Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another harrowing night...

One of the things this dreadful disease has taken away from my husband is his sense of direction (he did used to have one), not to mention his ability to see well at night, and the patience to drive in unfamiliar settings. We have had one bad experience after another as he attempts to find his way to dr. appointments in Albany.

He got lost going to a dr's office that he had driven to 3 times prior so the logical action for me was to buy him a GPS that takes him door to door with spoken clear directions. And that does work to get him there, although he still misses exits or can't get over in time, etc. When that happened in the past I would get a frantic call from him saying he missed his exit and got off exit 6 and was in Latham and had just passed some road I've never heard of and how did he get back to his Dr.? Of course I never had any idea where he was and he would get very frustrated as I struggled blindly to figure out where he was lost and how to get him back to where he wanted to go. This happened three times and I forked out the $300 for the GPS gladly! So last night he misses his first exit and the GPS recalculates and takes him a different way, then he misses the 2nd exit and it does it again. And he makes it to his Dr. appointment on time because he left himself plenty of time. God Bless Garmin!

But the GPS can't help him with his night blindness problem - so I meet him after his appointment on my way home from work so I can lead him back home - he usually does okay following my tail lights all 45 miles home although he drives much slower than I want to so it's excruciating for me. But I love him so I do it.

Last night - following me wasn't working - it was extremely cloudy so no moon and very dark. It was snowing and blowing all over so visibility wasn't great. We made it about 15 miles - going less than 55 mph in a 65 mph zone and really pissing people off. He called me - he can't see and he can't do it anymore we are going to have to leave the truck and he will ride home with me. But where we are leaving it is a park & ride lot in a remote area that has no lights at all. He says I can bring him to it in the morning on my way to work and he'll be fine in the daylight. But I was worried about what condition the truck might be in, probably be fine but if anyone had an inkling to break into it there was no one around to see and no lights to deter. I just couldn't see leaving it there all night.

Queue my dad the rescuing hero! I drove my husband home and then went to pick up my dad who rode the 30 miles back to the truck with me and then drove it home for me. I let dad lead (so he couldn't comment on my lead foot) and off we went. By the time we got home, dropped off the truck and I ran dad back down to his house and got home myself it was 9:30 pm and I ate a giant bowl of Peanut Butter Pandemonium Ice Cream for comfort and went to bed.

I guess I don't have to say I am drained today. Thankfully during the long ride with my dad we talked and when my husband has to go back to the doctor next Wednesday - dad is going to drive him to Albany so there will be no repeat of last night.

Part of me feels bad for whining so much about all of this, imagine my poor husband who has lost his ability to walk with ease, his ability to drive after dark, his ability to reason clearly to find his way around, I guess I'm mourning what I've lost - the guy I married, yes this man who lives with me and sleeps in my bed is a totally different guy than the one I fell in love with. I still love him more than life, but I miss the guy he used to be. I know he misses that guy too.

Oh well to quote my favorite heroine of all time - "Tomorrow is another day!"


verybadcat said...

Don't feel guilty. I still love my husband, dearly, but sometimes I just can't handle him not having a job, being depressed about not having a job, not doing the stuff around the house I would do if I were home, etc. It's not fair, and it's not right, and in those moments I don't care about his side.

I think it's perfectly normal to mourn those losses. If anything, it's harder to accept because you have so little control, and you don't suffer the physicality of it. :)

Jennifer McKenzie said...

You know, it's a proven fact that the people LIVING WITH the person with a disease are effected as well.
Such as the disease of alcoholism (hence the 12 step program Al-Anon) and Diabetes (I know. I do this).
As much as he has to deal with, you have to deal with HIM AND all the stuff he has to deal with.
You're entitled to whine a little, I think.
I just remember something I heard once. On an airplane, they instruct you (if you have a small child and the plane loses air pressure) to take the oxygen FIRST and then give the oxygen to your child.
In other words, take care of yourself. Because if you aren't okay, how can you be there for him?
What you're doing is HARD and you're doing it. And doing it well from what I can see.

Tricia said...

Thanks - I'm glad to have permission to whine. At least for awhile because eventually even you will get sick of it! LOL