Thursday, November 03, 2016

dementia & losing balance

My husband's brain is dying. And while it can seem like a long, slow death, certain stages of the disease can rear it's ugly head out of nowhere. Yesterday was one of those days.

Randy suddenly lost balance, overcorrected while lunging forward down the driveway. He landed facedown on the concrete with his right side taking the hit. Cut above his eye, mangled glasses, bruised shoulder, elbow, knees, lip and cut hands.

We spent 4 hours in the ER and if you know anything about Frontotemporal dementia, you know it was quite challenging while waiting for him to be sedated for stitches. Imagine all the things we did to distract our little ones in these situations... well, they came in quite handy yesterday. At one point as he was trying to get out of the room I started dancing with him. While I sang one of his songs we danced, he twirled me, we laughed. And it worked. For a short while. Then I told him a story about a little boy growing up with a love for music, songwriting and playing guitar... doing concerts, opening for BJ Thomas, leading many to Christ... and he was mesmerized. For a short while. Then I was on to something else. I may not be the best caregiver, but this I do well.

Finally they gave him something to relax him while waiting for the DR to sedate him for the stitches. (Propofol works well for him) It was then that I remembered the nurses telling me (when he was put under to have all his toenails removed) to be sure and take advantage of the sedation and do the things he won't let you do awake. I quickly went into action and with the help of the nurses, I had a scissor and shaver (along with a nail clipper and comb I had in my bag). I was good to go.

I trimmed his finger nails that were super long... trimmed his mustache and beard... cut the front of his hair... shaved his neck... I even trimmed his eyebrows that had severals 1" strands that were driving me crazy. (ok, even a few nose hairs) Then I finally got a close up of his toe nails and saw that half were starting to grow back. I was heartsick. But all in all, a sweet silver lining to a rather traumatic event. Thank you Lord.

Seriously, he is the sweetest man you'll ever meet and quite a handsome one I might add. In fact, when I told him he looked so young and handsome, he said "I know! I look gorgeous!" Yes, while I have more of a Mama's heart towards him now... I couldn't love him any more than I did as his wife. Love this dear man with all my heart.




Emily said...

I appreciated reading your story. This happened to my husband too. He fell in the bathroom and hit his head on the pedestal sink, directly on his left eyebrow. I loved your description of waiting in the ER. I had to do the same thing. I've found that just being silly and happy are the best.
I've been so fortunate that my husband is very sweet and nice. He had an x-ray and an MRI and stitches. As we were leaving the ER there was staff everywhere saying "bye Mr Heinz" as we walked out, including the receptionist and security in the lobby. It made me feel so good.
Wish I'd thought of getting the nails clipped and such. If there's a next time, I'll be ready. Best to you my friend. You sound like a wonderful loving wife and caretaker.

Terri said...

Those silver linings are such a blessing. So glad he wasn't badly hurt. He is a cutie. Sometimes I look at my hubby and think "You are still so cute!"

Nancy said...

Linda, I'm so sorry to hear about this progression in Randy's condition. Even though you knew it was coming, I'm sure it's so hard to see these changes. I was thinking that its a blessing that God gifted you with such wonderful story-telling and hair cutting skills for such a time as this. I can't even imagine what his hair would have looked like if I was in the same position.

I love you friend and wish I could be there to help you lighten the load. I know there's not a lot I could do, but I'd love to just be there with you more often. I miss you and am praying for you and your family often.