Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Saturday, June 11, 2016

That's My Knee Pad

I cleaned kitchen cabinet drawers today. I laid this potholder out on the cabinet to trash. It's very thick and I only have one. I never use it so I was about to toss it when Bob walks in and says "Don't trash that. It's my knee pad." I had to chuckle because I knew he spent a lot of time down on one knee digging in the bottom of the pantry and the bottom cabinets, but never thought about him needing a knee pad. I put it back in the drawer. A man's got to have his knee pad.


We've fought many a battle over the years over cooking, and grocery shopping but I see now the time is past for that behavior.

Perhaps I'm beginning to settle in to this new place I'm living where he looks to me for everything.   That's a new place for me. I've always gone to him when anything needed repairing. Today I asked him to make a wire loop in the handle of a rolling pin so I could put a hook in it and hang it in the pantry. He never figured it out. Finally I said "Let's try this and see if it will work." I put the wire loop in the handle, handed him the rolling pin and hook, and he tottered off to hang it in the pantry. So opposite of the way things have always been.

I'm finding it difficult to know exactly what he can do and what he can't. I don't want to do the things he's capable of doing, nor do I want to embarrass him by not realizing he's incapable of something. It's a thin line to walk.

I try to stay alert to any needs but they're easy to miss. Since he's lost a little weight he's having trouble keeping his pants up. He mentioned he wished he had his old military web belt. I hopped on Amazon and he now has a military web belt, and he's happy with it.

Daughter came through with the peppermint puff candies. When I sent her his picture she noticed the rubber bands on his head phones and asked if he needed new ones. Tuesday a new set will arrive. She says the least we can do is see to it he has a nice set. No doubt the ones she's sending will be pricey, far more than he would pay for a set himself.

A little bit ago he walked through here fretting about a pair of shoes.  The need for a new pair of shoes has been around for a while but I just kept kicking the can down the road because it's hard to make him happy with shoes.  The time has come. In the next week or so daughter or son will get the assignment to take their dad and see that he gets new shoes. I won't go because that's another area we've gone to battle over but the kids will take care of it.

I'm living in a new world.

20 comments:

  1. A new world, and not an easy one, either. I really admire your patience and compassion. And it's also good to read about when your nerves get frayed - it shows you're as human as the rest of us! :-)

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    1. Oh believe me I'm human. I've done some of this before when my father lived with us before his death at 82. He suffered dementia. Bob is 84 now but so many of the things I'm dealing with remind me of the same thing in my father.

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  2. Wasn't it "Train yourself to train the baby." Now it's different yet somehow quite the same. I think you are getting a handle on it. Hang in there.
    Thank heavens for Amazon - that was one shopping trip saved, right?

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    1. You got it. Can't train this baby, have to train myself. Amazon is my best friend.

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  3. I never thought about it that way, but yes, it is a new world. And it sounds like you are doing the best you can. Your awareness of the fine line between asking him to do something versus doing things for him is an important distinction. It requires assessing as you go. Sounds like you've got that just about right. Hang in there Linda.

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    1. Everyday is a constant assessment, minute by minute we live. What's there today may be gone tomorrow.

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  4. Irrationality is a difficult situation to get your head around. It's good that you have kids who can take part of the load.

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    1. I'm incredibly thankful for my children. Our daughter is a nurse. They're also professional people that don't depend on us financially We are indeed fortunate.

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  5. One day at a time, one hurdle at a time. You've got the best possible attitude plus a sense of humor and they will take you a long way.

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    1. You got it. One hurdle at a time. I watched my sister-in-law closely and the mistakes she made. She's now engulfed in guilt and regrets. I don't won't to do that. I don't think I will.

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  6. I can feel your emotions in this post and past ones. It IS a new world and hard for the both of you! I admire you and your compassion and attitude! For better or for worse. You are living that out in real life! You are an inspiration and I hope I do nearly as well as you when my time comes.......

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    1. Bob's dementia is what we often see as people age. He's 84 now and most of this has come on in the last six months. Maybe it began in the summer, but no earlier than that. He's aware of it and is bothered that it's happening. This is so much better than if it were Alzheimer. We can do this. For this time in my life he is my number one focus.

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  7. One thing for sure: Bob is well taken care of by you and your children. He's a lucky guy.

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    1. We try. We only get one shot at this.

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  8. Your posts are a touching love story.

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    1. Love goes through many stages in life and a marriage. This is a new stage but not necessarily a bad one.

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  9. Linda, when you first started sharing this story, I hadn't realized you were dealing with dementia as well as fragile health with Bob. Since realizing that, I have so admired your love and patience. I know that your posts are a release for you. They are also a learning opportunity for us, your blog friends.

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  10. This dementia is relatively new. Seems to have worsened considerably in the last six months and particularly the last month or so. Big changes lately. He's been in fragile health quite a while. The mental is relatively new. He had an episode last summer but got better after he recovered from the pacemaker surgery. Now it's happened again and I don't think he's going to be able to pull it back this time. Yes these posts are a release to me and I value my blog friends for hanging in there with me.

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  11. I have a friend that has been entering the same stage for several years. First it was his body betraying him and now his mind is starting to go. It will happen to so many of us. Thank you for sharing this journey.

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    1. I suspect I won't attract many readers with this subject but I'll be able to call the ones who stick with me through this journey true friends. I do not deny this is therapy for me. You're right. If we live long enough it's coming to most of us. The alternative is not good so we need to suck up and learn to deal with it.

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