He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’ –Luke 8:10
Diffusion is the movement of a substance from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.
Howdy all! I hope and trust you had a nice weekend! Mine was lightning quick and very refreshing, like they all seem to be even before COVID came to visit and decided to (over)stay. Such is life…we march on.
Mom had her birthday mini-celebration(s) over the weekend and it went as well as you can do for the small group we are allowed, but it was nice and she was happy once she “figured us out” a little. This little fact is the key to today’s little cornbread mini-muffin.
“Figured us out”- Just a head’s up to the uninitiated…mom has end-stage mixed dementia. She has been under hospice care for around a year now, not extremely unusual for Alzheimer’s patients compared to other conditions like cancer and ALS. She is easily confused and struggles with even basic cognition these days…but there is one important life-hack, as the kids say, that helps to bring her back in… to “figure us out”, if you will. It is so simple that it is easy to forget… Eye contact.
You simply have to make and keep eye contact to bring mom (and several of the others of the Sweet 17) “back in”. (Although I sometimes wonder if the eye contact is bringing them into my world or the opposite…). Dementia patients, especially as advanced as mom, have a very narrow/concentrated/un-diffused (as if that is really a word) field of vision. I can actually accidentally sneak up on mom and scare her by varying my position just a handful of degrees. It isn’t that they CANNOT see what is in the periphery. Mom has nearly 20/20 vision after her eye surgery nearly 2 years ago now. She just cannot process nor concentrate on things diffused from the dead center of her vision…and that little field of vision is getting hard enough. So, WE ADAPT. She cannot adapt…so we must. I have been known to sit on the floor to visit with her…back when that wouldn’t be met with a scold from the COVID enforcers. (They are 100% doing the best they can…it is hard.) So, when we all came and her vision was cocked 45 degrees, it took us all a couple of minutes to remember that we couldn’t get her attention by saying “Mom” loudly or waving our arms…we moved to where the vision was.
I repeat: moved to where the vision was.
A lot we can learn from that little dependent clause. And, it can apply to other places too. Example: Having communication issues in your marriage? Try to move where your loved one’s vision is. No more making everything about what is in your field of vision…move to his/hers… and look. You might very well reconnect.
Regardless, I hate this disease. I hate that it is such a thing for mom to do what she did best for the previous 70+ years…communicate. I hate that this is pretty likely the last birthday I will get to have with her, minus a cure. And I hate it for you and your loved one too. Let’s fight this thing…together…with a laser-focused vision to that end.
Please read this “oldie but a goodie” regarding communication too:
Diet update: Lost a smidge. .4 pounds. I am still just under 80 pounds down. Next week I shall cross that threshold. 🙂
Dad Joke of the Day…is just this meme that I love that I wish I could give credit to someone for:
Note: (Re: Field of Vision) Kind of makes me think of Jesus coming down to Earth and taking on flesh, one of the most stunning miracles if not the most stunning of the multitude He performed. Many heard of Him, but those who stared into His eyes and “heard” Him were nearly always changed… He could have directed the ship just fine from heaven…but He chose, instead, to look into our eyes because we connect that way better. He would know…He created us.
Last little note: I choose Bible verses I like as headers for these articles. I match the month and day with a verse after looking through many. Sometimes they relate to the topic and others don’t. However, they are all true. 🙂
One more last little note: I kind of “get it”. Do you ever find yourself dazed and staring away at or through something? I do it all the time. Maybe when I am thinking about a complex thing at first, or when I am fishing, or when I am watching the cat’s tail. Then I get locked in and it is relaxing. Simple. Undistractedly distracted. I wonder if mom has that peace too?
OK…honest…this is the last note. Be careful in the eye contact realm if your loved one is angry. Don’t block the whole field of vision on a vision-impaired patient. Turn sideways and keep eye contact and show empathy. Watch this video from Teepa Snow at least long enough to catch the first question in the Q&A (up to about 12:00 minutes in. It is excellent.) :