Saturday, October 8, 2016

Does he know me now?

I have regrouped after Gary did not know me a few days ago.  The day after this all happened, I had a sore throat and did not go to visit.  I took the night off.

Yesterday, after work, I stopped by right at dinner time.  He was being fed by one of the angels, so I took over.  He seemed to know me.  In talking with the Care Manager, she reflected that in her experience, he should always know me but maybe won't know that I am his wife.  She feels that the residents there do recognize familiarity.

I spent a short amount of time and went home to recover from the week. 

Saturday dawned with some important bookwork to do.  I got the laundry done and finished the paperwork.  The house still feels very lonely to me without Gary here.  It is a miserable moment when I start to say something to him and he is not there.  It is a more miserable moment when I roll over in our bed and reach for him and there is no one there. 

Around his lunchtime, I headed to the Happy Place.  He seemed quiet today in that he was eating, kissed me hello and had no tremors.  I said hello to all the residents and helped a few move around, retrieve walkers and answer questions.  All were going to the bathroom or getting diapers changed to get ready for the Bluegrass concert occurring in the main recreation room.

The angels took special care to make sure Gary got a good seat up front.  They let me sit beside him and I sorta feel bad because I am taking a seat but that reassure me it is okay.  We watched "the band" warm up.  All the band members except for one were senior citizens.  Banjos, guitars, dobro, mandolin, fiddle and bass.  It was akin to going to one of my family reunions back in Virginia (mama's side) where everyone brought their instruments to play bluegrass, country and gospel. I used to overhear conversations inviting family where the closing to the conversation was "Don't forget to bring your music."  That actually meant for them to bring their instruments.

The band was good. I knew all the words to all the songs.  Gary sat and stared off into the wall for most of the concert, but tapped his foot along to all the beats. When it came to some of the gospel songs, he mouthed the words.  Taking him to the concert was a good idea. 

His state now is more quiet and removed than anything else.  If he has any original thought, it is never expressed.  He is quiet and more aware of noise or conversations going on in the room than of the person to whom he is talking.

I left shortly after the concert and went to the gym.  I had a bad headache but decided to try and walk off the pain.  I noticed the parking lot at the gym was near empty and when I entered, the attendant indicated that I was all alone in the gym due to the local parade.  It was strange being there all alone.  As I walked on the treadmill, I thought of Gary being confined to the wheelchair.  I remembered watching him last night in his bathroom, after he asked to go to the bathroom, standing up with a vice grip on the safety rails and immobile.  He brain could not hear the directions being given him.  He sat on the toilet for near 20 minutes and never went.  Everyone was frustrated.

As I walked, I tried to walk off the anger, frustration and grief.  Its hard to do that in just a half hour.  I felt like crap and decided to leave.  When I drove past the "Happy Place" on my way home, for a moment I considered stopping and feeding Gary dinner.  I kept driving.  I just didn't have it in me to go back today.

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