Margarete, I really appreciated that you called me. It felt good to let off steam. It really helped. Well, obviously, you knew what I was talking about. I hope we talk again. Got your newsletter and enjoyed the whiff of lemon oil. Like a breath of fresh air. Lemon is really a very refreshing, uplifting smell. You asked me to write a little about my care taker experience. ( I hope you can read my writing. It gets worse every year. Would you believe that I used to get top grades for cursive writing?)
My husband has Alzheimers. We both are 81. I feel like a hundred and fifty – numb. Being a caretaker is the hardest job I ever done and I’ve done hard jobs.
Being a mother, taking care of a little baby is easy. But taking care of an old “baby” is tough. You can’t haul him on your hip while stirring the stew or watering the garden, you can’t lift up his feet to change his diapers, you can’t put him in a crib with the sides up so he can’t get out. But you have the same problems as with a baby – soiled diapers – getting into things he isn’t supposed to be in – drooling – falling down – can’t communicate. Well, my baby doesn’t wail and cry, he curses and yells and just as with a baby, I don’t understand a thing he wants.
At my age, it’s enough to feel isolated because not many of my age group are left, but it’s a lot worse when you have to take care of somebody and can’t get out. The trouble is that I can’t take him anyplace anymore and I can’t leave him alone, either. I have a neighbor’s boy get groceries and our mail and run a few other errands for us. That helps. Our son comes once a month to help out. It’s a 300 mile trip each way for him. His health isn’t the best either.
Mostly it’s up to me. I do what I can. May God Almighty let me hold out longer than my husband and neither of us be forced into one of them nursing places.
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You.