Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Territory

We are definitely on new ground, and it's pretty shaky.

There is definite frustration on Meagan's part - about not wanting to be a problem. It's quite heart wrenching at times - she knows she doesn't have her full, usual faculties, and maybe won't ever again, but knows enough to remember what it was like. She does not like being loopy or forgetful. But because she forgets, she does have to ask a lot of questions and/or repetitive questions, or the same questions on successive days - it can make the responder a bit impatient. If the questions are particularly sensitive for one of the boys - it can be even more challenging as they probably didn't want to answer it the first time let alone the second. I think we've all upped our patience level, me by an exponential factor - but we aren't perfect and sometimes it shows. Meagan still retains her highly attuned sense of people's emotional state, so she senses when we are frustrated or impatient with her (and sometimes doesn't know why, so when we have to explain it's like being asked the same thing a third time...) and that upsets her because she doesn't want to be a problem.

I've actually encouraged her to not ask the boys so many questions - as is her usual style to draw them out (or anyone else for that matter) and talk more about herself. This is hard for her too - it's not something she is accustomed to doing. But it seems to me it will produce less tension than a repetitive inquisition approach with the boys. As for me - I just need to keep doing hot yoga and exercise and relax. Yesterday, after I drove her to her therapist's appointment we had a few errands to run and I thought we we had a list and I thought we were going to swoop in and swoop out. Well, we got to one place where we had two items to get, but she lost the list and couldn't find it. I knew the first thing and got it, but didn't ever see the list so didn't know what was on it. She couldn't remember. So her strategy was to wander each aisle until she discovered what she needed. What I should have done was gotten out my iPhone and read the news and played Scrabble until she figured it out. Instead I tried to be helpful (not!) by wandering with her after a bit trying to prod her about what it might be. My agenda was getting out of there  - hers was about discovery. Different expectations equals frustration on both sides.

So we agreed later (after a teary and emotional conversation - which most are after things like this - the meds still affect her a lot) - set expectation, make sure we have the list if we are going together, and because she can't drive and I need to do the errands and she is with me, we can't always do it my way. Browsing and shopping without an agenda is in her blood and I have to respect that and give her the opportunity to do that - or let her explore that need with someone else!

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