I won’t lie, that was HARD! It was FRUSTRATING! But it was also a success. There were several times in the day I questioned my motivation and my dedication but those moments passed and I accomplished my goal. I feel good about that. Of course the early morning was the easiest because I was up by myself for a few hours and I don’t HAVE to talk to myself out loud, although I do… frequently. The zoo animals also don’t need me to talk as long as I give them food and snuggles. Then Gil woke up and again it wasn’t so bad because he has done this a few times now and we have can communicate fairly well by gesture. That was until he pissed me off and I couldn’t express myself…. much to his delight. We decided to head out for breakfast even though it was going to be a challenge, and while we were out we had to hit the grocery store. Thanks to the wonder of my iPod I ordered breakfast without incident and we noticed that the waitress didn’t come to offer us a coffee refill every 30 seconds like she usually does, maybe she thought I had something contagious, I don’t care it was nice not to have to wave her off every time I took a bite of food. But it was a very quiet meal. I always forget how much of the talking I do in this marriage. The grocery store was fine too and thanks to technology again I was able to get some cash back without having to mime it to the cashier. A stop at my sisters house to drop off some thing was made easier by keeping her in the loop the day before and much to my delight Brooky was there for a visit and she’s not much of a talker either so my silence didn’t bother her a bit. I had a headache for a large part of the day which added to my frustration at the times I had something I wanted to communicate but couldn’t. That being the case I indulged in a two hour nap in the middle of the day which was a rare treat.
I also cooked, cleaned and read a whole book start to finish. Here’s a tip for you, reading a book from the point of view of a person with dementia is difficult to process at the best of times. Doing it in a day, when you are not talking out loud that is just asking to be freaked out.
Around 9pm I was starting to get really really flustered. I had my 14 year old nephew asking me a tonne of questions that could not be answered with simple gesturing and even what I considered to be easy gestures he couldn’t or wouldn’t get. I love this kid dearly but I am telling you he is NOT going to make his fortune in life playing charades. I wasn’t tired enough to go to bed and I had already been for a quick stroll around the mall so I did the only other thing I could think of, I grabbed my car keys and drivers license and I drove… for an hour and a half. I did allow myself to listen to music because I didn’t want to risk getting tired and nodding off or falling victim to road hypnosis. The drive was good although I was scared at points, I am still not that comfortable with night driving and I was worried about people out at Halloween parties who might be drinking and driving (yes I worry too much about things that are out of my control) and at one point I did get hopelessly lost but I found myself again so I think that is a good lesson. I got some good thinking done and by the time I got home I was exhausted and ready for bed. I turned in for the night feeling like I had really accomplished something which is a good feeling.
The next step in the project is a whole weekend, that is the last step and I am sure it will be the most difficult. Truthfully at the moment I am not looking forward to it. But I am going to do it because I want to finish what I started. It would be easier though if I could just go away to a cottage in the woods and be totally alone for 48 hours. Maybe….