The day that something snapped in her brain

Dear Bloggers,

If one day you have the feeling that something in your brain just snapped.
I take care of my wife in times for better and for worse that is what I promised her when we married 20 years ago. And now that has become reality.

"She was still in bed because she had to get up later than me. I was up at 4.30 in the morning to go to work as I am a commuterbus driver. She talked about a snap in her head that she had felt on her job yesterday but there was nothing strange to see. It turned out that she could not get out of bed. She had woken up from the alarm clock and could not filter the sound properly. It's like there are ringing a lot of bells and she could not stop it. 

She also noticed that her right side did not work too well.
Obviously she wanted to get up. But it failed and so she was laying next to the bed. She knew that this was trouble and all the things she learned at the Red Cross as a rescuer and she began to check out all the signs of a cerebral infarction. Once in front of the mirror, she smiled at herself. I do not have a slanting mouth so that is all that matters. Eventhough she did not manage to talk properly and she seemed to be a bit confused. Just go to work dear, I'm taking good care of myself today. The day passed and when I came back home she was laying on the couch and looked at me with teary eyes.

Only then did she warn me by crying very hard and said she would like to shout and scream like a wild animal. There is such a pain in the back of my head and on this side of my face I feel nothing. When I sat down next to her, she was a little panicky and tried to talk to me what was not going to well. Fortunately, she was consiousness and we found together that it looked very similar to the picture of a stroke. Then the mill was turning. And so we crossed all of a sudden through the doctor's office towards the hospital, no serious brain injury was detected. But what was exactly the cause of this was not really clear but it according to the doctor it seemed to be a part of serious stress.

After half a night at the hospital, we returned home and she told me that she was very afraid of getting a stroke. Still somehow it kept worrying us and we were forwarded by our own doctor to see the neurologist for further and deeper research. Due to the serious anxiety and panic disorder, it was all very complicated to get an MRI scan. But together we can concur the whole world.

Once at home, the misery got started and was for real. I had a full-time job in addition to it I had to take care of my wife and two children, My working hours were quickly reduced from 40 to 36 hours. She could not take care of herself for the hours she was at home. Most of the day she slept and I had to leave her home alone for several hours, I could not live with this. What I also arranged before I went to work, I fixed her medication, prepared a sandwich for her and made sure she did not had to miss anything. Nothing really worked out and she slipped slowly into the abyss.

As a blessing in diguise I had to be unemployed and sit home for a half-year in connection with my temporary contract and enjoy a benefitpay. I have visited many hospitals in this year and psychological helpers our car brought us everywhere. A deadly tiring route for the both of us.

It's amazing she has not even once been taken to a mental hospital and for everyone it is a big surprise because in this total period of 24 months with the help of a psychiatrist and to deal with a complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and a pretty intensive treatment for this, she has been advised to spend a day and to search for a daycare to find some balance. Now her days are filled with a morning spend at a care farm and 1x physio gym. She has always been a busy and active person. Her job was call centre agent and she was a specialist in solving complaints. Now she has now been disapproved for work for 80 to 100%. 

I did not cancel my job to help her but I work a 32-hour contract with a few good appointments with the planner and together with our eldest daughter we are doing fine. We put ourselves in such a way as caregivers do because the only alternative was a hospitalization / nursing home. We do not have a personal carebudget because this is not indicated, and unfortunately my salary is not big enough for hiring a nurse 8 hours a day for private guidance and for domestic assistance.

She can do quite a lot and even though she has already being picking up a lot of things, it's no longer as it was before, and she can not do as much anymore as in the good old days. Her long-term memory is as good as before, but some moment she no longer knows where she has left her glasses. The sense of time she has lost with some regularity. 

She can get into a panic attack at any time if something happens in her area that she has not provided. Her senses such as hearing, brightness, light, smell and taste are severely affected and seriously reinforce more than necassary during the bad periods. I therefore try to protect her all day from too many incentives of this kind. Unfortunately, I can not always be as successful in this regard. Nevertheless, she is accepting her situation slowly

Besides being a partner and her sweetheart, I became mainly her driver, nurse, butler, caregiver, supervisor, spokesman, administrative / agenda administrator etc. etc. Her hobbies are now a little puzzling and working a bit on the tablet.

Together we were always active in the neighborhood and we were happy to help with friends, acquaintances and family. All practical / physical hard work is going to be pretty good. But what we miss the most is walking hand in hand (although this happens sometimes more and more often.), We cannot say spontaneously anymore: "Let's go on a trip for a weekend," an old-fashioned steamy night (even a little bit of cuddling is not always possible No longer we can be unprejudiced intimate). What I miss the most is being the equivalent in a conversation (if that's possible because these kind of things are often too tiring to hold the concentration). I never know how she will respond as it is differently due to the PTSS or because she can dissociate sometimes completely. I often see that when I tell her things, it does not come to her completely. Also, she often can not remember all of it and I havr to tell it again.

And then ther is the worry about the finances. Previously, we both had jobs with related to it a fairly good income. Now we only have her benefitspayment and my 32-hour salary. In addition, we have two school-aged children therefor you will pay enough, which remains after deduction of transport costs, school fees and daycare expenses. We live in a private home which is not really suitable for someone who suffers from conversion disorders, which makes climbing stairs difficult sometimes. We are looking for a nice bungalow so we can sleep on groundlevel, but how do I sell our current property. Fortunately, as what has happened to many other homeowners, the mortgage is not heavily underwater. But a bungalow often costs quite a bit more. I get that residual debt for what we have to take on as extra mortgage we will never be able to pay this all back because I'm not in a position to work more because I want to take care of her and I need to take care of her.

And then the decoration of our house is cheerful but not too crazy because that is not possible anymore. Anyone who comes will agree with us. As this situation now it is not ideal. No, we know that it isn't ideal, yes we realize that. But how would you be doing this...? Nobody has an answer to these questions. I do not want to buy new furniture in the wild, as it shows afterwards that it might take several years to sell the house and move and maybe it might turm out different.

Let me make one thing clear PTSD will hit the whole family.
And one more thing ........... My wife fortunately has no admission indication for a nursing / nursing home. Because then she should live there seperate from us. We do not want that, our children are entitled to have a loving mother and I would like to offer my life for my love. She's only 47 years old and I'm 49. But our life never gets back to how it was. Yep, and all of this has been done to her at her workplace by a couple of sick types who will call themselves Team Leader. And as I feel now, my life will never be really fun anymore and I've had my best days in live already. A PTSD gets the both of you and will hold you hostage. These kind of things are too sad for words.

The Old Sailor,


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