By BKN, A Family Caregiver
Me at the window: “It’s nice and sunny today.”
My husband looks and says: “Bullsh*t! That’s fog.”
In 2014, my husband had a hemorrhagic stroke. Today, mostly recovered, he is physically able and retains important skills such as speech, walking, eating, and self-hygiene. However, his mild dementia includes confusion, vision deficits, comprehension, and problem-solving. He resists or is unable to absorb new information or guidance. In frustration, he becomes belligerent and argumentative. At times like these, the least said the better. I back away until he’s calmer or appears receptive (e.g., asks a question).
My truth: the nice weather is obvious. Also true is his fog, because to him the glaring light appears like a blanket of fog. So, while he cannot be forced to see my perspective, I can learn to see his. He may be receptive if I approach an important issue in another way, on another day. He has taught me that harmonious communication is often about observation, perspective, patience, and timing.