I bounce into the ward, feeling pretty good because I had free time. He is standing in the middle of the area between the lounge and the dining area.
The look in his eye is vague and I weave up.and down in front of him, beaming energetically, until.he focuses.
“Hello,” he says, “I’m afraid I don’t know who I am.” I am a bit stunned but take a chance that what he doesn’t know is his nouns and pronouns.
“Oh well hi, I’m Delores.”
Instantly the reply comes, although a bit reflexive, “I’m Don,” but I can see he is wondering, so what?
I gulp mentally and smile and stroke his arms, “I’m your wife, …your woman.”
He relaxes and a bit of light comes into his eyes and he says, “well that’s smart, that’s good.” He strokes my fleecy and is amazed, “you are soft.”
Whereupon we wander up and down.the halls, him talking a mile a minute until, 15 minutes later I collapse upon the couch, exhausted. There ensues a lot more discussion with several other residents, none of which would work as conversation outside the ward.
Fortunately the wonderful rec people come in to sing “Irish songs” and I once again escape, head twisted, but I think intact. One more time surviving, and remembering how it felt to live down the rabbit hole 24/7