Unanswered Questions

Today was a nightmare – a preview of the days to come, I’m sure.

After three days of getting up at 4:30 in the afternoon, Bo got up at 8:30 am today. I wanted him to get up – to have a ‘normal’ day — but by noon, I wished he could still be sleeping,  and I felt so guilty for this thought.

You see, his confusion was palpable.  For three hours he asked me questions that I couldn’t answer – incomplete, unfinished questions with key words missing.

When do we… leave for  ….. (no word) ?
When do we get a …. uh …. paper? (I finally fill in “ticket?”)
What time do we take the pan?  (the pan?)
Shouldn’t we take the … you know … (he points out the window to the car.)
Isn’t he waiting for us? (who?)
Do we need a license for shat?  (for shat?)

After an omelet breakfast, we took the dog for a walk.  I thought the brisk air and sunshine might help to clear up his thinking, but it didn’t.  As soon as we were back, it all began again.

Don’t we have a … you know… a (lost word.)
How long have we been here?
Isn’t that man coming to …. (to do what?) … he was here, you know.  He put the bottom in. 

I ask him, “Do you mean Robert?  He worked on the sump pump.”
Yes, he agrees, then continues by asking an unrelated question that I don’t understand.

Then he focuses on where we are. Even as I say to him, “We are home.  This is our house, our living room, our furniture; we own this house,” he says, “We do?  I don’t remember that.”

 He goes to the sofa, and I try to soothe him as he lies there holding the front of his head,  worrying himself sick over unasked questions that he can’t find the words for, things that must be swirling in his brain but never settling long enough to make sense.

I turn around to leave the room, but it starts all over again.  I try to answer the questions until I can’t stand it one more time. I go to the family room to read the paper and pull myself together.

Fifteen minutes later,  he wanders into the room looking just terrible,  and says, “I thought what’s-his-name was coming to ……” but he can’t finish the sentence.

And I can’t help.

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9 Responses to Unanswered Questions

  1. dianne says:

    Oh my Nancy…..and the irony of you being a teacher of English, a person of words……You are in my daily prayers……

  2. greg says:

    I have walked in your shoes and I am still going through it. It is tough and you have to learn to “monitor and adjust” for Bo’s questions. Use a lot of body language and try to refocus and redirect his thoughts. Your answers may not be perfectly logical to him but it may give him comfort that you are there for him.

  3. croberts3637@comcast.net says:

    My dear Nancy, if God were to give me one wish today it would be to hold you and make this stop.  You are doing an amazing job with Borris, better than anyone I know.  No need for guilt – ever.

    I went to my Worship & Music meeting last night and told them about “Jesus Loves Me” in your church.  Pastor & the cantor looked at each other with a “hmm, that’s an idea” expression and made some notes.  The others on the committee loved the idea.  So, we’ll see what happens.  I’m so glad that you shared that with me!  We have many Baptisms scheduled for the weeks ahead.

    Please take care of yourself, amazing woman that you are!

    Love, Cathy

  4. thom sweeney says:

    Nancy, Eerily similar situation! Helen does a lot of the “you know” as an ending to unended questions or comments. I find myself playing Charades most of the time now, trying to guess what she’s trying to say. Milk can be coffee. Gavin can be Brad. She also is able to get the first letter of a word she is trying to articulate, but often not the word itself. Chair can be Clock, etc.
    I don’t want to look ahead to far. I don’t want to know. But reading your blog, and knowing that you’re going through so many of the same things with Boris, is somehow perplexingly comforting. Go figure THAT out! Thanks for sharing. It helps.

  5. Eva & Vlad Broz says:

    Oh Nancy, I feel so sad for you and I have no idea what to do or say to make things better. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to ease the stra

  6. charlotte guarino says:

    Dear Nancy: Words cannot express how sad it is to see Boris, the love of your life, in this situation.
    You have been given a gift of “patience” and “caring”, that in itself is a blessing. We pray for you both.

    On another note…Thom Sweeney, who I haven’t seen in many, many years was our Advertising Agent when I worked at the Hyatt Cherry Hill, aka, The Hyatt House. Loved him and Helen. Sorry to hear Thom is experiencing a similar situation with Helen. Still have a water color he painted and gave me hanging in my house. I often think of them. Please say “hello” for me.

  7. Julio Feldman says:

    Dear Nancy,

    My name is Julio Feldman, a friend Jane Leichner. My wife is 64 years old and she has early onset dementia. I’m looking forward to following your blog and reading past entries. Your latest entry describes my wife’s difficulty with language. If possible I would love to speak to you. juliofeldman@gmail.com

  8. Colleen says:

    I am learning to react as softly as I can and try to stay with where he is. There is little point in trying to suggest what would be better next time as a result of what happenned this time.

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