Friday, February 6, 2009

Delusions, Disturbing Days and Nights

The first week of Oct (2006) started a downhill slide. I was filled with dread and fear as I felt we had gotten to a new chapter and I sure didn't like how the end of the book was going to turn out. On Friday night the 6th it started to rain and it rained and it rained. I'd had a new roof put on the house and was horrified to find water dripping from the ceiling of the sunroom, even out of the light fixture. Then it started pouring down the walls. It kept me busy mopping up floors and emptying water pails. I would wake up ever little while to see about the mess once again. Elbert sleeps through anything anymore so all the commotion didn't seem to wake him. Then I heard him........

It was 3:30 a.m. He was standing at the sink in the bathroom, fully dressed, brushing his teeth. He said he was going to look for me. I managed to get him back to bed but I still was awake most of the night, mopping and emptying and listening.

Saturday the rain still was coming down. By nightfall Elbert was delusional. About every 10 minutes he would insist that we had to get out of the house and go home. I tried every tactic I could think of... diversion, not answering, telling him the truth and lying to him. Nothing worked. I gave him a Risperdal at 4 and another at 8. They had no effect on him.

Finally he decided that what I had said about this being our house was maybe true. So, new questions started. 'What town are we in?', 'Did we sell everything to come here?', 'Had the previous owners gotten all their things out of the house?' and 'I need to change the address on my allotment' thinking that we had just moved. By nine p.m. he was full blown into getting out 'of this couples' house'. I put us to bed. I was so exhausted from the lack of sleep the night before and problems all day long. I just hoped that he would conk out.

But, things never work out the way you wish they would. Every few minutes Elbert kept coming into my bedroom and saying 'I'm in somebody else's bed and they are gonna come in and want their bed'. So after that happened several times I just crawled into bed with him. Maybe that would calm him down. No such luck. He was convinced that he had slept on the floor and he had seen a 'pretty girl' get out of the bed and she was going to come in and want to go back to bed. Another sleepless night. At least the rain had stopped and I called the roofer to complain about the leaks.

The following day he was convinced that he was in the Navy still. 'Did I come home on leave?' he asked. He didn't pursue that too long, thank the good Lord for blessings. But, that night here Elbert was again, his clothes on, wanting to leave. He again was convinced that a girl was going to come in and want her bed. I told him that no, she was on a trip and I'd talked to her on the phone and she said he could sleep in that bed. You gotta think fast and on your feet with Alzheimers patients. So, I dialed our daughters number so she could tell him it was alright for him to have that girls bed. That didn't work too well. He told her we were back in Alabama. I tried the truth, 'Honey, we are not in Alabama, we are in Virginia'. and he looked at me like I was nuts. He said, 'Man, are you lost'. I just burst out laughing. You either cry or laugh and I chose to laugh.


Peggy said...

Ebert is so lucky you have the patience and the gift of laughter in the middle of the most horrendous situations Latane.

Linda said...

Unfortunately the caregiver gets very little sleep. And, yes, you often have to resort to telling lies or whatever it takes! You have given good advice here. I continue to think of you everday!

The Tile Lady said...

So many tough nights, Mom! The journey is long and sometimes so hard...I hate this so much for both of you!