Mine started when I found out my brother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. His girlfriend of over 25 years kicked him out on the street. He made it to our home in Corona, CA which we had put
up for sale in preparation of my moving to Sun City Summerlin.
This has not been a fast paced, earth shaking change. It is an insidious disease, creeping up with minute changes month by month, escalating to week by week, then day by day. It continues for many years.
At first we went on several trips – Hawaii, Tennessee and Ontario, Canada a few times to visit family. We enjoyed several cruises to Mexico, the western Caribbean and the eastern Caribbean. I was always on guard making sure he didn’t wander away when we were off the ship.
One time, we settled down for a nap. He got up while I was sleeping, left the room and ended up at the baby nursery facility. He had no idea what his room number was. Fortunately he had his room key. The ladies contacted the office and escorted him back safely.
At one point his driving became unstable. He went to renew his license. I notified the lady in charge at the DMV. She was so nice to him, talking him thru the dangers he would be creating for other drivers. She suggested he trade his license for an ID card – he agreed and I breathed a sigh of relief!
As time has passed he has become more unable to take care of himself. I started attending to him in the restroom because it was easier than having to clean up after him every time he went.
I hired a caregiver to look after him twice a week – feeding him, showering him, taking him for walks, etc. In December, 2016, he was hospitalized then moved to a group home. After 6 months, he had recovered enough to come home. The caregiver is coming 3 times a week now.
When he came home, we still went dancing and out to lunch or dinner. Mid August started another decline in his abilities to function. September 8, 2017 I had him admitted to Summerlin Hospital. He was transferred to Desert Springs and then to El Jen Healthcare and Rehab Center. October 9, he was given a hospice evaluation. It was decided to have him on home hospice for as long as I can take care of him.
Hence – my life changing experience. I have given up membership in Canasta, Computer and Gun Clubs. I am maintaining membership in Ceramics, Glass Fusion and the Writer’s Workshop. I have to divide my time to include doctor visits, grocery shopping, etc. I have no afternoons or evenings free to socialize.
I am his sole support, along with the caregiver coming 3 times a week. Hospice is coming 3 times a week to bath him. He has been bed-ridden since February 22, 2018. He went from being ambulatory to bed-ridden in 36 hours. I had no idea how to take care of someone who couldn’t sit up by himself or roll over or feed himself. I was a blithering, hysterical idiot for 2 days. I was given advice by several people who knew what to do – they were my saviors.
Has this been a life changing experience? You bet it has and I would do it all over again for my brother.
Copyright 2018 Sun City Writers Workshop - Las Vegas, NV.
|OUR AUTHOR SHARYN SMITH|
Scan down to read additional submissions on this topic:
"A Life Changing Experience."
Also Visit our Comedy Writers Workshop Blog"
Read over forty original comedy short stories.