As weeks go, last week was awful. Monday our sewer line backed up into the basement. And we had guests. I’m sure they were glad to leave Tuesday.
Things continued downhill — thank me for not sharing details. By Friday, I was knackered. I took Nobby to the vet at three o’clock, and promised myself I would relax afterwards with a cup of tea and the book I’d been trying to finish. Never happened.
Leslie called to ask if we wanted to meet for dinner then go to “My name is Doris.” Yes! Just what I needed. A meal I didn’t have to cook and a few laughs.
I encouraged Peter to take Nobby for a quick walk, while I made myself presentable. But before the leash was fastened, Peter came upstairs covering his right eye with his hand and a handkerchief. “Something in my eye… hurts…geez!” It was watering and red, but I couldn’t see anything. I suspected he’d scratched his cornea. From experience, I knew how it hurt. A warm water rinse didn’t help, nor did the drops I had on hand. I took him to “speedy” urgent care, and let Leslie know we wouldn’t join them.
Start to finish, we were there more than two hours, the final fifteen minutes of which my husband charmed both nurse and doctor. He was his chatty best, happy to have a new audience.
“Where are you from?” the doctor asked.
Oh, heavens, I begged silently, give her a straight answer. After mulling his usual responses he said, “Hammersmith.” Different from his usual, “Oi’m from London, int-eye?” He added, “‘Burrah’ [borough] of London,”
She laughed. “That’s what I thought.” She told him she’d been to England several times and loved it. “I probably like Scotland even more though,” she added.
“Ooo, caw, they tauk funny up there,” he said.
The nurse took over when the doctor left the room, then we were free to leave. “Cheerio,” the doctor called as we headed down the hall.
Peter embellished his “Cheerio” with a Dick VanDyke double-hop-skip out the door. What could we do but laugh?
Confusion spread across his face in italics. “How does what feel?”
“Your eye! Don’t you remember how it hurt last evening…we went to the clinic…didn’t have any dinner?” If anything, he’d remember not eating.
“I can’t remember anything, you know that,” he said.
Sometimes, I suppose, there are advantages to having dementia.
Header photo: Peter on our trip to Alaska, 2006