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Post-guest post and thinking with half a brain

My guest departed Sunday morning after a week’s stay. He was a courteous and easy guest (who, contrary to the “fish and guests” rule, became easier as time went on). But … well, I’m a hermit. If I wasn’t born one, time and solitude have made me one — and a contented one, indeed.

I’d be reveling in having homespace to myself again, were it not for a sudden second dental emergency urgency that not only hurts but may mean my summer construction plans all get swallowed by my misbehaving mouth. This is no mere cavity, but a potential major construction project in its own right.

I go 30 years without a problem, take impeccable care of my teeth, then have multiple specialist-type issues within months. Sigh. Dentist appointment tomorrow with more to come. Wish me luck.

Life.

—–

At least I still have my brain. (I assume. You’d tell me if I didn’t, wouldn’t you?)

I’ve been working on a project with a local professional whose behavior has turned strange, very strange, since last time we worked together.

She can’t remember what I’ve told her. She can’t remember most of what she tells me. She contradicts herself, blows off deadlines, appears to be occupying a mental cloud, and does work that’s not even close to spec. To cancel a meeting, she’ll send me a text that never mentions any change of plans but says something like, “I’ve just started your work and want to take it slow to make sure it’s absolutely perfect for you.” Then I have to pull clarification from her over the course of several more equally oddball texts.

This isn’t how she used to be. I’ve ultimately arrived at the long, sad conclusion that either she’s got early onset dementia (she’s in her 50s) or that she’s on medications that have befogged her mind.

Is she desperately trying to cover the fact that she knows she has a profession-killing problem? Or is she so fogged she doesn’t realize? Amid all her confusion, she still projects supreme confidence in her abilities and she can lie as swiftly and slickly as a lawyer.

My mom was exactly the same way when her mind started to go. She lived in blissful certainty that if something was wierd, it was 100% someone else’s fault. And Mom, a prolific purveyor of white lies, could still deceive on a dime even when she couldn’t remember what she’d had for breakfast or understand the plot of a TV show.

Life. It sucks.

Please spare us all from such a fate.

—–

I’ll be back tomorrow, most likely with some newslinks and/or Deep Thoughts. I’m just here today to say howdy and let you know life is back to normal chaos.

3 Comments

  1. larryarnold
    larryarnold July 1, 2019 11:38 pm

    Ouch.

    My father-in-law just forgot, so he never had to confront mistakes or concoct lies. He was just happy. We found him one day sitting in his pickup with a box-full of keys (he was a DIY locksmith) trying one after another, trying to find the one that fit so he could drive home. He had no sense that he was hours late, or any feeling of urgency.

    I was the one who had to “borrow” his guns, and his daughter “bought” his pickup. Those were not good days.

    If your coworker is slipping away, whoever can be a caregiver needs to know about it, and may not realize anything is wrong unless someone speaks up. It may be time to snitch.

  2. ellendra
    ellendra July 2, 2019 6:44 pm

    It’s also possible there’s something else wrong with her. Lots of things can cause muddled thinking that looks like dementia. Anything from being deficient in certain nutrients, to a brain tumor.

    The fact that she lies so easily is worrisome. Was she that dishonest before?

  3. Claire
    Claire July 5, 2019 11:57 am

    ellendra — Definitely there are a lot of possibilities. I’m as certain as I can be that my mother’s dementia was from nutrient deficiency (though the sibling in charge of her life refused to investigate that possibility).

    I don’t know how much the person I’m dealing with used to lie, but the lies are of an understandable sort: she screws up, then says something like, “That’s the way it’s supposed to be.” I think it’s just a way of covering her embarrassment and hoping I won’t notice that she’s making mistakes that someone of her professional level shouldn’t be making.

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