Monday, January 7, 2013

Alligator wrestling

Sometimes working with Mummy really feels like alligator wrestling.

As a consequence of where she is in the disease, she is relatively aware of herself. She still feels like herself clearly and she obviously feels competent. The trouble is, she isn't competent to manage herself. When I have to remind her to wash her hands for example, the snarky, somewhat superior responses that issue forth are not entirely unexpected. Her attitude is sort of: "Who are you to be telling me to wash my hands? I'm a grown woman. I know that I need to wash my hands." she communicates all that in just a few words, or better yet, in a look. Who wouldn't do, or feel, the same?

Unfortunately, what awareness she does possess not extend to the point of her not needing assistance with the activities of daily living. The end result is that sometimes she needs help but doesn't want it and I then must spend a lot of time and emotional energy trying to get her to accept the help she needs. That's when helping feels like alligator wrestling. Actually, that's a very apt metaphor. When she's frustrated, bites are entirely possible. So far though, I'm bite free but I don't know how much longer I'll escape unscathed. Even the most practiced and proficient of wrestlers will sometimes come away from the ring with a scratch to two.

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