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dementia journey - Page 5 - Carers UK Forum

dementia journey

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
167 posts
Peter
You can ' go on' as much as you need/ want to. I did, from March 2016! Feel it may be easier to say how you are feeling which can change from hour to hour, without upsetting others you care for, on the forum to people who understand but don't actually know you.
I won't say it gets easier, or similar, but most people adjust.
You may not think your posts are not helpful to others, but be assured they do.
Thank you for sending your love to us, and I am sending some back.
Hi Peter,

as Pet66 says, others reading your posts will realise they aren't the only ones experiencing grief at watching a loved one decline and the myriad of feelings this evokes. Also, we understand that you don't have the emotional energy to directly to respond to others much at the moment.

Have you thought about getting a pet? Would make the house feel less empty and when you get home after a window visit with Bridget, you would be able to announce I'm home etc to a little personality who would be glad to see you. Just a thought.

Melly1
Ah, a pet! Now there’s a saga. On the insistence of my daughter and lots of persuasion I got a greyhound back in July last year but ended up taking it back to the rehoming centre. I couldn’t cope with the responsibility at the time as I was in a very dark place.

I’m considering the idea ( one week after Bridget went into the home my last cat died) but this time I need to be certain. We had two cats once, both chosen by Bridget so his death was very upsetting. Lockdown doesn’t make it easy to get another one as rescue centres are shut.

Love to you all ❤️
Peter,

Why not stick to a cat, that's what you know.

Some places are rehoming now but some aren't as they have pets placed in foster homes. Those that are, have a limit on how far people can travel from.

Could just start looking on the internet.

Melly1

PS just as an aside, after Covid, Bridget might enjoy visits from a PAL pet; but in the meantime she might enjoy one of the toy cats that breathe. Here is an example https://dementia.livebetterwith.com/pro ... -white-cat
Something else has set me off and i’ve dissolved into tears again. It’s Saturday lunchtime and it’s quiet and i’m alone.

I still acutely believe I drove my Bridget away with my ongoing selfishness and being a self centred person, that i’m convinced that has been my basic personality. Why am i like this and I alway think i’ve been like this and now i’ve lost my Bridget for ever. I’m an only child ... does that have any bearing, i don’t know, but i’m not that bad am i? ....i just can’t seem to come to terms with anything.

Yes she has dementia but I can’t help thinking that just thinking of myself somehow made matters a lot worse. And now i’m paying the price. Bridget hardly ever felt she came first, always thinking of others, helping out, big family person, but me on the other hand mostly felt for my own wants. It seems that way.

Can this type of thing drive another away? It certainly can in normal relationships but can it magnify and increase the chances of dementia and Bridget’s need to escape the house and me. You see, i just don’t know for sure and not being sure one way or the other makes me very unhappy.

Once again thanks for listening

Peter
Peter, why are you torturing yourself so much?
Bridget was clearly a lovely person, kind, loving, generous of spirit.
Who did she choose to love and cherish, who did she want as a life partner. YOU.

I loved my husband with every part of my being.
He loved his steam engines, his engineering, but I knew he loved me so much, and I him.
In many ways we were so different, many others we were two peas in a pod.

When people asked us how we had such a good marriage, we'd laugh and say we didn't know who deserved the medal the most. Him for putting up with me, or me for putting up with him!
You don't have to say "I love you" a million times or shower someone with gifts.
I have absolutely no doubt that she really, really loved you.

When I had a serious cancer op, I told my husband that if I didn't survive, I wanted him to find someone else, as I knew how lonely he would be without me.
He said the same applied if he went first. Sadly, he died 18 months later.
At his funeral, one of our friends who had known my husband since he was a boy, widowed when he was in his 30's, gave me a lecture, telling me I had to make a new life for myself. I did not appreciate that, but it was said with kindness, and he checks up quietly on us from time to time.

I haven't found a new partner, for various reasons, but I have made a new life for myself.
When I suggested you went on holiday or out for the day, you didn't feel was possible.
You MUST give new things a try, make new memories.
Not try and do was Bridget did, or you did with her, but something completely different.
For the moment, we all have to stay local, but there are still opportunities to do something new.
Going for a walk somewhere different, buying a different paper, joining something new on facebook, looking at things you like on ebay.
Maybe related to your old occupation, or a hobby you've always wanted to have a go at, but never had the time.
Even making something different for your evening meal.
It takes real guts, and many tears, to get through this. Far worse for you than me, when Bridget's body is still here, but "your" Bridget has gone forever.

I know how often you feel "I must tell Bridget" but you can't.
The old Bridget, your very own, very special Bridget, is still in your heart, and always will be.
Wouldn't she be cross with you if she could see you moping around??
Peter
Thoughts do magnify, and doubts creep in, especially when alone.
I don't believe for one second you have driven your wife away. Very sadly, she has developed dementia, no fault of yours, or any one else. It's an illness, disease, whatever you call it, that has happened for probably thousands of years. Research still hasn't found the answers fully.
Loved ones suffer more than the person who has it.
Grief in whatever form causes questions and doubts.
Peter

I do have a lot of sympathy for you. If you do not want the responsibility of a pet, could you foster for a cat charity just to see how it works out? The Cinnamon Trust used to always need short and long term fosters - their owners were in hospital or sometimes when they came out of hospital, went into long term care homes.

I think we all agree dementia is a terrible disease a living death for the relations as the person they loved diappears totally........
Just been to the home to see Bridget. She was asleep but they woke her and brought her to the door to see me. Very vague and disoriented today. She’s surrounded by staff all wanting to do stuff. Open the banana, give her the flowers and I know i wouldn’t have stood a chance on my own caring for her now, especially in these dreadful pandemic times.

But oh the sadness of it all. She looks at me with little comprehension and turns and walks away. I feel so sad for her, not because of her care but because us as a strong vibrant couple is no more and it’s lost to us both.

It’s extremely difficult to describe emotions in words sometimes but I try my best. I feel sorry for myself and for her. And I’m also drifting away very very gradually, day by day, from her and the ordinariness, quite simple life we had. She’s a woman I used to know. And feeling like this makes me feel somewhat awkward and a bit of a deserter.
I’m currently in a car park and miserable. Perhaps a silly film later will cheer me up😄 Peter
Peter - get yourself a copy of that book I recommended. The Little Girl in The Radiator by Martin Slevin. I recommended it to a friend whose Mum has dementia and she emailed me to thank me and said it has taught her so much. She got her copy on ebay. I think you and Martin Slevin would be on the same wave length.

Sounds like your wife has now gone into her own little world and as long as she is clean, well fed, well looked after and not upset I think that’s something to be thankful for. Sounds like she is still mobile and that’s good too. It IS hard watching this (I did it for 4 years with my Mum) and there is very little you can do but sit it out and be with her when you can. Do you ever send nice cards in for her? I used to do that for Mum during the 3 months I couldn’t see her. The staff used to stick them up on the walls for her.

Take care Peter.
167 posts