Coping – Doing Our Best

Light flickers a bit more for Lee now. Some times he can find the word, sometimes not. Confusion in why he went to a room, “What was I getting?” Instruction or ideas must come one at a time. I can not speak in paragraphs. A thing that would have been absolutely impossible for Marcel Proust, and I find hard to keep in mind. I get things done by doing more than one thing at a time and I get my ideas thought out by speaking them one after the other.

The one thing he does know for sure is that this thing is happening to his mind. And the one thing that I have come to realize is that it is something only we can deal with. When I read that there is a dementia support group meeting on Tuesday afternoons, I think, “And how does that happen?” Do you drag him along so he can listen to what we both are painfully aware of? No. That is not going to happen.  We stay to a routine that is familiar to him.

I have learned to accept the fact that I can no longer count on him to fix something. And it is a difficult conversation when he believes he can.  I have learned how few people there are to count on. It is me and will be me until we need to call on professionals who know what is needed and when. Until then we take it one day at a time. We find something to laugh about. We talk of what to have for dinner and what to buy from the grocery store. We try to get a walk in at the dam. We watch the news until we can’t take it any more and put in a Netflix cd of British mysteries and escape. We treat ourselves to a few pieces of Australian Darrel Lea Soft Licorice that we found we can buy by the case at a tractor supply store. And we talk. We change the subject if we get sad. We cope.

And one thing we did this week was leave the house for exactly twenty-three hours. We spent the night in Asheville at a friend’s house. Lee is familiar with them and their house. He loves their cat.

And while he napped there, I went shopping at three of my favorite clothing stores. Retail therapy they call it and I could very well have overdosed. It was great. We left their place well before dawn the following morning and were home before 8 am.  My new clothes are put away. We are back in the routine of being slower and more careful.

I have avoided reading the book titled, “The 36 Hour Day”. A friend thought it would help. If it helps, it will be later. Not now. Now I am just keeping things “normal”. I do not want to read other peoples’ experiences. We are busy living our own and keeping the cd movies, licorice and a cool glass of white wine close by. Cat videos on Facebook are something so silly and yet so good to brighten a mood. He likes those and soon forgets the ones he has seen so they can be seen over and over. I think our, or I should say my favorite is the cat in a shark suit riding a rumba machine around and around the kitchen. I identify with that cat in a lot of ways, not least of which is her shark suit.

There is still time in the day to work on those little books. Now I have only three of the fourteen left to fill with memories of all things Australian.

We have had our weekly breakfast out this morning. Lee is going in out the door upstairs, so I will need to see if he needs something. Maybe we will just sit on the porch for a while and talk about things. He will ask a question. I will answer. And he will ask it again. I will answer again and again until I change the subject to something else.

What would he like for dinner? That is a good place to start.

Til next time.