Thursday, October 29, 2009

General disability

A long-time friend is now helping me with the garden. She has know H and I for about 20 years or so. Now, she's over a few times a month and is able to spend some time visiting with H and me.

While I was visiting with her yesterday, she told me how she had seen H decline over the past year. She characterized it as significant mental slowness, difficulty in getting around, lack of ability to track with a simple conversation, and just overall "fading" of his personality.

She says that "if he continues declining at this rate, I don't see how he can be at home for much longer…likely he'll only live a year or two more."

I can see the same things also (and I do think that his tether is short), but I'm so close that I don't notice the gradual decline and I mostly focus on the significant events: confusion over the washing machine dial, inability to make a bowl of cereal, major short-term memory issues, muttering to himself and shaking, and trouble setting the oven timer.

While I'm away next week, a series of our friends and family will be spending time with H. I will check in with them after I'm back to get their observations.

But, I know what they're going to all say and I do appreciate their counsel. That doesn't change my reality any, but does help me with needed perspective.

Reality is that, given his series of CNS & dementia issues, he is heading towards general disability, a disability where he can't hardly do anything, eventually resulting in him being bed-ridden.

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