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.


Saturday, July 5, 2008


John and I talked a little today about the loss of partnership (maybe the Aricept is making a difference that we could have the conversation, though there were a couple of things he couldn't manage yesterday that made me think it wasn't). Our marriage started out very much based on sharing tasks equally, though we had gradually done some dividing on the basis of what we were good at. John still does his own laundry and takes out the trash (with reminding). We had fairly recently come to a better system for sharing cooking--we alternate weeks and when it is our week do both the cooking and the food shopping . When traveling I did all of it but now we are home he is taking his week. It takes him so long, even though he is cooking simpler things, but I really don't want to take over until I have to.

I suggested maybe he could do more of the things he can still do instead of being huffy (as he was at one point on the trip) that they should be divided equally. But when we talked about it I realized that a higher priority for me is for him to clear up his chaos in the family room and the boxes he put in space I had just cleared in the basement. It took him four days to clear his stuff off the kitchen table so I could put on a new tablecloth.

I know, I know, I should be glad he can do any of it. But I feel the loss of the partnership we had. We do have someone who comes every two weeks to clean the house, but getting picked up so she can is always a big production.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yesterday my husband and I visited with his Mum who has Lewy Body Dementia and is in a Nursing Home. Whilst there, a lady was visiting with who I thought was her father, the age difference seemed so great; but they were holding hands in a much more intimate way than that of father and daughter and so it would seem that they are husband and wife. He lifted her hand to his mouth and gave a tender kiss; she reversed their hands and tenderly kissed him back. He then mouthed 'I love you' and of course she responded with the same.
After our visit we sat on the garden bench outside and reflected upon what I had witnessed. It moved me so I could hardly speak, but I told my husband that we go through our lives, bringing up our children, working hard to make a good life and then "expect" that we'll have around 20 or 30 years of peace harmony and just time together until our days end...you just never know.
I just wanted you to know, I feel for you Pam. Your life is moving in a completely different direction that you expected.