Remember how I said I trust nothing? I took this picture of Lee a couple years ago as we walked the dam and thought it perfectly depicted the fog he was entering with dementia.
This morning at three am I received a call that he had fallen again in his room at the Memory Care facility. Then at 8:30 am they asked me to come down and see him. He was not at all in the condition the psych ward had told us he was. He could not walk and chattered nonsense. He was not sure who I was, forgot as soon as he remembered.
The Memory Care place can not deal with this much physical failure and told me a Nursing Home was the only answer. He also needs someone to spend twelve hour shifts from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in his room to help him if he falls or needs to go to the bathroom. Luckily this afternoon they found people willing to do that from their own Care facility. It is a holiday weekend and if worse came to worse I would have to go and spend the night in his room.
I called the new Nursing Home built on the road to the dump (the one Lee and I watched go up on our weekly trash trips). They have a room available and all paperwork is being faxed to them. It will take a few days and then Lee will be taken there to be isolated for two weeks during covid times just to be safe.
I had other plans for him three and a half weeks ago when we furnished his room and got everything just so.
“Just so” is such a temporary condition.
My friend dropped off a bottle of Crown Royal Reserve this afternoon. A good nights sleep, a walk at the dam, trip to the bank to pay these miracle night watchmen.
I returned to the dam this morning. It was very early and I just wanted to think about what comes next. What the reality is that I now walk this trail alone.
And I remember how Lee would be there every time keeping pace and looking where I pointed to see a bird or something in the shadows.
Today I got word that he is doing much better. He is feeding himself. He is sleeping through the night. He is talking to others there in the ward. And he even laughed when he slipped and fell from his chair when getting ready to walk. He got himself up, dusted himself off and chuckled when the nurses found he had not hurt himself. He will be going back to his new home at the Memory care facility tomorrow. I am so relieved but will wait until he is well settled back “home” before having any contact with him directly.
To get through the unknowing and worrying part I started reading again. The book titled The Salt Path may not have been the best choice to start but is a beautiful story of a man realizing the limitations of his dementia as he and his wife walk that beautiful peninsula in southwestern England of cliffs and sea. Thanks to Robyn Gordon for recommending it. Then back into the latest Cormoran Strike book that I was reading to Lee.
It is a very big book. Then today my two new Jane Harper books came in the mail.
The early morning walks have been very good for me. I come back refreshed and with a little bit more practice on being civil and social. With Lee and Covid isolation I have found myself unable to be either. So now I am in training. I still have little patience for the self indulgence and ignorance we seem to have so much of here in this country with the specter of Trump still looming. But turning off the news and proudly wearing my Biden/Harris pin has certainly helped.
Today is a good day. But I have learned that it is not a good idea to count on that being every day.
I will take what I can get and celebrate that.
I have walked along the river and it is more and more flooded. Some parts impassible.
So I stick to the higher parts and found this.
The idea of an elf hidden in the trees fit into my drawings and stitching sketchbook along with this tree trunk we found last week with strawberries growing inside.
So here is how I have tried to keep my mind occupied these past few days.
This morning looking out the window.
I practiced talking to someone in public yesterday. It was on the Riverwalk. I stopped a man who walks a fat black dog and asked if he knew why the river was so high. He told me it had to do with the runoffs from two dams close by and would be that way all summer. It was so very nice hearing a strangers voice that I wished I could find more to talk about but he gave me the information he had and then turned and took his fat, friendly dog with him. I stood and watched before heading off to another coffee shop in search of a decent latte and a scone. And again I was the only one in the shop. There is one more to try in the town and then I give up. Perhaps just get a latte to go and bring it home to my own scones.
The news from the doctor on Friday was neither good nor bad. And my imagination and fears of the worst can keep me stressing over what happens next. I need to take it one day at a time and make the necessary decisions as they come up.
The house is sometimes unbearably empty. I am going to lose myself in some novels and finish all the ones I started.
I still had plenty of these posters I made from a flag book several years ago. I will take it down to the Memory Care facility to put in Lee’s room.
After a very rocky start, Lee is now under psychiatric care at the place he needs to be. At first they wanted the original paper of commitment from our doctor and not the faxed copy. So turned around and left him there at Memory Care. I got the call and rushed to the doctor’s office to locate it on the top of the “to shred” pile. Then drove quickly down to deliver it during a gas shortage and made it before they were coming a second time to pick him up. Next I get a call from the psych ward that they are sending him to yet another hospital because his bruise has gone all the way down to his foot and they want more tests. I am a bit incensed at this point and enlist the aid of head of Memory Ward and the home health nurse who has been working hard to get Lee some pain relief and settled at the new home for evaluation and treatment.
No calls in the middle of the night and first thing this morning I get a call from the psych place that he is there…followed by a very gentle call from the psychiatrist that Lee will be given a stronger pain reliever and get treatment for his mental outlook. He will call me every two days with updates. Hopefully within two weeks he will be back at the Memory Care Home and under the watchful eyes of the people there.
This morning Amy and Ben left for home right after the doctor’s call. They were amazingly helpful and yesterday hung the Australian egg temperas where the cow hung near Lee’s chair.
Ben made sure I had a bottle full of tumeric syrup to continue with treatment as needed. It was wonderful having them here and the introduction to birding.
I promised them I would continue the walk this morning and found it quite flooded in places but great for taking pictures.
Our son, Patrick will come down mid June for two weeks and like Amy and Ben will work remotely. It is very helpful having them around. In the meantime Patrick had six bottles of a very nice pinot noir sent and this amazing stress reliever.
A dammit doll designed to take many hard whacks when things get rough. Perfect thing to have these past few days.
And finally after the cleaning lady left I had quiet time to sew on an interpretation of the Riverwalk. Amy and Ben took away all Lee’s computer, printer, etc from this table in the den. Perfect for sewing and sketching in my book. This will be my newest stitched piece to add to a drawing of mountain laurel I did from a whole new bunch Amy and Ben picked before leaving.
I feel I can breathe today and will get back to a new normal place. Again thank all of you for the many cards and letters and messages of kind concerns. They make me cry but even that feels good to just let it go.