Well, our month without the AP is over and her one hundredth birthday has been successfully celebrated in style and is now over so we are back to the same old routine and the same old repetitive conversations.
At least with the summer looming the weather will be better and the AP can sit out under the shade and catch a few rays. They might work a miracle and improve her attitude and behaviour but I won’t be holding my breath. Sadly the AP’s very presence has ratcheted up the angst and watching her pretend to all and sundry during the celebrations that she is this dear, sweet little old lady has caused the LSO and myself much frustration. The reality is very much the opposite. At this very moment I am listening to the conversation between my lovely cousin from Canada and the AP and no matter what is said the AP manages with amazing skill to bring everything back to herself! I have to be thankful that there is some conversation at all because in truth I have nothing to say to her which is sad in itself but anything in the present is promptly forgotten, hence the repetition and the past is always the same old stories over and over again.
Our month off was pretty stressful but all the boiler work is completed and the results have been definitely worth it, just having a shower is a joy. But the LSO and I now need a break! What a joke but I suppose October isn’t too far away as long as my equally lovely Scottish cousins will have the AP back.
Now I must really get to grips with the diet and next Monday I will start the 5:2 diet in earnest. I am also looking at a low carb regime following Genius Foods. Our darling daughter has sent me some information on podcasts to listen too and the LSO and I will be following this new, according to the LSO, tyranny (typical male response) as soon as I have sorted the meals out. I haven’t gained the weight I lost originally but equally haven’t lost any more. I try to tell myself that being positive is the way to go but do know that as far as the AP is concerned it can only get worse but in the meantime I will endeavour to be a better person and think better thoughts.
Hope springs eternal and all that ….
I dread anything that arises to do with the AP’s finances, in particular the income tax she has to pay on her rented property. She has always been convinced she doesn’t need to pay any and every year when it comes to payment we go through the same rigmarole as the three previous years. We explain everything again and again and she gets more and more unpleasant as she obviously thinks we know nothing and couldn’t possibly be right either.
The AP has absolutely no grace and every time things are patiently explained to her she tells us she didn’t know these facts before and now its all clear, until next time when once again the whole scenario is repeated. She never ever says thank you for the effort made to handle all her affairs.
This lack of understanding would be easier to deal with if she was more accepting of her limitations instead of pretending she is so capable and mentally alert. I can understand that she is frustrated by being so old and forgetful but she does not help herself by talking over us all the time and telling us we haven’t told her anything. The implication of course is that everybody is out to fleece her and that must include the LSO and myself. That would be laughable if it didn’t hurt so much. The AP is basically a bully and I think always has been and her response to any adversity is to attack. She has kept this side of her nature well hidden, well from me anyway but I can only think that the deterioration of the old grey matter, through the ageing process, has stripped away the veneer of sweetness revealing a sour little monster that has lurked there all her life. She does make some effort to be a ‘dear old lady’ but these occasions are becoming less frequent and in fact are rather unpalatable as we know they are false and won’t last.
Astonishingly she seems to resent that we have done more than her in our lives and know more than her too. I am unable to comprehend this attitude; the LSO and myself are proud that all our family members have exceeded anything we have achieved and feel no resentment or jealousy, just relief and pleasure that they have done and are doing so well in life.
Indeed we do at times seem to be living in an echo valley or a vale of repetition, constantly having to repeat what we say to the AP.
The AP’s short term memory is getting worse except where her money is concerned that is and then we manage a pretty good recall. She loves a bit of a flutter on the lottery and winnings are remembered with extreme accuracy although adding up can become a bit of a challenge. Astonishing really because for anything else, appointments, places we’ve visited and even people just met are forgotten almost immediately or the relevant information is not even absorbed in the first place. Stories become jumbled and information is relayed back to us in a completely random and often wrong format.
The LSO and I have to repeat everything at least twice for every appointment and every place we have visited.
The AP is also a real snooker groupie which is a good thing from several points of view. It does give her something to watch that she is genuinely interested in, albeit very close to the TV screen, but it also forces her to concentrate. We then get her to tell us what has happened during the sessions thus hopefully enforcing the learning process. It works only to a point because she does rather get stuck with the players who have been around for a number of years and have become her favourites to watch. So comments are often the same content as the day before or even the championship before.
A further odd brain fart to add to the echo effect is the satellite delay syndrome. The AP will be sitting quietly with a conversation going on around her and when that has finished she will ask the question that the conversation was about as if it had never happened. Or if someone has answered a question she will repeat the answer as if no-one had replied but slightly later.
The old grey matter and how it functions is a mystery and obviously as we age it becomes even more of a mystery. I read somewhere that we start going downhill mentally from our fifties onwards, and that to keep as many as our little grey cells as possible we need to exercise regularly both mentally and physically, eat a sensible Mediterranean-type diet and keep the weight down. EEEEK! I do need to lose weight and exercise more but the diet is ok as long as I don’t drink too much wine. Mind you I hadn’t noticed that being the case in Spain, France or Italy; they love their wine, am I missing something here?