I have come to the conclusion, if I had it to do over again, I would not put a dog in a nursing home! I definitely would not put another human being in a nursing home!
I have documented everything, that others have done to my brother J.R. during his diagnosis of dementia 3 years ago. If you read my documentary of all the unkind things other human beings have done to J.R. it would curl your toes! I know no one really cares to read anything too dramatic, sad, or concerning real life. This post is for ME, to vent, so I do not march out into the world and punch someone in their big fat, unkind nose!
I will say one thing about my precious brother – Medical problem number 3 in these last 3 weeks involves – An antibiotic resistant staph infection from minor surgery in the hospital. He is in quarantine at a different nursing home. It took them a week to discover this staph infection and they did not tell me he had it until they quarantined him at the nursing home the day they admitted him.
Has my brother gone down hill physically and mentally much faster than expected? MOST ASSUREDLY! Am I angry, I most assuredly am. What a battle I have fought for 3 years, it would drive any human being into the ground.
This week we have seen some very bad weather in Arkansas. Tuesday evening we sat at my daughter’s house, watching the weather forecast, waiting to see if we needed to go into the underground storm cellar. Luckily the tornado warning was cancelled for our area and all was well. Last night, Thursday, there were more warnings in the state and the wind blew these storm clouds our way. Luckily, once again we dodged the bullet, as the old saying goes. We have lost several people in Arkansas due to tornadoes and floods this Spring, and that is usually the case. Oklahoma and Texas have had some very devastating storms this Spring and many deaths. Mother Nature’s fury is unforgiving.
Do you find as you get older that you begin to reflect on your life? Does life seem to be slipping away too quickly? Does it seem like you were just 18 years old yesterday and ready to leave your parents house? The next thing you know you are 40, then 50 and on up the age ladder you wander. As this life passes quickly do you reflect on what you have done, or how happy you have been? Do you wonder when you will be gone and become only a memory in someone’s mind? Most of us with a little age under our belts do think about the end of our life.
At times I look through picture albums (yes, some of us still have those) and review the life I have lived to this point. I think, wow, I have had a busy life, but where has it gone. You wonder how many days or years you have left on this earth. You question whether you have spent your life doing what was expected of you, if you helped others enough. You think did I love enough, was I happy, was I kind, was I the person I should have been.
Memories of loved ones that I have lost flood my mind. Then I think of those who are still here, those I love, those I can still help get through the tragic times, the happy times.
Take the years God gives you on this earth and live them in the best possible way. Never take life for granted. Life is fragile. Live today to the fullest, because as horrible as it may be to think about it, we may not have tomorrow.
This is a beautiful park in Central Arkansas near the new nursing home where I am placing my brother J.R. I signed papers for an hour yesterday to have him placed in a dementia unit. There is such sadness and so many tears, these last 3 years, trying to do what is best for a person I have loved for so long. A person who does not know me.
I thought of the song “Smile” which has been sang by so many great people over the years: Richie Rosato, Judy Garland, Nat King Cole, Josh Groban. Following are the words of the song “Smile,” which greatly touch my heart.
Smile though your heart is aching. Smile even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky you’ll get by.
If you smile through your fear and sorrow. Smile and maybe tomorrow you’ll see the sun come shining through. For you.
Light up your face with gladness. Hide every trace of sadness. Although a tear may be ever so near.
That’s the time you must keep on trying. Smile, what’s the use of crying. You’ll find that life is worthwhile. If you just SMILE.
When you deal with dementia there are so many times you feel guilty when you say to yourself, “I don’t want to do this anymore, I cannot handle this anymore.” But, you keep on trying and smile though your heart is breaking!
Each and every time you think you are going to catch that close up picture of a buzzard in flight, that buzzard sails away in another direction. Try capturing one of these if you have motion sickness like me – a few staggers here and there and this was the results. Good job huh!!!!! Ha
The erratic flight of this buzzard reminds me of what I have been going through these last 10 days with my brother J.R. and his dementia. I have found a lot of sad stories on-line and on blogs of families dealing with loved ones with dementia. Breaks my heart to read these stories, such sorrow and stress.
The last 10 days for me have been full of anger, sorrow, and stress. I took my aggressive personality out of the closet, stood up for myself, did not let anyone walk all over me. Did I accomplish things – yep (but only with God’s help)! Got medical issues solved for my brother, found out why he was violent (sever bladder infection and abscess in that area), and located another nursing home with a dementia unit. All the prayers of my family and friends were answered. Thank you God was the first thing I said when that last phone call gave me the good news of a better place for my brother to live. Never underestimate the power of God.
I remember ten years ago when I sustained a severe concussion. Silly me, I ran into a steel beam with my forehead. I was so dizzy for a month I could not get out of bed. For month two and three I stayed home laying on the couch to recuperate. It was a lonely, miserable time in my life. My husband was my caregiver, but he had things that required his attention and he was home only part of the time.
As I laid on that couch I watched an old white horse in the hillside pasture across the road. I could tell the horse was old, very lonely and neglected. I never saw the owner interact with that horse and I spent hours watching. As the weeks passed I would find myself talking to that horse in my mind and occasionally out loud. I would tell him I understood. I had such compassion for this lonely old horse. Near the end of the two months, I laid on that couch, I saw a young, frisky, brown horse appear in the pasture with the white horse. I was thrilled, “Whitey” as I called him had companionship at last. I saw Whitey try to interact with this brown horse for days, but the brown horse would not pay any attention to Whitey. After a week of rejection the brown horse was taken away. Once again Whitey looked sad and lonely. Whitey died a few months later. Ten years later I still think of Whitey and feel pain because he was neglected. I do not know why people have animals if they are not going to give them love.
As I laid on the couch I would think of crossing my front field, going across the road to the fence to talk to Whitey and pet his nose. Animals experience loneliness exactly as people experience being lonely.
Ten years later I am dizzy and housebound from a fall where I landed face first. Once again I have compassion for an animal. There is a baby rabbit who lives in my yard. I call him Streak, because he can really go from Point A to B in record time. Streak had a sibling that he played with that disappeared in a few days. Streak’s mom has gone on her way and Streak is alone. Streak touches my heart, because I feel he has to be lonely. I watch him try to interact with the adult rabbits, but they shun him. I would pet
Streak if he were not a wild animal. How sad to be alone.
If you have a friend or acquaintance, young or old who is lonely, well or ill, depressed, a shut-in, in the hospital go visit them. Loneliness does not help anyone thrive in their life. Loneliness causes young and old people to take their own lives. Don’t let this happen to someone you know. Be the salve that soothes their lonely soul. Do something to alleviate someone’s loneliness. God did not put us on this earth to be alone. And while you are at it, pet your dog, cat, or horse.