“Do you want to take a shower?” I asked her.
I asked again, “do you want to take a Shower?”
I took off my clothes, then asked one more time, “do you want to take a shower?”
Okay, fine, I thought, I’m taking a shower by myself. I was tired, not feeling well, and the thought of soaking under a stream of hot water was delicious. I needed it. I’d asked my wife three times if she’d wanted to join me because recently I’ve had to shower with her to ensure she was washed thoroughly. She enjoys this.
But, she said, “no!”
I lost myself in the showers warm deluge, letting fatigue and aches melt away. Eventually, I turned off the water, dried myself and put on pajamas, then approached my wife, who was lying in bed.
“You don’t love me,” she said defiantly, “why didn’t you shower with me?”
Obviously, I’d made a mistake, something I often do when tired.
Obviously, her previous “no!” meant “yes!”
I’d forgotten that she is now so attached to me that she expects we will do everything together. If we don’t, something is wrong.
It took a lot of soothing talk and caresses before her anger dissolved and her usual loving self returned. I’ve learned that these situations simply require patience and eventually harmony is restored.
Later, as she slept soundly beside me, I pondered how easy it is to do everything right and still have things go wrong.
Dementia is not a rational disease.