Jim went to get his hair cut the other day. It is one of the few places that he has been able to drive to by himself. When he came home, he told me that he "went the wrong way on 690". It turns out that he was NOT driving against traffic (which is what I thought he meant at first), but instead, he went east instead of west. He somehow managed to get to the hairdresser in spite of this misdirection. He was unhappy with the haircut this time, saying that she did not get the sideburns even. He was correct about this, but it was off by only a tiny bit.
This is not the first time he has complained about the cut. He has been going to the same person for many years. According to Jim, she is always very animated and more interested in telling him about the latest crisis in her life, sometimes at the expense of a precision haircut. I decided to use this as an excuse to go with him next time.
Me: "Why don't I start going with you. That way I can keep an eye on her and ask her to correct any problems before we leave the salon."
Jim: "That's a great idea. I hate to say anything to her, but if you don't mind, that would be great."
I have noticed that when I am driving, he will frequently ask me "how do you know how to get there?". His car is seldom driven. There are now exactly two places where I feel it is safe for him to drive; his friend Mike's house, and the local restaurant where the guys meet for lunch every Wednesday.
When we get ready to go someplace, I make sure I am the first out the door and quickly hop into the driver's seat of my car. This seems to be working pretty well. The other day he was admiring an Audi SUV.
Me: "We could probably go down to just one vehicle now. If we did that, we could certainly afford an Audi."
He was suddenly very quiet and never responded to what I said. I won't push it, not yet. The other day he wanted to go to the mall to look for some new jeans.
Jim: "I think you better go with me. I'm not sure I'd be able to find my way around in the mall. And I think I'd have trouble finding where I parked my car."
I am so grateful for this insecurity that he has about driving alone. It seems like we will be able to transition to him not driving at all without too much anguish. The down side is that it now becomes difficult for me to have any alone time. I'll enjoy my Wednesday lunch time, as this is when he meets the guys for lunch. Otherwise, I'm on call 24/7 as the entertainment committee. "What are we going to do today?" or "I'm bored to death." "Let's go someplace!" I can still leave the house for short periods of time by myself, but it leaves him home alone, "bored to death". Another new reality, and I will adjust.
Leaf update. The battery operated leaf blower that I purchased works great. When he first saw it, he loved it. He then tried it out on our driveway. 15 minutes later he came in, very unhappy saying it was a "piece of junk". It has a turbo button. When turbo button is used, it goes through the battery pretty quickly. Operating at normal speed, it will last an hour. There has been a learning curve, as he is realizing that it works well if you avoid the turbo. So now he loves it again!
Even though I am retired, I've managed to keep up some professional links that are still of interest to me. One such website led me to this: http://leafstudy.ucsf.edu It is an opportunity to participate in a nursing research study for caregivers of loved ones with dementia. It is intended to increase levels of positive emotions, with the goal of decreasing stress and improving coping skills for caregivers. I have a phone interview this Tuesday to see if I qualify (I think I do).
They use video technology, so that you can participate from any part of the country, as long as you have access to wifi. I think that this might work well for me. Over the last couple of weeks I've had a couple of appointments (finance guy, Alzheimer's Association) where I've had to fib to Jim about where I was going. I hate that. I'm hoping that this format of video conferencing will be easier for me. And, I like the idea of supporting nursing research.
Well, once again I have managed to share what is on my mind and in my heart. Thanks for stopping by, dear readers.