Do we really know what goes on inside the mind of someone with dementia? My husband does. He has been there, and has experienced it first hand. When God healed him through the use of coconut oil He also gave him a unique understanding of dementia that most of us can only guess at.
The other day I visited a friend who had worked in a nursing home. She told me about looking into eyes of Alzheimer's patients that were filled with frustration and torment. Their bodies had been sedated, but the eyes told of adult minds that were active even if they were confused. She knew there was a lot bottled up that was being suppressed.
Bruce was never on drugs to sedate him, but the connection in his brain between his thoughts and his speech was badly impaired and he was not able to communicate his needs. He would try to ask for something and it would come out all wrong.
One day he knew that he had to have an insulin injection that I had forgotten to give him. “I want .. I want .. I want orange juice.” he finally mumbled.
“No,” I told him in a very condescending way, “We don't have orange juice, and anyway, it would put your blood sugar up too high.”
He was totally frustrated. He knew what he needed. He was not capable of showing me, he couldn't find the words to tell me, but he knew he needed an insulin injection. And I thought I was the smart one!
Eventually, after talking to him about keeping his blood sugar down, I remembered that he needed his insulin. In that instance, I eventually made the connection, but there were other times and situations when I couldn't understand what he wanted, and out of frustration, I brushed him aside.
I realize now that my frustration with him was nothing compared to his. I seldom understood him. He couldn't do things on his own and I had to be everything and do everything for him, so sometimes I treated him like a child. And though he was usually docile and needed and expected my help, he was not a child in his mind. Though he had lost over half of his cognitive skills, (11 out of 30) he still wanted to be treated like an adult. The adult part of him was locked up and couldn't get loose, and that was enough of a frustration for anyone to have to deal with.
There were times, too, when he thought he knew what he was doing, and he fought to get me to let him do what he was sure he needed to do. In his mind he needed to go to the washroom, but in reality he was heading outside into the cold. He would get angry with me for trying to stop him, because I was treating him like a child who didn't know what he was doing. True, he didn't know what he was doing, but he didn't understand that. He only knew that, once again, I didn't understand him, and was trying to boss him around.
We have had the rare privilege of being able to talk these things out since he is now clear of dementia. He was healed after the Lord directed me to Coconut oil. (see Can God Use Facebook to Answer Prayer) He rehearses the thoughts and feelings he had back then as if it were part of a very foggy dream. And he reads my God leads us Along blog to understand what I went through.
God has blessed us with an experience that is helping others who are going through similar situations. We understand, and we have some answers too. God is using us just exactly as he planned.