No one will be surprised at me saying that being a full-time carer is demanding. Of course it is. Looking after someone else's welfare 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is incredibly hard work. Ask any parent.
Caring for an adult who is no longer able to make informed decisions or keep themselves safe is doubly difficult because they believe that they can still make those decisions and do not take kindly to being guided, helped or often prevented from doing so. Do not become a carer for someone with dementia if you can't take the insults, rage, dislike, hate, physical violence and selfishness along with the smiles and the fun times. Also remember that you will have to help with personal hygiene at every level from nose blowing to bottom wiping. And do all this on continual broken sleep. Even babies sleep for a decent length of time eventually.
I've just spent a couple of hours being told I'm nasty, uncaring and selfish. Had to endure rage, tears, sobbing, blame and dismissal. Babies believe the world revolves around them, trust me they have nothing on a dementia sufferer. I've been awake since 3am due to her sitting in the hall in her coat, constantly trying to telephone her friend Mavis. The phone will be unplugged tonight. It won't stop her doing it, but at least she won't set off the pager every ten minutes.
Everyone tells you it isn't personal, it isn't the person you know or knew, it is the disease. And I'm sure this is quite true. But let me tell you that it is bloody impossible not to take things personally and to be hurt and overwhelmingly upset at times. I'm only human.
I've written this at a moment of extreme distress and will probably be overcome with remorse in a while and delete it. Writing it down with force and speed helps (although the keyboard may not agree) and I shall now go and make a cup of tea.
I've had a lot of messages of support from people, thank you so much. I've been asked by quite a few not to delete this post, so I won't. The silly thing is, I had an absolutely lovely email yesterday from an old friend saying how much they enjoy reading the blog etc. and now I feel as though I've let everyone down.
What's up Mum?
Why are you scared?
I'm scared about what will happen when you leave.
I'm not leaving, don't worry.
Ok I won't then. When is Peter coming?
What time are you going?
I'm not going anywhere.
What time is Peter getting here?
Will you drop me off on the way?
I'm not going anywhere.
Oh. I thought you were. Has Peter gone out?
He's not here until Friday...