wings and things

A problem is a problem

on October 30, 2012

I can’t call a problem a challenge because, to me, a challenge implies something zingily positive whereas a problem is something devoid of zing. It seems more useful to see some of the problems I am facing, with Anthony in the nursing lodge, as problems. I guess I’m not very ‘new age’ – sorry but no matter how many daisies surround a cowpat, it is still a cowpat and it stinks.

So, as most of my ideas of how to cheer Anthony up have fallen fairly flat (reading/showing him the blog, taking old photographs in, buying him the gramophone, going out to lunch, bringing him home etc.), I have decided to establish a strict routine every week and write it down for him, and me, and stick to it. This will be good for both of us because, my own personal turmoil, grief, loss of job, and Ming challenges (yes, I can call these challenges), has caused me to lose all semblance of a routine.

Maybe a whiteboard would be a good idea. I could put it on Anthony’s wall in the nursing lodge and write down exactly what day and time I am coming in, and other plans. I could also write our home phone number (which he mostly can’t remember) so he can ring me for a change. Actually I could also write down the phone numbers of his favourite friends and family on the whiteboard. These are in a notebook in one of his drawers but he keeps losing this, or not understanding it.

Perhaps the daisies will grown into the cowpat and give it a new odour. You never know! Nevertheless, a cowpat is a cowpat and problems are problems, not challenges.

Godfrey has a challenge in teaching the gang ‘Gangnam’ dance moves.

Daffy has a problem with loneliness because he is the only Indian runner duck left.

41 responses to “A problem is a problem

  1. tootlepedal says:

    The whiteboard sounds like a good idea.

  2. oldsunbird says:

    Perhaps the problem itself is not the challenge, but you have certainly been challenged by your problems and come up with some very creative solutions.

  3. bulldogsturf says:

    The white board idea sounds clever… be careful of writing down times as you being late could upset him more…

  4. victoriaaphotography says:

    I’m trying desperately hard to think of a positive sentence, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the whiteboard idea might be just as confusing as the notebook in the drawer?

    But on a positive note, maybe it will assist the nursing staff & visitors to read it and convey it’s messages to Anthony is such a way he can understand?

    I wish I could think of a new outing, idea or social occasion to try & cheer Anthony up, but with lack of facial expression I guess it’s very hard for you to read his thoughts & guage his reactions these days.

    Deep down, I’m sure that whatever you do with loving intention, will be received in the spirit in which it is given (despite the lack of smile and thanks from Anthony).

    Who’s to say that a grouchy frown might not be Anthony’s new way of expressing a heartfelt smile.

    • jmgoyder says:

      I kind of thought the whiteboard might help staff too (great minds!) Outings are becoming impossible due to mobility and toilet problems – I guess I need to spend more time with him at the nursing lodge. Thanks Vicki!

  5. Judith Post says:

    I agree with you–I’m not uplifted when someone calls a problem a challenge. And I think you’re onto something with a schedule. Being organized gives life some structure–a sense of direction. Good luck with it!

  6. terry1954 says:

    i hope your planned schedule works. for me, when ever i plan anything, it backfires. so good luck my friend

  7. Tammy says:

    A whiteboard is so useful. You could see how it goes with the numbers/messages idea and if it doesn’t really work, just use it to write one big powerful and positive message every time you go see him! Or draw a silly face, or play tic-tac-toe, or post a motivational or beautiful poster or photograph.

    Just keep it fresh from week-to-week, for you, for him. Or not.

    Just go with it.

    And oh, so sorry about Daffy’s loneliness. If we weren’t so far apart I’d let you have one of my eleven Runner Ducks – they are quite a posse running around the farm. Constant entertainment. Constantly foraging.

    • jmgoyder says:

      Don’t you have predators?

      • Tammy says:

        Julie, fingers crossed, touching wood -we are fortunate to keep the flock safe at night. I have 3 dogs that sleep inside at night, but during the day, they have run of the farm and I think have pretty well established their dominance.

  8. cuhome says:

    Well said, and honestly said. I think it’s much more helpful to be honest with ourselves, as you are. Otherwise, we’re just trying to kid ourselves, and our brains and hearts know the difference!!

  9. FlaHam says:

    Julie, I too like the white board idea, it seems like a good solution to some of the problems you face on a continual basis. I also like not putting exact times down, while I am so anal about being on time, if i am expecting someone I tend to clock watch, so not putting times makes that a non issue. As always, take care and hang in there — Bill

  10. I love your cowpat is a cowpat… Think the white board is a wonderful idea!

  11. janechese says:

    problem? challenge? ok. Good idea with the whiteboard.Maybe visitors can sign in and out on the board so Anthony knows who has been there.

  12. viveka says:

    Julie, I think it’s a brilliant idea with a white board in his room – something he see very easily – I have so many diaries too and never use them – always place them somewhere so I know where I have them – then I can’t find them and that has nothing to do with my age. Great idea, Batman!

  13. yellowlancer says:

    The white board sounds like a good idea and certainly worth a try. I don’t know what your artistic skills are like but would a combination of words and simple/stick figure type pictures help? A few years ago when my grandmother was in a nursing home they had a white board in the main room with the day and small messages on it. Good luck.

  14. Julie, that whiteboard is a brilliant idea and so is a strict schedule!

  15. Sounds like a good idea, as those with dementia need routine if you can try and see him at the same time each visit will help him he is like a young child now and needs to know that you will turn up around the same time each visit………springing things on him will throw him out of wack and make him confused and upset………..

  16. dcwisdom says:

    I’m remembering that any time I spent with Dad he appreciated. I think. I hope. Time. Another thing that Mom realizes that Dad REALLY missed was her lying down with him, just being beside him. Holding his hand. Singing to him (because he loved music and singing). I think it boils down to the very simple things and time. (I HATE Parkinson’s.) Sending BIG Texas love across the waves…XO

  17. I love how you just never give up! You try something, it doesn’t work, you try something else. I really admire that in you. Anthony is lucky to have you.

  18. I am interested to see if this idea works! We tried it with my mother-in-law, and she kept forgetting to look at the board…

  19. “A problem shared is a problem halved”.
    Here is hoping that by sharing your thoughts with all of us here, the pain becomes easier for you to bear.

  20. eof737 says:

    I feel for daffy! 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: