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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stress reducers improve daily life-Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Searching for science news to impart today, I find advice on living well and aging well.  I do sometimes feel the universe is caring for me and assisting me when I need it most, which is the case today. It is I who need to adjust, to find joy and contentment as well as some sense of accomplishment in each day. I feel supported and cared for by my family and by the members of the support groups I attend or lead. I enjoy the knowledge that I am not alone and that we can laugh about some of the foibles of our loved ones whose memories we treasure.

My stress is reduced by acknowledging that my feelings are normal and to be expected, even the sad and lonely ones, including the depressed ones that I was so involved with this past weekend. I am on my way; right now a French bread is mixing in my gluten-free bread baker. I attended a Zumba class and can’t wait for the next one.

These activities make me feel more energized, less stressed, more productive, more engaged and, yes, happier — better able to smell the roses and better able cope with the inevitable frustrations of daily life which exist for all of us in one form or another.Find yours and let me know how well you succeed.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

100 Words for Sunday, August 25, 2012


Reentry is different from return; I have been blaming my unease these past few days on the time change, but it is more to the lack of any feeling of return. My life, although rich in loving family and dear friends and with the possibility of promoting my book and of writing my next one, has as its main focus, waiting for my husband’s life force to end. To reenter this tragic discomfort is sufficient cause for disruption of body, mind and spirit that I am now confronting. I go through the motions of daily living, treading water, not swimming.
There is no way one can be prepared in advance for a loved one's demise. Today we walked around Bed Bath & Beyond before another trip to the food store."I remember this place; we were here before," Bob stated correctly. As we drove in the car, he placed his hand on my thigh and said, "just to show I'm not dead yet." So is he thinking about dying too? He also told me he hadn't eaten anything yet today and shrugged when I asked him why. He has not been able to answer questions for a long time; I don't know why I still ask. I brought him home at 4:45 when everyone was at the table eating. He said, "We're back at the place where we live," sat down, received a plate of hot food and picked up his fork before I left.
Please understand that these isolated phrases or even sentences are basically the only words Bob spoke during the hour and a half we were together. As I reread this blog it looks like he's more cognitively aware than he is. It's just that I am so surprised when he says something clearly that also makes sense. I hang on to these utterances much as a parent repeats the first words of an infant. But these are the remnants of a once full repertoire of words and they appear occasionally, almost at random.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Diamonds August 24,2012

As I entered the memory care unit yesterday to visit with my husband, I overheard him arguing with the staff member working at the computer. I approached and he used the same annoyed tone with me,"How did you get here? Where did you come from? Get them to let me in there to sleep." Then he visibly changed his mind, hugged me and asked,"Can we get out of here? Now?"
"Bob, do you know who that is?" asked the staff member. Bob ignored her. "Let's go," he repeated."Do you know how to get out of here?"
When he was settled in the car, he asked sweetly, "Could we go and see some tools?"
I drove this time to Ace Hardware where an employee greeted us warmly and told us where to find the tool aisle. As we entered the aisle, Bob smiled broadly, spread his arms wide and said, "Diamonds." I looked at him quizzically and he exlaimed,"Like a woman in a jewelry store, I love it here." Since Steve was not with us to show Bob the different tools, he picked them up himself and showed them to me, the hammer with the "sharp end," the black handled hammer, "It's all wood," the "beautiful collection" as he told the clerk.
Then his attention shifted to the kitchen tool aisle and he focused on a set of peeler and paring knife. He held the package to his chest and said, "I think I have to have these."
"Just like in the jewelry store," I reminded him, "we are here to look and not to buy." He put the package back only a bit reluctantly and we left the store to let Grant show Grandpa how he plays his first song on the cello.Bob was soon ready to return home for dinner.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Whipped Cream on French Fries

I have returned, much rested and quietly content. When I greeted my husband Bob today after a three week absence, I hugged him from the back as he was not facing me when I walked on to his unit at the Memory Care Center. He exclaimed,"Is it Phyllis?" As he turned around, he grinned and added "Is it really you?" I smiled a reasurance as he spotted Steve and said, "It's so good to have both of you at the same time. Can we get out of here now? right now?"
Then he sat in the back seat of the car so he could see us both at the same time. He was happy to "be in civilization," even if only to the food store and to "get something to eat." Ordering a snack at McD's, you guessed it, he nibbled on his french fries which he dipped into the whipped cream delightedly, but he was "full" rather quickly and happy to sit and hold my hand.
My apologies for my abrupt departure. I didn't know I would have no internet access during my vacation.