I wrote a blog with this title in March 2015. Over a year later, coping with a deteriorating situation, I'm still here – due very much to what I now term a 'watching' committee. They are the professionals, doctors, morning nurses. They are family, friends (so generous with e-mails) and the Moodscope 'world'.
'Opening up' in the morning, reading the day's blog and late comments from the day before, start my day. After three hours' solid abuse from 5am to 8 am and being called a terrible wife I've had a brainwave – I will get up and call my friends in Australia.
Over those 15 months I've lived with you all coping with depression of every severity – going through counselling, trying all sorts of drugs, weeping on shoulders, on cats; struggling with the work situation; struggling even to get up in the morning; risking alienating friends and family. But, with depression, a huge percentage (luckily), come out the other end. With Alzheimer's, you don't.
We've plumbed the absolute depths – and recoiled. Ironically I am glad that I worked 5 years with Samaritans, with Crisis at Christmas; that I have the experience of a daughter-in-law who spent 5 years working with Alzheimer's. If you've seen an 18-year-old girl 3 days from death from heroin addiction, the wrecks that alcoholism has driven to live under Hungerford Bridge, I think, I hope, spirit willing, that lessons can be learned. Now I am being advised that my own health is in danger; it's time to call it a day, which equals a home for my husband. But – I cannot yet.
As he cannot manage phones or radios he would very quickly become institutionalised; good though our hospital and staff are. I hunt congenial radio programmes, English and French, on line. Friends and family can phone anytime. People go by in the road, pop in. Despite spending most of his time wrapped up in a cocoon of coats, blankets and misery I can still provide him a life.
With a little help from my friends.
A Moodscope member.
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