Saturday, 21 January 2012

Repetitive conversations

As is often the case, I've spent much of the day listening to S's increasingly repetitive conversations with her 'friends'.  Although what she says still usually makes a kind of sense, more nonsense words are creeping in. She'll scornfully correct someone who has got the name of one of the friends wrong, has said something that sounds a bit like the friend's name, maybe starting with a different initial letter.  Quite often the conversations become fairly angry but then they will, sometimes quite suddenly, become cheerful and very polite, 'Thank you, thank you very much indeed!'  She's also apparently learnt how to whistle.  She used to say that she never could whistle but now she often produces a long low whistle  -  it's part of the conversation but it's not quite clear what the purpose is.

It's not all bad.  If anything, her conversations immediately before she falls asleep are becoming more and more cheerful.  She chuckles and sings, or hums.  It's not a bad way to fall asleep for me, now that I've got used to it.

But I do find having to listen to the angry conversations very wearing.  However, I read an exchange on an Alzheimer's Society forum where someone was complaining about the repetitive conversations and someone else responded that she used to feel the same but now that her husband cannot talk at all, she feels rather differently.  I can still have some kind of conversation with S and I try hard to make the most of this.


  1. This is very moving and helpful - and that last point about them not being able to talk at all is quite right. It's worth treasuring what we have with those we love, even if it is increasingly difficult to reach out to them. Thanks for shedding light on this!

  2. Many thanks Elen, it's really good to get feedback. I'd really like to hear from more readers.