Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oh, a Bit of a Bad Day Today

I hurt my ankle, mislaid my car keys, and now am having a bout of heavy sneezing. And there's more.

I've had a day of intermittent weeping and howling over my loss, and about his last days/weeks/months. I was a bit surprised — there hasn't been so much of that lately. Finally it dawned on me why: anniversary reaction.

On the first of May a year ago Andrew was admitted to the first nursing home, the one where he was so unhappy (as described in my previous blog, Shifting Fog). I was very unhappy too as a result; it was a nightmare time for both of us.

After a fortnight he was well enough physically to come home, and deteriorating mentally because of his environment, so for both reasons I took him out of there. One of the best decisions I ever made! By the time a nursing home was needed again, we had found a lovely place which suited him much better.

Even if the first place had been wonderful, it would still have been a very confronting thing, putting one's beloved spouse into that kind of care. On that first day, a year ago, I believed he would never be able to come home again. I did a lot of crying that day too.

And yet, at the time we had no choice. It was the only place with a bed. For physical reasons he needed high care, but this was solely a high care facility. He had only mild Alzheimer's and was surrounded by people with advanced dementia — no-one to have a decent conversation with. He didn't receive bad care; it was just that the place was wrong for him.

At this distance, I can see that things really did work out for the best. He was cared for when he needed it, and if it had been a better place he might have stayed there until his death instead of coming home for several very special and precious months. And, if we'd found the better place initially, perhaps we would not have appreciated it as much as we did by comparison.

So it is for everything that happened. I can start to see, now, that — given his age and illness — the way all sorts of things came about was ultimately for the best. But it's one thing to be able to grasp that intellectually — it doesn't help my feelings right now. At the time that things were happening, it just wasn't possible to shed all the tears I had. So here they are, well and truly triggered, the ones that belong to this day a year ago.

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