Thursday, January 24, 2008

It's going to be OK

I return to work next week after being on Family Medical Leave for the past 3 months. I'm looking forward to the intellectual stimulation and challenges.

My batteries are recharged at this point, but I'm anxious about burning out again given H's chronic health issues, his dementia and the craziness that it brings, and my own stamina. The sad thing is that I'll likely need to go on leave again at some point in the future, soon I think.

H sleeps a lot these days and I can't imagine what it would be like to only see the world in a few hours a day and to be stuck at home most of the time. He's been sleeping more (!) recently and is literally only up 2 - 3 hours a day from being up 4 - 6 hours a day. He notices it…that's a big percentage change for him.

I've become more concerned about his dementia as I've spent more time with him the last few months. Some very strange conversations…such as the neighbor is scheming to create an issue with our joint property line (unlikely), but that it's a big deal and needs to be urgently addressed (not so much). Then he suddenly tells me that there isn't an issue at all, that he made it up…he thinks...but maybe there's and issue...I've never trusted (our neighbor) anyway.

OK, time to put on my patience hat. But I didn't...I'm still tyring to find it.

While I won't repeat what I said, I did tell him two things: I'm having a hard time believing what he says anymore and that I'll take care of the whatever issue may come up and that it will be OK.

"Do you trust me to take care of it?" "Yes."

In retrospect, he was genuinely afraid that there would be a problem. I could see it in his face. There was so much drama about the issue…he's always been kinda high drama, but there's little modulation on it now. It comes across as abject terror.

Only when I told him that I will take care of it and it will be OK did he calm down. He so needs me to help him, especially with his worries. How sad that my once so very brave man is now so afraid.

I need to tell myself that it's going to be OK more as well. Well, it's not OK that he is going to die, but it will be OK for me after he is gone.

But for now, the only thing that I can change is how I react to what is happening.

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