I don't know how else to say it. It's so incredibly sad. Some days it hits me harder than others. The last week or so has been especially difficult.
I have updated the progression of dementia page, which you can read by clicking here. There are more changes of course, but it just seems to be happening all too fast. I'm just not ready to let him go.
I look at him and see how precious and how vulnerable he is, relying on the good will of others to look after him and take care of his every need.
I had my yearly physical with Dr. S. last week. It brought back memories of how two years ago she saw Jim for the first time. It's a vivid reminder of how he went so quickly from the moderate stage to where he is today, at the end stage of dementia.
Jim is profoundly tired these days. He sleeps well at night. He takes a nap between breakfast and lunch at my request. I always hope that he will be rested enough to stay awake for lunch and for the afternoon. But lately he has been falling asleep right after lunch. He is not on any medications that could be causing this; apparently it is simply the progression of the dementia.
Sometimes while he is sleeping I lay on the bed next to him with his head resting on my chest. It's incredibly beautiful. I look at him and it almost feels normal. He doesn't look any different; he is still my very handsome, loving husband whom I adore. For brief moments I can almost pretend we are at home in our own bed, snuggling together like we used to.
And sometimes he opens his eyes, he smiles at me and snuggles in even closer, making a contented sound of "hmmmm". How sweet is that.... So in spite of my deep sorrow, I still have these incredibly beautiful moments that I will cherish forever.
I found an interesting website that offers a description of the later stage of dementia. It's not much different from Fisher's stages, but it does mention a study where brain scans of meditating monks were found to be similar to those in end stage dementia. The contentment and peacefulness that Jim seems to be experiencing at this stage correlates with this finding.
The vacant look in his eyes is more frequent. It is almost as if he is looking right through me. It's not all the time of course, but more often than it used to be. It brings to mind that I must remember and cherish these moments when we do connect, so that I will always have that in my memory.
I received a lovely email from a reader recently, thanking me for my blog. Her dad has dementia, and she and her mom have been helped by reading through the different posts. What a lovely recognition! It made my day.
Thanks for stopping by. I so appreciate each one of my readers.