Although the step-monster has not told the Goldfish she’s leaving him (or so she says), it is clear he suspects something is going on. His mood has become very low and the degree of confusion much more marked.
One cause of the increased confusion could be because he has been seriously constipated. It was dreadful to watch him. He would sit at the table for breakfast and decide he needed to go to the toilet. Once there, nothing happened and he’d totter back to the kitchen, sit down and thirty seconds later announce he had to move his bowels and we’d go through the whole performance again. The step-monster maintains she has been giving him his laxative but when I counted the sachets she obviously hadn’t.
We started him on the maximum dose and it finally worked – explosively and copiously. The step-monster was horrified. She had to clean him up. She also admitted that recently the Goldfish has been having accidents at night and peeing on the floor in the bedroom. As she takes sleeping pills at night she doesn’t hear him getting up so can’t do anything to help him find the commode or make his way to the bathroom. I suggest she puts the bathroom light on and leaves the door open. However, she puts the hall light on instead so he comes from the dark of the bedroom to the bright light in the hall – further disorientating him.
I call Alzheimer Scotland’s advice person. I know she’ll tell me the first thing is to take a urine sample for checking – which she does and which I do. However, she also says it doesn’t sound like this is part of the dementia process as it has come on too quickly and the Goldfish is not incontinent as he knows when he needs to go to the loo. She thinks it sounds much more likely to be caused by stress. The urine sample results come back clear. There’s no infection so it is most likely stress.
It is not surprising he is stressed. As the time for her departure draws closer (she is not going immediately because she is having her place decorated and made nice) she is removing things from the house. The milk jug vanished the other morning, as did the only decent-sized teaspoon! Wee-sis reports that the step-monster’s daughter is forever at the house and the two of them are sitting having secret little conversations.
One day I had gone to put petrol in the car and for some reason decided to drive past the Goldfish’s house. I have no idea what made me do it but I’m so glad I did. As I passed, I noticed the step-monster’s car wasn’t there and then I saw the Goldfish walking up the path towards the gate. I pulled up just as he was stepping out onto the pavement. He didn’t have any walking aids, wasn’t wearing a coat and, as I soon discovered, had locked both front and back doors. ‘Where are you heading for?’ I asked.
‘I was just looking to see if you were coming,’ he replied.
By the time I got him inside and settled I was seething with rage. I waited until the step-monster came back – half an hour later. God knows what might have happened in that half hour if I hadn’t decided to drive past. I wanted to slap her when she came in all smiling and jolly. I told her what had happened and said she’d never to leave the Goldfish on his own again. ‘If you need to go out call one of us and we’ll come up to stay with him.’
I am struggling to deal with my emotions right now. I want her gone so that I can take proper care of the Goldfish – but, I’m also terrified about what that means. I’m going to have to move out of my own home (thank goodness the DH is understanding and supportive, but will that last for the duration?). I suspect I’ll have to give up my work as a freelance journalist so will have no income. I’m worried about how the step-monster’s departure will affect the Goldfish – they’ve been married forty years, after all, so she’s pretty central to his life. Mostly, though, I can’t help but feel her leaving will be better for the Goldfish. But I don’t know.