Old Guy Photography


The Old Guy . . . A Ways From Home . . .

There was a lot of conflicted thinking swirling around inside my head as I drove down the old two lane highway. It wasn’t as simple as driving my Sweetheart from the hospital in Lexington to a nursing facility in Columbia, Kentucky. The two and a half hour journey through rough city traffic giving way to quiet green fields and winding country roads afforded me far too much time to think. And I knew … everything seen, talked about or shared between us would not be remembered in a few short hours.

She sat quietly staring out her window …


A Quiet Time . . .

My heart was breaking because she wasn’t coming home. The practical side of me argued hopeful logic for miles-on-end, but realized this ‘relocation’ as the best course of treatment. The selfish side of me urged the inner me to keep driving and not look back until safely home. Back and forth ideas, strategies and wishful thinking lived for yet a brief moment before being replaced by the next series of considerations.

IĀ felt a failure for not being able to take care of her despite her physical condition. I should have done more, tried harder or made an extra effort to be a better man, but I also was at the frayed end of my rope and … the hospital confinements were coming one after another within a shorter time frame. I couldn’t keep up with the pace. I was falling short and at a loss for what to do next.

When not caring for my sweetheart, I would, and still, lay on the living room floor in an effort to ease the diabetic nerve pain in my feet and legs. It was a trying time for the both of us … physically and mentally. During the night or early morning hours, I would occasionally drift off to sleep. My Sweetheart, who had become nocturnal in nature, would on occasion try to get up and quickly fall. Despite the fact she could hurt herself badly, she would not ask for assistance or call out for help. Several times, I would awake suddenly and find her sprawled out on the bedroom rug or bathroom floor. In the hospital and nursing home, she was safer.

A strange and foreign place …

I think my Sweetheart’s dementia softened the shock of her situation. She was in a strange and foreign place without her chair, her bed, or her Gretchen dog to sleep on her legs like a soft but cushioned hot water bottle. Her questions were addressed with diplomacy and kindness. In her weakened condition she didn’t say much and seemed very accepting and accommodating. That would later disappear as she gained strength. For the moment, she was there for ‘rehab’ and the possibility of long-term care was not broached.

The days are now divided by being dialysis days and non-dialysis days. They are highlighted by exceptionally early morning travel times to the clinic and back, with nursing home lunches together. Or … there are long periods of quiet time where no words need be exchanged between us. For myself, a semi-regular routine has been established. With my Sweetheart’s dementia, any strict structure or time-table routine is difficult but not impossible. We have about times . . . and play it mostly by ear.

For right now, she is making remarkable progress and that is a grand accomplishment.


Next Week … Something InterestingĀ or something current …

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