He is clearly still learning and as he does, so do I.
I already told you how he directs his food. He has gotten even more creative with his tongue, extended to be fed. Sometimes flicking it in and out, making me laugh while he says, come!
I remember crying joyfully to the LPN about 2 months ago, “He knows the word Open!” and so he did and does, reliably opening his mouth for food. LPN wasn’t much impressed, probably seeing the bigger picture of inevitable decline and hoping i wasn’t buying into false hope.
But I was impressed, because he had shown no awareness of the ability to understand words in the few months before. No, not thinking there was any miraculous long term “hope” but fascinated by the resiliency of the brain to learn.
Tonight he was totally jittery, babbling, grabbing. We talked and i sang (!) love songs and hugged him and stroked and hugged him and gradually he quieted, and centred on us.
But not totally. When the food came, I handed him a spoon, since he had been how-do-I-say? imaginary scraping the table and putting his fingers in his mouth, approving of the results.
So i thought he would enjoy the spoon, while i delivered real life food to that eager tongue.
I handed him one spoon and so fast i could not process, the spoon was hurled forcefully to the floor ahead of him. A chilling reminder that dementia is dangerous in its unpredictability.
Thinking about it, i remember he has been disturbed by that corner, with a dark chair lift stored there, for months.
Was it a temporory fit, or an attempt to fend off the thing in the corner? I will never know, and long term care is not equipped to problem- solve on this microlevel.
i am untrained and uneducated, but i know him. I could maybe do this level of problem-solving, but there is no time no space. Covid does not help. And dementia does, to be honest, make it all a bit of a crap shoot.
Anyway, today as i gave him juice, and he was very thirsty, he grabbed my wrist and perfectly directed the glass to his eager mounth. He would not let go, but let me take it away so he would swallow.
He is still learning, as he deals with each stage of disability, now horrific, but he keeps on coping as he can.
I see. I witness.
I will do my best to keep company with this beautiful human, as i have on this very long journey – a road trip we never planned.