Tuesday, March 23, 2010


He takes tablets. Lots of them, medically prescribed, essential. To keep track of them, we get a thing called a Webster pack from the pharmacy each week. They are all sorted into days of the week and times of day. At first he used to remember to take them; gradually it has become my job to remember for him. It's part of my routine by now.

Morning and evening I release the required tablets from their package, put them into a special little bowl kept just for that, add a glass of water and present them to him. If he's having breakfast in bed I stand by him to assist; if he's eating at the table, bowl and glass go there and if need be I remind him they are there.

This morning he was in the kitchen — he was cooking our porridge, which he can still manage and likes to do. Instead of sitting down to take his tablets, he grabbed the bowl, took it to the sink, and poured himself a glass of water. It was only when I looked round that I realised he had put the tablets in the glass, poured the water in on top of them and was now trying to imbibe the lot.

After the first gasp, I shut my trap and let him get on with it. It took a few tries. I'll never know if he realised his mistake at any point. But, oh well, he took his tablets and that's what matters.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Everyday Weirdness

1) He looks at me all funny and says, 'There are two chairs in the bedroom. Why don't we put them outside?' (meaning in the yard).

'Because I want them in the bedroom,' I say. He looks puzzled, but shrugs and doesn't argue.

These two chairs have always been in the bedroom, in the 16 years of our marriage. We sit on them, we drape clothing over them, we pile things on them, the cats get on them ... not all at the same time, of course.

2) He asks me to print out some items from his computer so that he can take copies to a friend. When I look at what he wants printed, I find they are audio files from his iTunes list. I explain to him that it is impossible to print audio files; that one prints visual files. Instead I email the files to our friend. I have to send them in three separate emails because of the size. He fumes. 'This is silly!' he says.

3) He gets very anxious when the cats go outside to lie on the front steps and survey the (very safe) neighbourhood. He spends a lot of time trying vainly to coax them back inside, even tries to lift them in (but they evade him). When I ask him why he wants them inside, he can't explain. I'm not sure if it's the words or the concepts he can't find. He asks me to get the cats in. Sometimes I try. Mostly I tell him they're fine and will come in when they're hungry — as they do. He is not reassured.

4) I can't give an example, but sometimes he says things that make no sense at all to me. I try to understand, but he is unable to clarify what he means. (The reason I can't think of an example is because they are so incomprehensible, so nonsensical, that my mind can't retain them. There is no logical hook to hang them on. It's not even the Lewis Carol or Monty Python kind of nonsense which does make some sort of sense.)

5) He constantly complains that I keep him short of money. We have had a lot of expenses of late, associated with moving house, and our income will only stretch so far. He usually wants money to buy online programs that are going to fix his health and wealth forever. Sometimes they don't cost much and I indulge him because I think it will make him happy. (Not so sure of that actually, when I reflect on it.) But we are on a tight budget and often there is very little left after bills, food and petrol. Today we don't have available the 20-odd dollars he wants. But we do have enough petrol in the car and enough food in the house to last us until next payday, and we are up-to-date with paying off our bills. I tell him this, going into detail. 'Why are you so mean with money?' he demands.