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.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

evening out

John looked up options and we ended up going out for dinner last night to a jazz club. We had a pleasant dinner, and I found things to talk about that actually concerned us. (His conversation topic of choice is to tell stories he heard on NPR.) At least until we were driving home, when I suggested that his concerns about our son might be a reflection of his own teen-aged experience. He didn't like that, but then he's never been willing to consider that there might be any unconscious influences operating in him.

Today I was in tears at church, feeling very depressed. I think one thing that has thrown me is that my mother's not-yet-diagnosed Alzheimer's has reached the point where she leans on me and my sisters. This has advantages--she can no longer remember things long enough to be critical. But it is a lonely feeling. I told someone who said I am the matriarch now (I'm the oldest). That's a scary thought.

John didn't notice I was low and wanted to spent time together. I had a bike ride planned with a friend and knew that would help my depression most. I did tell him that I feel like I have to take care of him, it isn't a partnership any more, and that he isn't supportive of me. He first tried to deny that I have to take care of him and to blame me for not telling him my feelings. I did come up with some examples he would accept. When he accepted that there is a problem with our relationship he said he wanted to work on it. I have trouble making much commitment to that idea because I don't have much hope.

I'm standing up to him more, trying to call him on how he isn't putting in the effort to make the best of his life as it is now. That may be unfair--he may not be capable of it. But he wants to be treated as a full participant and I'm not ready yet to fake that.

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