Friday, October 12, 2007

Stepping off the edge

I met with H's doctor a few hours ago to discuss how I can't care for H anymore. It felt surreal to go to H's doctor's office without H.

"I agree," Dr. said, "I was there a year ago. He's pretty demented and we need to make certain he doesn't hurt himself."

"Thank you," I said. "I just can't do it anymore. My health is suffering, my job performance is bad, I'm an emotional wreck most of the time."

He said, "I've seen this with my other patients, straight, gay, whatever, doesn't matter. Most spouses can only last a few years once someone starts slipping into dementia. You go from partner to sort of a guardian and it's exhausting and stressful to watch someone you love decline…not to mention that the sick person needs more care than the partner can provide."

"Yea, and what's bizarre is that H still thinks that I am his partner…."

"He has no idea anymore," Dr. said.

"When H and I have talked about him going to awhile ago, he said, 'You just want to divorce me.' No, I’m doing this because I love him," I say with tears in my eyes.

"Of course you do…I've known you guys for over 6 years now and I know that. What did you have in mind?"

I explained that I was looking to get H into a facility that specializes in HIV & dementia. But I was worried because H keeps telling me that he's not sick enough.

"He is though," Dr. said. "Usually, people who are so demented don't think anything is wrong with them."

I also asked Dr. about supporting me taking a leave from work (he has to sign paperwork). "Yes, of course."

So, I have talked with the place to get the application process restarted (from 2005). Once some firmer dates are in place (they think maybe he can be admitted in 2 - 3 weeks!), I'll file the formal request for family leave, call his family as well, and (the hard one) talk with H about what is going to happen.

I spent the rest of the day walking through my favorite park to enjoy the Fall sunshine and leaf colors.


Elanor said...

just wanted to send you a hug, I really feel for you at the moment, take care...

Robert said...

Do you feel a sense of relief? along with pangs of guilt?

But you KNOW you're doing the right thing. A sick, exhausted, depressed, frustrated you is no good to H.

It's going to be an emotional few weeks... I wish you well