Sunday, 15 November 2009

I have not forgotten

Well i have been swallowed up in wedding plans over the last few months....Getting married is very exciting but the actual wedding day can become the focus and its really not. Trying to keep everyone happy can be a big old pain in the ass.... but Its all good.
I am still working in Psychiatry. I'm on the dementia ward and It has been a strange but valuable experience.
Dementia is a disease that effects a significant amount of elderly people and some younger people. There are lots of different types but generally the story goes like this...
A coupe have been married for a long time, they have travelled the world together, they have had children and watched them grow up and have their own families, they have grown to love each other more and more even as their bodies age. Then one day he notices that she has started leaving the back door open, started putting things in the wrong place or started buying ives things twice because she forgot she already had...
This they joke about because it doesn't really cause any harm and doesn't effect their lives.
Things then start to progress. She goes out in the car and suddenly forgets where she is going. They have to go and look for her, she is lost in her home town. She leaves the cooker on before bed time, if he had not have smelt the burning smell the house would have burnt down...
This is usually the time when they present themselves to a clinic to see someone like me who does all sorts of memory tests and breaks the news about Alzheimer's disease. He looks frightened and has all sorts of fears.

Then eventually the situation progresses even further, the patients then loose the ability to recognise their loved ones, at times they become suspicious of them and become aggressive toward them... hitting, kicking.

Now he is repeatedly told to go away and never come back, she hits, kicks. She believes he is a thief and an alcoholic as he illness has given her a paranoia. Quite clearly he is just a lovely man with a broken heart.
What is he to do? He explains to the doctor that he wants to try to take her home with him again rather than to a nursing home. He made vows all those years ago that for better of for worse and in sickness and in long as they both live.
He has not lost the ability to remember and so while he is able he will be loyal and true to the words that he spoke all those years ago.
I find that so beautiful. These people are literally part of each other. When one turns away due to mental sickness it must be devastating and many may loose heart but this man has decided that commitment is commitment regardless of the time that has past or if the person has changed. He loves her. He can see the real person even if he has to look back in order to look forwards.

I love how this reflects Gods love for me....that sounds cheesy but really recently due to busyness and life I have at times worried if God had forgotten about my dreams, my gifts, my heart. He made me a promise and more than any human God remembers and never turns his back on us or changes his mind. He is the same yesterday today and forever. He does not age and fade away he is eternal. How reassuring to have something so solid under our feet when may face all sorts of difficulties due to our health or our situations.... God wishes to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. It would be awsome if that meant life was easy but the more Isee the more I realise that the road is tough but God has not forgotten he is right there beside us every step of the way....God with us... that is hope and prosperity no matter what we are going through.

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