I Should-duh Known
I have just finished spending eight days with my daughter and granddaughter. It has been the best visit yet—and that is saying a lot. The two of them are so patient with me and the way I am now. And, you say, what is “the way I am now”? It’s far different than the past. There are many reasons for that besides the vascular dementia. For one, I no longer have the excruciating stress of teaching and all that it entails. For another, I have a loving and supportive husband, one that I always knew existed but never expected to find—they are a rare breed. Because of these factors, my personality has lifted and come out more—not always for the better. LOL
I do live with the “duh” factor, though. If I were blonde, perhaps people would blame it on that. (All blondes out there, please forgive me for that statement—but it IS the butt of many jokes.) Let me give you the two examples I can remember that happened during my stay with my daughter.
The first “duh” occurred with my granddaughter. It was about the fifth day of staying there and I had come out from my shower. I was now fully dressed but my hair was sopping wet in the back. My granddaughter looked up from the computer and said, “Did you wash your hair, Grandma?” I replied that I hadn’t, but that the shower head is pointing right at me and when I turn, the back of my hair gets wet. I told her I needed to be as tall as her mother (whose shower I had used). Alex (my granddaughter) said, “Well, you know, Grandma, you can adjust the shower head.” I asked what she meant; it had looked stationary to me. “You can move the shower head up and down to make it point where you want.” REALLY?? WOW!! Why didn’t I know that? I think I should have—must have known—at some point in my life. I’ve always been very independent in the past—I had to be to raise my daughter by myself, to do some of the easier plumbing and household maintenance.
The second “duh” moment came the night before I was to leave to come home. My daughter’s electricity had been out for hours and there was no immediate end in sight—a rather common occurrence up here on the mountain. My daughter and I each had claimed a sofa. She lay reading with a clever little book light. I reclined looking around at the walls, thinking. I do a lot of that. When I spotted her big salamander over her doorway, I got to wondering why she had put it head first, straight up. How would it have looked sideways, going across the wall? What was her rationale for putting it straight up? (How people think is most fascinating to me.) So, naturally, I interrupted her reading and asked her how she came about putting it straight up and not sideways. How did she know to do it that way? “There’s a hook, Mom, underneath the head.” Hmmm. Took no thought on her part after all and I had just had another “duh” moment. I should have figured it would have a hook…but didn’t even remember that anything like that would have been underneath…
Living in “duh” moments can be very embarrassing. Thankfully, they tend to just glide off my back and I merrily roll along. As caregivers, I hope you will learn to recognize the “duh” moments of your loved one and roll along with them, just as my family does.