the kids. And kinder. And very touchy, feely with me. He wants me in the same room with him. And he always used to sleep with his back towards my back in bed and now he has to face me and TOUCH me. It is like he is afraid, but he does not know what he is afraid of. He faced death. But he does not know that. Or if he does, it is in his subconscious and he is not aware.
     I put up a piece paper each day with the month, date, day and year. He only has to look around to find it and then he knows what the date is. I help him with dressing and personal hygiene now. He does not go to the bathroom alone. I prepare all of his food for him. I give him his medication twice a day and again at bedtime. He does ask repeatedly if he has had his pills. He spends most of the day sitting in his recliner watching TV. It is sad. But he does seem happy.
    And this is our new life!


  1. Oh Paula, I took care of my mother for five years in my home so I have some idea of the life you are living. The details look different but the theme is the same. You just keep putting one foot in front of the other every single day. We are caregiver sisters under the skin. Glad to have found you.


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