Double whammy in four pages and sixteen hundred words!

Every day with Peter has its share of laughs, but sometimes we struggle to find them.

When I introduced myself at a caregivers’ group meeting four years ago, I explained that my husband had Asperger’s syndrome in addition to dementia. “If I could choose which problem to deal with, I’d choose dementia any day. Asperger’s is tough.” They were shocked. Caregiving for someone with dementia isn’t easy by any means, but dealing with a diagnosis of AS too makes it near impossible at times. Frustration, headaches, and angst are doubled for both of us. But, in our case, laughs are doubled too.

Sickness and health!

Funny thing is, Peter wouldn’t want to “cure” his AS because it explains why he’s always felt “different.” It defines who he is. I admit I’d still like to be able to modify some of his behaviors, but not so much he would change from “different” to “cookie cutter.”

He also says he probably wouldn’t want his memory back either because, “I don’t know what I don’t remember.” Made sense to both of us at the time and we laughed.

Funny is the world I live in. You’re funny, I’m interested.  You’re not funny, I’m not interested.
— Jerry Seinfeld

My husband would interest Jerry Seinfeld.  And there is nothing wrong with that.

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Seinfeld’s web program is about comedians drinking coffee. Photo, Christopher Lane, The Guardian, 1/14.


Screen shot 2014-11-17 at 9.54.03 AM See more of Leah Saulnier’s imaginative artwork here.

2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest finalist.