Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Learning

Yesterday didn't start off so great.  Sweetie came stumbling into the bedroom room where I was folding clothes around noon. He stood in the doorway, staring blankly like he had no idea where he was or what he was needed to be doing. Of course I panicked. This ALZ stuff is so new to me that every time I see something not quite right, I'm sure we're about to fly down the slippery slope like skiers with no poles. 

M: What's up?
S: No answer.
M: Are you okay?
S: No answer.
M: with raised (i.e. shrewish sounding) voice: What's going on?
Sweetie finally shook his head and seemed to come back from wherever he had been.

Later on, still not quite himself, Sweetie went out to put some kind of order in the stuff we'd earmarked for a garage sale a month ago.  He did this in 100 degree weather. By himself. Even tho the last time we'd discussed it, we'd agreed to make it a joint effort.  He said he had a plan, but his plan was nothing like my plan. I hrumpfed around until finally left Sweetie in his own world. Every time I went to check on him, Sweetie was sitting in front of a chair looking half dead. Eventually he'd made room for the car in the garage. John and Maizey had a path to get upstairs and I could still see the washer and dryer.  I don't know if we'll ever have a garage sale, but the Xmas glasses we never used are neatly lined up next to pastel Easter egg cups and flowerpots; old coffee pots (not one but two) and salad bowls share a shelf with paper doilies and almost new tennis shoes. I did my part by boxing books together by subject. Where is the Salvation Army when I need them?
_____

A limb from a neighbor's tree came crashing down last night around 10:30. The house was immediately engulfed in darkness. I felt my way across the room until I reached the table where the butane lighter is kept. [When my father was alive there was a flashlight on almost every surface in almost every room for just this reason. Lesson learned.] By dim candlelight I walked to Jack's office. He was a all turned around and a little disoriented even though the space he was in was only about 3 feet square.  John's dog, Maizey, came flying down the steps when she heard the limb fall. John suspected it landed on our neighbor's house.

When we went outside to check on things, there were pin pricks of light coming from every house. The good news is nothing was damaged except the stately old oak. The same tree that lost a limb a few months ago. The one John endearingly calls "the widow maker."

With no electricity, Internet or TV there's not much to do except go to bed. Sleep was slow in coming because I shared the bed with 2 cats and a scared 70 pound bulldog. There was no A/C or fan to stir up the hot air. I tried reading by flashlight but it gave me a headache. Sweetie soon came into the room and pushed his way onto the bed. Hail! Hail! the gangs all here!

So there we were, lying next to each other in a hot, dark room, still not sure if we were on speaking terms. "How do you think we're doing with this ALZ stuff?" Sweetie asked, emboldened perhaps  by the darkness.

M: You mean physically or emotionally? Cause, frankly, I don't get what's happening physically. You're supposed to be in the early stages. I haven't read anything about you being "here" one day and somewhere else the next. I thought we had years of "normal" ahead of us.  I get scared when I see you staring off into space. I don't know what's going on. I don't know how to talk to you. Is this the way it's gonna be? And emotionally? I'm not sure I'm up to this.

S: Sometimes it feels like I'm in a black hole, disoriented. Like being in my office before you brought the light in. I knew I was by the desk, but I couldn't tell which direction was which. Something's been "off" for awhile. Now I know it's ALZ.  ALZ is the answer to the questions I've been asking myself for a long time. My ability to reason things our seems to have lessened.

Let's say I had 100 million brain cells. ALZ has killed some of them, so maybe I only have 90 million left.  The good news is there's still a lot I can do, and there's still a lot I want to do.

M: Like what?
S: Go to Scotland. See the Grand Canyon. Visit my kids. Catch a really big fish.

That's as good a note as any to fall asleep,
Merry ME

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

aS aRTIE USED TO SAY, "vERY iNTERESTING."

Camille Olivia said...

Beautiful Merry ~ My apologies for this enormous lapse. It's been far too long since I've visited. I am so very sorry to hear of Sweetie's (and your) ... 'challenge'. I know enough about ALZ to know that it is a frightening journey, for all parties involved. I have a dear, dear friend who is in later stages. Each time we visit, I'm never sure if she'll remember me. If she doesn't, she never lets on. It's one of the most unsettling, unfun, unhappy things I've ever encountered. But I'm guessing I don't have to tell you any of this. Soo....I shan't go further with that stream of thought.
Instead, I will offer this: as difficult as it may be, or may become, please try to remember that somewhere inside him, he's still HERE. And so are you. And little by little you may find little things that will bring him back, if you'll just be as patient and brave as I know you are. Yes, my dear, YOU are going to need a LOT of courage in the coming days/weeks/etc. Do your best to read and research as much as you can. Don't overlook unconventional resources. Keep breathing. Deep, slow, breaths. And KNOW that there are many in your corner, sending large love and great hope. For both of you.
My heart ~
Camille

AkasaWolfSong said...

I love you Mary and Jack...keep talking to one another! Even if it's in the dark during a storm.
xoxoxo