What time do I get up?

Tonight was a difficult night.  Bo was confused and frustrated, fixated on an idea.

“What do I have to do tomorrow….?
“But when  do I have to get up tomorrow….?”
“But when do I begin….?”
“I thought I was to help a girl or take someone….”

He holds  his head  unable to finish his confused thoughts.

“There’s absolutely nothing you have to do,”  I say emphatically.  “Not go anywhere or see anyone.”

He starts again:
“But what time do I have to get up?”
“Tell me if there’s something I have to do.”

“I would.  I do,” I say.

“But what do I start tomorrow…I thought I had to be out there?”  I try to help him find words to say what he means, but they won’t come.

“There’s nothing you have to do.  Nobody is coming.  You don’t have to go anywhere.”

“But what time do I have to get up?  I thought I had to take someone…..”

Each statement  ends in mid-thought.  He can’t think of the rest of the words.  His head is mixed up and he’s so sad.  I can’t help him.

“So what time do we have to get up tomorrow morning?  The usual?”

Still he ponders the question.  Some event had passed through his brain, or did he remember  part of an earlier conversation?    I don’t know.  Where  did this come from?  Maybe he confused my telling him what I did this morning with  tomorrow?

He turns to Emma dog who is staring at his ice cream dish,  “I’m really getting bad.”

Usually he forgets things within moments, but  there are these fixations. On an incident,  a memory,  something I’ve said (and should never have mentioned)  ….  so frustrating for me.  I instantly regret my words.  Why didn’t I think before I spoke?  I must choose  my topics of conversation carefully because I can set off a string of questions that never seems to stop.

Then he asks for perhaps the 15th time, “So what time do we get up tomorrow morning?”  this man who was so sharp, who never needed to make a note or keep a calendar,  who was so under control.  I watch him walk out of the room, tired and slow,  so confused and unsure about everything.

He turns and says,  “You have to tell me what I have to do and when I get up. “

“OK”  I say, trying to be casual.

He starts up the stairs. “So what time do I have to go tomorrow?”    I take deep breaths, telling myself to be calm before I answer again.

And then he calls down the steps one more time, “What time do I have to go tomorrow?”

Finally, I hear him upstairs moving around in the bedroom,  getting ready to lie down, and I hope he will sleep well.  Hopefully, he’ll forget all of this by morning.

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5 Responses to What time do I get up?

  1. Kathe Shakespeare says:

    Dear Nancy,
    My thoughts are so with you! You are so kind and caring to Bo, despite all the frustration. H is so fortunate to have you. I hope to talk to you soon. We will be away next week.

    Fondest thoughts to you

    Kathe Shakespeare

  2. Barney Hungerford says:

    Hi Nancy, I have a swimmer, two months younger than me, with developing demintia. Since
    she has some long term memory she knows to come to the pool each day as she has for 20 years.
    Then she gets in the pool and each day asks what time do we start. During the workout, I have to keep reminding her what workout set we are doing.
    I have learned, that when she asks a question, she needs a short quick answer and then I tell her to get moving. I don’t know if it would work with Boris, but that’s what I use.

    Swam in a meet last Sunday and next Sunday, I’m the announcer for a local masters meet. My Son, leaves Feb 8 for China and Thailand and returns on Mar. 20. All business.

    When things get to bad go to the Mall in a full skirt and stand on your head for 10 min. I’ll come over and negociate your release. SURE.
    Smile, please, your doing great and what’s best for Boris. Barney

  3. greg says:

    Nancy, each day for Boris is Ground Hog Day. Please try to redirect and refocus
    his attention. Please read this book : The 36 Hour Day by Nancy L. Mace M.A. and
    Peter V. Rabins MD, M.P.H. You will find this very helpful for Boris and for you.
    Know one knows how you feel in this situation but you need to arm yourself with
    knowledge, a sense of humor, and prayer.

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