Sunday, January 28, 2024

When the Ceiling is Starting to Fall

Imagine that when you get up in the morning the ceiling to your abode looks about 1/4 inch lower. You do not notice it at first, but something is wrong and you know it, even though you cannot put your finger on it. 

You go to an Architect and he looks at the ceiling and says not to worry because it seems just fine to him. 

The next morning you get up and you are sure that the ceiling has moved, but you have a busy week ahead and you ignore that. A few months go by and you notice the ceiling is almost 1/2 inch lower. Still, it is smooth and no paint is chipped, and it seems that when people come to visit they do not notice, or the change is so small they politely ignore it. There are no cracks where it joins the wall. Odd? 

 You wait a few more months and then make an appointment with a building engineer. He comes by and shakes his head in agreement. He says he has seen this before. "Not much you can do, but keep an eye on it." He gives you a gallon of lighter-colored paint to make the ceiling look higher. It seems cosmetic, but you do it anyway. 

A year passes and the ceiling is definitely lower and looking looming! You have been working at other activities ignoring it, but did move down the drapery rods so that they no longer touch the top of the ceiling. The engineer says you are lucky that you built the house with such high ceilings because those homes with lower or regular ceilings have less flexibility in dealing with the changes. 

As the months pass you realize that just moving drapery rods is the smallest of sacrifices that are going to be made in the months and perhaps, years ahead. The windows themselves may soon get pressure and then be dangerous! Yes, you can crawl on your hands and knees for a while, but eventually, the house will collapse and you will have to move.  If you live with someone who cannot crawl, that will have to be fixed!

Well, if you have followed me this far, I appreciate your stubborn tenacity.  Above is a rather weak analogy, and yet something that came to me when I was having a man who had been laid off and needed money come to add some trim to my bookcases and paint the cracks in my house.  It took three days of living in spackle dust and chair covers and a lack of privacy.  It was surprisingly stressful.

Above is the story of how looming pressure affects those of us who live with someone who has dementia.  Days go by and you do not notice.  Then one morning he asks you the same question three times within a half hour.  At dinner, he thinks he is eating a salad of tomatoes and avocados and it is a salad of orange slices and avocados.  During a busy day, he may interrupt me 5 to ten times to help him with an email, a phone call, or to find something important.

Please do not praise me for my patience.  I have no patience.  It is tax season, and there is a big project being set up (ANOTHER LONG TEDIOUS STORY), and we have a two-week cruise in March with lots of details.  My family is going on this cruise, so we really want to join them as it may very well be the last time we are all together.

I have cajoled and argued and sighed on the worst days, and then a week of normal goes by and I forget where I am in the grand scheme of things.  Yes, there are lots of tools and helpful procedures and I have started to use a few.  I also think writing about it is helpful to me, while perhaps annoying to my readers.


  1. My husband’s uncle has dementia and it is progressing quickly. His wife, two years younger at 87, is caring for him. It is becoming too much for her, especially since he is not sleeping through the night any more. He won’t be able to stay home much longer. It is a brutal disease.

    Time with your family on the upcoming trip will be precious days!

  2. You are not annoying to me. Whatever you want to post about, post about it.
    I am sorry you are going through such an sad time of life. Your humor and patience is inspirational.

  3. no, not annoying. that's what friends are for, to give you a safe place to vent and blow off steam and even rage a bit at the unfairness of it all, how you don't want this to be your life. it's OK, we understand.

  4. It is not annoying, it is realistic.

    You are doing the best you can with a falling ceiling. All of us will either be there someday ourselves, or be close to someone who is there.

    Vent. Explain. Use this venue any way you need, it's your canvas to paint as you see fit.

  5. I think it is good that you share here, it must be terribly hard and frustrating. I hope you go on the cruise with family, like you said that may be the last time you all gather, and it will be fun!

  6. Lives and struggles are real and not in the least annoying. Be good to yourself bc it can be hard on the healthier ones.

  7. I feel for you. And I agree that it's important to go on this trip because it may well be the last one. And others will see what you are going through and perhaps offer some ideas of what to do next.

  8. Oh yes... sigh... I know what you're going through. The doctor put mom on Memantine and I don't know if it's helped at all. Mom will also ask the same thing in 15 minutes. And today she came to us and asked where is the person who stays with her in the other room. We were shocked and told her no one stays with her. She took a nap and when I asked her about it, she said she's been thinking about it and doesn't know why she would ask or think such a thing. She's scared of forgetting so much too.

  9. When you share, we learn. One of us might be next. And I, for one, am happy to give you a chance to release some of the stress you are experiencing.

  10. Thank you for sharing. It's situation that needs to be known and the curtains pulled away. I'm glad you can share this journey and know you are not alone. I am the eldest of four sisters and all three of my younger sisters are experiencing this disease. The youngest has had to retire early from her much loved teaching job. It's a cruel thing.

  11. You do need to write it out. It helps with your state of mind. So sorry to hear that you have so many stressful problems to cope with especially a partner with dementia. I feel for you. Hopefully you can successfully organise the cruise with family and you get some time to relax.

  12. That sounds really tough and glad if writing about it helps. Reading it by us is all we can do help other than distant hugs.

  13. In the rafters, place a nest with Henny Penny in it for additional evidence that the sky is falling. Linda in Kansas


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