Friday, April 11, 2014


Tring to get some balance.

Exhausted with emotion.
Too much emotion and not enough straight thinking.
Today has been the Friday group.
The people who lead the group are well aware that Bill can be very challenging and have tried to think of things that he might do instead of banging himself and the furniture.
Mandy asked him to create an Easter card.
Bill was unsure - unsure that he could do it and unsure of a reason. Bill does need to be able to see the sense of an activity.......except, Bill dear - where is the sense in banging the walls?
Bill floundered.
I used to find that often young children would join in art work with more imagination if I sat and worked with them. Good grief - bad teaching there! They were never meant to copy me, but of course those who were floundering did.
So I also did an Easter picture......hurriedly putting in as many suitable images as possible so that Bill could choose some.
Another old man got the idea and caught my enthusiasm. He did a nice picture with a hill and a tree.

I can create pictures better than this - but not much better!
My artistic eye is revealed through the lens of a camera and not with any skill with the pencil.

But it got Bill started.

I gave him some ideas - the streams, the pond and the bridges and I like the way he incorporated them.
I don't know if it gave him pleasure.
Or was he just dutifully doing what he was told?
I am not sure that Bill really sees the purpose of pleasure.

The Alzheimers lady that I was sitting and chatting with liked the Woof dog.

He came to a halt at the exercise class time - sitting down exercises with lovely squeezy balls.
I joined in at first - just to give the necessary encouragement to get Bill on a chair in the circle. I couldn't do it all - too much pain round my ribs. So I wandered away to chat. I was pleased that Bill didn't wander away.
Whilst I was in the circle I noticed that Bill was more able in some ways than some of the other people. The speed with which he could twiddle his thumbs was impressive!
Before lunch was served, Bill began to get restless. Beverley brought him a challenging game.

Next week, I will learn from today.
I knew that Bill was tired after lunch. He didn't want to join in the bowls game. He just wandered and a made a nuisance of himself. Too much noise.
But I was glad of the chance to talk with people.
I think it would have been best for me to take him home and then return alone.
And the chat I had actually disturbed me.
I was talking with one woman whose husband doesn't come to the group. She has been coping with her Alzheimer's husband for 5 or more years.
But she said, when looking at Bill "I thought I had it bad, but it is nothing like as bad as living with Bill must be."
Others commented much the same, wondering  how I put up with it and stay sane.
The answer to that is that I don't. And I guess I began to feel really sorry for myself.
Many of the Alzheimer's men were playing bowls and some were lively and laughing and chatting in a way that Bill just cannot be.
The other spouses expressed anxiety about Bill's noise - at least it felt like anxiety to me.
They had never met any problems like Bill's amongst the Alzheimer's world. Somebody asked if he shouldn't be in a mental hospital......maybe he should!
And my anxiety levels increased.
Once we were home - me in need of pain killers - I snapped. I snapped really badly.
My ability to turn nasty worries me.
Fortunately I do still have the ability to try and work through to a solution stage. But after more months of this it worries me that I may crack completely.
And for a few hours this evening I felt that Bill tried to avoid banging.....he failed of course, but he tried.
By the time he went to bed, I was feeling a bit more content.
Tomorrow I will be in Dorking - so both of us can enjoy some much needed time without the other.
His phone is now set up. I can ring him on his mobile and he can also phone me.
He now has to remember to have it in whatever room he happens to be in.
And not to fiddle with buttons!
It is bed time now for me. The TENS machine has the electrode pads in place on my body and that and more pain killers should hopefully bring me calm sleep.
I worry about my health too. High anxiety levels lead me to ponder on all manner of things that could be going wrong.