Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our Weekend

What a crazy weekend. Last Thursday I was terrified that Jay was slipping backward with all his tics and twitches coming back. I was so relieved to see his face when he got off the van at the hospital that day. Seeing him meant that the therapist hadn't thought he needed to be admitted again and that he and I would have a four day weekend together. But by Sunday I was ready to call the hospital myself to beg them to admit him.

I can look past the tics that make him breathe erratically and the twitches that make him unable to control his arms and legs when he's been triggered. We can cope just fine if he never drives alone again. I will sleep on the floor for the rest of my life so that he can watch the doors all night if that's what he wants. The short term memory problems mean that often times our conversations feel hollow because I know that the next day he will probably not remember talking to me. But if there was only one thing I could make go away it would be the zombie-ness. Days and days of just blank stares and no conversation. It's almost more than I can take to know that my husband is in there but can't come out.

I had tried to post all weekend. I sat down to the computer with list after list of all the off-the-wall stuff Jay had done. Staying out in his truck til 2 or 3am trying to pull out a stereo system. Refusing/unable to sleep and nodding off while standing, smashing his head more than once. Or falling asleep in the chair with a bowl full of Fruity Pebbles. Getting mad and pulling down the obnoxious alarms he installed because I had accidentally left them off. (I had turned them off so they wouldn't wake him when I had to set the chair out to dry after cleaning milk and cereal off of it). I really could go on and on. But all of it is nothing compared to the empty stares and silence that came with it all. So there was no need to blather on about the day to day shenanigans. In a nutshell: he couldn't sleep so I followed him around day and night to keep him from killing himself, lather-rinse-repeat.

There were moments of lucidity in there though. Just bits. Kind of like in the movie The Notebook. I felt like the husband whose wife had Alzheimer's. He read to her and talked to her every minute, hanging on to that slight chance that she would have a moment of clarity and be herself again. And after she did come around for a few minutes, she would disappear inside her head again and not remember anything that happened. After this experience I think I understand what it might be like to care for someone with Alzheimer's. It's so hard to love someone who knows you, but doesn't see you. At least for us, the zombie-ness seems to come and go.

Clarity is so fragile for him. This morning started like most with no speaking and a little peck on the cheek. But when he got off the van today he was smiling. He came home ready to go shopping for stuff for his new car. He was laughing and kidding around with our son. We were so happy. Then as we were passing thru a busy intersection a car went by and honked incessantly. Not at us, but it didn't matter. The cussing started immediately, then the shakiness.

While we were at the auto-parts store a guy came up to him and started making conversation about the work he was doing. He wasn't an employee, just a nice guy who was interested in what he was planning for his car. I stood behind Jay like a mother watching her child on the playground, wondering how he would react with this other boy and if he'd make friends. Jay was polite but not talkative and the guy picked out the part he was originally reaching for and walked away. Jay told me he had wanted to talk but he just couldn't. I told him he did just wonderful and that it was going to take time. He has retreated to the garage for now. I'm hoping that he won't retreat inside his head too. It's been nice having him back today.


  1. I know this is difficult for you. Please know I am here for you. Please feel free to talk about anything you need to.
    I have suffered from depression pretty much all my life. I am doing much better now. I have been on several different drugs and there is a difficult period in the beginning while my body balances out. Your husband is going through this with his meds and will get better. They have to get him through the first stage of rough days. Hang on to the good days/moments to carry you through the not so good times.
    You and your family are in my prayers daily. Please feel free to email if you want to vent. I am here for you.
    Hugs and blessings,

  2. Patricia, I am sorry to hear that you have battled depression your whole life. It is another one of those invisible ailments that gets overlooked in society and must be very frustrating for you. I will hold on to your explanation that when he has been on his medication longer he might return more to his old self. It's definitely something to look forward to.

    Thank you for the prayers and the invitation to vent. Both are so very appreciated.