Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

7Jan/08Off

Eternal Sunshine

"Today was the first day he didn't recognize me," his wife said, her bottom lip quivering a bit. "He thought I was his sister."

My attending carefully explained how dementia progresses, and her white-haired husband nodded a bit, smiling as though we were delivering wonderful news. Almost as an afterthought, the doc asked him who the woman was sitting next to him.

"Oh, my sister Sally, of course!"
"Not your wife?"
"I've got a wife now? I don't think so." He looked at us with a hint of confusion in his eyes. As if for guidance - they've been married 60 years - he turned to his wife and said in a hesitant voice "you are my sister, right?"

She extended her hand and gently caressed the back of his neck. Tears gleamed in her eyes, but she smiled and said nothing. On her face was writ complete, beautiful, aching love. He turned back to the doctor, reassured. He smiled.

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  1. I work in an acute rehab facility and I see a fair amount of senior citizens. They are amazing people. Great stories to tell and wisdom beyond our imagination.

    The dynamics between husband and wife when one is ill or recovering from surgery can be drastically different. Some are so loving, gentle and tender it will break your heart. Others you just wanna smack and say, be KIND!…this is the person you promised to love in SICKNESS and health.

    Hopefully, someday, I find that special man that I want to spend my days and nights with and he will have love and compassion in the worst of times.

  2. This just makes you wish to die young…and healthy.
    :(


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