Ask a question 8-ball

Sometimes old memories in an Alzheimer’s patient float up like answers in an 8-ball.

November 10, 2012 –This evening Ken was very cooperative when Ben and I helped him from his chair and pointed him toward his bed just a few feet away.  More often than not he resists our help by tensing his entire body.  I often tell Ben that’s what keeps him so strong.  He does isometrics using us as the resistance, but not tonight.  “Over here,” he asked, heading toward the sofa?  “No, no, Ken – here we go – to the bed,” Ben encouraged as we guided him into place. He backed himself to the bed and sat down.  Ben then swings Ken’s legs up onto the bed, adjusts the pads beneath him and we pull up the railings.


Almost settled my husband looked up at me and said, “Hi Sweetheart.”  His face was soft and he smiled his wonderful smile.  “I want to go with you,” he continued.  “Okay,” I confirmed, “as soon as I get everything ready.”  Leaning forward I said, “I love you,” as I do each evening before kissing him on the forehead.  There are times, as I have mentioned before, that I do kiss his lips.  Tonight he was exceptional – pursing his lips for a kiss of exchange.  I complied telling him again that I loved him.  “I love you too,” he responded, “I really do,” words he hasn’t spoken for more than a year.


I didn’t want to let him go, but how do you hold on to something as fleeting as a breath?  “And how are you feeling today,” I delved, hoping he might have something more to add about wanting to go with me.  He mumbled a few words not heard as he eye lids grew heavy.  I kissed his lips a few more times to which he responded.  He was so relaxed, so very calm I wanted to drop the railing and climb in beside him – just for a while – perhaps until he fell asleep, but thought better of it.  If the memory vanished he may be frightened, or worse, combative.  Making me vulnerable wasn’t a good idea.


Remember those silly toys of yesteryear you could buy for the man who had everything.  There were several choices and they were titled “Executive Toys.” Using two batteries to power this particular toy, the man in charge asked the hand-held object a question and pushed a button.  On a tiny black screen the answer, following a few flashing lights, seemed to float up from a dark liquid behind the glass.  Hardly capable of answering complex questions the answers were yes, no, maybe and ask again.  I only make this remote comparison because his recognition and “conversation” seemed to do the same; coming forward in the same manner as the yes and no answers — swimming upward from out of a forgotten dark place.

This fragmented memory is a comfort telling me that somewhere deep inside my husband is still with me and he loves me.  I know this for certain because he just said so.

Photo Courtesy: greeblie’s photostream, FlickR creative commons

Originally posted 2012-11-10 20:25:14.


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