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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Communication February 1, 2015

I continue to visit my husband daily at his assisted living adult home, where I am sure he is being lovingly and well treated, even though sometimes I do not know if he recognizes me. He has been verbally non-communicative for quite a while, but his eyes would sparkle when he saw me, or he would raise his hands for a hug and I would know I was welcomed and loved.

When my husband tries to communicate verbally, his speech is a repetitive series of sounds which are unintelligible to me-- or to anyone else. But I do sense his mood as he speaks and frequently I feel that his need is to communicate something that is wrong. My husband's awareness of right and wrong has always been acute and he has always been a detail-oriented person. So I don't know what he is referring to, but I am pretty sure it would be a complaint.

 I distract him with pictures from a magazine, lure him outside to play ball, walk with him in the sunshine until all of a sudden he comes out of the reverie and really looks at me and knows who I am. He will grasp my hand more tightly, reminding us both of the strong bond we share without words. Twice this week he has, at those times, uttered a complete understandable sentence. One day as we were sitting in the sunshine he said, "I think I should get up now." Why I will never know, but he stood up and we continued our walk. 

Yesterday when I walked in, I found him sitting alone in the kitchen. I know he likes to sit there when food is being prepared. He watches and gives advice--which everyone knows is pleasant and he is trying to be helpful, as when he pointed to the chops being grilled on the indoor grill when they smelled like they needed to be turned. But yesterday, he sat alone, he would not look at me, but I coaxed him up and he walked into his room. "I will sit for a while" he said clearly. So he sat on his lounge chair and I perched on the corner of his bed. A few minutes later he said clearly, "Would you like to go for a walk?"
We walked, but each time we neared the living room, he stopped, rolled his eyes and said something in  a decidedly disturbed tone, but I didn't figure out why. 

Until another resident's visitor vacated the spot on the leather recliner sofa where Bob has recently sat. He left me, walked over to "his" spot and happily sat down until dinner was served and a worker escorted him to the dining table.

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