Sunday, May 8, 2011

High Anxiety...

Mother's Day was a good day for me, but I think it was hard for Billy in some ways. He had such a good week last week. His anxiety was better than usual, and he slept all night each night. The earliest he woke up was 4:15 on two days, but he came back to bed each time. The other nights he slept until the alarm woke us the next morning. Yesterday, he woke up at 4:15 and took a shower. I remember thinking to myself that it was probably going to be a tough day. After his shower, he asked me if the others were still here. I told him we were the only ones here. He asked where they had gone? I was hoping he would not dwell on it, so I didn't ask who the others were, and I answered that I didn't know where they went. I got him to come back to bed finally, but he kept forgetting that we could sleep later, so he kept waking me up to ask what day it was and did we need to get up. We did stay in bed until 8:00, and I gave it up after that.

While he seemed to be in a good mood for the most part, Billy seemed to be confused for most of the day. When I look back on the day, I realize that I probably had too many different things going on for us. I wanted to go by and visit my sister and her family and then run some errands. I told him what I wanted to do before I ever got into the shower, so while I was in the shower, Billy felt a need to turn off the televisions in the living room and bedroom. He panicked about it and came to tell me he had messed up the TV. He tells me this pretty often because even though he doesn't know how to operate the remote control, he continues to try. I have no idea how he gets it to the channels he does, but I spend a lot of time undoing what he does. Nothing is ever fatal, of course, but he panics. Note to self: leave the channel tuned to ESPN, and he'll most likely leave it alone.

After we got ready to leave the house, we went by my sister's to visit for a bit, and since we recently lived there, Billy is pretty comfy and calm when we are there. We needed to do a little shopping, and I did narrow it down to Target and Home Depot, and I hoped that would help. I could easily spend a few hours in each store just toodling around, but Billy wants to know what we are buying in each store, and then he's ready to split. The irony of this is that Billy was always great about shopping around with me. He enjoyed going to the mall much more than I did. Where his mode was usually relaxed and easy-going, his mode is now to go as fast as possible at whatever he does. This includes his meals, sweeping the floor, anything he does. I think part of it may be that his sense of time is skewed. I was watering the yard the other night, and I had set the timer for 15 minutes, so I could change the sprinkler after that. That worked for my first rotation. Billy follows me wherever I go, and he was on my heels when I moved the sprinkler to another location. My idea was to retreat inside the house until the timer sounded again, and he did follow me in. He sat in his chair, and sort of like a wind up Jack in the Box toy, he jumped up after about 3 minutes to "check on something outside." I followed him after a minute or two, and there he was, taking apart the hose and sprinkler to put them away. I gave up at this point, and finally got him inside. He literally could not sit back in his chair because he was so anxious.

I kept asking him to sit down and relax, and he kept apologizing. He has some awareness of how anxious he is, and that bothers me. He doesn't want to be like this. I do believe his anxiety is better during the day because the folks who work with him at the Cottage see improvement. And as soon as I give him his anxiety meds and Seroquel in the evening, he settles down so much that he usually falls asleep in the chair. What gets to me are his constant apologies for being like this, for being a pain to live with he says. I try to assure him that he is not a pain and he owes me no apologies, but I must be giving him some signal of my frustration. Otherwise he wouldn't feel so apologetic.

I pray for calmer weekends, more patience on my part, and even better control of Billy's anxiety. One of my friends who is a caretaker for his wife of 53 years tells of similar experiences, and he often says, he just wants peace for his wife. I feel the same. I want peace for Billy.

No comments:

Post a Comment