Friday, March 07, 2014


Dementia Diary 7th March 2014. The bird table and the hitting himself.

People who don't live with me and Bill 24 hours a day might think that today has been a good day.
I put a picture onto facebook this morning and many, many people like it and were glad to see it.

The bird table arrived at the beginning of the week in a small cardboard box.

I even wondered if they had forgotten to send all the parts.

Today I insisted that it would be put together.

Bill needed just a little help to get started, but soon was happily wielding a screwdriver - much as in the days of long ago.

I felt proud of him.
We can all feel proud of him.

He actually agreed that he had enjoyed doing the work and felt a bit proud.
And how did he reward himself? By hitting himself harder than ever.
He has agreed that he can feel the blows onto his body - it can hurt.
Why does he do it?
It seems to be a form of self harming - akin to the  cutting of arms  that gathers more knowledge and headlines these days.
And it becomes addictive.
It provides an illusion of power.
Certainly Bill has all the power in this matter for I can't stop it.
And thus it goes on and on and on.
I can be Bill's psychiatrist and explain and understand.
But some days it is exceedingly hard to be his wife and supporter.
Each loud bang seems to cut through me and I am in danger of becoming a shivering wreck.
I could crumple and cry or shout.
I shouldn't do either.
Next time I go to the carer's group I shall find out what day groups there are for dementia people.
Though much of Bill's behaviour is probably outside the general definition of dementia.
I must have more peace.

And so it has been for almost all the day - just that hour when I managed to get him doing something constructive  when it was better, though even then when the screw driver wasn't turning screws it was being banged hard onto the kitchen work tops.
So - one of the worst days.
Better get him out of the house, I thought.
We made a brief visit to Frieda in hospital. She was glad of the visit.
But it was not a success. I had Frieda wittering on in one ear - she is still very sweet, but not able to think much.
Then there was Bill banging the ward rubbish bins and then hitting his thighs really hard.
Then that forced laugh that makes him cough.
"Bill has always been a happy person hasn't he?" says Frieda.
Keep smiling, Paula.......Frieda would never understand what has happened to Bill.
But let's be honest - nobody understands what has happened to Bill.

Right - let's try him on tea and cake.
He'll be quiet in La Rusta.
He was quiet when he ate his chocolate cake.......then banging the side of his arm chair and his legs - all done with a manic look on his face.
Alex and Ana may have been bewildered, but there was nobody else in the cafe, so it wasn't annoying anybody......except me.
I just wanted some peace to enjoy my tea and wonderful Alex made lemon meringue pie.

The evening continued with more of the same.
I cooked the beefburgers that I had made earlier - they were good; very good.
 The beef I used, the left overs of some we had on Tuesday was beautifully lean and tasty. I just added onions and mushroom and a very small amount of hot paprika.
Bill liked his beefburgers.

But thank goodness that he went to bed at 9 o'clock.
I was in danger of a nervous breakdown or panic attacks. Yeah - probably an exaggeration, but I was feeling bad.
I can keep my balance just - tomorrow is another day.