Perpetual Motion

Cynthia Day had a lot on her mind. Doctors had found a vascular malformation in her brain.

Doctors told her it was nothing to worry about. In the back of her mind she did worry. Her Grandfather had the exact vascular formation in his posterior fossa, and she wondered if this was the cause of his dementia.

She could relate better to her Grandfather than most people. Some days she was so dizzy and confused, she could not drive. Other days, she heard a horrible whooshing noise in her ears. She had migraines that caused visual disturbances. Then often neck pain that made her unable to move her neck, weakness in her arms and legs often followed along with tingling sensations.

Doctors told her it was nothing to worry about, a vestibular disorder. However, in light of the recent circumstances she wasn’t so sure that they gave her the correct diagnosis.

At night it got worse, and she couldn’t sleep. She suffered from insomnia. She wondered if her Grandfathers experiences were somewhat similar.

Her Grandfather was sitting at the edge of the bed, unable to button his shirt. She saw the frustration, and understood what he was going through. It was only last week, that Cynthia was unable to do the same task.

“I’m so sorry you have to see me like this. You shouldn’t have to see me like this, Cynthia.”

“Grandpa, you would be surprised to know, that I know exactly what you feel,” she said as she gave him a hug. “You and me- we are going to get through this together.”

“Don’t you worry about me. You just take care of your family and yourself.”

“There are days I cannot even do that,” Cynthia said.

“You’ll be fine, you always have been,” her Grandfather said, patting her knee.

Cynthia knew that she had to be fine, because there was no other choice.

On the way home Cynthia had to pull over. The world around her looked as if it was in perpetual motion, yet again. She called her husband crying, to come pick her along with their baby.

What the hell is wrong with me? She thought to herself -as she laid her head and hands on the steering wheel-  trying anything, to get the world around her to stop swaying back and forth, like she was on a cruise ship.

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A Portrait of Dementia

Cynthia Day held her Grandfather’s hand as he spoke. She knew that he would one day forget her name, or that they even had this conversation.

“I am just going to enjoy this moment as long as I can,” her Grandfather said.

“Me too. Grandpa, I love you.”

“I love you so much too, dear girl. Now you make sure you take good care of your family and that child of yours.”

“I will Grandpa.”

“I’m so glad to be a part of this family,” he said.

Cynthia’s Grandfather was having more bad days, and the few moments of clarity that he had she cherished. The good days would become fewer as his disease advanced. It was something that she and her Grandfather understood.

Cynthia and her family sang one last song together, as she played the guitar. Her Grandfather sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, “along with the family- one of the few songs her Grandfather still remembered. He had a twinkle in his eye, as he watched his Great-Grandson sing along with him. For once everything seemed perfect, as if he was re-living his youth, back in time singing songs with his own children.

That day when Cynthia’s parents took her Grandfather back to the nursing home, he had tears in his eyes. She tried to hold back her tears because she knew she had to be strong for her Grandfather- who at times became scared on the bad days, because he didn’t understand who or where he was.

There would be bad days. But today, was a good day.

So, that day- Cynthia decided to live in the moment, because it was never guaranteed.