Blog 45: Decline (Pt 2)

It was not, however, all gloom and doom.  Bill did not speak gobble-de-gook all the time and there were occasional times when he still made sensible utterances. At one time, for example, when the carer had brought Bill home, Bill came on his walker to the kitchen’s doorway and asked the carer: “Which way?”

Blog 045 Image 1

As you can see, it made perfect sense to ask: “Which way?”

And, another time, when I was talking crossly to the computer, he spoke to me, all concern, saying,

“What’s wrong? Are you all right?”

It is true that, as we moved into 2012, Bill was becoming weaker.  That man, who used to always leap up the stairs two at a time, could no longer climb them at all. Nor could he walk without the aid of a walker or get out of his chair by himself. On two occasions, when he tried to do that, he had slid down on to the floor and, deeming it too early to bother the neighbours, I had had to call in the Paramedics to help me get him on to his feet.

It is true too, that Bill could no longer blow his nose. I had to move quickly to wipe before he realised what was happening and hit out at me. And, when we went with friends to have coffee at the coffee shop, Bill just didn’t know how to drink his cappuccino any more. When, however, my friend modelled the drinking for him, he was able to follow what she was doing and drank it all.

No. It was not all gloom and doom. It was a worry that Bill was, now and again, not eating a course of a meal, seeming not to recognise that it was food in front of him, pushing it around the plate and on to his place mat.  It was a worry too, when, sitting at the table, waiting for his plate of food, he squirted tomato sauce on to the place mat, thinking that the food was already there. But, for much of the time, our days would go on much as they had done previously, with Bill pushing chairs and the walker and me getting on with household chores.

And, every now and again, Bill would say something that would make you think: You’re still here, as happened when, looking through an old photo album, he pointed to his 1948 school photo and said: School!

Blog 045 Image 2Bill’s 1948 school photo. Bill is in the second back row, second from the right.

Our biggest concern, however, as 2012 got under way, lay in the fact that Bill was sleeping many more hours each night than he used to. It could have been that a twice-daily dose of aggression-controlling Risperdal was a contributing factor but, whether or not, the fact was that, on those January nights, Bill would sleep straight through for anything up to fourteen hours. And it was no ordinary sleep that he was sleeping. When he fell asleep like that each night, he fell into a deep coma-like sleep such as those sleeps that he had experienced in those bygone, brain-slip days (c.f., Blog 13).

When it happened that Bill went into those sleeps, it was often difficult to wake him in the mornings. At one time, I had to cancel a doctor’s appointment because he just wouldn’t wake up. And if it happened that the carer arrived and we couldn’t rouse Bill, we’d wash his legs and his arms and his hair and trim everything that we could until, at last, Bill could endure the torture no longer and his eyes would open.

One morning, while Bill was in one of those deep, unnatural sleeps, I said to the carer:

“I think that he is dying.”

She stood looking at Bill, saying nothing, but then, slowly, she nodded her head.

But as soon as she nodded, Bill awoke. We helped him out of his chair, changed his clothes, gave him breakfast and put him on to his walker. Before we knew it, Bill, with energy and purpose, was on his way again, and all thoughts of death were dispelled.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

a blog about my dementia journey


© 2012 Sneek
Powered by WordPress, Endless & Sneek