It is becoming more likely each day that this decline is not temporary but permanent.  Increased Midodrine to raise her blood pressure and move us across the margin from fainting regularly back to fainting occasionally has not yet accomplished its task.  We began the change in dosage yesterday noon.   The medication may work better as the days go by but it has a very short half life, so it should have worked by now.  We will see.

What is interesting to me is that when I referred to the change in our circumstances earlier today, Mary Ann seemed puzzled by what I was saying.  I realized that from her perspective little has changed. 

Mary Ann has no awareness that the fainting is approaching before it happens nor does she have any awareness after she comes around that it has happened.  I have asked her more than once if she realized that the last thing she remembered was standing up, and now she is on the floor or in her chair.  She hasn’t always believed that she sometimes fainted — still has her doubts.

It is a good thing that she is not distressed by what happens.  The number of times she faints in a day does not seem to impact her in any way unless she has hurt herself during one of them.  As I have mentioned in the last couple of posts, she does often get very tired, maybe sort of tune out, and then nap, but napping doesn’t seem to register as a consequence of fainting. 

Her perception of the situation seems not to have changed while my perception has changed.  It is, of course, more than just a perceived change.  As the Caregiver, I am the one who holds her up in the chair or on the toilet stool or on the commode when she faints there.  I am the one who lets her down to the floor and/or picks her up when she falls from a standing position to the floor.  I am the one who marks time while she is napping two or three hours, watching her on the monitor so that I will be there when she begins to move.  When she awakens, she is just surprised at how late in the day it is. 

We have views of her reality that are 180 degrees apart.  She is looking from the inside of her circumstances out.  I am looking at her situation from the outside.  She seems far less distressed by very many of the problems she encounters than I am.  She is the one with the physical and mental limitations, but she reacts with equanimity.  I do not have the those same limitations, but I feel more strongly the frustrations of the roller coaster ride we are on.  I see what she can’t see in regard to what we are going through as a household. 

The role of a Caregiver is to create an environment for his/her Loved One that is comfortable and secure so that the Loved One experiences life as fully and completely as circumstances will allow.  By making sure there is food whenever wanted or needed, clean clothing to put on and help putting it on, personal tasks accomplished, a little variety and social contact, the Caregiver provides a sort of cocoon of comfort in an otherwise impossible situation.

While this Caregiver does lots of whining and complaining, for the most part, there is little awareness of just how much goes into creating that cocoon of comfort and security.  The declines are sometimes masked by the Caregiver adapting to the changes in a way that minimizes the impact on the one declining. 

She is pretty much unaware of the decline she is in.  That seems to me to be a good thing.  She is not experiencing pain and distress and fear triggered by the recent changes.  Her world is still in place — almost no changes from her perspective. 

Deck Therapy Addendum:  I was sitting on the deck just before 9pm toninght and out of the corner of my eye, there came mom and young’ns coming on the sidewalk and heading under the deck five feet from where I was sitting.  In fact I got up and watched from the deck just above as the last one squeezed through the lattice.  I scolded them and they came out right under my nose and left the way they came.  I sat again, was in and out of the house a couple of times, then sat out there again.  As I was sitting, there between the posts by the gate off the deck was a little face sticking its nose through looking at me, checking to see if I was still there.  That time I got the hose and squirted under the deck from the other side.  I couldn’t see if and when they left, but they weren’t visible for the next half hour that I sat out there.  They are bold as brass.  I brought into the house (as I did last night) the feeders they rob.  I can’t afford to keep up with the quantity they consume.

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