Last fall, I saw evidence of Jim's difficulties with spatial relationships. When we replaced our bedroom carpet last September , I distinctly remember my shock and dismay at his inability to comprehend the simplest of explanations (by the installer) of how the carpet would be cut around the built in dresser drawers in the walk-in-closet. Finally the installer turned to me and said "I'll let you explain it".
We are in the process of replacing our living room sofa, love seat and chairs. I know that this will create a number of high stress situations for him. If I could, I would simply hang on to what we have, but they are about a year past needing to be replaced. I'll spare all the painful details, but the OCD behavior kicked into overdrive, along with his difficulty in processing and understanding the measurements needed for ordering the furniture.
This, from a man who brilliantly designed and made furniture as a hobby when he was younger. He always had a superior sense of spatial relationships.
I have learned how to psychologically manipulate (I know that sounds like a terrible word) so that he accepts what I have to say. It helps to bring peace to the situation and avoids having a prolonged, painful discussion where the outcome is often not good for either of us. For example, when he was obsessing about how to determine the dimensions of the sofa, I turned the conversation around by praising him and giving him credit for figuring out the best way to measure. Then I stated the conclusion that he came to (that he really didn't!) was the right answer. It worked. He was content, and the sofa was correctly measured.
We built our house 11 years ago. At the time, the hope was that we could age in place. We designed it as a ranch style home, thinking it would help to minimize any barriers as we aged. Little did we know that our biggest threat (at least at this point) would not be physical disabilities, but Jim's cognitive limitations.
It still feels good to write about this. It helps for me to put this in writing; kind of a substitute for psychological therapy! For the few who are reading my blog, thanks for reading! I know that I get a lot of support from reading other blogs, and hopefully my blog will also help others to know that they are not alone.