Friday, August 7, 2009

the walks

We've been pretty good about getting Mom out and about the past few days. She's shown that she now has a great deal of energy, and she continues to regain her verbosity. Alas, she's still afflicted with the twitchy desire to wash and clean things, often with her bare hands, but just as often with whatever tissue or paper towel or inappropriate cloth happens to be at hand. She likes doing the dishes, but I often have to redo them: if I don't, they end up on the drying rack with soap still on them, or still covered in some sort of schmutz. Mom's focus is on the sensations produced by the act of washing dishes; she's not being driven by a specific purpose, e.g., to get all the dishes as clean as possible.

Pulling Mom away from the kitchen sink, to which she gravitates like a moth to a flame, is both frustrating and hilarious: like a child, she doesn't want to budge from that spot, but even while she resists my efforts at prying her away from her favorite activity, Mom laughs, apparently conscious of how ridiculous her own actions are. Part of her knows that, without outside intervention, she'll be stuck in front of the sink forever, doomed by her own compulsions to wash dishes until the Second Coming.

Mom also laughs at me, at my own attempts to be physically gentle even as I jokingly berate her stubbornness-- a stubbornness she can't control, thanks to all that's happening in her brain.* "Ayu, you're so silly," Mom laughs as I pull her away from the sink, holding on to her wrists to still her impulsive hands, and guiding firmly her back to her couch.

But I digress. We've gotten Mom to the park several times this week-- once to Great Falls Park and two or three times to Fort Hunt Park. Mom no longer seems quite so worried about being seen in her helmet, which is an especially good sign, given the return, in spades, of her general self-consciousness. I'd like to think that the recent increase in Mom's physical activity is helping her in some way. If nothing else, it's a break from sitting on the living room couch all day.

As Dad, Mom, and I were walking along Fort Hunt Park's perimeter road today, I joked that Mom should take up my walk for me, turning it into yet another Walk for Cancer. Mom smiled at the thought, and kept right on walking.

*People who doubt that the mind is what the brain does baffle me. I see evidence of the tight linkage between mind and brain every single day.


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