Well, having Husband home for the weekend, and even going out to lunch and various other plans, went awry over the last few days so I am learning not to anticipate anything with too much excitement anymore – and to always have a contingency plan!
For example, on the day I had planned for us to go to our favourite restaurant for lunch, Son didn’t want to and Husband didn’t either, so I left Son home, went into the nursing lodge and Husband was extremely mobile and eager to go for a walk, something I haven’t done with him before – well except on the farm – because usually he is too immobile. I was amazed as he led me rather speedily down the hallway from his room to the nurse’s station and to the locked doors which the nurses opened for us to go out into the sunshine.
“Well, your new meds. are working well,” I said, bemused as Husband pulled me along in the slipstream of his unexpected energy. We walked down the nursing home driveway then followed a sandy trail that backed onto houses on the same street and proceeded up a bit of a hill. At the top of the hill, I turned around and exclaimed over the ocean view which you can’t see from the nursing lodge. We had been walking for ten minutes so I assumed we would go back to the nursing lodge but Husband wanted to keep going down the other side of the hill which was very sandy and steep, so on we went! By then we were around half a kilometre away from the nursing lodge and Husband was beginning to falter and I was beginning to panic.
“It’s just around the corner,” he said.
“Bythorne,” he said (Bythorne is the name of our farm).
It was then that I realized that the same drugs that are making Husband more mobile might also be increasing confusion and hallucinations (I know this because it’s happened before).
He then said that he could see Bythorne and I had to gently remind him that home was 15 kms away, but he just said, “So? I can make it. What’s wrong with you?” Thinking quickly, I said I was exhausted and didn’t want to go any further, that I wanted to go back the nursing lodge, and he got a bit annoyed.
Just then an elderly woman approached us from the corner that Husband wanted to turn. She had a bunch of flowers in her hand and greeted us with great enthusiasm. I asked if she were going to the nursing lodge and she said yes and that she was visiting her old school friend who was 89 but whose name she couldn’t remember. Long story short, she and I eventually persuaded Husband to turn around and go back but then, of course, we had to climb this awful, sandy hill.
Well, with the 89-year-old woman holding Husband’s left elbow, me holding his right hand and him using his walking stick with his left hand we made the very, VERY slow journey back. While we did so, the elderly woman introduced herself as Pauline and she asked us our names which, for some strange reason, gave her a fit of the giggles. A couple of minutes later, she repeated her question and asked me what was wrong with my father and I had to clarify that he was my husband. This didn’t make her giggle, but gave her pause and she then began talking rather incoherently about her friend who was 89 but whose name she couldn’t remember and, for the third time, we introduced ourselves to each other.
All of a sudden, Pauline, who was very agile, sort of sprinted ahead to the crest of the hill and said goodbye. Husband panting by now, muttered, “I don’t know why we couldn’t have gone to Bythorne, Jules, it’s not that far.”I apologized and continued trying to pull him along, little step by little step.
“What did you think of that lovely old lady?” I asked as we FINALLY reached the parking lot of the nursing lodge.
“A definite case of Alzheimer’s Disease,” he said, “poor old thing.”