The Letter (Part 1)

Not long ago I received a letter from a woman who has already traveled this journey — making the decision to move her husband to a memory care facility.  In many ways,  I felt as if I could have written it.  Here is an excerpt:

” My husband contracted Lymes disease which I think brought on his Alzheimers’ earlier than he would have gotten it had he stayed healthy.  It is genetic in Daniel’s family.  His mother had Alzheimer’s for twenty-three years.  She died at 93.

Daniel’s disposition is similar to your husband’s: benign,  happy and a great sense of humor.  He is a pro at masking his lack of memory.  I took care of him for eight years, and suffered through panic attacks, rashes on my face, flu every month, and sleepless nights.  I lived a nightmare….

I noticed that Daniel could no longer follow any conversations, and he would feel left out.  He could no longer function in my world without stressing.  The conversations were simple and repeated thousands of times in one day. I was losing my mind.

 I would think,  am I going to live this way the rest of my life?  I will never survive Daniel.    75% of caregivers die before their spouses.  Finally, I went  to look at facilities and picked one which I thought would suit him the best.  The one I chose separates the high functioning Alzheimer’s patient from the low functioning, and they have studios as well as rooms.

Finally, I put him into the facility that I chose.  I had my first full night of sleep in years. But then, I suffered from guilt so great, it felt like a tight band around my chest. Nothing helped that feeling, only time. “

(To be continued…)

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7 Responses to The Letter (Part 1)

  1. Dianne says:

    If Boris knew that his disease had become your disease he wouldn’t want you to suffer one more day. You can live your life with no regrets Nancy as you have walked the walk. Perhaps being in touch with the woman from the blog is where your story needs to take you. You need support from someone. In essence you are dealing with the death of your spouse and the death of your relationship. Of course you will continue through the 7 stages of grieving. You have lost much in the past few years, your mother and the dying of your life as you knew it with Bo. Be kind to yourself Nancy.

  2. Ruth says:

    Nancy, I second Dianne’s words, so wise and so well written. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. Arleen Mildred Stolzenberger says:

    Pay heed to Dianne’s words. You both are in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Ine says:

    You have walked the walk, as Dianne says so beautifully. You knew it was time for Bo to have different care then you could supply and at the same time you are taking care of yourself. It’s a new beginning for both of you. Love you.

  5. Annamarie says:

    I agree. Boris would never want you to go thru this as long as you have. Yours is a wonderful love story. Everyone knows how much you cherish each other. You can’t keep doing this alone. You’re not abandoning him. Remember–you’ve got to put on your oxygen mask first…. We all love you.

  6. charlotte guarino says:

    Everyone said it so sell, Nancy. You need to take care of yourself now. As always, you are both in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. charlotte guarino says:

    Sorry, it is 2;00 a.m. I meant to say “well”.

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