Is that even a word? Ages ago I started this blog with the goal of working through the emotions which present themselves when attempting to care for someone with Alzheimers. I say attempting because largely that’s all it is. There is no sense of success, joy or thankfulness associated with this. Dorey has seemingly lost her essence of self and is now on automaton. She counts her coins, reorganises the notes in her purse and looks for things. Each day seems to be centred around search and rescue activities and the first task of the day is to check the microwave, oven and fridge for things which overnight have been “misfiled”. There are teeth in the teabag jar, the t.v. remote control is in the cupboard. None of this matters. It’s expected.
The emotions associated with caring are wildly erratic. A friend told me that if you can come away with the sense that you have had an “adequate” day, that is good enough. Some days I walk away with gratitude that there are no dead bodies and I didn’t have to come up with any bail money. The days wear on I am so amazed her tiny, fragile body is still functioning. There is no muscle or fat mass to inject the B6. She is no longer capable of conversation but is amazingly focussed on emotion and it is this with which I struggle. I don’t think I ever got to the place of acceptance. I still fight with her about whether she should buy the big packet of weetbix or another loaf of bread and respond for the 25th time to “what do we need” and “what have I got your father for his tea”. It’s a time when the cost of groceries to her is equivalent to a week at butlins. Each day there is a sense of Not Again. This is my struggle because I am not perfect, not a natural “carer” at the age of 62 would really like a holiday, along with thousands of others who do the same thing, share the same emotions and are also not perfect. What keeps me going is the love, the smile, the childlike dependence and the knowing that no-one else is going to care as much to find the t.v. remote, the teabags and whether she changes her knickers enough. So Mundaneness is a word but it’s not my word.