Oh His Aching Back And My Aching Head

trick_eyeball_glassesPoor Hubby. He took another fall two weeks ago, had another back x-ray and a week later we finally received the results and only after I called four straight days in a row. I didn’t have to stage a sit in either! The last time I finally went to the doctor’s office and sat in the waiting room until someone spoke to me. Progress! ;-)

This makes the second compression fracture from falls this year–the first in January. Hubby received a steroid shot and some muscle relaxers. This time I learned something I did not know. I asked if he could have another shot but was cautioned against it because, this is what I learned, steroids will weaken the bones, and since he has already had two fractures from two falls he didn’t want to risk more bone weakness. He did prescribe the muscle relaxer again.

The last few days have been a bit trying with Hubby’s back pain. Hubby finally managed to go to his eye doctor appointment we had to cancel a few times before due to various dementia related issues and once weather. It’s so difficult to get into that clinic and I just about have to accept whatever appointment time they give me. I was NOT looking forward to the hour drive to the VA but more than that, I was not looking forward to the drive home that would come come during rush hour traffic, or more like rush hours!

Hubby has complained of eye problems for quite a while. His glasses weren’t worth anything and he couldn’t see. He complained enough that I finally got tired of hearing how slow the VA was, I took him to an outside eye doctor and paid out the nose to get him new glasses and the frames he wanted. Funny thing though, they are almost an identical prescription to the ones he already had, and when he took the eye test wearing the new glasses, he passed so well that even I was amazed. But Lewy took over and convinced Hubby that the glasses were worthless. He refused to wear them put on the old glasses and decided they were perfect. Sigh.

I know that Hubby has very mild glaucoma. He has drops he uses for it and when we attended the doctor appointment the eye pressure had gone down some. Eye doctor suggested three options. One was a laser procedure, one was the drops and another was wait and watch. I suggested that the laser option may not be a very good choice because Hubby had the tremor that was quite pronounced and getting him still enough might be a problem. Since I don’t know much to anything about lasers, my concern was that Hubby would shake and they would burn a hole through the back of his head. Perhaps I should have waited before speaking because Hubby, who started the day out having a testy morning anyway, became a jerk (no pun intended) and started gruffly telling eye doctor that I was opposed to anything he wanted to do because I was afraid they would let him drive again.

WHAT?!!!

He continued to say I wouldn’t let him do anything because I was in charge and I liked it.

Eye doctor just listened and then explained how the laser procedure was fairly simple and he felt confident that he could do it on Hubby. He also said the procedure wasn’t a sure thing and drops might still be a necessity but he was happy and willing to give it a try.

I asked Hubby what he thought. He wanted the procedure; I said, let’s do it. I was annoyed enough with Hubby that I almost didn’t care if they burned a hole all the way through his head and out the back of it. So they did the procedure in less than five minutes and we walked out three hours after the initial appointment time, with drops and a return appointment to do the other eye. Oh and no holes through the back of his head that I could see.

Before we left the facility Hubby made a pit stop. I have decided that this facility needs a family friendly bathroom. I couldn’t accompany Hubby inside so I waited for him out in the hallway. Still annoyed at Hubby’s attitude and anxious about the drive home at that time of day I didn’t even notice when he walked out, which is actually translated as clutching everything in sight and scooting his feet, and he was not wearing his glasses. It wasn’t until we were several miles down the road when he asked me about them. I scoured my purse three times eventually emptying it in my lap only to come up empty handed for glasses.UGH! But there was no way I was turning around and going back. I fought the stop and go traffic for about 15 miles and was determined it was free sailing for home when we escaped it. Besides, we had to go back in a week.

As late as it was, as anxious as I was, and as testy as Hubby was, I made an executive decision to stop for a take home meal. The weather here had turned cold. It’s May and we had to wear warm jackets to his doctor appointment and run the heater in the car, so instead of sitting at the drive thru I told Hubby I was going inside. I asked him if he wanted to go in with me or sit in the car. He said, “We’ll sit in the car.” I laughed, by now I was settled down a little, and asked who “we” were. He said the guys in the back seat.

I turned to see.

YES, I KNOW I KNOW!!! But it was a moment, ya know?

I asked him if he really saw people in the back seat and he said yes so I said well you guys wait here and I’ll be right back.

We made our final drive home and got settled in the safety of our room.

Youngest daughter had a brilliant idea to call the facility and ask for the lost and found! She’s so smart, I think I will keep her!

I called but had no luck getting through over the weekend.

I also had no luck getting through to Hubby over much of the weekend. He was just generally out of it and confused. By the time Monday rolled around things for Hubby weren’t much better. A “No” from the lost and found dept didn’t help either. I do not contribute his issues specifically with the muscle relaxers. The last time he took them we did not have these issues and he was actually feeling so much better he thought he was getting better. You can read about the False Hope here.

I contribute the issues specifically to Lewy body Dementia.

Just yesterday as I was drinking my morning coffee and catching up on my Facebook, or more specifically deleting the unnecessary “middle school drama” from it that does not benefit me or my emotional self care. He was having a REM sleep dream. I could tell he was engaged in an argument with someone and he nearly threw himself out of bed to fight them. I gently woke him up before he took a fall. He roused, changed positions, then sat up. I walked out of the room and when I returned he told me he had been out of town, bought a truck and got into a fight with some guy there.

I could tell he was serious about by the way he spoke about it. He then asked me where we were. “We are at home,” I answered. Then he asked me if his truck was out there. I told him we didn’t have a truck and he got mad at me, furrowed his brow and said “BULL!”

Still upset by it later he asked his aide to tell me he wanted¬† the phone number to the place he bought the truck. I was busy getting ready for a dentist appointment so I didn’t answer him right away and scooted out the door. By the time I had returned he had forgotten the truck but was upset I was gone too long for him. I gave him the rundown of where I was but it didn’t seem to help. He stayed in that mood for a while and later admitted he was jealous and afraid I would leave him. I don’t know where all that came from but I assured him that I had no intentions of leaving him. I hugged him tight, offered him cake and ice cream which he happily accepted and all was right with the world again, for the moment.

Avatar 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!

7 thoughts on “Oh His Aching Back And My Aching Head

  1. Avatar of PegiPegi

    Oh,Kathy! It’s so much you deal with, what a complex disease. You are to strong and brave. You seem to just get better and better dealing with his moods et al. You need to give yourself a good pat on the back! Just curious, did you recognize any of the guys in the back seat? :) BIG HUG

  2. The Unit Known as Shandi

    Kathy,
    I just read this to my husband, who has had severe back problems and memory issues this year. We both laughed, not at your situation, but at the honesty that comes through in your relationship. We recognized ourselves in your story. We’ve had squabbles about driving (every time I have to drive for him. The insurance is providing transportation to his PT twice a week or we’d be nuts by now).
    Although I cared for my mom for five years, I’ve found caring for my husband is a completely different ballgame! Less cooperation, more attitude, etc. Thank you for sharing your story.
    We know we’re not the only ones in this boat tonight.

    Reply
    • Avatar of KathyKathy Post author

      Shandi,

      I remember when you were caring so lovingly and patiently with your precious mother. I know your husband remembers it too and is grateful to have the care you give. He knows he’s in very good hands.

      I’m glad you and your husband were able to laugh with me as you see yourself in some ways in Hubby and my story. I’m also glad you don’t feel alone. I’m rowing with you!

  3. Avatar of ejourneysejourneys

    You’ve had a week and then some! (((Hugs)))
    And back seat drivers, too. ;-) (I’ll bet they made off with the truck.)
    Bless you for holding on and holding up, especially during those testy times. I hope you and Hubby both feel better.

  4. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Kathy–There’s something about how you live life that makes me want to live it with you. (Can I live next door to you??) I love how you take these situations as adventures and allow the adventures to make you mad. It’s no fun to pretend, I think. :)

    Any luck with the glasses?

    Reply
  5. Avatar of Michelle

    Kathy,

    I am in awe of your strength and perseverance. You completely brought me on your journey. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

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