Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

For husband lost to dementia, his memory gone, her love remains

A neighbor of ours is suffering from progressive dementia. What a cruel condition it is. His wife is suffering, too, for a number of reasons. We see this struggle daily and, because they are friends and they live right next door, we really can't avoid it. In saying that, I realize I imply that we would rather be able to avoid it.

Along with everyone else our age, we fear memory loss. Every time either of us forgets something, we worry. Is this the beginning? Am I going gaga? (I don't mean Lady Gaga.)

I have a good memory (so far). I remember lots of things from my very early childhood. Darling Husband is always surprised at how much I remember and in what detail. He has a pretty good memory, but needs a bit of prodding to remember stuff from when he was a kid. These days he's alarmed when he forgets anything; afraid that it could be the onset of dementia. I reassure him that everyone forgets stuff, even young people. Sure. I forget stuff, too. But eventually whatever it is surfaces into consciousness and I purposefully vow to myself that I won't forget THAT again. And I don't. Then, it's something else. Oh well.

But with dementia, when it's gone it's really gone. Whole big chunks are gone. Not just early memories, but important stuff like "Where am I? What's your name again?" It seems to be unending confusion. For our neighbor's wife, not only has her partner forgotten most of their life together, but he's in constant danger to one degree or another. Will he wander off while she's taking a bath? Will he turn on the stove and then walk away?

It's unfortunate. He has always had a sunny disposition, but even the sunniest among us get frustrated and angry about the inability to perceive any context for the here-and-now.

Our amazing brains construct a lifelong chronology of our experiences that's unique to each individual and it isn't always a reliably factual record. My mother and I both had a very clear memory of a little stray dog that turned up at our house when I was about 6 years old. Her recollection is of a black dog, but mine is taffy-colored. I have always argued that it must have been taffy-colored and that she must have called it that, because I wouldn't have called it taffy-colored at that age. What color is taffy? I probably would have said it was tan. She didn't buy my story. Her memory said the dog was black.

Our neighbor remembers the Korean War … only the Korean War. Sometimes he seems perfectly lucid; two minutes later he's back in the '50s. He doesn't just forget the name of someone he used to know, he walks around with no idea where he is or how he got there.

His wife protects him and grieves for him at the same time. She loves and cares for a life partner who isn't there. The trouble is, he isn't really anywhere.

Sheila Stoll is happy to hear from readers but cannot respond to individual queries. Write her at PMB No. 309, 7904 E Chaparral Road, No. 110, Scottsdale, AZ 85250.

Comments
Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

After a prominent Hillsborough County developer died last month in North Carolina, word spread it was a heart attack that claimed his life.But records from that state show the death of William "Bill" Bishop was much more complicated.His 16-year-old s...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard

TAMPA — An Ohio mother was struck by a speeding car and killed Wednesday while pushing a stroller across Bayshore Boulevard and her 21-month-old daughter was seriously injured, Tampa police said.The two were hit by a northbound car around 11:43 a.m. ...
Updated: 17 minutes ago
State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

State softball: Land O’Lakes advances to second straight title game

VERO BEACH — Land O'Lakes had just finished a hard-fought 5-0 victory over Clay in the Class 6A state semifinal. Callie Turner threw a no-hitter. Jolene Bodner had a two-run single.The win was big, clinching the Gators' second straight champion...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

Eckerd College student critically injured in campus accident just before graduation

ST. PETERSBURG — An Eckerd College student fell from a ladder on campus in the hours before her graduation ceremony and remained hospitalized Wednesday with head injuries.Chicago native Rebecca Ryan Lavin-Burgher, known as Becca on campus and RyRy to...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

Hillsborough teachers hope to get some, but not all of their raise money

TAMPA -- Teachers in Hillsborough County came closer on Wednesday to reaching an agreement with the school district that would give them most, but not all of the pay they expected this past year.The deal, if it happens, will end a year-long conflict ...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

State baseball: Carrollwood Day comes up a run short in semifinals

FORT MYERS — One swing.That's all it took for Carrollwood Day's historic season to come to an end.With two outs and two runners on in the third inning of the Class 3A state semifinal against Tallahassee North Florida Christian, Patriots starter...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa charter review board recommendations go to City Council

Tampa charter review board recommendations go to City Council

TAMPA —After nine months of meetings, Tampa’s first City Charter review commission has delivered its recommendations.It’s a modest wish list but an important start, commissioners said in advance of today’s City Council workshop.Mostly, the commission...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Region baseball: Plant’s state bid falters in ninth inning

TAMPA — Sarasota outlasted Plant 2-0 in a nine-inning Class 8A region final on Wednesday to advance to next week's state tournament in Fort Myers.The Sailors will play Strawberry Crest on June 1 at 10 a.m.Scoreless through eight innings Wednesd...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clearwater deputy fire chief resigns as report on sick leave abuse is released

Clearwater deputy fire chief resigns as report on sick leave abuse is released

CLEARWATER — A months-long probe into abuse of sick leave within the fire department concluded this week with the resignation of a deputy chief and the release of an internal review.The city paid $93,816 in unearned or unauthorized sick time, benefit...
Updated: 1 hour ago