Monthly Archives: July 2015


[This is a fuller account of a phone call I referred to last week.]

Last night my agitated love’s oldest son phoned. He’d read the blog and was checking in, out of concern. After we talked, he said he would like to talk to his dad, and they talked quite awhile.

Don came back happy and relaxed and said, “That was Clarence, my dad.”

“Oh,” I said, “It was Kevin, your oldest son.”

“Well, my grandfather then.”

“Uh, ok.”

“It all changes around all the time you know.”

I finally calmly agreed, and he nodded off peacefully.

And stayed happy and content all night. No more lectures about cars or leaving for home.

And the son shall be father to the man. 

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Seniors Health is there for you

Last night Don’s oldest son phoned and they had a long talk, I don’t know what about, but Don was calm when he got off the phone and quietly went to sleep. I thought: “And the son is father to the man….”

But this morning he was right back at it, worrying about the car and the garage and how we would get the car into the house and how to get the gas out etc. At 6:10 am.

As soon as possible I phoned the Seniors Health nurse and he came out to the house for a visit. This too seemed to calm Don. The nurse advised on medications and arranged some other interventions, like encouraging me to take more respite. Later I told Don we needed to take separate holidays and he needed to go the care home for a week so they could observe him and he said, yes that makes sense. So we’ll see.

Takeaway is that VIHA does have some things right — and the system works. Just a few months ago I was wishing there was someone I could phone during unusual occurrences, and — loo and behold, there is!

Help is there and that makes me feel much better too.

Now I have to go because my love is back in the garage again this evening, “looking at the car” and slamming doors.

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And the next day

The next morning, despite almost a doubling of all the meds, we – he – continued on about the car, and going to get our car, and what kind of egomaniac was I to leave our car (at some undetermined location.) This slowly evolved, after breakfast, showers, and other diversions, into a simmering temper and a cheerful determination that we were leaving for “home” soon. Home at some unknown and unspecified location, of course. And accompanied by an explanation that he was very very afraid of just about everything (which is true and must be an awful way to live).

By then I was torn between getting him into a care home as soon as possible or just dropping him off at the Emergency Room immediately. Too bad they don’t have boxes for unwanted dementia patients like some of the churches do for abandoned babies.

I felt myself getting quite sick, and that calmed Don down again, although — Note to would-be nurses – being asked if you are ok every 2 minutes does little to help the patient!

Some Gregorian chants helped calm my stomach and his overactive fear factory. But did nothing to change the determination to leave for home.  As well as pity and anger at how stupid I was not to know what he was talking about.



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Tough Day (and evening)

A bad day all around. Started off ok, sleeping in a bit and then a  good breakfast, but after that I started thinking about the situation and, feeling vulnerable, spent a little time crying and sniffling. However, as the rain softened the day, we got in the car and went off to buy potatoes at the farm stand. To my surprise, this went really well, with Don helping carry the basket and being very helpful and cheerful.

However, a few hours later, it was all to change with strange delusions about the car and the neighbours’ garage, and I don’t know what all. I tried all kinds of things to reset the broken record – from food to music, but nothing worked. Extra medication made a little difference and to this time, 6 hours later, delusions, rambling, and fear continue. I am just about at the end of my rope! Certainly the end of my patience.




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A peaceful, pancake-stuffed morning. After breakfast I am taking a few quiet moments with my jigsaw puzzle, when my love looks up and earnestly asks, “What is your name?” “I’m Delores.” “de… DeGlorious?” (we have a friend we affectionately call “Glorious.”) “Delores.” “Oh.”


“What’s this?” my love, the former carpenter asks, picking up a tape measure. “It’s a tool to tell you how long things are.” “Oh that’s interesting, how does it work?” “Well there’s a tab you pull out, that gives you a measuring stick.” “Where?” Much fumbling and pulling at various bumps and edges ensues. “Here,” I say, having pity and losing patience at the same time. “Oh,” he casts one glance at it and puts it down, turning to talk about breakfast.

Ironically, one of the first indicators I had that things were going sideways was when he began to cut boards incorrectly. He had annoyed me with his insistence on measuring to the sixteenth inch, but suddenly he was usually out by inches, or even feet, and often requiring a trip back to the mill for more boards.  I started dropping whatever I was doing and rushing to help him, every time he had to measure and saw. That was about 5 years before diagnosis.


There is a gentle stroke on my shoulder. I open one eye and see it is 4:30 in the morning. “Are you okay?” he asks. “Yes,” I say, “I’m fine,” and I roll over and go back to sleep. Four minutes later, the scenario repeats. And again. (In retrospect I realise I should have used the word “Okay” instead of introducing more confusion with “Fine.”) Twenty minutes later, the scene repeats, but this time I mutter, “Well, I would be okay if someone wasn’t waking me up to ask me how I am.” “What?” “Oh just joking,” and this time we sleep for an extra two hours. That morning, he hugged me and said, “I am so glad you are okay. I was so worried. Oh boy, (affectionate chuckle), oh girl!”


In the old days, I often had tough deadlines and a lot of work, and my love would scope out the scene and quietly cook dinner and then clean up, while I went back to work. Last week, just as I was packing up my papers for an important meeting the next day, I discovered an accounting error. My love wrung his hands and said, “I wish I could help you but I just don’t understand.” I cooked dinner, and then got up from the table and went straight back to the computer to track the error. My love came in, surveyed the scene, and silently went out.  In a few minutes I heard him, quietly, slowly, and steadily picking up one dish, washing and drying it, and picking up another, and washing and drying it. Over and over. When I emerged, problem solved, I found all the dishes arrayed on the counter, each one separately laid out. How happy I was to tell him that he had helped me very much.


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