Quality of Life

Psalm 71:22 Also with the lute I will praise You— And Your faithfulness, O my God! To You I will sing with the harp, O Holy One of Israel.

A beautiful winter outing.

After yesterday’s blow up, today was quite mild! Mike was very subdued and quiet. I don’t know if he remembers yesterday, but he must have realized something had happened. I woke up at 7 and it was raining and I laid in bed listening to the rain, and dozed back to sleep for an hour! When I got up and went downstairs, Mike was sleeping on the sofa. He woke up about 9:30 and I fixed breakfast. He didn’t eat. He went to the family room and stayed there for a good portion of the morning. At 11:30 I decided to throw away his food, and just about then, he came into the living room, looked at it, and said he wasn’t aware I had fixed him anything. Which is puzzling, because I was cooking it when he said he was going to the family room and would be right back. Maybe he forgot in that short span of time. Next time, I won’t let it sit. I’ll take it to him.

Around 2 we left the house to go for a ride. I drove to Twin Lakes to take some photos, but the lake was totally frozen, so nothing happening there. Then I drove to Spirit Lake and found the same – all frozen. On the way back to Coeur d’Alene, Mike decided he wanted to go to Elmer’s for dinner, so we did.

After we got home, Mike wanted to watch the movie The Lone Survivor. It’s not my kind of movie at all! I stayed in the living room, read some, then decided to head for my bedroom. I told Mike I was going to bed, he said goodnight, stood up, and went to his room. That was the end of his day.

My question is: What sort of quality of life is there for him now? If he’s not sleeping in bed or on the sofa, he sits with the tv blaring, I can barely be in the same room it’s so loud most of the time. Or if we go for a ride, he sits quietly without speaking. If we go out to eat, he orders, then sits without talking or engaging except to ask for more water. He doesn’t smile, he doesn’t talk, he’s just there. This man, he used to do everything! He could fix the car, the plumbing, the electrical. He could build, or plant, or design, or sculpt whatever, and now nothing! In just 1 short year he’s totally withdrawn from everything and almost everybody.

My heart hurts for him, and for the loss of our last few years together. Even though he’s physically still here, the man he was is now gone.

Today wasn’t pleasant

Psalm 36:5 Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Golden-Eye, taken at Fernan Lake 4 March 2021

Today turned ugly in a hurry. I had our son put an alarm on Mike’s bedroom door, for me, so I could know when Mike got up in the middle of the night. Mike found the alarm and totally blew up at me! “I refuse to live in a house under surveillance, you had no right.” I tried to explain what I did it for, he refused to listen, he just kept yelling and yelling! So I yelled back – Oh Boy! he was so appalled that I responded the way I did, he told me he deserves to be treated better than that and I better not do it again! So I said, “What?! You can yell at me, but I can’t respond in kind?!” “Yes! You are not to yell at me!” I turned to him and said, “Look buster! If you treat me this way, you can expect me to treat you the same, there’s nothing special about you!”

Mike then proceeded to let me know he thinks I am untrustworthy, and unreliable and a variety of other choice names. He told me he doesn’t need me at all. I said fine, I can leave – just remember I handle your medications and without me, you would be dead already because I took care of you! I saved you from the overdose you did to yourself, I found the mix up on medications, I took you to the emergency room, I was the one who made sure you were weaned off the medication you screwed up. I invested a ton of time and energy to save you, and I want to continue to keep you safe. But I can leave.

He then proceeded to tell me, “how do I know you’re telling the truth? How do I know you’re not just saying things to keep me confused?” And then he added, “I don’t remember taking the car at 3 am!” (What??? I never mentioned the car! Is he telling me something he doesn’t really remember? Did he take the car at 3 am? Is that when the damage to the front grill happened?) I asked him, “Why would I do that to you? I’m wanting you to stay safe and not get hurt, and not have problems. But you fight me every step of the way. And again you’ve just said I am untrustworthy! That will stop NOW! You are never to say that to me again!”

He looked puzzled and told me he never called me untrustworthy! (aaarrrrgggghhhhh)

I made sure he had his lunch and dinner, I cleaned the kitchen after each meal, and I made sure he got tonight’s medications. He fell asleep at 7 pm on the sofa in the living room and stayed there until almost 9 pm, he then went to his own bed.

As I am sitting here typing this, I feel a migraine wanting to happen. It’s been hanging around all day and it’s knocking at the back of my skull. I used to get them all the time; It’s been years since my last migraine, and I don’t want to ever go there again. However, today’s events seem to have opened the door to that possibility.

Tomorrow is a new day, Mike will, most likely forget any of this happened, I still have to process the whole day and allow it to mellow out so I can continue. This is crazy making!

Mixed Day

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

Geese at Fernan Lake, Idaho Taken 4 March 2021

I dropped Mike off at PT, and one of the lunch buddies picked him up for me so I could run some needed errands and I got some time for myself, after I took care of some things, I paid the electric bill, I had 2 other stops, including the pharmacy, for refill meds for Mike. At the beginning of December I found out he had messed up his meds, and was overdosing on one of them. It took me a while to get it figured out, and then, on Christmas Day, and the next day, I ended up taking Mike to the emergency room. It turned out he was in withdrawal. When I took over the medications, I was giving him the prescribed amount, he was taking 3x the prescribed amount – on the 2nd trip into the ER the doctor gave me a plan to wean Mike from the medication and I did, it took 15 pills from the 90 he had been given. Since it’s a controlled substance, it’s monitored very carefully. I ended up having to go into the doctor’s office, and explain to the nurse, why I needed the refill 15 days early. It took most of the day to get an answer, but finally I got the call the medication was ready. I am thankful they didn’t give me any hassles, there were only 2 pills left. But we’re good now.

From there, I was able to go out and take some pictures – it was a very relaxing day and I enjoyed it immensely. I got back to the house at 1 and Robert was here. Mike was dropped off at 12:30, and he couldn’t remember how to open the garage to get into the house. Robert had to open the door for him.

I notice the grill of my car seemed to be bent, and then forgot about it for a couple of days. I went out to look at it this afternoon, with our son, and the whole thing is mashed in!! I also discovered, in Idaho, only a doctor can report someone to the DMV and have their license revoked. I am going to take photos of the various dents, scrapes, and such, print them, and then take them into the doctor to show him Mike has no business driving! Mike doesn’t even remember the damage he’s done to my car, when he sees it he exclaims, “Someone must have hit us!” I tell him, “No, you hit a pole in the Fred Meyer parking lot.” A few days later, we go through the same thing. My car looks like it’s been in a demolition derby (maybe not quite that bad, but there is some serious damage to the vehicle) I don’t want to confront Mike on this – it’s going to be bad enough without my putting myself into the scenario of telling him!

It’s late, after 11 pm, and I had hoped to go out to the store tomorrow, but I haven’t seen Robert tonight to confirm that he’ll be here in the morning and I need to sneak down to the kitchen and make myself a sandwich, I was hoping for some soup, but it looks like it’s not happening this evening.

Planning a party

Psalm 36:5 Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

A beautiful scene, Scotland, August 2017

I had a lovely day today. Mike put away some of the coats and gloves he’s been hanging on the living room floor. FedEx arrived by 10:30 and took packages away; then I had a visitor, Marge, and she and I chatted for at least 2 solid hours. I was so happy to have had company! While she was here, Mike mostly stayed in the family room watching tv and napping. Marge and I are planning a high tea for April 10th. It’s been years since I’ve hosted a tea party and I am looking forward to this with a lot of happy anticipation. Hats are optional. (I don’t even know where my high tea hat is!)

After Marge left, I had to go to Liberty Lake, WA to get a new debit card. It’s been 2 weeks since I ordered a new one, and I still haven’t gotten it – so I got Mike and we took off. A 30 minute drive there, and back again and 5 minutes at the bank. Now I wish I had gone sooner! But I was dreading going into Washington, they are under some really strict rules about masks, etc. However, the bank was open, and face friendly. No one had a mask on. Yea!!!

After we got home, I sat with Mike, and watched some tv. I wanted a movie, but he wanted the news. I didn’t stay in the room long. I feel news saturated from pre-election watching, and I think I’ve only watched 2 hours since November 22. I have read some news, and looked at a local newspaper, that’s about it.

Now, Mike’s gone to bed, and I will be heading there soon.

He’s trying

Psalm 36:5 Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

 Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Paris, France April, 2018

Mike is trying, and trying to remember things, and to follow through with things. I know he struggles and there are times I wish he’d just stop. He is bound and determined to get the shop into some sort of order, the more he does there, the more messed up it becomes. AND! He keeps bringing me ‘treasures’. (OMGosh!) He drags in one item, and then he drags in another item, and then another, then he drags in a box, or three. And as I am trying to keep things somewhat decent around the house, I keep having to deal with the stuff he brings in…. and it’s coming in a steady flow. He is excited as a kid to show me what he’s found. (aarrrggghhhh)

What’s more, he doesn’t just open a box, he tears it to shreds! It is no longer usable for anything but trash. He doesn’t seem to be interested in opening the boxes with his name on them – Oh No! It’s only those with my name on them! I really don’t want to go out to the shop to see what he’s been doing, but I just might have to. I dread that. I can picture all the things I carefully packed, strewn all over the floor as he mangles the boxes and the wrapping, and even, the item itself! It looks like I am going to be forced, by the very act of his searching, to go out and see for myself what condition everything is in! (I don’t know whether to shudder or to cry – and maybe I’m projecting a higher level of devastation, than there really is)

I was busy today. I fixed Mike lunch, then I worked on dinner, made some cobbler, and prepared chicken salad for tomorrow’s lunch. I did this in between doing the dishes, cleaning the counters, putting clean pots and pans away, and giving Mike the attention he needs when he’s coming into the house from the shop (sort of like a little kid bringing Mommy a flower)

It’s late now, time for lights out.

What is your purpose?

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?

A castle in Scotland. August 2017

Mike’s days are mixed up. He usually has PT on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but do to a schedule conflict we had to go in today, Monday. Then he wanted Elmer’s for lunch, and, of course, the regular Tuesday waitresses weren’t there, and that confused him more. Poor baby.

After we got home, he went out to the shop to move boxes around. I don’t know if he’s feeling accomplished doing that, but he’s spending a lot of time at it. He keeps bringing in small ‘treasures’ he finds. A box with bed linens, a box with cookbooks, a packet of seeds – who knows how old they are? – and a variety of other things. I am almost to the point I am going to have to start throwing things away as soon as he goes out again. He places said treasures on the sofa next to me for me to investigate and gush over his current find. I can hardly keep up with the pile of coats, jackets, and hats he’s hung on the chair; and now I get to deal with more. But, he’s content, and he believes he’s helping, so I am not going to tell him to stop. He’s been telling me he feels inadequate and has no sense of purpose anymore. I’ve tried to tell him his purpose is to keep me company! However, he wants more to do, and as it warms up he’s going to be out in the shop for longer periods of time. (I can tell that’s where this is going)

Tonight, Robert came in, with the kids, and they fixed dinner for everyone. Robert let the kids do most of the stuff, after he gave them some minor instructions. They made hot dogs with chili and cheese, and pasta salad. It was tasty and clean up was a breeze – the kids also did the majority of the clean up!

Now, Mike’s asleep, and I will be turning out my lights really soon.

Just another day

Psalm 16:1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.

I love taking photographs and sharing them.

I slept almost a full 12 hours last night, something I rarely do. I laid down at 10:30 pm and got up at 10 am. I know I’ve been tired to the point of exhaustion, but even with that, to sleep that long at one stretch! Wow!

When I made my way downstairs, I found Mike was asleep on the sofa – I had no idea how long he’d been awake before me, but I could smell fresh brewed coffee, and the pot was hot. He’d been up about 30 minutes or so. I fixed my tea, took a cup of coffee in to him, and let him know I was up. Then I got him a glass of water and gave him his morning meds. He took the meds, picked up the coffee cup and said he was going to the family room. Two hours later he hadn’t come upstairs, and I knew he hadn’t eaten anything (no dirty dishes in the sink, or on the counter); I fixed him a couple of fried eggs, and took them down to him with a glass of milk.

In the early evening, around 4, Mike went to the shop and came back in with some of my older cookbooks and canning books. I keep thinking I need to get with it and begin canning again, I just don’t have the motivation. I did, however, cut my leeks regrowth back, and prepare them for the dehydrator.

Mike is still looking for the car keys. Today he was looking under the entertainment unit in the master bedroom and he called to me, “Jenny! There’s a camera under here!” I smiled to myself – “Yes, I know, It’s so I know if the grandkids go into the room when we’re gone. ” He was surprised by that, but let it go. And he still hasn’t found his keys.

A relaxing day

Jeremiah 17:7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord.

We were at a small church in the Cotswold’s of England in July 2017. We were told the local young ladies who are to be brides, try to plan the wedding day so the arbor is in full bloom and they get their photo taken under it. The church was lovely and the grounds were beautiful

I woke up at 3:30 – wide awake, sat up in bed – and stayed up the rest of the day! I watched the sun come up, and enjoyed my hot tea while I sat warm and comfortable on the sofa. At 6:30 I went upstairs to the master bedroom patio and watched as the white, misty, fog kissed the bottoms of the trees as a gentle breeze scooted it along the field. A lovely start to a very good day.

Mike got up at 8:00 and fell asleep on the sofa until 9. Our housekeeper arrived at 9 and Mike woke up when she came in. Mike suggested we go to Elmer’s for breakfast and let Emma do her thing. Off we went, enjoyed our meal and visited, briefly, with a friend. We got home, and I did a few things in the office, emptied another box, and put stuff away. After Emma was finished, Mike decided to go out to the shop and see if there was anything he could do about rearranging things – NOPE! He just shuffles boxes from one place to another, and back again. I’ve decided to just let him do it. The problem is, I don’t want to go out there and sit, or work; it’s to cold. So, while Mike is out there he has no one watching him and making sure he’s safe. This is a problem for me, and I do worry about him, but I still won’t go out there. I’ve tried to talk to him about hiring a POD to be delivered to the property and we pay rent for it, but it’s temporary, not permanent, like he wants to do. Doing a POD is also cheaper than renting a storage unit, and we wouldn’t have to haul the stuff far. Now I have to convince Mike, and that can be a challenge all by itself if he’s decided on something else.

We watched a couple episodes of The Pacific this evening. The day was very quiet and calm, which is nice after last night at dinner. He’s done well today with the meds, including the new one. I am going to make sure he doesn’t get his evening meds until almost 8 pm from now on. He doesn’t need them at 6.

As I am preparing for sleep, I am going through my plans for tomorrow and I’ve decided to try my hand at diamond painting. It’s putting little, colored, rhinestones onto a sticky grid to form a picture. This should be interesting.

A rushed day

Psalm 31:14 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.

Stonehenge, July 2017

Today was payday. I needed to go to the bank, run errands, and do a variety of other things. Robert was supposed to take Mike to breakfast between 9:30-10 and give me a full 2 hours. It didn’t turn out that way. I texted Robert at 9 that I was leaving the house. No response. I did my banking and in the car texted Robert again, no response. I ended up going home and waking him up and telling him that Dad was waiting for him. He said, Sorry, I forgot and I will get right up. So I went to the downtown area, near the library, to pay the water bill. Calling Robert as I drove, texting him – no response. I decided I had better get back home to take Mike out myself, when FINALLY! At almost 11 Robert let me know he was with Mike. By then I was stuck in traffic on Ramsey, heading toward Kathleen from the downtown area. grrrrrrrrr

Since I knew Mike would be taken care of for at least an hour, I went to Kohl’s, paid my bill; then I had to go to Staples, and the mailbox place; from there I ran to pay the electric on the house, and then to pay the Spectrum bill. It was almost noon, and I went back to the house. I wasted so much time having to drive back and forth! It’s frustrating at best, I didn’t get finished with what I needed to do, and I won’t be able to get out again before next week sometime.

Tonight we went to dinner with friends, and Mike decided he needed his evening meds before we left – by the time dinner arrived he was acting almost like he was drunk, slurring his words, and leaning sideways. He was acting disoriented and confused. I was so upset, and so sad watching him, it was all I could do not to cry. Fortunately, the couple we were with understood, but still…….

Mike went to bed as soon as we got home, and I am still awake. I’m tired, but I’m also feeling sad for Mike. I don’t know if I’m going to attempt to go out to dinner with friends again, I might just have some ladies in during the day for tea, or coffee, and a visit. At least that shouldn’t upset Mike in any way.

Projects

Psalm 43:3 Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle.

I titled this: Frosted Flakes and Berries. I took in February 2017

I got up to a little bit of snow falling, and it continued! By the time Mike and I left for his PT, there was about 3″ of snow on the ground and more was piling up – we ended up with at least 4″ total.

After PT, I dropped Mike off at the Olive Garden to have lunch with his buddies and to allow me the time to get a couple of things done. I had about 50-65 minutes total. Getting back to the house was slow, it was very slippery on the roads and when turning corners, the car wanted to be squirrely, so I went extra slow. I got home as Robert was pulling into the driveway, and he put an alarm on Mike’s bedroom door for me. If Mike gets up in the middle of the night, it’ll ring on my phone and I’ll have time to wake up and check on him before he would have time to get upstairs and out the door. Yea!!!

The next project was to hang one of my pieces of art on the wall of the bedroom. Robert was able to accomplish that in about 10 minutes and the painting is beautiful and fits perfectly. From there, he checked the dryer for me. Apparently Mike has made a maze of drying hose and next week, Robert is going to replace what is there with a proper set up. (sigh) It’s sad that Mike cannot do this properly, anymore. Robert had just gotten the dryer back into place when Mike’s ride pulled up to drop him off.

Robert and I sat in the living room and began a light conversation as Mike came in and so the three of us visited for a little while before Robert had to do a couple of errands prior to going to work. I am so thankful for him being here to help! Even getting 1 hour a week with him doing small projects is a huge weight off me.

The pharmacy called with another prescription refill, and Mike decided to go with me to get it. From there, I offered him a strawberry shake, but he decided on getting an apple fritter, again. So I took him to the donut shop.

Robert stopped in this evening, after he got home, to see if we needed anything before he went to bed. Mike heard him come in, and wanted to say good night to him. They had a quick conversation, and Mike headed to bed, Robert headed to bed, and I am about to. Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for me.