Saturday, February 22, 2014


Diary: Grandma P and Bill's journey through dementia. 22nd February 2014

Bill had a bad night. He said he was up just the once. I know he was in and out of bed and downstairs more than that.
As my plan had been to go out early, I decided that I could persuade Bill to get washed and dressed by 6 o'clock.
It was a lovely morning with the half moon shining brightly in the dawn sky.
And then the sun came up and all was spring like.
I enjoyed being at the big Ford car boot sale/antiques market.
Bill walked round just a little bit and then went to sit in the car until it was time to go to the coast for a breakfast.
It has been a bad day for memory and noises.
Conversation is always limited now.
As we ate breakfast I talked about a plan to go out again tomorrow if the weather is OK.
I suggested we could end up in Newhaven.
"But we are in Newhaven now" he protested.
We weren't - we were in Littlehampton. And he seemed not to remember having been at the car boot sale - a place he knows very well.
He had helped get a heavy chair back to the car with a trolley we can borrow. Did he remember this? He could recall the crowds.
"What was on each side of us as we pushed the trolley?"
I was thinking of the stalls of course - Bill suggested it was the river.
Bill is able to control his obsessive habits a bit when we are out, so I am constantly devising plans to be out.
But meals can be a bit fraught - he loves to put half chewed food on his tongue and then stick his tongue out.
So funny! Long forced laughter follows.
A walk on the beach today was lovely.
Later in the day a family member phoned - back from a half term skiing trip. I told Bill and told him all the other people who had gone on the trip.
"Did your Dad go too?" he asked.
He had no idea of any reason that my Dad might not have gone. Dad died nearly 20 years ago.
"Did he? I don't remember."
"I didn't know.......but then " after some thought, "I must have known".
That felt kind of poignant.
We both dozed a while after that.
I woke to watch some more of the Winter Olympics. Bill can't cope with TV. I don't think he really knows what is going on - not just in the Olympics, but everything. He doesn't really follow the soap that we have watched together for some time.
Maybe he feels cross about me watching TV. Though there is nothing else he would want me to be doing with him. Maybe he gets tired.
The noise levels increased.
He was banging the furniture and walls and his own body a lot - very noisily.
And then comes the long loud forced laugh.
It can feel like there is no let up.
If I ask him to "cool it"...or just plain "stop" he does it more.
I can't win.
But today I have pretty well kept my cool.
He went to bed before 9 o'clock; so all is peaceful now.