I remember a few years ago, shortly after Curt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s going to an online support group for those who know someone with Alzheimer’s. As I signed up I had to list if I was patient with Alzheimer’s or a caregiver. I remember thinking, what?!? I was neither, I was Curt’s wife, he was my honey……I was NOT a caregiver. I was so mad at this website, it forced me to sign up as a caregiver and I clearly was not. At that point I really had no idea of the role of a caregiver or what that meant.
Well…………almost 2 and a half years later I find myself feeling a lot more like a caregiver and less like a wife. I help Curt get dressed each morning, put his shoes on for him, pour his cereal, pull out the chair for him to sit down on to eat, turn on the TV to ESPN (since he can’t use the remote anymore) and then head out the door for school each morning. (Someone comes a little later to stay with him during the day while I am at school.)
At a basketball game
I put his seat belt on and buckle it when we go places, put his coat on and take it off for him, cut up his food so he can eat it, help position him in bed each night (he forgets where to lay his head each night), help put the covers on him and the list goes on and on.
Yes, I have become a caregiver.
When we took our vows back on June 17, 1989 and I said those infamous words, “for better or worse and in sickness and in health”, I meant it. Sure I wasn’t thinking about Alzheimer’s on that beautiful day in June. But God had other plans for our marriage and now is my time to show LOVE to Curt by caring for him.
He is so sweet telling me every day as I walk out the door how much he loves me. He also greets me at the door every day when I get home. He feels safe with me, he feels cared for by me and I hope he feels loved. I can assure I do have those moments when I feel like letting him go to sleep with his jeans and shoes on because I am just too tired to put his jammies on. :) But, He is my honey and despite my new caregiver role, I will always be his WIFE for life! I have learned as of late the true meaning of those words spoken on that hot summer day in June.
Mark 10:6-9 New International Version (NIV)
6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female. 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
I have not updated this blog in some time now. Things got really busy for us with basketball season. It was a rough season for Tyler! He broke his LEFT ankle in a scrimmage in Early December, his team was 3-7 with out him. He came back, and played 10 games and his team went 7-3……but then in the midst of an important overtime game, in the first 30 seconds of overtime, Tyler came down on someones foot and fractured his RIGHT ankle and had to miss the rest of the season. It was a heart breaker. But my boy is a trooper and maintained a great attitude, well…. except for the first night after he broke it the second time, that was rough.
Note, the same boot he wore on the left foot is now on his right!
The night he broke his ankle was also a special night for our family. Our wonderful basketball parents club did an Alzheimer’s Awareness night and raised about $1,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association and a little over $4,500 for a special fund set up to help pay for Care for Curt down the road. Such a special night for our family, with such a unfortunate ending. Yet ,we did feel so loved by the wonderful community we live in! Our cool small town has been so very supportive of our family!
Presenting the $1,000 check to the Alzheimer’s Association
I just entered the spring sports info into the calendar for March, April and May……..it’s a bit overwhelming, Madi will play her sophomore season of Lacrosse and Tyler will play his senior season of baseball. So your ongoing prayers for my sanity are appreciated!! Tyler graduates in June (sniff sniff), Madi has her 16th birthday at the end of May…..oh I feel the spring chaos already and it’s a freezing, winter day.
~Thanks for your ongoing prayers, encouragement and LOVE for our family…..we are blessed!~ Sandy
Madi made this special sign for her BFF.