Frustration. It’s a long word with many consequences. There’s no pain with frustration but that’s the only kind thing I can say about it.
Frustration is watching Dorothea clear the snow off the car in the driveway. In fact, frustration ramps up when I see her doing so many things I used to do. She struggles bringing the groceries from the car into the kitchen. She is concerned I will fall while I’m helping.
Dorothea muses, aloud, that I was never much help around the house but now I am down to zero. I am often in the way, I expect, but Dorothea doesn’t say that.
Because dementia lends itself to unsteadiness or even falls, she is super-conscious of the need for care. So while she looks after everything I sit in my comfortable den chair feeling a trifle guilty. Not so comfortable when I watch what Dorothea does every day.
She would claim I don’t look all that uncomfortable watching her work.
That’s enough of that. We had a happy distraction when Dorothea’s brother Doug Neary arrived from Portugal Cove, outside St. John’s, and as expected, he brought along enough fresh cod, capelin and squid to feed the family and, of course, Wayne and Joann. And he does the cooking.
I aIways enjoy Dorothea’s conversations with her brother about growing up in that village. While visiting Newfoundland recently Donna persuaded her uncle Doug to get her into Nana’s house, now occupied by another family. He did it for Donna, of course.
Doug was also a great help for his sister as she struggles to get me safely into the car. Fortunately I am entirely unembarrassed being helped into the car and up the steps and Doug was quite comfortable doing so.
As an aside, daughter-in-law Carol showed me how to get in the car. Bum first, before the rest of me.
I would like to take advantage of this column to pay tribute to my friend Dayna, who tends to me at the gym and is aware of my balance problems.
She has read about dementia and the perils of falling and is assigned to putting me through my paces while keeping me on my feet.
I often notice her standing behind me when I am working out. She has her arms stretched to be ready for the worst. And the worst could happen. God help her if I fall and take her with me.
Dayna may be able to get up but not me and I’m on top. Owner Dale to the rescue if that happened.