Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meltdown Monday

It's hard for me to write this, but considering this is a blog about Dealing With Alzheimer's I must.  This past Monday was really hard.

My husband was in St. Louis visiting his family.  those of you that follow my blog know that I usually enjoy my time alone when he leaves -- it's real quiet and peaceful!  And, it had been for several days. But then Monday morning came around.

I had purchased a new fishing rod and reel on Sunday.  On Monday morning, I went to adjust the line and get it in working order.  When I started to do it, it confused me.  I couldn't quite figure out how to do it -- but it's pretty simple you know?  I got frustrated pretty quickly and thought I'll just put it aside and come to it later.  I then decided to go into my craft room and try to clean and straighten up the mess I had in there.  When I went into the room, I couldn't clean it.  I looked at everything -- there were stacks of paper everywhere, scissors, scraps of paper on the floor, etc.  I knew that eventually I had to run the vacuum in that room, but I couldn't figure out how to pick things up off the floor in order to vacuum.  I couldn't pick up the stacks of paper I had laying around and organize them or even straighten them to put away in their nice cubby hole.  How hard is it to pick something up off the floor?  But I could not do it.   I decided to try something else.

I then went to do some laundry.  I got the clothes in the washing machine, but I couldn't figure out how to turn the washer on.  I should be able to do that in my sleep right?

I decided to leave that task and go outside for some fresh air. I had a major panic attack and couldn't go outside.

I had become a prisoner in my own house and couldn't do anything. I realized I was not in a good situation with all of this happening.  I called several friends at home and at work and either they were not home or they weren't in their office.  So, I broke down.  I'm not a "crier", but I started to cry and I didn't stop.  I tried to call my husband in St. Louis -- he knows how I get when things like this happen.  But he wasn't answering his phone.  Then I called my son.  He has not experienced me this way and I am sure I scared him.  When I am like this, I can only tell you that "I can't do anything".  I am not capable of telling you all the things I can't do -- all I can get out of my mouth is "I can't do anything".  I'm sure when my son picked up the phone and I was sobbing out of control he figured something had happened to me or his dad.  He offered to come over but I told him no I just needed to hear his voice.  After that phone call I finally got in touch with my husband, and although he wasn't here with me, he understood what was happening to me and it made me feel better.  But it makes me feel so stupid when I can't do the simplest things. Logically, I know I am not stupid, but I can't get that out of my mind.  I had thought of calling a neighbor to come help me but I didn't want to tell them that I couldn't turn my washer on!   I feel like I have a big "S" on my head for stupid.

The thing about these episodes is that I know what I am suppose to do, but I cannot physically do it.  It's like the instructions are written in a foreign language. The thought is in my brain but it can't be relayed into action. As you can imagine it is very frustrating.  Things like this happen to me all the time, but not usually all at one time. Luckily, I didn't have anything that I absolutely had to do that day and of course I didn't.  I honestly don't remember much of the rest of the day other than my husband and son both called to check on me.  I was still crying a lot during the day which is not like me.

The rest of the week has been much better compared to my Meltdown Monday.

1 comment:

Mary said...

I’m so sorry you had such a difficult day. It’s very courageous of you to share your difficulties with us. Though, I can never fully understand what it’s like for you, your narrative gives me a glimpse into the frustration and heartbreak caused by Alzheimer’s.

If I were your neighbor I would want you to call me and I would not think you were stupid – just that your disease was getting the upper hand in that moment. I would encourage you not to hesitate to ask for help. I don’t know your neighbor, but if she is like most people, she wants to help.

I’m glad your week has improved. Maybe this would be a good time to talk to your neighbor – tell her about Monday – and ask if it would be okay to call her if you were to have another bad day…

I wish I could help; I will keep you in my prayers.