Friday, July 23, 2010

HP, Highly Powerful Handsome Partner, checks in

Several inquiries lately into the situation and progress of HP, about whom I haven't posted much lately. Largely because we haven't had any big dramatic issues, just more daily maintenance sorts of things, which is actually good news.

Physically he's doing well in that he's not deteriorating, which is what you hope for at this point, constant care and attention to his skin and general health and hygiene yielding good results. Mentally, not such a good picture. He's getting toward 80, and his mental faculties tend to waver, memory failing rapidly, and difficulty in focusing on conversation and keeping track of it, or of discussions on radio and tv.

He still sort of reads the newspapers, and history books, listens to favorite radio programs of discussions, watches favorite news programs and sports events on tv. Some of his misperceptions are comic, as when he assured me, after watching the Newshour on PBS, that Mark Twain's autobiography was withheld for 100 years because he wrote that we sent child troops into Somalia. Thereby neatly conflating two different news stories into one.

It reminded me of the Friends episode where Rachel turns two pages in the recipe book and ends up with hamburger in the middle of the English trifle!

But other times it's piercingly sad to have lost my debate partner, the person I've argued and debated with endlessly over many many years, and who now is unable to follow a long sentence, let along formulate an answer. He loves to watch tennis, soccer and golf on tv,

here he is watching Geezer Golf, aka Senior Men's Open from Carnoustie, but even there, when he starts to tire, he loses track and asks me who these people are, what are they doing, how will they know when they're finished, that sort of baffled question.

And he tends to forget that I'm not in charge of what programs are put on, that I don't actually arrange the whole world! like a little kid who believes his mother arranges what happens everywhere.

Big adjustments for me. But overall he's happy, doing well, and thrilled to continue to be at home. And I am too, oddly enough. It seems amazing that a person in my situation can still be happy, but, most of the time, with some screaming jags when it all goes wrong, I really am.

I miss getting out and about with ease, though I really value my respite time -- you'd be amazed how much you can do in a couple of hours, and enjoy it totally, when that's all you have! -- but when I see how much better he's doing than he would in other circumstances such as a nursing home, how peaceful and happy our household really is, it's so worth it.

I know this may not go on forever, and I'm aware that I have to be alert for signs that it's too much for me. But, for now, we're managing okay.

And thank you all for asking about him, and me, and us.


spinlily said...

You have friends out here, available when needed.

dianesowo said...

Hugs to both of you!

Mary Anne said...

Going through the same thing here with my dad - with slight variation in the minute details. My heart goes out to you because I certainly know what it's like!

Heather said...

Hugs from me, too!

Anonymous said...

Been thinking of you both, 'most daily, Liz. So good to see HP's handsome smile. Hugs all around.


te_roti said...

Glad to hear that things are going as well as they are and can be expected. We all have such busy lives I tend to work on the assumption that no news is good news. I am in awe of your courage and please know that you both are never far from my thoughts.



Tina said...

I am reading this post after my comment on August 6th, over a year later! I think you have been doing such an amazing job keeping HP at home with you, at his home, for all that time!
And I love that picture of him, just the way I will see him, when planting and looking at the daffodils.
Hugs, Tina in Germany