Wednesday, October 13, 2004

doing some reading on Alzheimer's. I got Oliver Sacks's book The Man Whose Wife Was a Hat or whatever the title is, but I haven't opened it yet. my father's been going a couple days a week to an adult daycare, which has energized him. today, a perfect New England fall afternoon, we picked him up, he just about chirped about the colour, the cloudless blue sky, the brilliant sun. last week we picked him up a little late. there was one woman still sitting there, as we made our way out. she looked at me forlornly, held her hands out palm up, and said no one is coming for me. it was so sad. another woman once was leaving and told a worker there as a farewell: well, see you in heaven. which clashed against how peppy and quick walking she was. in a book I was reading today a woman in a nursing home took a fall. her nurse checked on her the next day. the woman said she talks with her dead husband, and when she fell, it's because she'd offered her elbow for him to hold as she walked. but of course (she said) he wasn't there to hold her and she fell. aware of her hallucination yet also fully in it. I guess I am unable to judge rightly how my father's condition compares. he seems 'better' but what lies am I telling myself? 90-95% of the time my caring for him is 'not a big deal'. but that 5-10% of the time when I am testy and grumpy make me feel so guilty, like I have no understanding or compassion whatsoever. obviously I am failing arithmetic here.
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