Stubborn Independence

Oh my, what a day.

Poor Hubby took a fall and banged the side of his head leaving a mark and I will be forward thinking enough to guess a black and blue face in a day or two.

His attempt to walk from the bed to the bathroom proved futile. He called for me and I immediately went to him but the moment I stepped in the door I saw his grip on the hand rail release and I stepped into the twilight zone of slow motion as I watched him fall over and I attempted to get to him.

So close and so far away and my stomach knotted as I witnessed his stiff unbending body take a tree fall into a piece of furniture and his head scrape down the front of it. He lodged between the end of his bed and the antique sewing machine.

I was horrified as I watched Hubby fall and overwhelmed with frustration at myself for not getting to him in time to, at the very least, deflect his angle and hope he landed on the bed.

I’ve actually done that in the past by giving him a hip check as he was falling to prevent serious injury.

This time I was too late. Realizing Hubby was in an awkward position I had to drag him out from where he was trapped. Hubby wasn’t unconscious but he wasn’t responding to me either. He was making some kind of a low moaning noise.

After I got him into the open and sitting up, I could do nothing but cradle him in my arms and cry.

I couldn’t even survey the damage I feared he had. I had to pull myself together but I was struggling to do it.

After a few moments I tried talking to him again. He was responsive this time. I sat back and checked him for injury. A mark on his face and ear. A mark on his wrist but he was moving all fingers and wrist. He wasn’t complaining anywhere else.

I suggested a ER visit without the ambulance but he refused.

His face wasn’t swelling, he seemed alert and oriented. (?) Okay alert and oriented for Hubby. So I suggested we get him up and in bed. He agreed yet wouldn’t accept my help to get up. He insisted on doing it himself and after several minutes he finally accomplished it. I stood close by ready to assist, wanted or not if the try took a turn for the worse.

I wonder when or if he’ll ever realize that he needs more help in the areas of walking.

The fluctuation of Lewy Body make it difficult for him to understand he can’t do the things he thinks he should.

I know he wants to maintain his stubborn independence, I get that, but at what cost to him?

Just the other day he was having a really good mobile day and during our outing he wanted to stop at a friend’s place of business. I always get nervous when he wants to make stops in town but I did and he insisted on walking in so I let him without fussing about it. I sat in the car and videoed him as he made the attempt. I have a video that you can see here.

He finally made it inside and through the glass I could see him talking with his friends. After a few minutes they walked outside and the friend stepped in my direction. I got out of the car as friend proceeded to tell me that Hubby was having trouble getting back but didn’t want his help,

“He said you would help him, cause you always do.”

Friend was right, at least I always do try.

Profile photo of Kathy

About Kathy

I'm a 51 yr old, full time 24/7, Spousal Caregiver/Guardian. My 76 year old husband, of 31 year, was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia Oct of 2007. Lewy Body Dementia is the second most common form of dementia although often misdiagnosed as it has many of many of the characteristics of Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Besides caring for Hubby I also have the privilege of sharing care for my 65 yr old Brother in Law (Hubby's Brother) who has Downs Syndrome. I get him for the fun months of Sept thru Dec :) Our lives are certainly an adventure and we try to enjoy as much of it as we can :)My Motto is: Never lose your sense of humor!

5 thoughts on “Stubborn Independence

  1. Profile photo of DeniseDenise

    Hi–Oh, these falls are just awful! This one sounds like one that, as he hit his head, he landed on your heart. Ugh. You want to allow the independence, but as you say, at what cost?

    How do you both feel today?

    The video shows so much–you can see how important it is to him that he walks in and you can see how much effort that takes.

    Such a good idea to make the video–how did you think to do that?

    Reply
  2. Trish

    Oh, Kathy! This just broke my heart. It’s so difficult to make the safety v independence decisions. I’ve had to make those with Robert and he is pretty darn stubborn sometimes. It’s so difficult.

    I haven’t watched the video yet but agree with Denise about it being a brilliant idea.

    You have my hugs and hope you have a gentle day today.

    Reply
  3. Profile photo of Bette

    Hi Kathy,

    I’m so sorry for the fall – and so understand the feelings that go with it as a caregiver.

    Hubby is so fortunate Kathy to always have you watching and ready. No matter how ready we are though, they seem to be able to find a loophole.

    I’m so glad he’s okay and that you are okay as well.

    Please keep us posted on the black and blue…

    Thinking of you both.

    Reply
  4. Profile photo of ejourneysejourneys

    Kathy, so much was going through me as I watched that video. Heartbreak, but also admiration for both of you. For Hubby, for clinging to whatever shreds of independence he can manage (or think he can). For you, for balancing stepping back and stepping in. And that is so, so hard. You are both climbing Everest in your own ways.

    What a terrifying fall. How are you both?

    Reply
  5. Profile photo of KathyKathy Post author

    Today has been a better day.
    Still lots of mobility problems but at least he has been agreeing to more wheelchair rides.

    Surprisingly he was not black and blue. He has a small spot on his upper cheek and that’s it. I couldn’t believe it when I checked him out this morning. He is however body sore. that may be one reason he has been agreeable to the help.

    Capturing his walk was spur of the moment. I was sitting in the car fumbling through my purse for a tic tac when I saw my phone and I decided to video.
    I had videoed his walking when he was admitted to the hosp at the beginning of his diagnosis and they decided to rule out hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) He had a series of 3 spinal taps in as many days. They said the results would show up immediately if that was what he had so I videoed the first day and the third. I was hoping beyond hope his problem was this easy fix but it wasn’t meant to be. But I do (if I still have it) have the comparisons of then and now.

    One other thing I noticed in this video, he has lost enough weight that he needs smaller clothes. You would wonder why I wouldn’t notice earlier and the reason is that he does not dress during the day, only when he has to go to the Dr. He is always seated in his wheelchair and removes his clothing as soon as we get home.

    Reply

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