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3 month update
Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018 11:44 AM
Joined: 9/11/2015
Posts: 147

Hello all, it has been 3 mo this now since I placed DW in memory care.  I have not been here to visit or offer support in a couple months now.  My life is nothing like I had planned.

Thankfully, DW has adjusted well to living at the MC facility.  An antidepressant helped her by taking the edge off of her sad times.  She is happy to have a visitor and I go nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. She has no idea when I was there last any more, no concept of time really from what I can tell.  She knows me as someone special and will sometimes say my name but fundamentally she does not know who I am anymore.  She has no memory, or at least can not converse about any of our life together over the last 25 years.  She has no interest or ability to participate in any activities other than listening to music or going for a drive.  Basically her entire life is 3 meals a day, a shower or bath a couple times a week, and the few hours I spend with her.  It is very heartbreaking for me.

I have this crazy guilt, way too often lately.  Each drawer I clean out, each weed I pull, room I paint, I am removing her from what was our home.  I am moving on.  I am catching up on sleep and years of deferred maintenance on the house.  I have been selling “her stuff” that has no meaning in my new life.  Collections she had hat were special to her and she no longer even remembers or has any interest in.  

It is a 35 minute drive each way there then home.  I used to enjoy the drive but lately is has been more of a chore.  If I do not go for a day I feel bad, like she will miss me or I will miss some detail of her care.  Half the time when I am there I am honking of all the work I have to do and want to leave and feel guilty about that too.

I have decided to host thanksgiving dinner this year.  DW never wanted guests.  In 25 years living together we only had dinner guests 4 or 5 times.  My family has always been close and gets together often.  It will be my pleasure to host family for a gathering again.  The first of many I hope.  

I cannot seem to shake the guilt.  I KNOW that there is nothing I can do to change her situation or the disease.  My head understands that, mostly, but my heart and soul aren’t getting the message.  

Hugs to all

Mimi S.
Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018 11:49 AM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7028

Thanks for the update. Enjoy all the preparations and T

Thanksgiving Day.

Don't feel you need to visit as often as you do. She can't keep track of when you were there last. But do visit.  Also, she has no concept of time, so a short visit is fine.

Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018 2:07 PM
Joined: 10/21/2016
Posts: 2654


You are a good man.  Bless you for how well you have taken care of your wife.  I hope you can cut yourself a break because you deserve it!

Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018 3:28 PM
Joined: 3/15/2018
Posts: 618

I think we all feel guilt. I try to remember the difference between guilt and condemnation. Guilt is when I know there’s something I should be doing and I’m choosing not to. Condemnation is when I’m doing Everything I can and I’m still condemning myself. You’ve gone the extra mile for a long long time. You are “guilty “ of nothing. So try to look above the self recrimination and acknowledge there’s nothing else you can do for her. And it’s more than ok to begin to create a life for yourself in the midst of the loss. I’m so terribly sorry you’re going through this at such a young age and stage.
Posted: Monday, October 29, 2018 10:42 PM
Joined: 3/9/2012
Posts: 633

My husband is also in memory care. It sounds like they are at approximately the same stage. He seems to know that I am his "woman". We have been married 55 years. He does not know how often I visit. I normally go on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursdays after lunch and hang out for an hour or two or until he falls asleep or wonders away. Keeping busy and being with family and friends really helps. But, sometimes we just feel sad.
Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 6:49 PM
Joined: 2/2/2014
Posts: 6262

I will happily tell you NO GUILT and then tell you it is FREAKING hard.  We were married 43 wonderful years.  A golden life of everything good you could imagine.  Important world class work for both , fantastic children, lovely grandchildren, no arguments, good in-laws  no money trouble, even lousy bosses who we made wish they had never met us. We traveled the world . walked with animals and filmed underwater. 

I owe her everything and I miss her so badly.  but she is gone.

Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 12:23 AM
Joined: 3/25/2018
Posts: 173

My husband has been in memory care about 8 months. I understand about the guilt, I felt guilty all the time. If I went out to a movie or cooked something he liked or missed a day seeing him I felt guilty. Its an hour and a half drive one way to see him and I started out going every day.  Now I go twice a week, but I still struggle with guilt and moving on. I still haven’t touched any of his stuff, though I have bought some rugs and new furniture, and moved things around so the house, especially our bedroom, looks totally different. The guilt maybe will always be there, but I will say its not as intense as it was, so it should get easier for you in that regard.
Posted: Sunday, November 4, 2018 9:01 AM
Joined: 9/11/2015
Posts: 147

Thank you for your words of encouragement.