Friday, January 2, 2009


(Sadie, Ellie, and Mom take a walk.) Mom has a shorter trek than the Magnus Corner she enjoys. It's the prefered walk for us in that we can see her from the house the entire time. She goes down to the field south of the house, picks up some fluff from a stuffed animal that evidently died there and loops around to the cars, putting the stuffing in the cupholder of the Toyota. One thing, though, she has to cross electric fence to get there. No problem to her, though. She takes hold of the fence with both hands and takes her time stepping over and does not even flinch. Dad has watched her do it a number of times and thought, "There must be something wrong with the fence." Nope, it's hot alright. There is some sort of disconnect somewhere, though, because she has no reaction to it at all. It's not dangerous, I guess,'s pretty strange. Dad started locking the car saying "I'm tired of all this )*(&^(*^& stuff she puts in the car." I tried to encourage him to relax and let her do her thing. So, he has fluff in the cupholder---welcome to the new normal!


Fred Hinegardner said...

Doris went out the door and I caught up with her, fashioning a couple of walking sticks which she enjoyed. During the walk, Ellie got a big mouthful of fur off Sadie, and when I pretended to get angry at the pup, Doris laughed heartily the whole time I was at it. I thought, well, there's a good sense of humor - let's test it, so when we got to the Magnus corner, I ran the last 20 feet and tagged the gate. She laughed again. This was a complex test, requiring her to recall years earlier when we race to the gate and whoever tagged it first was the the winner. She has a lot in there that she remains in contact with, but has trouble expressing herself. The whole afternoon she never missed a joke, and was as quick on the uptake as anyone with a keen sense of humor. I also think she's offended when people try to "talk over her." I think she'll tune them out as her way of responding to what she considers demeaning. I should do as well. She also tunes people out if they refer to her in third person while she's right there at the table with them, or if they raise their voice and speak slowly when addressing her like some people do to foreigners. She's not deaf, and she's definitely not slow, at least perceptually. One time, I said, "You sure like this land, don't you." She rubbed her chin while gazing around, taking it all in, obviously remembering much. After much thinking, her small smile and a "Yeah" was like a thousand word essay.

Fred Hinegardner said...

I tried posting another long comment, but something happened. That makes three comments out of four that withered on the vine. Blogger, apparently, is good at that. I'd repeat my comments, but I can't remember them. Once written, it's gone. I think my mind has a cut and paste mode, but no copy and paste.
When Doris invited us to stay the night, it was in context with the conversation. Perfectly stated, no struggle. It was as if nothing was wrong. When we got ready to leave, I put Mama in the car and asked her for a hug. We were standing by the woodpile where I had split a little wood earlier. Her hug was genuine, in contrast to others in earlier months, and while the hug was going on, I said, "Doris, I want you to split the rest of that pile of wood before dark." She laughed hard enough that when I got in the car, Mama asked, "What did you SAY to her?" I told her, and Mama replied, "Well you sure got a response."
There was a lot of banter, mostly between Carl and me, and some of the humor was fairly complex. She didn't say much, but her expressions, especially the smiles and laughter, were spontaneous and appropriate. I felt confident she followed every word and understood every idea without struggle or delay. Yes, her language was sparse, but I don't think her mind was.
I am not a doctor, and I don't play one on TV. I'm not forecasting any kind of miracle recovery or anything of the sort. I'm much too disturbed to attach anything like hope. I am just expressing my observations, and many people already know how keenly accurate those have been in the past.