15 Mar 2017

"I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, noone said a word about the sorrow".

 Well it's been a while since I last blogged I know, but in my defence it's been a bit of a task to do anything other than work and work and work.  Then a couple of bad illnesses and the overall lethargy from my usual middle aged malaise.
Since the last time I blogged there have been several things happen that have made a sea change in my life.
The first was that two people whom I thought of as friends turned out not to be so. They spent the time we worked together being underhand towards me, it turned out.
The other was that my zombie landlord's elderly mother died after a long decent into increasingly dibilitating dementia. 
This was particularly harrowing for all concerned as dementia is no laughing matter let me tell you.  Anyone who says it is has obviously not gone through the ringer with it like we did.
Watching on helplessly as someone you care for deteriorate is gut wrenchingly soul destroying.  I likened it to being unable to swim as someone is drowning, they break the surface of the water for less and less time until eventually  they can no longer surface and you can't reach them.
By the end I think my zombie landlord and I were beginning to lose our marbles ourselves, for want of a better term. The almost constant  disturbances of calling for long dead relatives every couple of minutes and verbal and physical abuse from the sufferer.  The constantly asking for food even though she had a tray of it in front of her, forever asking to go home to her house around the corner, never believing this was her house and these were her belongings. The days when she'd constantly be crying or violently shouting abuse with angry frustration at all concerned.
It was almost a 24 hour a day task for all involved, lack of sleep and indigestion from rushed or disturbed meals can take it out of you.
You may say "Well just get the NHS or someone to help"  That's a laugh to be brutal.
 Some help was offered and given but the people that were suposed to sit with her to give Zombie landlord a break wouldn't stay for the whole hour often buggering off after 5 to 10 minutes or not even engaging with her in conversation.  How can you get a break not knowing if they would be providing care for the woman when he returned?  I would often sit in whilst he went to the shops or wandered around the town for a bit just so he could have a break, but he could never truly disengage and enjoy himself as he was always worrying about her treatment of others or whether she'd fallen or tried to burn the house down. I returned from work years ago before the diagnosis to find she was cleaning the kitchen with 4 unlit gas taps fully opened up and the kitchen filling with gas.
Even at the day care centre they would send her home unannounced if she was too disruptive rather than 'care' as the name would suggest.
For a long long time it was just me and ZL against the world, and when you're in the middle of it there's no inkling of a light at the end of the tunnel not even some fucker with a torch. I could have moved out at any point and thereby ending the pain but that would have meant leaving a friend to face that alone and I don't do that,you always help your friends.
The previous text can in no way convey the entirety of the suffering on all sides and I can't remember half the things that happened, mainly by choice. 
I told ZL that I'd remember her as the smiling old lady who would virtually meet me at the gate more often than not kettle in hand asking "Cup of tea?" I nicknamed her the tea monster and that's whom I chose to remember.
The mind is a terrible thing to lose because along with it goes your humanity and it basically puts up a barrier between you and your loved ones and should never be taken for granted.  Excercise your mind it's your only one.

2 comments:

John said...

Two months since your post, so I'm late to the party. I still come round here now and again, as I remember other times ...

I'm really sorry for what you've had to go through. My partner and I have been through the same sort of experience - more than once now.

Live now ...

Mike said...

I wouldn't worry about being late to the party, it took me a whole year to write that post. Thanks for the kind words.