The Bob & Kristin Show
There were high hopes for the summer. Bob’s grandson is spending all of July, and half of August, volunteering on the Azuero Peninsula in southern Panama. The plan was for Bob’s favorite sidekick (read: Home Health Nurse ~ Chauffeur ~ Affairs Manager ~ Bill Payer ~ Chocolate & Peanut Snack Fetcher ~ Personal Assistant) to be able to devote more time to Bob’s ever increasing needs on top of her Full Time Actual Nursing gig while her teenage son is away.
But alas, as any nurse or caregiver can attest, plans are often an absurd form of folly.
Bob’s dementia is advancing. Or rather, his retreat into places and times unknown within himself is becoming more evident.
And yet, there is one connection he is clinging to; one person he still invites into his mysterious and quiet world.
And when his sidekick least expects it ~ his humor flashes back and he is present in time with her. For at least a moment.
Kristin: “Bob & Kristin in the doctor’s office, once again…”
Bob: “Yeah, ‘How I spent my summer!'”
As his nurse, she observes the physical and behavioral changes: unsteady gait, glazed eyes, decreased appetite and subsequent weight loss. Some changes are obvious, some more subtle.
As his daughter, it’s the complete abandonment of all the activities he enjoyed over the decades that she notices: daily walks, music, books, card games, crossword puzzles… All things once loved, and now? Hard to tell. He cannot articulate why, exactly, he no longer wants or does these things.
There is no longer any planning.
That is to say, no planning beyond the basic ADLs (Activities of Daily Living).
Continuing to live life, in whatever form each new day brings.
Being companions into the unknown future.