Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Acceptance

Strange, but true…I am, for the first time, feeling peace with where H is and what is happening. Now, that doesn't mean I like it, because I most certainly do not.

Happily, I no longer get angry (or as angry) at H for his incoherent questions, his general lack of ability to accomplish anything, or his need for my help in almost every area of his life. These days, I have caught myself trying to be helpful, to anticipate his needs and to do so willingly and whole-heartedly, even cheerfully.

I'm relieved that I'm finally feeling gentle towards him again…been a long time, too long.

As I recounted in my last post, I recently pressed on finding the parrot a new home and getting a viral load test during his anti-viral medication holiday. Both of these topics made him very angry and remarkably coherent for several minutes, which is a rarity. The net of it is that he doesn't want to know what is viral load is doing, doesn't want to re-start the anti-viral meds, and doesn't want to work on finding a home for the parrot.

Seems that all he wants to do is spend time with his bird and with me. And sleep.

Last night, I was talking with H about how much he's sleeping these days (18 - 20+ hours a day) and that I've noticed this increasing the past few months. Again, I got one of the most coherent answers I've heard in a long time: "Well, I've just given up. I can't do anything. I feel sick all the time. I'm in a lot of pain. I don't have a brain anymore. I'm tired of fighting this. I just don't want to be here anymore."

This is the most honest answer I've heard from him in a long while; usually, it's about how he will get better…"when I get better, I'll do ," or, "when I'm on my med holiday, I'll…".

And without taking his anti-viral meds, he will die. Simple…they are the only reason he is alive today. We'll see if he really doesn't want to restart his meds when it is time to do so (it may already be). But, for now, I'll support him in his decision, even if it means he will die. Truth be told, his life is no better if he takes the meds; in fact, he'll just feel sicker from the "chemotherapy."

And while what is happening is sad, I am relieved that both of us are arriving at some kind of acceptance, albeit by very different paths.

1 comment:

Y | O | Y said...

H is on a tough road, and sadly you are along for the ride.

It is so sad to hear them reach out of the dementia to acknowledge their plight and wish to die. Heartbreaking.