Saturday, June 29, 2019

Randy Thompson ~ Memory Care @ 4 months

Here I sit. Alone. Thinking... I'm not a widow, single or divorced. I am married. But my husband Randy doesn't live here anymore. He was diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia in 2014, with early-onset as far back as 2010. I placed him in a Memory Care facility 3 months ago. (July 19th, 2018) I can't even begin to put into words the overwhelming sadness. On top of the ache in my heart, I get so anxious each time I visit him... fearful of changes, a sudden decline. Will I see something that questions my decision? Are they caring for him up to my standards? So hard. Paralyzing. Can't seem to find any rhythm to my new normal. 

Ok, so I tried finishing this post several times in the past month... just can't seem to put into words these past 4 months. So I'll try again...
I visited my husband every day the first 2 months, and now every other day. I guess you could say the honeymoon is over, and now I see things about the facility that bother me... or maybe I just expected everything to be perfect. I want him dressed nicely when I arrive, and often times he's not. He's wearing someone else clothes... that do not fit. And it makes me crazy. I can't change what's going on in his brain, but I want him to look the same. I know without a doubt the timing of my husband's placement was right, but that doesn't mean it will ever feel right. How is it ever right for someone to put their loved one in a facility? And go home and go on with life. I can't. I know I didn't bury my husband, but at times it feels like I did. The layers of loss are just overwhelming. But amidst all the pain and sadness are miracles. Unbelievable miracles of God's goodness and grace... praising Him and thanking Him in the midst unimaginable grief.

Here's what I mean ~
  • dear friends Linda & Ralph from WI came to be with me during the transition 
  • insisted on staying three weeks after Randy's placement 
  • had no idea how much I needed them here 
  • I was able to duplicate our wedding quilt, so he'd have 2 at the facility 
  • the medical assessment was done by a Christian nurse from the facility 
  • Randy's precious 80 year old roommate raised his family in Madison, WI

  • the caregivers love Randy's music
  • I immediately fell in love with several residents
  • we formed a little choir of women and we walk around singing
  • approval for Arizona Long term care took 90 days... thank you Lord!
  • he has never asked to go home
  • he is peaceful and happy and compliant
  • the caregivers and staff play his music whenever they are in his room
  • he sits down in the dining room for his meals... a miracle.
  • he reads the Bible with me on my iPhone
  • we haven't had a conversation in over a year, but he reads with such eloquence and passion
  • I love the support group I attend at the facility once a month.
  • a Dr now comes to his facility for check ups.
  • Lin & I found the perfect print of Jesus at a thrift store to hang in his room

  • This photo was taken the night before Randy was placed in memory care July, 2018. 

    I finished this post several months ago, and just now posting it. Randy has since been at Brookdale for 11 months. More posts to follow.


    DexnGing said...

    Dear Linda,
    God had laid on our heart this last year to pray for you and what you might be experiencing. The word "limbo" just kept coming into our thoughts. You captured and expressed so well the state you find yourself in; one that very few of us can understand. Many things make us ask, "Lord when? When will you wrap up this Age and end the hurt, and the questions, and the suffering?" And His answer, "I waited for you. I am waiting for others." And that reminds me that what awaits will make this time seem like nothing. But it seems so overwhelming sometimes. We have little we can do but pray for you; but that is the first and last thing we should be doing for you.

    If there is anything else we can do to help, to honor Randy, and you, and your ministry and marriage, don't hesitate to reach out. Thank you for your posts. Thank you for sharing your lives.

    God bless and keep you feeling close to Himself,

    Dexter & Ginger

    cheryl said...

    Dear Linda I started reading your blog many years ago. I got so may decorating ideas from you throughout the years. I am so sorry for the hard emotional heart wrenching times you are going through. You and Randy are continually in my prayers. Take care and God bless you. Cheryl

    Judy said...

    I too have been following your blog for many years, and you have been in my thoughts and prayers many times in these recent years. May God continue to be your comfort and your day at a time!

    bill said...

    Hello, Mrs. Thompson.
    I'm so saddened to read of Randy's tragic condition the difficulties you and your family have experienced. Even before I became a Christian in 1989 i was positively influenced by Randy and his music through the outreach at Open Door fellowship. After becoming a Christian Randy was a great encouragement to me through his music as I went off to the mission field. With Christmas approaching i did an internet search to see if I could find some Christmas music by him...that's how I can across this blog site and sad/inspiring story. May God grant you continued strength and mercy. I am praying for you all from Germany. Peace in Messiah, Bill

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