This is a difficult post to write. Since my husband has been recently diagnosed with dementia our life has changed. We will learn and adapt as we go but some major changes will have to be made.
Our home is one that requires us both to be able to help with its maintenance. It is really too much for me to manage on my own. It is time to move forward and find the right environment for both of us. This will be heart wrenching and particularly hard on my husband but we need to do it now and get settled for the future.
My aunt ( who was really quirky) always said that if you do all the things you CAN do at the moment then you can stop worrying. This is my plan. We will be taking one day at a time. There are still some medical issues to be resolved and the virus hasn’t helped getting those done but we will get there. God is with us.
There have been lots of ups and downs in our life together. This is just another down to get through and look forward to the next up. On the 9th of June we will have been married 58 years. A wonderful journey.
The other night I caught the edge of some news. They were talking about somewhere that a protest was being held. Not us, another country. The protesters came out into the street and just stood. No words, no movement, nothing. Apparently people were stunned and paying attention. It was novel. It was different. It was non-violent. It piqued curiosity and questions and notice. It reminded me of the protests of Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
All this violence, robbery and chaos does not do the same thing. I was reminded of these quotes.
Yesterday I had the oddest thought. As people begin going out as they want, many without wearing masks, it will be us elderly and the sick who will stand out. We will become the stigmatized group. We will stand out like a sore thumb. I doubt that we will be able to feel the slightest bit safe until there is a vaccine and that will be quite a while coming.
There will be a point where we have to continue to live our lives and know that there is a risk. That has been true for those in war torn countries forever. Going out of the door in the morning does not guarantee that they will be safe. It’s just that we have never suffered that experience since the long past flu epidemic.
So if you see us out with our masks until next year and see us obsessively washing our hands and safe distancing from people please don’t see us as lepers. We are just trying to survive.
Today has been a good day. I managed to get myself moving and got some things done. It felt good. I think that one of the problems with this isolation is that it seems to sap your energy. The temptation is there to stay in your pajamas all day.
We seem to be at that point where the desire to be “free” is making everyone fidgety. You just want to break out and live life as you remember it. Unfortunately, the state has reopened some businesses…hair salons, gyms and ??? tattoo parlors. It will be interesting to see what happens. I would be willing to bet we will see covid numbers rising. It is logical that beginning to loosen the restrictions should be a gradual thing otherwise there will be second round of problems.
I really hope that very soon there will be some treatments that prove valid even if we have to wait for a vaccine. Just knowing that there is treatment if sickness occurs would be wonderful.
In spite of the things I have been doing to keep myself intellectually stimulated and my mind awake I find myself dull. I guess like everyone else I just miss contact with others. Continue to stay safe.
There is no greater disaster in the spiritual life than to be immersed in unreality, for life is maintained and nourished in us by our vital relation with realities outside and above us.”C.S. Lewis.
Lewis is so right but not just about our spiritual life. Living in unreality is a disaster in every way. It touches us on every level. I impact our physical self. No matter our level of activity it is not the same as it was. Even how and what we eat has been impacted.
Our emotional/psychological life has been impacted. We can’t do the things we used to do. Our social interactions have been curtailed. Whether we are introverts or extroverts this is still a change. I am sure that everyone is feeling this distancing in some way. I used to be an extreme extrovert but in my latter years I am more in the middle. This change has affected me in many ways. I miss the touch of others, the face to face exchange of ideas, the fun of simple conversation. I am lonely.
Our spiritual life has most assuredly been impacted. In some ways mine has expanded in that I spend more quiet time and intense connection with God that I have in quite a while. There are not so many distractions. I miss the camaraderie of our church community in addition to the services themselves.
This time has created a different way of being. One that can either strengthen or break us. We have to maintain perspective. Though maybe months distant there will be a change. The view will be changed making us find a new path into the world as it emerges. We have the ability to blend into the new world around us and adapt and make it better.
Part of my nightly prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book: Night Prayer says:
The night heralds the dawn.Let us look expectantly to a new day,new joys,new possibilities.
I was not able to write last night. I was mentally and physically exhausted. It was a day to delete from memory.
It started out fine. I actually worked in the yard for a few hours. Took a shower, fixed lunch. It was then that I realized my husband was not all there. His conversation was totally disoriented. Having seen this once before I had an idea what was wrong. He is 82 and as we age if we get a urinary tract infection it can make us out of it. Sooo…I tried to get him to go with me to the local drop-in Dr. We have been there before with great success.
Unfortunately my sweet man had switched into Dr. Hyde. He had 4 insulin pens on his desk and was telling me they were wrong. He yelled at me when I tried to get him to go to the Dr. My son was at work and he can usually get him to listen but it didn’t work. I finally ended up calling EMS.
The two young men who came were really nice. They checked him over and agreed with me that UTI was the most likely culprit. They also felt that the drop-in doc would be great as we should stay away from the hospital with all the virus around. They also could not convince him to go. Then I had a AHA moment. He always listens to his primary physician and will do anything he says. His office was closed but I had him paged and he called back immediately. He told my husband to go with me….of course he listened to him and the paramedics went with me to get him in the car and off we went.
The Doc checked him out and he did have a UTI and now has the medicine and is even some better this morning.
Don’t want to relive yesterday but today is already better! YEA!
Today has been hard. The isolation has finally hit us both. My husband really wanted to go out for lunch but not possible.
Yesterday I talked about living (as a child) through WW2. My husband’s experience was much more noteworthy than mine. He was four years old living in Hawaii behind Diamond head in army quarters when Pearl Harbor was bombed. He remembers waking to lots of planes flying overhead. He got up and told his father who told him it was people training and go back to bed. A few moments later his father was called about the bombing. His father was in charge of the Coast Artillery that was actually in the volcano.
My husband, his mother and sister, lived in a bomb shelter in the yard that day expecting the bombers to come back. Later they moved into the volcano and stayed there for several weeks before being evacuated to the states. The ship that took them to the west coast went back for more people but was bombed and sank before getting there.
His memories are much scarier than mine and clearer. After all, being bombed is enough to sit in the memory for quite a while. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live where that is a threat every day.
This crisis is bad. It is testing our will just as WW2 did. I hope that we can pull together as we did then to get past this enemy. I hope it will unite much of the world to the real threat….the distress of the environment which may be why these viruses are gaining hold. I don’t know that… I just wonder.
Just a quick thought tonight. I hope that everyone gets in the habit of good hand washing during this time and keeps it up always. It can save us…not just from Corona Virus but many other things as well.
We are going through a tough journey right now. Each day, each step forward is toward something new. Going back is not a option. Time doesn’t stop. It doesn’t reverse. It just moves forward and takes us with it. Look to the new day.
Take a deep breath. Look toward and new day a new beginning.