One day recently he kept telling me of his delight that we’re now living together permanently. (We’ve been doing so for eighteen and a half years now.)
Another day his daughter phoned and had a lovely long chat with each of us. Some hours later, he asked, ‘Has C. gone?‘ as if she’d been visiting in person. Shortly afterwards he suggested we ask her to come over one night. She lives a long way away, interstate.
These episodes were not related to high blood sugar. I know, because I monitor his blood sugar twice a day. The doctor says that in that case they’re likely to happen more often.
But he’s taken a turn for the better. So much so that I said to him with a smile, ‘You know, not long ago you were telling me how glad you were that we’re living together now.’
‘So?’ he demanded, unsmiling.
‘Darling,’ I said, ‘We’ve been doing that for 18 years.’
‘Is it really so long?’ he said. So I guess I can’t be sure what he remembers.
This phase is pleasant, though. He has pain sometimes, but we’ve learned how to minimise it as much as possible and he is able to be somewhat more active. And in most ways he’s perfectly lucid. We laugh and talk and love. There is joy and sweetness.
In practical terms, I’m confident to go out for a twenty-minute walk, or a quick drive to the nearest shop, without being too anxious for his safety. He’s even resumed coming to the writers’ group, which means I have too. I was able to buy him a second-hand laptop, because only a couple of weeks ago he was almost bed-ridden. He hasn’t used it in bed yet, but even though he is still learning its peculiarities, he loves being able to take it to writers’ group.
So tomorrow we have a woman from the Council coming to talk to us to see what we need — just at the point when he’s so much better and I’m consequently so much more relaxed. However I don’t wish him back where he was. I’m only too glad for the improvement, and hope it lasts a long time. We are certainly getting all the help we can to make it last, from both orthodox and complementary medicine, as well as prayer.
I was thinking of trying to get respite for five hours a week, or if need be a fortnight, so I could go to writers’ group without him. The group said that if it was fortnightly they’d keep meeting weekly, and take it in turns to act as facilitator on my ‘off’ days. Now we’re back to where we were — there will be odd days when I cancel at short notice, and who takes the group will be the first person I can reach by phone. That’s OK, it’s been working fine for quite a while now. So maybe I’ll think about some other regular ‘time off’ just for me, and about what I might do then. Meet a girlfriend for coffee, perhaps, or go back to Tai Chi.