wings and things


on November 10, 2012

A contingency is an unexpected or unpredicted event. I am sure there are deeper philosophical definitions but that’s who/how I see it.

So you cannot plan for contingencies because they just happen. I am learning how to be ready for them, to deal with them and to stop trying to figure them out.

Dementia is place where contingencies flourish, watered by leaking brain cells and lit by twilight. These contingencies are not funny or exciting like coincidences; they are cruel and cleverly shocking.

Over the last two evenings my phone conversations with Anthony have been disturbing as I described in yesterday’s posts.

So, later this afternoon, I am going to go into the nursing lodge and face this evening’s inevitable contingency with Anthony. We will have a small red wine with each other, I will make sure he eats his dinner (which he apparently refused last night), I will hug him and reassure him and I will talk to the staff and get their perspectives.

But I have a confession to make; I don’t want to do this because lately (despite the excursion out to the farm the other day), it is becoming an unpleasant experience for both of us. He makes accusations, begs to come home and sometimes rebuffs me – or else he clings to me, making us both weep when I leave to go home without him.

There must be a way of making this better – there must be. So many of my ideas have failed and, with each contingency, I have to rethink things again, over and over again, which is silly really because nobody can plan, organize, predict or be ready for a contingency.

And it seems self-indulgent to blog about a single situation when a hurricane had just devastated and killed so many, when millions are affected by ongoing wars, when children are being hurt, animals abandoned, forests dessimated – almost too overhwhelming to comprehend from my tiny little space of the here and now.

Once upon a time, Ants and I would have talked about these contingencies with gusto and passion because they were not our contingencies and we could philosophize from our coccoon of safeness.

Now we flutter, like moths with missing wings.

20 responses to “Contingencies

  1. You’re right. Yours is just one of many stories of people who have problems to deal with, but for each of us, our own problems, when they become overwhelming, are the ones that are foremost in our minds, and that cause us the most grief. You don’t need to feel guilt over the troubles of others. Just try to do your best to keep your sanity as you deal with your situation. Maybe you need to take more time for yourself. I remember when years ago my mother read between the lines of my letters, that I was on overload, and she sent me a “CARE” package of goodies. In it she put a tiny plaque with a picture of Holly Hobbie that said, “Take Time for YOU.” That brought tears at first because I knew she understood. Now, 35 years later, I no longer have my mother but I still have that plaque and when I need to, I do what it says.

  2. Parkinson’s disease is your own personal hurricane. It has blown through your life and up-ended everything you knew and felt and thought. It sucks.

  3. victoriaaphotography says:

    I don’t believe blogging about this situation with Anthony is self-indulgent at all Julie.

    This current (& future) situation is your ‘hurricane’. This situation has a devastating effect on the the life of you, your family and close friends. It’s irreversible. It is very much a ‘catastrophe’ of human life.

    Unless someone has been through it, they have no idea how horrible this time is for you and your family.

    Pain, suffering and distress is all relative to the person and situation in that time and place.

  4. bulldogsturf says:

    Be brave to face any trip wires and pit falls that face you Julie… contingencies can not be made for the unexpected as you say, so one must be brave and ready to dodge or face anything that now comes your way… Planning is impossible… but you must remember that what you do is for the best of both of you… and I’m sorry to say Julie you also need to think of your own mental and physical well being… you are no good to anyone if something happens to you… so as much as it hurts, you have to think of yourself as well…
    Don’t damage yourself on the whim that you think you can make everything right, accept the facts and plan your life accordingly, for yourself… no one will feel bad of you if you take a day off and just recharge the batteries…. be good and Hugs…

  5. Beautifully written post. I don’t think you need to feel the slightest bit guilty about comparing your own problems to the rest of the world. Your life is equally important! Good luck.

  6. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    watered by leaking brain cells & lit by twilight – love your writing there, Julie… & ‘moths with missing wings’.

    I don’t think it’s out of place to blog about because there was a hurricane. It still is so, affected you so, troubles you so. I would find it achingly difficult, myself, and wonder if I was causing difficulty by visiting, but still be wanting to visit.

    I wish you strength. Kindest regards to you, Julie. I think dementia is really sad. God, I have no idea how old age will go for me…

  7. artfulanxiety says:

    Everything in this world is relative. It gives us great perspective but can sometimes take away the simple, yet important, task of weeping for yourself. Once that is over, you can move forward to conquer your own problem and then help others. To ignore your own is hopeless.

  8. Gardengirl says:

    It is never self-indulgent to care about and take care of our loved ones. And since we write what we know, it is not self-indulgent to write about it either. It is an expression of love.

  9. I love that you never give up, that you just keep trying even when you are shut down–Anthony is so lucky to have you–to have someone who cares so much. Who cares for you Julie? If blogging about this helps then continue–I read the comments and a lot of people care about you–so keep sharing with us. (hugs)

  10. There is nothing self-indulgent about you!

  11. viveka says:

    Julie, we have all problems and there is always those that have it worse than us, but we can’t stop looking after our own needs because of that.
    All charity starts at home.
    I try to understand .. your situation – and I know where you thinking comes from. Julie, I feel so sorry for you both and I know that is not what you want. Sure that there is loads of good advice – but who real holds the key .. to lock up the door to Ant’s today world. You have to follow your common sense and gut. If things don’t work as you would like, you have to change direction again. Only – do let yourself go under of guilt.

  12. robincoyle says:

    Oh gosh . . . don’t go. Go on another day when you are in the right frame of mind. Be kind to yourself so you can be kind to him.

  13. When I was in the thick of my mourning, someone said to me ‘what about the starving children in Africa’. I know they were trying to help but the comment was completely irrelevant. A loss is a loss. Mourning is grieving for a loss and you need to work through it. You can’t dismiss it.

    You have lost your ‘cocoon of safeness’. You are grieving for it. Blogging for you is coping with that grief. Allow yourself that comfort.

  14. As for the suffering of others well there is no denieing that many have suffered becauce of Sandy but your daily suffering is just as important and will continue long after Sandy is forgotten.

    As hard as it is dealing with Anthony right now at least he knows who you are most of the time, it is harder when they no longer know who you are and when they are no longer able to feed themselves or know what is going on at all during the day and they really not there so often it is just their body and you look into their eyes and often they are blank that spark that is them isn’t there. When that happens you will visit and if he speaks a few words and you look into his eyes and there is a flicker of Anthony they you will leave walking on clouds, others may not understand the high those moments will give you but I will………..

    As difficult as it can be living with Ming you know he is there for his mum and that means a lot he loves you it isn’t easy for him either but you do have each other and that must mean something…………..Both of you need to laugh because it helps…………..

  15. Trisha says:

    Writing about your situation is not at all self-indulgent. What you are going through is truly heart-breaking and I would think writing about it is very healing. You are very courageous and I thank you for sharing your feelings and experiences.

  16. terry1954 says:

    my heart breaks when i hear these things, and if Al gets to that point, I don’t know how I will be able to deal with it. It seems worse than the PD in my opinion. There is confusion, and blame and begging. so much. my dear Julie i am with you here

  17. pixilated2 says:

    I am certain of it, and I know you can feel it, we are all here for you and sending you love. I am so sorry you and Anthony have to go through all of this pain. Someone said above to not go, to wait until you are stronger. They may be right. Yet, in situations such as this, can we ever be strong enough? I think we just get by the best we can manage, and that is OK.

    Julie, do not suppose that your pain or strife is any less important than any of the other calamities that afflict others in this world. Within the larger calamity there are individuals. Can we say that any individual’s pain is less than anothers? Is yours? No. God numbered the hairs on your head and knows the sparrow that falls. You are important to him. He brought us all here because we care, and each of us comes to you with a gift of compassion and we accept your sharing. Do not apologize, just know that we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t want to be involved.
    We are all here for you.
    ~ Lynda

  18. tersiaburger says:

    This is your blog and it is about your journey. It is the one place where you can self-indulge! Hugs!!

  19. elizabeth says:

    (((hugs))) 🙂

  20. dcwisdom says:

    Shall I sum it all up and say, “We all have big shoulders. Cry and write, baby. You’re safe with us.” If anybody bothers our Julie, they’re toast!

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