Imagine. Sit somewhere comfy, close your eyes, lean your head back, breathe a cleansing breath and for just a few minutes, let your mind explore what it would be like to be 95, half blind, half-deaf, experiencing early-stage dementia, medicated to the gills because you’ve got Sundowner’s syndrome, and you’re trying to make sense of a world in which nothing makes sense.
Imagine trying to make sense of traffic that is only partially seen, but has vivid hues (tree service truck, dump truck, Zoots van, etc.) and you figure with all that size and color it must be a parade! Actually, that’s very good processing based on an injured brain handling blurry images.
Imagine seeing so poorly that you’ve got to guess where your food is and not having the ability to learn the skill-set the blind use, so you’re trying to spoon pudding from your glass of water and trying to drink your pudding.
Consider the indignity of being unable to drive a car, but having your long-term memory be so clear you can give the driver directions as to where to go – and still having the tact to not say, “And while you’re at it, you can go to hell too.”
Think of the thrill of discovery – you really do have your glasses – in your pocket. And no, you didn’t put them there while shaving, which you actually didn’t do today, but because the doctor asked you to take them off while putting eye drops in..
At times you’re so clear on so many things, mostly things of the distant past, so why can’t you remember where you live? Where is your car? Where the did cane and wheelchair come from? You helped build structural monuments that exist around you, but you live in a “Memory Ward” with locked doors.
Was this what the song meant after all? “The magical mystery is waiting to take you away, waiting to take you away, hoping to take you away, dying to take you away…”
Hug an elderly vet today. Hug an elderly parent today. Hug a grandmother or grandfather today. Hug a Mom or Dad today. The other operative song is “All you need is love…” Isn’t that the truth.