Bill recovered from that building venture but the names of tools, and many other objects, never returned and, over time, Bill and I came to accept the fact that life, in 2007, was going to have to be lived without nouns.

“Well,” we said to ourselves,  “It’s better than living without sight.  We’d just better get used to it and get on with it.”

With friends, we planned a holiday.  We booked to cross Australia from Sydney to Perth on the Indian Pacific and then from Darwin to Adelaide on the Ghan.

We were to go in July but, early in April, Bill and I were confronted with big troubles. On the morning of 2nd, when Bill got out of bed, he cried out in pain, staggered, held his head in agony and then held his thigh, which was cramping.  He had to grab the vanity basin to stop himself from falling.

By the time we made it to the doctor, Bill was still not well.  Nonetheless, as happened before, he was still able to push the doctor’s hand back with force.  After some testing, the doctor confessed that he didn’t really know what it was that had caused Bill’s dizziness.  If it happened again, though, he stressed, I should call an ambulance immediately and get Bill to the hospital without delay.  The hospital, he added, would have all the equipment necessary to deal with Bill’s problem.

When, then, at the end of that month of April, 2007, Bill sustained another similar turn, I phoned 000.  The ambulance arrived promptly and the officers used a special, tractor-treaded chair to get Bill downstairs.  Bill could not walk, you see, and was very groggy.  Nonetheless, he responded well to oxygen and, by the time we reached the Emergency Department of the hospital, was very much better.

We spent the day at the hospital, with Bill undergoing a variety of tests.  Firstly, his medical history was noted:

  • Severe bout of measles when he was seven years;
  • Septicaemia at the age of thirty-five;
  • A moderate pipe smoker from 1960 to 1985;
  • A red head.

“Would any of these have had an affect on Bill’s condition today?” I asked, in wonder.

“No one knows,” the doctor answered.  “Research is ongoing.”

Bill was working in PNG when he sustained a severe bout of septicaemia.

  1. Fay

    I have no proof of this, but I believe that Bill could have started some of the damage in his brain by smoking for all those years. Though articles will tell you that lungs are clear a couple of years after the smoker has given up smoking, I’ve yet to read an article that says that the brain is back to normal once smoking has ceased.

    December 18th, 2012 // Reply
  2. Suzi Carson

    I remember all the work you did with Bill with books filled with words and photos etc, and I remember seeing that those tools and ‘lessons’ he did with you helped. No doubt you will be commenting on this a bit later in your blogs. I hope you do, because I know many who have done the same, and I think it has been so helpful to their affected loved ones as well as for the rest of the family and visitors, as a focus for meaningful and heartfelt discussion.

    January 15th, 2013 // Reply
    • Fay

      Yes, Suzi. That is the point. I don’t think that anything we did to help Bill’s brain really helped his brain for more than a couple of weeks but, on the other hand, the things that we did ….. even such things as taking him to the hospital to have him tested …… meant we were working together, focussed on the common cause of trying to heal him. I believe that Bill was able to remain positive and pleasant for most of the time of his illness because we kept trying. Fay

      January 21st, 2013 // Reply
  3. Sonia Hendy

    I share your views on smoking Fay but as you say, there’s nothing ever written about this topic.

    January 28th, 2013 // Reply
    • Fay

      Because of your comment, Sonia, I Googled “Smoking and Dementia” and came upon a couple of disturbing articles that
      shed some light on this topic. I found one of those articles in “John Barron’s Natural Health Blog”. The article was written by Jon Barron and titled “The Smoking-Dementia Connection.” It claimed that “new research has established a link between smoking and development of dementia in later years. Compared to non-smokers, those who smoke two packs of cigarettes a day during middle age face a 157% increased chance of developing Alzheimer’s Disease and a 172% greater risk of developing vascular dementia.”
      Now, Bill never smoked anything like two packs of cigarettes a day. He smoked two pipes-full a day at most. But those two pipes-full were full of straight, unfiltered “Dr Pat’s” pipe tobacco and he certainly smoked them over middle age. He stopped smoking when he was around the age of 45. If those two packs of cigarettes caused such increased risk, I feel pretty sure that those two pipes-full did too.

      February 16th, 2013 // Reply
  4. Harold and Nola

    Yep! Have to say it, that smoking wouldn’t have helped. Am in tears already over it. Wonder if we want to read the rest.

    March 16th, 2013 // Reply
  5. Fay

    I hope you keep reading, Nola. I enjoy your comments.

    March 31st, 2013 // Reply

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