The Story Behind the Carer's Diary

 

I have created this blog to share with you the trials and tribulations of caring for my partner Coverley, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2014.

My diary is my trusted and loyal companion.  A friend that is happy to listen for hours on end.

My first diary was an inexpensive one that I got from the local dollar shop. It helped me to plan each day so as to survive the chaos and confusion that had invaded and engulfed our home. 

It was the first thing I turned to when I got up each morning.  It was a reminder to me of the ever increasing visits to doctors, specialists, dentists and hearing check-ups. 

Sneakily, more and more of the every day jobs were becoming mine so these were added in the diary too.  As dementia's grip tightened, reminders of social engagements and activities were almost non-existent in the diary. 

Where did all the friends go?  When did they go? 

I was beginning to feel resentful, so I began using my diary like a journal.  Writing in my diary was a good way to release the many emotions I was feeling which then enabled me to gain some clarity.  It was a private affair, so there was no one to judge me for what I was feeling.

After Coverley was suddenly and cruelly taken from our home on 21 September 2019, my diary evolved into a journal.  There were no more appointments to remember or jobs to do.  Appointments were cancelled.  Jobs were left undone.  Friends and family took a back seat.  Diary entries became like snippets from a horror story.  

I was so overwhelmed by shock and grief at how suddenly our life had changed. 

One day we were at the beach. 

The next day he was being restrained both physically and chemically in the local hospital Emergency Department.

I was traumatised by the frightening sounds and scenes that took place in the emergency room.  I was paralyzed, helpless and powerless. 

The very peaceful and loving life that we knew was gone forever.

Coverley was transformed from a forgetful but happy and funny dementia person into a violent and tormented demon.  This transition took about 6 hours and resulted in an 18 week stay in hospital.  After 18 weeks in hospital he was then put into an induced coma and transferred to a secure dementia unit in an aged care facility 800kms from our home.

Why so far from home?  Because there were no available beds nearby, despite there being dozens of Residential Aged Care Facilities within a hundred kilometre radius of our home.

All I had was my diary.  I depended on it more than ever from that day on.  I have written in it every single day for the last two years.

It has been my saviour in times of anger and frustration. It has been my friend and comforter through all my tears. It provides me with a sense of structure and routine in my day. It is also an outlet that allows me to vent my grief, anger and frustration in a coherent and safe way.  So many people have escaped my wrath thanks to my diary.

As my diary has been so crucial in supporting me during my caregiving journey I thought that I would design a themed Carer's Diary so that every Carer could benefit from befriending one and making it their very best friend.

In essence, I have created this blog as a great big diary for me to write about my experiences and in doing so it may help me heal from wounds so deep that I am frightened the scars will be very obvious.

I truly believe that writing in my diary on a daily basis has been the glue that has  kept me from falling apart.

The Carer's Diary 2022 and this blog are in honour of Coverley who has suffered a great deal from medication sensitivities and has been tormented relentlessly from his delusions, paranoia and hallucinations.


You may be interested in my Post: Story Behind the Optimist's 2022 Laugh a LIttle Diary.




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