The Dementia Diary

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The Time Altering Shower

on January 30, 2012

On Friday the last of F i L’s 5 siblings is being buried.  Husband and I have the unenviable task of driving F i L for 7 hours to the town where this is taking place, checking him into a hotel (and us as chaperones), then having him ready and at the service on time the following morning.

We didn’t get full details until today so the hotel we had initially booked has turned out to be 25 miles away from where we start (although it’s very close to where all of the services finish) so given the amount of time it takes F i L to get ready each morning we felt it would be better to move to a hotel closer to the start.

“Oh No! Just when my luck had started to change!” was his response to this. “I won three packets of biscuits in the raffle at my club today and now this! It’s all gone wrong again!”

Nothing has gone wrong.  We’re just changing the hotel we’re staying in to give him more time in the morning.  He didn’t even know where he was staying in the first place.

We ran through all of the criteria we had been looking for:

  • Lift because he can’t walk up and down stairs
  • Parking on site because he can’t walk far
  • Large enough building that he won’t disturb people if he wanders in the night
  • Late enough check in that we can travel after work (so we only lose one days income)

“Well,” says he “the important thing is to get there.  I’ve got all of the following day to get ready.”

“No you haven’t.” I remind him. “You need to be up and dressed, and have breakfast, and be ready to go by 9am” (this allows for what we call faffing time, where he faffs about looking for shoes, tablets, pink rabbits, whatever grabs his attention.

“No problem” he says assuredly.

“Are you sure?” I ask as gently as I am able.  “You usually struggle to be ready by 11am”

“Yes you’re right I do.  Simple!  I won’t have a shower.”

My F i L lives in a world where not having a shower saves 2 hours!

I tell him that if he’s not having a shower he is not going to sit anywhere near me.

“This having showers every morning is all nonsense.  When I was at work we never had a shower every morning. We never had time!”

Husband and I looked at each other and laughed.  Husband has his morning routine down to such a fine art that he can be up, showered, dressed and out of the house in approx 12 minutes.

“You had time.  You just didn’t use it.  Time hasn’t changed.”

“Things are different.  In these affluent times you can shower every day, but we couldn’t.”

“You could, but you didn’t.  You had the time, you just didn’t do it.”

Husband said “You stank!  You just couldn’t smell it cos you all stank!”

“It was a different time. When Men were Men and Ladies were Ladies!”

Husband was justifiably worried at this point that I may be about to throttle F i L.  He keeps making references to ‘You Ladies’ usually attached to cooking, housework,  and organisation even though husband does his fair share of all of these.

I took a deep breath and left the room for a breather but could hear him say again “I won’t wash!”

I shouted back “You have plenty of time and you will wash!”

As I stepped back into the room I said “Habits have changed but time hasn’t.”

“Yes, you’re right dear.  We’re just having a laugh!”

I asked husband if he was having a laugh.

Without a hint of humour: “No.”

“No,” I said, “neither am I.”

 

 

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One response to “The Time Altering Shower

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