Saturday, September 19, 2015

Verbalizing Signs while on the road....

Driving with Gary in the car can be very interesting.  I listen to Joel Osteen radio a lot when on the move.  It is motivating and inspirational to me. He's also a great source of funny, clean jokes.

While riding, I often hear from Gary "Cornish and Carey. "
"Parking Garage enter here.
Santa Ana Canyon Road.
Vons. Subway. AM/PM. Carne Asada.
Chicken and Waffles."

He is reading various signs aloud and the driver has no attachment to the sign and may not have seen it.  "Gary, what are you referencing?  Are you reading a sign?"


"Then what are you talking about?"

"The sign back there." 

He also starts conversations in the middle of a thought.  It can be very aggravating. "Honey, why aren't you answering me?"

"You didn't say anything."
"Yes, I did.  Fried chicken." 
"Is that what you want for dinner?"
"I will have to get some at the store."
"Chicken, fried chicken."
"Why are you going to buy Fried Chicken?  That does sound good."

Going to the grocery store can be a similar experience.  Today, we were in line at the check out counter in the store.  While, a nice young man with a name tag "Aaron" was bagging, Gary read his name aloud.  Aaron said, "Yes sir?"  Gary said his name again in a matter of fact way.  Aaron said, "Can I help you sir?" 

"Aaron.  That is your name."

I explained that Gary has dementia and that he often reads things aloud and I am sorry that he was confusing.  Aaron slightly smiled and looked at Gary with complete confusion.  Most people don't realize he has a cognitive disorder because he doesn't fit whatever stereotype they have conjured in their mind of a person with dementia. I guess drool is expected.  Gary said "Aaron, your name is Aaron" two more times.  It was as if Gary was providing proof to Aaron that I was telling the truth.

Aaron snapped out of his weird expression and said, "Have a very nice day."

Another day in the life of Dementia and trying to be normal.  NOT!

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