Sunday, July 6, 2008

Every Now and Then...

I often wonder if things would be different if I had a bigger support system.

All I wanted to do today was sleep a little later, but I can't. I need to get to the hospital to give Mike breakfast. If we had more family/friends around, I wonder if they would offer to go up to the hospital and help while I got a few hours rest. Yesterday my mom and Walter came to keep Mike company for a few hours, but that was so I could do shopping at Target...not to get rest.

My family consists of me, Mike and the kids, my mom and Walter and my brother (my sister and her family live 3 1/2 hours away in PA and I KNOW it breaks their heart that they are not closer). This is all we have. Mike's family is all gone, and the one brother he does have, has not been in touch with us in about 5 years. I have friends, but none close enough that I could count on to help. This disease is so horrific, and it's even worse when you're doing it practically alone.

I imagine coming home from the hospital and having my lawn mowed, dinner made, the house cleaned a little. My house (inside and out) is a MESS from Mike being in the hospital the last 1 1/2 months. This is life, but every now and then I imagine what it would like to have a big family who would be able to help us. I imagine getting a fruit basket, cookies etc. delivered to the hospital for me and the kids to enjoy while we care for Mike. I know it sounds selfish, but every now and again I imagine what it would be like to have more help, to have more people who care enough to help.

I have a feeling that this is "normal" for people living with Alzheimer's Disease. The feeling of abandonment, loneliness, isolation - because the people we DID once have in our lives, that could have made this journey more bearable, have all disappeared. When I think back to all the "FRIENDS" Mike and I had in our younger years, before things took a bad turn, I can only imagine how much easier things could be if they were still in our lives.

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