This is the story of Pam and John; she in her early 50’s and John is 62. Pam is a college professor. John taught at a local community college until diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2008, then Lewy Body Dementia in April.


Thursday, June 5, 2008


I’m writing posts on my laptop to upload to Blogspot when I have an internet connection. I think when I post them I will back date them to when I wrote them, so don’t be surprised if suddenly several days of posts appear. The person who manages our apartment told us that the nearest internet café is a couple of kilometers away. Which surprises me, because we are in a fairly lively part of Berlin, just off a square called the Gendarmenmarket.

John and our son didn’t try to sleep much on our flight across the Atlantic, my daughter and I tried but were more frustrated because we didn’t succeed very well. We changed planes in Frankfurt and so got into Berlin about 3 pm. We took a taxi to our apartment, which is very satisfactory. Once we got our keys and put down our bags I wanted to go out and buy food, so that we could have supper in the apartment. We were tired and that seemed less of a strain than going to a restaurant, plus I wanted breakfast food for the morning as well.
The apartment manager told us where to get a transit pass, so we focused on that as something else we should do right away. I said to John that he should go get the transit passes and I would go buy food, which was in walking distance. I knew I would be frustrated with what he brought back if he went to the supermarket. And I didn’t want to figure out the subway system and ask the questions needed to buy the passes. That was my big mistake, letting him do something because I didn’t want to do it myself. I just didn’t think, didn’t step back from John’s tendency to focus on something and feel it has to be done immediately.

There were several choices— there are three day transit passes with museum discounts or a seven day group rate transit pass without the museum discount. It is also possible to purchase at museums a three day pass for admission to many different museums. John was going to a tourist information center so I told him what the different options were and assumed they would be able to tell him what would work best for us. But he didn’t ask, instead he just bought the three day passes because the seven day didn’t have museum discounts. They were very expensive, over $40 a person. I was frustrated when he got back because when they turned out to be that expensive I thought the seven day ones would have been the better deal.
John said “You need to tell me exactly what you want me to do.” I’m learning that lesson the hard way. The trouble is, when he goes off he says he can do it, it is only when he comes back not having kept it all straight that he says I should have told him what to do in more detail.

It may yet work out. We started out today at our highest-priority museum, the Pergamon museum, which it turns out both is within walking distance and doesn’t give the discount with the transit pass. The passes are good for three days starting when they are validated, and we didn’t validate them today. There is plenty to do within walking distance. So perhaps we didn’t need the seven days. We certainly didn’t have to buy the passes when we first arrived, considering that we didn’t use them today.

John did fine in the museum, in fact I brought our son back to the apartment around 4:30 pm when he got tired. John and our daughter finished out the Altes Museum and went to the numismatic collection as well. There was one more museum where our one-day passes were good, but we did well.

I seem to be the one who is the most tired, trying not to fall fully asleep while writing this. I pushed to eat supper in the apartment again—going to a restaurant seemed too stressful to me.

1 comment:

Stella said...

Pam, you will find you need to develop broad shoulders. Nothing you do will turn out the way you expect and you can't think the next time will be any different. Learn to say, "Its no big deal", smile and gracefully accept the "blame" for plans gone wrong. John is trying to help and, gosh, you gotta love him for that! When there is another "ticket mix up", take what you have and forget what might have been. Its a whole new world. Now, you are the one needing rest. I love it!