It's an easy trap; if you're predisposed to look at worst-case scenarios, and you see your husband or wife declining, it's very tempting to give what feels like reassurance: "It's OK, I've seen this coming for a long time. I expected this setback."
It feels like it should be comforting, but for many patients, it's not.
The patient may be walking a knife-edge of hope, unrealistic perhaps, but real to him or her. To suddenly be confronted with the knowledge of how this looks 'from the outside' can be a shattering blow, and one from which emotional recovery can be difficult.
The patient knows what's happening (except in cases in which mental faculties are compromised, when that may not be true). But it's a matter of how that information's processed that's the key. There comes a time - I know this well - when the only way to make it through the day is to metaphorically walk the sunny side of the street.
But what about you, the caregiver? Do you have to bottle up how you feel about what you're seeing? Do you have to let the knowledge that your spouse is fading fast eat out your heart to preserve the patient's fantasies?
Not as all. That's what friends, therapists, and support groups are for.
That's also what prayer and journaling are for.
Yes, you have to protect that fantasy to the degree you can, and it may feel like you're living a lie.
But it's better to live the lie than to pile on that one more bit of bad news that breaks the proverbial - and fragile - camel's back.
I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.