That is not a word you will hear often. In fact, until today, I've never even heard of that word.
I found it while looking through some articles on Stroke and Apathy. I was looking things up and I do not really believe in 'looking' or Googling symptoms for information, I do know that reading scholarly articles or NIH articles are helpful.
Sometimes while I am waiting for Rich to get up if I am not at CrossFit, I will do some 'heavy' reading on Strokes, COPD, Mental Health, and other issues that seem front and center in our lives.
While looking up Apathy in Stroke survivors, I stumbled on another word. Abulia.
Now we have been seeing Rich's psychiatric doctor nearly every two weeks. Dr S. really was amazing in helping Rich get out of his last horrible MDD, Major Depression.
However, I think depression is not the only thing affecting him at all. Last year he had an extensive Neurological exam done with two Neurologist and Behavior Specialists.
Here is where Neurology meets Psychology. They actually blend in this case as Rich suffers MDD [Major Depressive Disorder] which was helped earlier this year and we had a much better summer thanks to Dr. S. But blend in all the medial issues along with the Brain Damage and the ongoing progression of Brain Damage and what do we have? Apathy? MDD? PTSD? Brain Slippage?
We still can discuss certain subjects that are near and dear to him. But the year of endless TV watching has now stopped. And I mean stopped cold. In its place is a man who sits at the kitchen table and stares out the window or stares at the kitchen table for very long periods of time without speaking or moving.
I do engage him in as much conversation as possible. I tell him about my workouts, the people I see at CrossFit, and sometimes read him news stories. He listens and responds but mostly he is silent.
Am I not pulling him outside and forcing him [rather unwillingly] to functions? He said his Pulmonary Therapy was okay. But now he can't do it. Can't.
Some days I feel like someone dumped me in a deep pool of water and the harder I swim to get out of the pool ... the further away those pool edges move.
Yesterday I went out after CrossFit to a coffee shop with a pal from CrossFit. We sat and just chatted. She chatted a lot. Her parents are elderly and I think she had a few things that she needed to get off her chest. I have learned to sit and be quiet and not turn around and complain about my issues when someone needs to unload.
I found our hour sitting there watching people walk by on the street and sipping coffee to be extremely relaxing. I dreaded going home to the silent man who would either be in bed or sitting and staring off into nothing.
I feel if I could just push him somehow, I could make him better. But in reality, I can't.
So what is going on? Med changes don't work. Ever since his stroke, Rich reacts violently to most medications. His latest new med for depression was interesting and frightening. He had some rather nasty reactions.
Winter is his worst time of the year anyway. I hate the thought of going through months of MDD again. It is like living in a life sucking hole of blackness.
That is why I work out. That is why I hike. I need to preserve sense of self.
But what of him? What is Abulia?
Apathy, Disinterest, Passivity, Lack of Opinion, Asocial, Extremely quiet or mute, Emotionally remote, Indecisive, ...the list goes on.
Depression meds do not work with Abulia.
It is a neurological/brain issue. I don't know, but I am grasping at straws because, if YOU can name something maybe you can work with it?
Anyway, I messaged Dr. S to ask him about this. Maybe just treating these issues as depression issues isn't the answer. Maybe we are all barking up the wrong tree.
there is no good answer because who the heck knows what really is going on in a brain that has damage?
Will I get used to this changing person who sits mutely at the table?
Can I adjust to him sleeping all day and awake most of the night? He sits in the dark and ... well I have no idea what is going on.
We meet with a Neurosurgeon on Thursday to see what the latest MRI of his brain shows.
I'm tired today. But I have so much yet to do.
This should have gone under the blog The Long Road, but I'm putting it here, as this is part of my daily routine as a CareGiver.