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Had just gotten a hoyer to lift my husband. Wanted to put him in bed from his wheelchair. Started lifting him up, he started wheezing, as he has COPD , I asked him if he needed his breathing medicine. He shook his head no....he also has garbled speech due to PSP disease. I couldn't get the wheelchair to move away from him. Realized the sling was caught on the arms....fixed that. Started over....got him up in the air to move him...he started wheezing again...once again....do you need your breathing medicine? He shook his head no....continued to jack him up...tried to move the wheelchair out of the way....WTF...the wheel chair was moving on its own off the ground....OMG...I forgot to unbuckle his seatbelt ! Poor guy..and he was so good about it...I felt so bad for him.
Anyone else do stupid stuff too, that you can look back on and laugh about?

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This is an old story, but, many years ago, my grandfather was in a nursing home. He had broken his hip and was 89 years old. His mind was still sharp as a tack though. Back then, there was not a separate ward for the dementia/altzheimer patients, so they were intermingled with the other patients. My grandfather found one lady particularly interesting since she would roam the halls looking for her dog that she had when she was five years old. She would wander into my grandfather's room and keep calling for her dog and look in the bathroom, under the bed, and so on. After a spell, my grandfather found it entertaining to "bark" when she was nearby in the hallway. We thought it was horrible at the time and scolded him. He said "What is the harm? She is having fun looking and I think it is hilarious!" One of my fondest memories of my grandfather to this day!
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Looking back now after two years, I am not finding humor but forgiveness and peace. I forgive myself for not being the perfect caregiver, my sister for her denial and my father for his rages. I was able to drive past the medial supply store yesterday and not cringe or hide my face from the fear filled memories. I hope the next step will be to remember mom as she was before Alzheimer's. I want my memories not to be clouded by all the indignities she faced on her journey; the loss of herself, her memories, her ability to walk, her ability to talk, incontinence, the ability to feed herself and finally the ability to swallow. I pray that with time the humor will come, not for my mother's unrelenting illness, but humor about the silly mistakes we made on our caregiving learning curve. When I learn to look back and laugh at myself a bit, it will go a long way to healing the impact of these years of caregiving on my marriage and my children. Thank you for a question posed to help many of us move further along our healing journey. Sending all of you still on the journey; hugs, love, courage and strength!
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P.S. -
Right after my dad's first brain surgery & was in ICU with his head bandaged, the surgeon made rounds and told Dad "Mr. M., you've just had brain surgery," Dad was sharp and said "Well, it's about time."
Another time I had taken Dad to Outpatient Oncology for yet another transfusion - and the nice nurse was taking the intake info, and asked if he had Shortness Of Breath. He thought about it, hemmed & hawed, and said "Well sometimes". So the nurse wrote "SOB" on the chart. Dad could read this upside down over the chair arm rest, and said "Well, if you don't like me, just tell me," I'm laughing as I type this. I had sent this SOB one to Reader's Digest, Laughter Is The Best Medicine - and they never published it.... guess it was too "risque" for them. LOL
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The neurologist was asking my wife the standard assessment questions. What year is it? "Don't know." What season is it? "Don't know." What town are you in? "Don't know." What state are you in? "Terrible." The doc almost fell off his stool laughing.
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Well, as a hospice nurse I was called to the home an elderly man whose catheter was blocked. If readers find this in poor taste I am sorry but it really happened. After the usual attempts to irrigate it I decided to replace it. It came our easily enough but the poor man's scrotum was so swollen the penis was nowhere in sight. I peered down the hole and sure enough he had one buried about three inches deep in swollen flesh. I tried many times to get that catheter in the hole which of course I could not see. finally his wife asked if there was anything she could do and I asked her to fetch two large table spoons and she said' don't you mean tea spoons" and a I said "no I am going to use the handles as retractors and you are going to hold them." After about an hour we finally succeeded and the man's plumbing was working fine. He was so good natured about it and his wife did not criticize at all. (She had been a nursing supervisor at the local hospital}. When I reported my adventure at the next staff meeting one of the other nurses remarked "Don't have anything to eat at Mr ..............'s house."
On other occasions I have received such warnings as ."Don't go in the kitchen the white cat will get you" "Don't get out of the car, honk your horn till her husband comes out" "Don't lift up the tray beside her bed" - there were cockroaches underneath. One lady called and said she hadn't had anything to eat all day, this was at midnight and she wanted a tomato sandwich. What did you do I was asked at the next staff meeting. " I put a tomato in my pocket and went to make her one" of course she only took one bite. One of our local pharmacists was very good about coming out in the middle of the night and one night I called his home because his daughter was on call and she had recently had a baby. He did not answer and the daughter came in. Next morning I received an irate call from his wife reaming me out for calling the daughter and told me she did not like having her husband go out at night and unlocking the shop because he was sixty five and too old for this kind of thing. I managed NOT to tell her that I was sixty seven and did not like driving around the lonely countryside with narcotics in my car. All in a days or should I say nights work!
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I agree that it's truly difficult to find humor in any of this, so I don't laugh in the moment because everything is so overwhelming. But when I re-tell a story to my sons or daughter, it does seem funnier then. My husband has stage 6 dementia and I am his full-time caregiver. The other day, I walked into the master bedroom to check on him and he was standing in front of the bed with four golf shirts on, nothing at all on the bottom - with his patent leather tuxedo shoes on as well. He didn't know why he was getting dressed or where he was going. At the time, I was shocked at what I encountered and could only be grateful he didn't have a urine accident without his depends. But when I look back, it was sort of a funny sight. Believe me, I KNOW it's not funny that he's losing his mind and it breaks my heart for him - but he's done many things like this where I might find a little humor - but without laughing AT him. I can chuckle inside - it may take the edge off a little.
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Laughter can be the best medicine...granted, most things are not funny, but if you have a silly moment here & there: laugh! Sure beats crying.
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I'm sure I am very lucky. My wife has a great sense of humor. And it makes the problems tolerable! She's having a lot of trouble with her toothpaste and the Sonicare toothbrush. First she was trying to brush her hair with the toothbrush. When I gave her the blow drier, she laughed. Then she tried to wash her face with the toothpaste and Sonicare. When I washed her face, she laughed. Then I walked into the bathroom and she was holding her arms out and complained of a terrible feeling in her armpits. Yep, she used the toothpaste for deodorant. After I washed it off, she grinned and laughed.

Her smile is everything to me!
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So I took my 92 MIL w/dementia to a nursery to pick out some plants (something she had always enjoyed doing). It was in the 60s and all she did was complain (something she does quite a bit) about how cold it was. When we got back into the car I just had to ask, "Are you going to complain about this all the way home?" She replied, "Yes, I think I just might." She began to laugh which got me laughing. Thank God, it stopped her complaining :)

It is so hard to find humor. Madeaa, I have gotten to like you so much through your responses. I don't believe that Miller's word were malicious. My daughter is living with me a short while between graduate school and getting a grown-up job. It helps so much keeping a balance of emotions. When one of us is about ready to scream the other either steps in or lightens the mood. I am trying to prepare myself when she leaves by attempting to react differently so I can find humor through the complaining. I don't know if I can do it but sharing the silly things that happen to us might help. Hugs!
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My dad always said "you have to find the humor in the situation you are in". When he was sick with cancer he would do things to make us laugh all the time, when chemo started to make his hair fall out he decided to shave it all off, he had my sister in law who was shaving it do different cuts before she shaved it all off and as sad as losing one's hair because of chemo can be my dad made that day fun, we have many pictures of him with different cuts that we treasure. He knew we needed the situation lightened up so he did whatever he could to make us laugh. He never wanted us to remember the bad parts of fighting cancer, he wanted us to remember him as the fun loving beautiful man he was. We went through a lot and lost him to cancer and we miss him so much but we are able to laugh and remember the funny things that happened and those are the things he would want us to remember.
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