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.


Monday, August 11, 2008

sharing tasks

When we met with the therapist today, John said he felt I see him as incompetent. I said it isn't that I see him as incompetent, but I do find I have to do almost everything, and that comes to almost the same thing on a practical level. As we talked back and forth about his not getting done things he said he would do, he said: "I don't think you understand that it took me all evening to load the dishwasher." There you have it--I can't expect him to do very much because the disease makes him so slow. To me, that makes my dilemma clear. I could load the dishwasher in 20 minutes, probably less(we had one guest for dinner last night and a slightly more complex meal than usual) .

I suppose I need to learn to count effort, that he spent all evening doing a family task. But I'm still panicked about how can I possibly do everything myself, particularly when I go back to teaching next week. So it scares me that he can get done so little. I know I should encourage him to do as much as possible. But isn't there a better use of his time than spending all evening loading the dishwasher? I don't think there is; he is now both loading and unloading the dishwasher when I cook after a conversation about his doing more than his share of things he can still do.

I know my attitude is lousy. I'm thrashing; I'm just not good at this. But the only way I know to get to a better place is to be honest about my feelings.

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