wings and things

Make Believe


When Anthony asked me about the faulty electric fence today, I reassured him that it was fixed.

Anthony: Really?

Me: Yes! Would I lie to you?

Anthony: I don’t know.

Me: Well guess how I know the electric fence is working?

Anthony: How?

Me: Because I put my hand on it and got a terrible shock!

Okay so this conversation elicited one of Anthony’s amazing smiles (when we were married I didn’t realise he was a sadist!)

Anyway, now that I am being more diligent at recording our conversations, I’ve noticed that my responses to Anthony’s questions or statements (often bizarre due to dementia) are really bland. So today I thought I’d liven things up a bit by telling the electric fence story – total make believe!

There was a period of time recently where I thought Anthony had completely lost his ability to speak, converse, tell stories. But now – just like the return of his smile – his verbal skills seem to have improved.

Of course he is still dozy, and/or incoherent, and sometimes has that blank Parkinson’s expression on his face, for much of the time.

The fact that Anthony looked through his nursing home window and saw an electric fence that wasn’t there gave me an opportunity to enter today’s ‘story’. I am so excited to realise something I should have realised years ago – that I can make things up to match what he is saying – that I can use my imagination to meet his hallucinations.

Make Believe



The girl with the bleeding eye

About twice a week, during the night, Husband used to see the girl with the bleeding eye. She was always lying on her back in the single bed adjacent to his, even though that’s where I sleep now. Her left eye spurted blood in a projectile way, up towards the ceiling, then – like a waterfall in slow motion – fell, the droplets somehow evaporating before they reached the white counterpane underneath which she lay silently.

Husband used to say that this particular hallucination didn’t bother him because he knew that the girl with the bleeding eye wasn’t really there.

“What do you do when you see her?”

“I say hello.”

“What does she do?”

“She just smiles and the bleeding stops.”

BTW hallucinations are often a symptom of Parkinson’s disease and/or (paradoxically) the medications used to treat this condition. Husband has developed an heroic ability to dismiss his hallucinations as hallucinations. He’s become clever at telling the difference.

Husband also knew, from when we first got him, that Tina Turner was not a hen, but a rooster!