My head is in a really ugly place and has been for the past couple of weeks. Spouse continues to get worse and worse, each day bringing more challenges than the one before. I absolutely hate me & feel ugly inside and helpless to make anything turn out alright. The VA has made me afraid now, of losing Spouse, as well as the income he brings in to the home. This morning, my first thought, upon waking, included
Every day brings more bouts of trying to wake him up, cleaning up shitty mess after shitty mess, attempting to get him to eat food that is healthy, forcing him to take the medicine that makes him shit so much & his other pills and all the while, trying to not get frustrated with him. For the past week, Spouse has begun to sleep more than before, becoming more and more difficult to wake up. He has gotten more antagonistic with me over the smallest things and the dementia is rearing its' ugly head with increased frequency. Nobody ever comes to visit, not that a guest would feel comfortable watching the routines we have here. The phone rarely rings, except for the odd solicitor who either gets a verbal blasting because they've interrupted a very important aspect of my daily riturals with Spouse or the kinder, sadder version where I request they remove my ill husband's name from their registry of hunters... what a sad creature I have become.
Tonight, he began trying to take the lid off of his cup of lemonade and I panicked. It's been a long, hard and very frustrating day and the last thing I wanted to do was mop up another mess, especially if it could be avoided. So, we struggled with each other over the glass of lemonade. He began yelling at me, calling me horrid names and I finally gave his shoulder a light smack. He immediately shut up and let go of the glass and I felt absolute remorse for having struck him, even if it was just a little smack. He did not deserve to be hit, no one does. The strange thing is, that little hit made him "come to" and he seemed more coherent for a short while. Following that unforgivable action of mine, he seemed more awake and able to comprehend what was going on in his surroundings. Did my action wake him up? I don't know, but it certainly got both of our attention.
I checked his shoulder, to be sure I hadn't injured him and there was not even a red mark where my hand struck his shoulder. Still, I feel more horrible than I have ever felt in my life. Now I wonder if I should call the police and turn myself in... is this what I have become? A monster who goes around beating on defenseless and helpless disabled people? What I did to my husband is proof of just how evil I have become in this isolation we live in. He deserves better and if I were out of the picture, he'd get better treatment, that's for certain. Don't worry, though - I won't be taking any drastic measures to bring that first thought to fruition. When my best friend committed suicide, many years ago, I realized just how much pain caused and how many other lives were effected. I could not do that to my sisters, nor to my children and friends.
You know, he was doing so well, until we got the news from the VA about a claim Spouse had submitted recently. There is a grant available to certain veterans, which would have helped us to get some modifications done on the house so his wheelchair might fit through his bedroom door, through the bathroom door, through the door to get in/out of the house and add a ramp so he might go outside when he wants.
The VA denied Spouse the grant, claiming his broken hip would mend, as well as his hip fracture not being service connected. Well, no fuckin'ladeeda shit, frickin' ignorant desk jockey in the VA system!!! As if we are so stupid as to think a broken hip warrants a wheelchair ramp in the first place!!! *sorry - this really pisses me off - more than I can express in a lady like fashion* When I attempted to explain to the powers that be that the claim was related to his Hepatic Encephalopathy, it's as if I was banging my head on a foam wall... boing boing boing & not a dent in sight. It does not surprise me, not really, because in the documentation which we provided to the desk jerkey, er jockey, his primary doc in the VA system stated that his prognosis is "guarded". In other words, the VA knows they can simply deny all they want & eventually, given the health of the veteran, he will die and they will have saved the system hundreds of dollars. Never mind the fact the veteran can barely move around in his home & on most days, he is no longer able to even use his walker. It's the wheelchair or bed and nothing in between. They, the VA, will simply sit and wait for the veteran to die. They have all the time in the world for this, after all... it is the government.
So - once we got the denial to his claim, then the denial to the appeal I made on his behalf, he has given up. It seems he just does not care any longer and so he's ready to check out and let the VA win. Meanwhile, I have been putting in an average of 18 hour days, never getting my daily shower before 1 a.m. and not getting to sleep before 3 a.m. He has crapped himself, on a daily basis, no less than 3 times & I clean him up. We are no longer able to get him into the bathtub safely, so you can only imagine how difficult it is to get him clean each time he makes this mess. Thank goodness for baby wipes that cut through the poo! It might not be so bad, if the Lactulose *remember me mentioning this nasty elixer, right? explosive shitz is the one side effect you can depend on. No pun intended there...* didn't make it smell THAT much worse and THAT much messier. I'm sorry for being so graphic - really, I am. It might be less difficult if he were able to stand, with his walker, without shaking and/or falling down.
Yesterday, I was on the phone with my sister, Tower, whilst tending to Spouse. She told me today that it took me 45 minutes to get him awake, out of his bed and into the bathroom and then back into bed. That was just one trip to the potty. Thank goodness that was a trip that he made & hit the toilet and not a nasty pants trip. I have learned to totally appreciate little things like hitting the hole and dry pants. Bless my sister's heart, for staying on the phone with me while I was tending him. The sad thing, he fell as we were exiting the bathroom on a subsequent trip, and she got to hear the most of that. That had to be scary for her, to hear the crash as he began to fall and my muffled sob when I saw him begin to go down.
Damn me! DAmn Me! I turned my eye, for just a second, to see where his wheelchair was, because it does not fit into the bathroom completely. The door is in the way. If I had been standing behind him, a difficult position to get to in the first place, when he is exiting the john, he might not have fallen. Thank goodness, this time his head hit on the box of laundry soap and not on the pedestal sink. Did I mention it took nearly an hour to get him up off the floor, because he was having trouble understanding my directions when attempting to lift him?
The thing is, I cannot lift him on my own. My back cannot withstand the strain of trying to lift him and my left shoulder is shot all to hell. I'm not sure if the shoulder got "near" blown from hauling the heavy buckets of water up from the basement, each time it flooded, or from having to pick Spouse up when he fell or a combination of both. Either way, it's all I can do to carry a bag of groceries in from the car, using my left arm. One of these days, it will snap, I'm gonna scream and it will be painfully useless until we can afford a trip to the doctor to fix it. Of course, I'll have to find a sitter for Spouse first.
Anyhow, this post got lots longer than I had planned, so I apologize for that. Bottom line, I am lower than pond scum and know it. Although I have told Spouse how very, very, VERY sorry I am for having struck him and he has forgiven me in a brief moment of clarity - there is a lesson for me to learn here. There are things for me to consider, before allowing myself to vent in such a horrible way, if there is a next time. First off - if I feel that frustrated in a given situation, then I must inhale/exhale and step away, even if it means I will wind up mopping up yet another sticky mess from the floor. It would only be another sticky mess & cleaning such up would be far more favorable than diminishing my true love's dignity.
I must strive to remember that someday, seeing as I have the same disease, I might have to rely on someone else to care for me -- because of this, the Golden Rule really should be followed! Most important for me to keep in mind here, is the commitment I made to my beloved and to the God of my Understanding. Tonight, I failed that commitment - but I have been blessedly forgiven by my husband & hopefully by my God. Way to go, Kimmi... just one more failure to chalk up on the list of fuck-ups this summer.
Anyway - all this above - that's why I haven't been posting. Who wants to read about the evil bitch who was so mean to her husband? Who wants to read about what she's been doing every single day for the past few weeks? Not me & can't blame the reader for not running for the hills! Fuggit... it's after my 3 a.m. bedtime and I still need to get a shower. Now you understand why I cut my hair, kids?