Saturday, May 2, 2009


Toward the end of January Elbert was sitting with his head bent, his fists clinched and he was unresponsive to any sort of communication. This seems to be happening more and more now. But, wouldn't you know it... when you least expect it he can say something out of the blue that just floors us. Often it is funny. It makes us laugh and fills us with joy to see a small glimpse of the 'old' Elbert.

One day I asked him if he knew how old I was. He sat in thought for a couple minutes and then replied 'forty six'. 'Nope' I answered 'I'm 75'.

In an effort to get him to use his excellent math skills from years past I wanted him to figure out his own age so I added, 'And do you know what that makes you?"

'Yeah', he grinned 'a guy running around with an old woman'.

My 'old Elbert' is back if only for a moment!!

A week later we were watching tv when Elbert got up and went to the bathroom. When he returned he stopped in the doorway and looked around. I asked him what he was looking for and he said, 'my girlfriend'. So, I asked him how long he had had the girlfriend and he said 'not long but I can't remember her name'.

So, he turned and wandered through the house looking for this new girlfriend of his. I happened to pass him in the hallway and he stopped, put his arms around me and said 'I love you' and then continued on his quest for this girlfriend.

 I thought this was so funny. I am able to laugh at some of his confusion. It's just too unbelievable to not find funny. It seems that when he doesn't remember me, he has a girlfriend. How thankful I am that he does tell me several times a day that he loves me. Bet he doesn't tell his 'girlfriend' that.

Feb 1st.... Super Bowl Sunday. Elbert and I are not professional football fans. But, just put us in front of a college football game. We root for our favorites. We'd watched the Super Bowl until halftime but I could tell he was confused. And, once again he was assuming the role of the characters he was watching. Now, he was a football player and told me about playing a big game and they got in his way so he didn't get that big prize money he was supposed to get. He was telling me about how he made certain plays. That man never played football in his entire life. But, to him he had been a football hero. And, to me, he was.

Confusion takes many forms. Everyday is different, a wild roller coaster ride. You just hang on for dear life and take a deep breath until the ride comes to an end.

1 comment:

Jenn Jilks said...

A friend of mine said you have to look for the diamonds every day: a moment when you recognize the person before dementia changed him.

I would have a conversation with my dad, he'd be so confused. His brain tumour grew in the area of language and he couldn't name things. Then, I'd look at my watch (an abstract concept) and he'd sa, "Do you have to go so soon, lovie?"