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Something fishy

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carers, hobbies
Dementiadaytoday.org image: fish in aquarium

What saddens me most about my husband's incapacity is his loss and deprivation of the things which he enjoyed, and which brought him such pleasure, and enriched his life.

He can no longer hold, let alone read and understand, his newspaper, which he used almost to devour, from front page to back. Days on the golf course are a distant memory, as are Saturday afternoons spent cheering on his beloved football team. (I don't know how the referees manage without his advice.)

No more pottering in the shed, or garage, surrounded by his cherished tools, many of which he had inherited from previous generations, and which he prized even more, because of their age.  He never missed his daily encouraging chat with his fish, each one with a name, in the garden pond, which he had so lovingly created.

Above all, he loved his holidays and travel. Latterly, he had discovered diving, a joy I could not share, owing to my deep seated claustrophobia. On surfacing, he would give me an animated description of the sensation, and of the colourful fish he had seen.

This led to our talking about having an aquarium in the house, and we even planned where it would be situated. However, these plans never came to fruition, purely because of our post retirement, nomadic lifestyle. As far as I know, you cannot put fish into kennels.

Now that we are “grounded”, an aquarium might be a possibility, except that having downsized, there is little physical room for one. For Robert to have full enjoyment of it, it would need to be sited near his bed, where the only available space is needed for access to his ceiling track hoist. There is also the small matter of my having the time and inclination to clean and maintain it.

So, yet another dream of how I can bring some interest and enjoyment into his life is smashed. That is, until I had a light bulb moment!  Having so often racked my brain to think of a gift I could buy for him, I had the idea of a small DVD player, which now sits on a shelf underneath the wall mounted TV.  I then bought a “fish” DVD.  Bingo! TV set becomes a beautiful, exotic aquarium!

At “lights out” time, I put in the DVD, mute the sound, and leave it playing overnight, to while away R's sleepless hours, without any noise or camera flashes to disturb whatever sleep I can get.

Platinum result? Well, yes and no.  I have never tried to deceive him, and indeed point out the DVD and the player, but he now frets constantly about the fishes' welfare, and whenever I say that I am popping out to the shop, he reminds me to buy fish food!
And so, any enjoyment is matched by anxiety. One step forward, two steps back!

 

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