Friday, April 26, 2013

Letting the Dust Settle

As it turns out, my last post was the breaking point. Things got really bad that day. I mean, really bad. Scary bad. My husband ended up cutting his trip short, getting home very late that night. He brought his dad to the hospital for evaluation the next day. My FIL stayed there for a few days and from there was transferred to a skilled nursing facility that specializes in Alzheimer's. It's a sad place but unless you can pay big bucks for a really nice facility, your choices are severely limited. Unfortunately this is where he needs to be from this point on. We could no longer handle his violent outbursts. The stress on everyone was just too much and safety had become a major factor for all involved.

It's been a rough, emotional couple of weeks since. We did as much as we could for as long as we could and one might think it should have been an easy decision - a no-brainer but there was absolutely nothing easy about it. Just necessary. And yes, right. I don't have many regrets about having him here as long as we did but among them are the effect it had on my kids. It was hard on them. The grandfather they knew, loved, and enjoyed being with is gone, overtaken by an illness that has made their once loving grandfather awkward and increasingly scary to be around. It's so sad.

The dust, however, is beginning to settle. The tears don't flow quite as often for my MIL. Her sister is going to stay with us for a while. That's a huge blessing for all of us. My FIL seems to be adjusting ok to his new home. I put a photo collage together for him to hang on his wall, which he seems to like and will bring pictures that the kids have made to him periodically. My hope is that it will not only make him smile but let the people who work there realize that he's not just another one of their Alzheimer's patients. I want them to see a little of who he was before Alzheimer's hit and changed him; a man who has family and friends who love him still. I want them to see him as special, to feel and show him kindness and compassion. That's my hope.

I'm so thankful for God and the way He's taken care of us through all of this. No, it's not the way, I would prefer but I trust in His sovereignty and am grateful to see His hand of mercy over and over. I pray He touches your life in just the way you need it today.

I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2

Be blessed.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

One of Those Days

It's been another bad day. My FIL gets worse in his Alzheimers by the day it seems sometimes. There's no telling what will set him off. He can start out fine when he gets up and then the least little thing happens and it's downhill from there.

He likes to take the trash out to the garbage bin every day and this morning I wouldn't let him because the thing we've worked so hard to prevent from happening, did the other day. He snuck out and disappeared. I found him walking on a main road and managed to get him to come in the car with me. He uses the garbage thing as a means to get out the door.  That's not how he did it the other day but that's his general method. However because someone has to unlock the door to let him do that, we're able to keep an eye on where he goes and prevent him from going very far.

Well, since his disappearing act the other day, I'm not even letting him out the front door anymore because he doesn't listen to me. This makes him very mad as it did this morning and he's been on a tear ever since, grumbling under his breath everytime I go by and giving me dirty looks all day.

The man I came to call dad when I married his son is not the man that lives with us today. Alzheimer's has taken that man. I miss him. He was lighthearted and fun. Opinionated but kind. Irritating at times but loving and a proud grandfather. 

My house is very stressful today and my hubby's not home. This stuff wears on my nerves nearly to the point of tears sometimes. I've been praying for the peace of God to fall over my house or at least my heart all day today. I'm thankful I have God in my life because I don't know how I'd function without Him giving me strength for the day. Even when the tears come, I thank God for the ability to cry because it's a pressure release. I might explode otherwise.

As my dad used to say, "This too shall pass." And it will. This is but for a season. I just pray when all is said and done, that there will have been more days where I was patient, kind, loving and strong than days where I dropped the ball. As a friend of mine says, In His strength and by His grace.

Be blessed.