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, September 6, 2008

book: Three Dog Life

I'm reading A Three Dog Life, by Abigail Thomas. Her husband suffered a traumatic brain injury, which left him unable to care for himself and psychotic. She writes about how her life changed and about her dogs. To me, her story seems a bit muted, with the dogs for light relief. I would have liked to hear more of the raw pain. But that is me; I suspect what she provides is all that most readers want to hear.

I do like her honesty about the process of learning what she can do and what she cannot manage, coming to terms with her husband staying in a facility. She says she couldn't bring her husband home: "I wouldn't be Rich's wife; I would be his jailor and my own. This was a sacrifice that made no sense; I couldn't do it." She says it took her years to be able "to say the words I want to live my life without feeling unnatural, selfish, cowardly."

What seems to have brought her peace was feeling that her husband would have more appropriate (specialized) care at the facility than at home. I wish I thought that was usually available when needed.

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