Monday, March 23, 2015

Silly Pleasures

I've heard of people with dementia having wandering behaviors, and I just naturally think of them taking a walk through the neighborhood...actually someone else's neighborhood by the time they get through. Police are often called to assist in these haphazard excursions of the elderly.

But I would like to declare another genre of wandering behavior. It might be called telephone wander lust. Every time Dean sees an 800-number lately he feels compelled to call it. I can't tell you how many times I have rescued him from being a scam target.

The nurse at his doctor's office even called me the other day, wondering if we had put in a request for a back brace. I timidly explained that it was the result of one of his calls, answering a TV ad. It's getting downright scary what he might get himself involved in. And I don't know how to reel him in from this silly and potentially harmful practice.

Most of the time he just gets them to mail us information, as if we don't get enough junk mail already. And speaking of mail. I've also had to be careful of his mailing in postcards and ordering "stuff" with any postage paid invitations that he happens to come across. It doesn't matter what it is, if the word "free" is on it, he wants it. I'm trying to be the first one to the mailbox these days, but it isn't always easy.

I'm not sure why these activities are so enjoyable to him. I think he just has a desire to reach out and feel like he's still a normal human being, who can conduct business on his own.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so harsh with him and allow him these pleasures as long as I can. My first instinct is to get rid of the television, toss out our landline phone, and get our mail delivered to a post office box. But then again, I'll probably just wait and see where it all goes.

After all, isn't God just as patient with some of my silly pleasures?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

A Long Stretch

Last night, Dean struck me in the middle of the night. Yes, he's done it before--just stretched his arm over to see if I'm still in bed, but making contact with my nose instead. It's similar to what we do to each other verbally during the day.

We don't mean it. It just happens. And like after our nocturnal mishap, it doesn't take long to forgive each other and move on. Caregiving is fraught with episodes of close verbal contact, that often end up as the "crash and clash" variety.

This is one time Dean's short term memory does us both good though. I need to apologize right away before he forgets the experience. And he needs to apologize right away for the same reason. It sure works for us.

Quick repentance and forgiveness is one lesson the Lord has taught me through this caregiving journey. Life is too short for grudges, guilt, and remorse. It's best to come clean as soon as possible. Even when you get slugged in the face in the middle of the night.