Passing strange

Lovely 30 minutes today. He was awake and in a good mood and talkative. The care aide who shepherds him said he had been up since 10 am! She knew he was ready to sleep for a few hours but was afraid he would miss our date.

Ironic but so dementia typical.  I had scheduled the date for later afternoon because he has usually been in bed until 2 pm.

Just gotta roll with whatever.

So we walked around, he kinda glommed on to a fake potted plant and i had trouble moving him away… maybe some slight disarrangement of the decor there.  Gotta roll….

We played with the shuffleboard for 2 minutes, his eyes widening at the clack when he hit a token.

Then on around and around the room again.

He selected a stacked up chair, not the ones set out and sanitised for us, of course, to sit down. I tried but could not steer him to those on this day. And he promptly, happily, started to dose off.

So i got him up again. I would be happy just watching him sleep, but it could be difficult to get him back to the ward. I even thought of calling the care aide to say, bring a porter chair in case he conked out. Even then it could be a problem. He can be a dead weight and too much for us.

After another round and round, each time a new exploration, it became clear he needed to sit again.

I tried the internet looking for music, and this week the connection to Shaw Open worked. Yay! And soon we sat and moved our hands to the music, all the while his eyes were closed. But he was not asleep, just resting. I tested by leaving my hand still, and over and over he picked it up himself to the beat. And he answered when i called his name.

It reminds me of how much he always wanted to share music, and how sometimes I was not gracious.

Oh no no no! not Kris Kristerstoffison for the 9th time straight! because he didn’t remember the other 8 times and i already, 8 or 9 or more years ago, did not realise the depth of the memory loss. I am sorry to say we – well i –  argued. He just thought “crazy woman” and mostly reluctantly humoured me.  The ipod I got as a compromise was not really sufficient for him, because music is for sharing.

So today we shared this Creedance Clearwater music with our hands. Once upon a time we would both be up and going crazy with joyous dancing, but that was not this time and maybe….. he doesn’t dance the way he did just a few months ago? A few months – going on 5 months – is a very long time as this disease progresses.

Before Covid we danced.

Slowly getting the beat and doing fancy moves with his feet, showing off, and being so happy when i twirled away and came back. Not for a long time have i seen that. No dancing now.

I don’t know how much he dances now, or why or why not, or if there is even dancing music ever in the ward  – no live music that i know, no happy Friday parties i know, under Covid. And under Covid,  i cannot visit his daily life. I am not allowed to know what is really happening with him.

When the aide came to take him back to the ward,  we chatted and he at first objected.

Since he got sick he always hated people, especially women, especially me, talking when he could not understand. So we slowed and lowered our voices and our pitch, and soon he was joining in. In what sounded kind of like complete sentences. Not too sure just what he was saying in particular but he was very satisfied to be a part of the conversation, and listened to.

When we got him standing up, and as he walked out of the visiting room, with the aide holding one hand,  me the other, he started singing. As i slipped away,  he sang down the hall away from me.





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