Monday, February 15, 2010

Conversation. Not.

Not being able to have normal conversations with him distresses me. The lack of remark / response and so on, back and forth. It seems his mind doesn't grasp something the first time it is said. Sometimes it's not until the third try that he gets a handle on it.

He will sometimes look blank, sometimes try to look as if he's understanding everything, sometimes get the wrong end of the stick altogether. Not that the latter matters too much — if I wait a few moments it will be as if no words had passed between us at all, and he will ask me a question about the very subject I've just addressed.

We can still converse, but there are many days when communication feels like pushing the proverbial s**t uphill.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

We Settle Down

New home, more security, some easing of financial pressures — we are both more relaxed, and it does seem to have a good effect on him. He's begun writing a new novel and it's reading well so far. No problems there with his thinking processes.

However I still have to go around after him and turn off taps, lights and the stove. And he seems more inclined than ever to forget things I have just said — to be unaware that anything has been said at all. And he is very illogical at times.

Yet, in other ways he seems to have an excellent grasp of things, and to remember a lot of stuff he needs to remember which I'd have expected him to forget. You just can't tell. My friend who described it as a 'shifting fog' was close to the mark, I think.

All in all, I think there is a very gradual deterioration but that many aspects of it have slowed right down. I think of my Dad, when younger than my husband is now, and I realise Dad was much, much worse. He had Alzheimer's of course, which is not what my husband has. But he does have some kind of dementia. I can only be thankful it's actually fairly mild and manageable.

The worst of it is his thinking that he can still do things he did when young. It's not bravado, I don't think, so much as just plain forgetting and being unrealistic. I have to be quite insistent sometimes about getting it through to him. He wanted to hitch-hike interstate to attend a family funeral he felt he should be at. He's over 80! I felt quite brutal as I pointed out that he needs a good rest if he just goes out for half a day.

Luckily he soon forgets both my laying down the law and his own impractical ideas.