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The Pattern of Our Days
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He moves from the chair at the table, to the chair in front of the computer, to the toilet, to the bed. Sleep and the cycle begins again.

He leaves behind a trail of dirty dishes, used glasses, butt-stained paper towels, smeared food, crumpled papers, crumbs and empty cracker boxes.

He says it's too hard for him to pick up after himself, and anyway, it's just going to get dirty again.

Not so bad on the weekends, because I do a seek-and-destroy on an hourly basis, so the situation doesn't deteriorate too badly, but in the morning I wake up to a disaster area (he browses most of the night) and when I come home...let's just say I sit outside in the driveway for a few minutes, screwing up my courage (and self-control) to come inside.

Even on the days when our housekeeper does her 4 hours in the morning (house is sparkling clean), by the time I come home, the mess has re-established itself.

I think this pattern is a large part of my depression. My home should be a sanctuary, a place where I can relax and release the stresses of the day. Instead, it's a place I dread coming back to, with all the mess and excuses and demented clutter.

The other part is the increased dependency on me for caregiving...but I could deal with that if he weren't capable of making our living quarters a dump. He won't do anything to help because his back hurts; he can't. It doesn't hurt too much when he wants to go to the refrigerator to get a snack, but it hurts too much to bring the dirty dishes back to the kitchen. Humph.

The VA Parkinson's doctors are trying to teach him to be aware of when he is shaking less (it does cycle down, calm to a mild tremor) and use that good time for tasks requiring motor skills. Oh, no. That would require that he take responsibility and contribute something to the household upkeep.

So he never admits to those better periods, though I see them sometimes. When I mention that this would be a good time to do something, he starts shaking. Caused by the stress of being asked. And he'll say with great hostility, "So you'd rather I do the dishes than write my book?" What book. He sits and surfs the girlie web sites. When confronted, he says he's doing "research". Liar.

It's like having a 70-year-old adolescent in the house with delusions of competence. He gets in a rage when I move anything from one spot to another, or, god forbid, throw it away.

Oh, well, you're right. It is as it is. Years more of it to come, too, no end in sight except death. Now there's something to look forward to. How will he cope alone?

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