Dementia: In Like A Lion Out Like A Lamb

It would be fair to say that the prospect of seeing her G P yesterday sent Maureen ‘off on one’  Ten minutes before we left for the appointment she was going to sort out her G P.  After all ‘why did he need to see her when she wasn’t ill?  Why was he wasting his time on her when people were dying?’  The lion was roaring as I nudged her into the car and helped her to fasten her seat belt.

Once with the good Dr Munjal the lamb came on the scene.  Mrs Angry remained in the car as Princess Charming stole the show.  Rav is superb with Maureen he treats her like an elderly relative and they shook hands even embraced as we left his consultation room.  We had both received good news all Maureen’s tests were in order, and my scan was set to take place early next month.

We both had a good afternoon siesta.  Then a bizarre exchange took place that is worth summarising.  Maureen announced that she couldn’t possibly go out for a walk as she had no suitable clothing.  I enquired what she needed and she replied everything.  Any solution I suggested to her clothing issue was rebutted by one difficulty or another: too tired to go out, no money, no proof that she has money in her account etc etc.

As I walked alone to buy some milk from a nearby shop I reflected on my approach to the clothing shortage.  I am beginning to think that I need a complete change of strategy: rather than trying to solve problems perhaps all I need to do is empathise with her distress.  I have spent hours trying to find suitable clothing to no avail.  Suggesting Maureen joins me on a shopping mission is equally unproductive. I am going to empathise from now on rather try to find solutions and see where this leads.

The Lioness came out roaring with delight in the evening as I called on Bing (Crosby) for support.   Whenever I put on the man YouTube you can  feel her joy as she remembers her dad singing this little gem to her.  Maureen then mentioned her fondness of Dean (Martin), and we sang along to some of his renditions.

When hunger took its toll I put some vinyl on, and we moved from YouTube in the lounge, onto vinyl in the dining room.  We  called in at the the kitchen, on the way, where the singing and dancing chef was in his element.  Following an evening meal our  ‘Singathon’  continued for a couple of hours.

 Anyone seeing ‘Maureen in Song’ would be amazed at the transformation.  Her enjoyment of the evening was so profound that she said we should have such evenings more often. The vinyl ranged from Johnny Nash, through to the Hollies, and finished with John Denver.

By 9pm the poor Lamb was exhausted by her efforts and had to be eased into bed.  She clearly struggled to know who I was after my role as a supporting act to so many stars.  That may well have been why she gave me a peck on the cheek, said goodnight, and shut the bedroom door firmly behind her.  However, my ‘cunning plan’ to join her at the first available opportunity worked.   Once the coast was clear, as soon as I heard early morning movement, I slipped into bed beside her.  What sort of Alpha male wouldn’t come to the rescue of Lamb in distress?   Anyway it’s rather cold, by yourself, in that back bedroom!

Footnote: When I returned from buying milk Maureen appeared to be contemplating making an ice cream sandwich.   She had a number of visible options for a sandwich filling but decided in the end she wasn’t hungry:  shame really as her concoction might have made an interesting addition to my Favourite Dishes page. 

NB. I must change the kettle today before Maureen has an accident.   It was boiling away with the lid off again yesterday!

 

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About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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