wings and things

Home is where the heart is

on February 8, 2013

I had planned to get Anthony home today, then decided to wait until the weekend so I could also invite some friends to see him. So I left a message with the nursing staff this morning, then rather guiltily rang him this evening. I needn’t have worried because Anthony thought he was home anyway. This is how our rather strange conversation unfolded:

Anthony: Jules, I’m at Bythorne [that’s the name of our farm]
Me: Are you?
Anthony: Yes, where are you?
Me: Well I thought I was at Bythorne.
Anthony: That’s okay then.
Me: Why do you think you’re at Bythorne, or are you kidding?
Anthony: I don’t just think I’m at Bythorne; I AM at Bythorne.
Me: I thought you were at the nursing lodge.
Anthony: No, I’m at Bythorne! When are you coming home?
Me: I won’t be long.
Anthony: That’s good. I miss you.
Me: Well you sound pretty happy.
Anthony: I am! I love you, Jules.
Me: I love you Ants.

The dementia that is part of Anthony’s Parkinson’s Disease always kicks in after sundown (I blogged about ‘sundowner syndrome once before). But this is the first time he has thought he was at home.

I felt a surge of joy about this because he sounded so happy, but it was a bit surreal.

60 responses to “Home is where the heart is

  1. Julie- are you sure you are the one who is at home?

  2. What he is thinking ‘inside’ is important… if he thinks he is home… and is happy… in my mind I would feel he is ‘in a good place’. Does that make sense? It’s only what I think… I feel it would bring comfort knowing he really is okay. What we feel inside… is most important. I’m not an authority on anything, Julie… I hope you don’t mind what I felt when reading your special post.

    I’m so thankful ‘to be back in touch… you are always ‘there’ for me on my blog, and speak to me… I’d like to be here, also. I can’t believe all my things were going to SPAM… I don’t even know how that happened in the first place. :))) They won’t slip by me… anymore.

  3. It’s ‘challenging’ to say the least to ‘roll’ with how Ants is at the moment, but it was good that he was in a happy frame of mind…I do remember having to do so with my Mom when dementia started to set in….(long time ago)..Diane

  4. You handled it so beautifully… now… to just get it so he thinks you’re there at the same time as him too! Hugs. (you continually amazing me)

  5. FacetsofLucy says:

    I just had a similar experience with my mother. She was in the ICU. When I walked in to see her, she politely told me that she was expecting her daughter any minute. When I said, “Mom, its me”., she repeated she was waiting for me (by name). I said, “I’m she”, just as my husband walked in. She looked at my husband and said, “Where is your spouse?”. He looked at me and said, “Right there”. She finally shook her head and said, “I guess you think I’m confused. If you say you’re her, I’ll just take your word for it. But you could tell she still had doubts. That was the beginning of alot of confusing conversations. Its funny but its sad, too. You have to decide when to agree and when to set the facts straight and it isn’t always easy.

  6. The mind is very powerful. I realize that it must have been surreal having that conversation but if Anthony is happy at home in his mind, that is a wonderful thing. His stress levels will be way down and that is an all around good thing. Stress is bad for everyone. πŸ™‚

  7. Doesn’t matter where Anthony thinks he is as long as he’s happy there.

  8. tootlepedal says:

    I’m glad that you found a happy moment. You deserve one.

  9. dealingwithcopd says:

    Julie, soft smile, we take the joys as they are given to us, we sometmes forget the circumstances, (and while we really don’t forget them we are allowed to put the circumstances aside for brief moments) and find the joy as we can. Yesterday you found a brief moment of joy. I am so happy for you. Take care, Bill

  10. Interesting, but if he’s happy rather than anxious, why not? Your post matches the WordPress photo challenge theme of home quite perfectly today. You just have to include a photo of your home. πŸ™‚

  11. adinparadise says:

    I guess all you want at the moment is for Ants to be happy, so I can understand you elation after the phone call. My friend’s husband had alzheimers, and he was rarely unhappy; just got a bit annoyed with himself occasionally. She also had some surreal conversations with him. Hugs to you.

  12. viveka says:

    A couple of years ago I had a chat with the president of the company I was working for – also the son of the founder of the company. His mum had passed away. His father has been dementia for many years and he probably didn’t know that his wife was dead.
    So I asked about his father and he said that: dad is where he is .. with the fairies and he are happy there – so that is a fantastic comfort for us, the family. Because so long as dad is happy in his world we are happy.
    That we can’t communicate with him – and he doesn’t recognize us … don’t mean anything – so long he are happy. I think that was so wonderful said and unselfish.

  13. Hopefully this will be a recurring theme. It must be so great to have him smile!

  14. terry1954 says:

    sun downers is definitely something else. i have taken care of so many patients that become opposites of night and day with this

  15. Oh, Julie, this was a wonderful post: a snapshot of the mixed emotions which can be involved. I had to read your dialogue to Phil. It was so perfectly unassuming, and funny, and beautiful. And, as you say, surreal. I’m glad Ants was happy. And I hope the visit goes well at the weekend.

  16. diannegray says:

    It’s actually good that he thinks he’s at home and you must have found some comfort in this.

  17. janechese says:

    I felt very happy for Anthony reading this, because he was expressing his love for you and he was in a happy place.Tears welling up in my eyes, too but I get that way with things that are sentimental.

  18. I LOVE onthehomefront’s question! πŸ™‚ Seriously, though, don’t you wish that he could live under those pleasant delusions all of the time? Happiness makes life worth living.

  19. Happy is happy and is good. ❀

  20. Sounds like it was a good phonecall. If he thinks he’s at home he must be feeling happy. πŸ™‚

  21. victoriaaphotography says:

    What an apt title to this post, Julie.
    This sounds like a wonderful stage of Anthony’s state of mind – I hope it continues for a while (and you’d better hurry up and get ‘home’ too).
    If he’s in a happy place, that’s all that one could possibly wish for.

  22. Lynda says:

    We take our comforts where we may. I’m glad he was feeling like he was at home. It is strange, but if it makes him at ease, then I think it is a good thing.

  23. Robyn Lee says:

    It is true ~ and if he felt like he was home – then he was. ~ xo Love u Juie!

  24. dcwisdom says:

    Julie, you’re doing a good job there. Sending big Texas love across the waves…

  25. At least he was happy

  26. artsifrtsy says:

    My grandmother came to a place where she forgot the physical pain and suffering she had endured. I found that she had her same sparkling personality that she had before her illness began. She didn’t always remember us, but she was a spitfire and told great stories.

  27. elizabeth says:

    I agree, happy is good. πŸ™‚

  28. bluebee says:

    The brain is such a strange thing.

  29. eof737 says:

    He sounded happy that;s good… Julie. πŸ˜‰

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