Most people have no connection to our current reality. I found it interesting trying to explain Frontotemporal Degeneration and what it has done to Gary. For those who knew him before, even by telephone, it is difficult to grasp the disability.
Today I made to the Reminiscence by 10:00 am and found Gary sitting in his wheelchair in the main living area grasping a massage ball and chewing on the plastic handle. His eyes were tight shut but he was wide awake. I kissed him hello and was confident in his response that he knew I was there.
I held his hand for awhile and then took him into his room to clip his finger nails and trim his beard. As I stood over him to clip his moustache, he opened his eyes and looked at me with that blank stare that only comes from one whose brain is somewhere else. He kept saying, "Ada Mae. Diva Gerl (our dog). " He has no sentence tied to the pronouncement but he still knows our names. I told him that Diva Gerl as at home. THen, I realized that about a month ago, I did bring her here and he was sitting in the exact same place where I had presented her to him...next to his bed. There had to be some recollection on his part. Perhaps I should bring her back?
His face seemed oily and I knew he would hate that. I washed his face and he reiterated that it felt good. After finishing our grooming, we went back to the living area where the Care Manager was meeting with the residents and discussing current events. Gary had his eyes tight shut but was listening and repeating different points that he heard. I sat next to him and held his arm and hand. He still squeezes my hands and kisses the back of my hand.
I stayed for three hours including feeding him a healthy lunch. After lunch, I took him back to his room where his trimmer was now charged. I take pride in keeping his beard as he liked it. We cleaned up and I moved him back to the living room.
I parked his chair and kissed him goodbye. His 68th birthday is this Wednesday. What should I buy him? I looked at Toys R Us for things he can play with or do with his hands.....could not find the right item. I will continue to look. Just think, in years past I would buy him a Seamaster Watch or we would celebrate with a trip to the mountains. As a result of FTD, he will get a card and probably not be aware that he is passing a milestone. Will it be his last? Only GOD knows.
So, the man that called this evening to check in says that he will fly his private plane down in a few weeks to meet Gary. Their relationship was all over the phone and he knows he has waited too long to meet the "real Gary." My sense is, he won't come. People have a tendency to abandon the feeble......and that is what Gary is now.
I love him with all my heart.....here he is a few years back.....