Ch.126 Keeping “Victories” and “Defeats” in Perspective

Ch.126 Keeping “Victories” and “Defeats” in Perspective

          March 2022

          Yesterday Pat ate “real” food: A ham and cheese sandwich, a bowl of chicken rice soup, and a cookie.

          Today Pat was able to eat by herself as against one of us holding her spoon or fork. Additionally, Pat was able to sit in her wheelchair again after being bedbound for over a week.

          I practically broke into tears with each of these “small” victories. Curious about that, my daughter Jenny asked me why. I told her I considered these steps as benchmarks in Pat’s Lewy Body journey. Moving up through them meant, to me, that Pat was truly recovering and hopefully would live longer. Going the other way, back toward immobility and inability, marked a journey toward the end.

          Jenny offered a different perspective. She reminded me that people with Lewy Body have many ups and downs. Pat might have bad days where she can’t hold a fork, only for her to have no trouble doing so the next day. Jenny counseled me not to make too much of a trip in either direction.

          I know Jenny is right, and I am trying to take her advice. But it is difficult. I tend to see each downward drift as disastrous and each upward move as miraculous. I need to find a place inside myself where small victories and defeats are just that and nothing more.

          Jenny’s comments are already helping me, though. Tonight, at supper Pat began eating by herself but then tired and needed my assistance to finish her meal. I was able to accept that change as just a fact, not as a harbinger of the future.

Pat’s comments on Keeping “Victories” and “Defeats” in Perspective:

      Ron to Pat, picking up her fork: “Pat, may I help you eat your lunch?”  Pat says nothing but takes the fork from Ron’s hand, slowly stabs a piece of meat, and brings it to her mouth.