I discovered, today, that Jerry does not see to his right. Recently, I sat on his right while visiting him during lunch. He did not know I was there. In the past, when sitting across from him, he would always reach across and drink my wine, grrr! I would always tease him and slap his hand. It always created a chuckle. But with my drink on my right, that would put it on his left. That’s what he would see.
Today, he seemed strong enough to go out. Whenever I can, I try to help him escape to the outside world and the fresh air. We went to the local pizza place. As soon as we walked in, they greeted him with a “Hi, Jerry.” He eats there frequently with his group of buds. We were escorted over to a booth, which I now know is quite difficult for him to get into. Nonetheless, I had him sit while I positioned his legs underneath the table. After some coaxing I managed to get him to scoot over. The way I did that was to sit next to him and push him on over. It actually felt good for me to be able to “cuddle” up next to his side.
Anyway, progress was rather slow and our waitress tried to help me communicate. I made some excuse like, “I just woke him up. He’s still a bit confused”. She smiled. I noticed Jerry was staring straight ahead as if he were a scolded puppy dog trying to ignore that I was there. He was not responding AT ALL.
DUH! Epiphany! I realized.....he could not see out of this side. Oh, his sight is fine, it’s his brain that tells him that he can’t see what’s to his right. He didn’t know what was happening, nor who was sitting all “scooched" up next to him. I said, “I know Jerry! I’ll sit across from you.” I hopped up and plopped across the table from him. All of a sudden he came alive! He grabbed my hands and looked straight into my eyes! His eyes welled up with tears as if he hadn’t seen me in years. I could smile and talk to him and tell him great and wonderful things....I showed him pictures of our youngest baby grandboy, Jack, in his Captain America costume. A face you can help but love!
No, he had no idea who Jack was, but at least he could seethe picture. He ate his child size portion of spaghetti and loved it. I kept his sweet ice tea to the left. He found it and drank it.
It’s amazing what happens when we try to understand what is happening so we make life somewhat better for them.