I’ve decided to write about our situation. Friends and family were wanting to know how life was going for us.
Telephone conversations about my husband’s Alzheimer’s disease and how things were around the house had become impossible to have since Chuck always stood a few feet away every time I was on the phone.
No matter where he might have been in the house, when I was on the phone, he was right there, usually around the corner and out of sight, but well within hearing range – so there was no way to let people know anything about our lives, his struggles, his victories, or any of the other peculiar details of our daily lives.
I have since discovered this eavesdropping behaviour is not uncommon; a number of women in my support group have the same problem: a husband who lurks and listens when they are on the phone. My going online was a way to keep friends and family informed without worrying about my eavesdropping spouse overhearing what he may not want to hear.
These posts ran for two years: from November 2013 to November 2015. I have marginally adapted them for general readership. Nov. 4, 2013 There has been a change. There is never a time in this disease when there is stability. Along with the obvious gaffes and mental lapses easily observed, there can also be a series of subtle shifts that may be easy to miss until they morph into something that becomes recognizable as a change.
It is like taking sand away from a sand castle a grain at a time until the shape of the castle – voila – changes into another shape. Something like that has happened here.
There is something different in my husband.
For one, there is a mellowness that has never before appeared in the course of this disease.
I am pondering if this has anything to do with some level of acceptance on Chuck’s part. He has made numerous comments lately about not living much longer. But for someone with Alzheimer’s disease what does that mean? Is this comment one coming from the perspective of what he will be capable of cognitively? I am trusting this is what he is attempting to tell me.
Or perhaps this new mellowness in our home, which easily may only be temporary, could this new mellowness be the result of a shift in the sand castle to a new form, another step deeper into the pathology of this disease? At any rate, there is an ease in our relationship that has not been present for some years now. A blessing found in the face of adversity.