Dementia: No More ‘Slap and Tickle’

I made a silly mistake yesterday evening: I forgot Maureen had dementia.  She hadn’t been awake long from a rest on the sofa when I immediately started ‘fooling around’ – no not in that way at my age.  She had discarded an uncomfortable bra and left it on the floor. I made a passing reference to it not being my size.  In for a penny in for a pound; as she bent over I slapped her on the bum -both cheeks.  The reprimand was immediate: ‘don’t do that’, said very sternly.  What else could I expect her to say when a someone she probably didn’t recognise had smacked on the rear?  Then a short while afterwards came a very pointed comment as Maureen said ‘I haven’t forgotten everything you know’.  She went on to say that although she couldn’t remember what happened yesterday that her long term memory was good.  I did my best to reassure her that she was doing well, and all we needed to do was concentrate on enjoying our lives together.

Maureen’s reference to her poor short-term memory didn’t really take me by surprise.  On Dementia: on Sunday evening she said ‘I’ve lost my memory again’.  This is clearly a new stage in her recovery from stroke and a fresh challenge for yours truly.  It comes at a time when a referral back to the Memory Service is underway.  We are all going to have to be vigilant to make sure there is a productive outcome from the next stage of our journey.

Although ‘slap and tickle’ is out of the question, music isn’t and we had a lovely evening singing along for a couple of hours to some of our old favourites.  Every time I put another record on the deck Maureen said ‘you’ve got more’. I love to hear her singing along to Anne Murray.

Then it got even better.  I just slipped in beside her in the marital bed, and we slept together as if it was the most natural thing to do in the world.  I woke around 4 am with pain in lots of joints so I got up and moved around.  Fortunately the pain has gone now but not a burning question in my mind. I’m just wondering if by trying to resolve the problems with my shoulder I have spooked Maureen.  Perhaps it’s not sensible to leave her to her own devices while I trot off to the Leisure Centre.  I’m going to see if exercising at home helps to calm things down a little. Who knows what might happen next if we continue to sleep together?


About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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