Thursday, October 14, 2010

Inside out

Apparently, three Sundays ago, while I was still out of town, Mummy went to church with her dress on inside out.  I'm so glad I didn't know this one week later when I went to church feeling all good about myself and my situation.  Actually, when my sister mentioned it to me on the following Monday or Tuesday, I was quite embarrassed.  But what's the point of being embarrassed about these things? They will happen, more and more as time goes by.  The trick, I think, is rolling with them.

From time to time, things will happen that will allow me to see clearly, how far we are from the starting point.  Mummy talks a good game and has excellent coping skills.  She can 'make as if' with the best of them.  There are times when I even forget that she's not herself or perhaps those are just the times when I'm deluding myself that she's still "Mummy" at all.  Whatever it is, there are events that force me/us to see clearly where we are and what we're dealing with.

Take for example two days ago when mother awoke and was asking for her teeth.  She doesn't wear dentures nor indeed does she need them.  For whatever reason, she either couldn't feel her teeth or she was looking for something else entirely but couldn't bring the right word to mind.  I felt that she might be looking for her glasses which she lost several weeks ago, but she was standing in front of the dining table preparing to have breakfast.  My sister assumes that she really was asking for her teeth.  What might have brought that on?  Heaven only knows.

Then, as I said, a few weeks ago she put on her dress inside out.  What's particularly interesting with this, is that the dress zips up the back.  Can you imagine the contortions she would have had to endure to get the dress zipped all the way to the top, with the zip tab on the INSIDE rather than on the out?  And this wasn't the first time this particular feat had been managed either.

Then there's the food thing.  She's never hungry.  She doesn't feel hunger, which really means that the sensation that the rest of us interpret as 'hunger', means nothing to her any longer.  The wonder of this illness is that it shows you starkly, that EVERYTHING is learned.  The suck reflex with which children are born, is pretty much all that we come with.  When the scientists talk about 'tabula rasa' [the blank slate], they really mean blank.  

As I watch and wait for the next shoe to drop, and the next and the next and the next, I realize that in time there won't be anything left to lose but the suck reflex.  My mind boggles.  'Tis too much to take in sometimes, so we stay in today and leave tomorrow to fend for itself.  What is it that the Bible says? "Sufficient unto today is the evil thereof?"  Sounds about right.

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