Living with Alzheimer’s: Little Things That Make Us Laugh

Dec. 17, 2014   Bedtime 11:30 p.m.

I stayed at the computer checking emails one last time for the day, replying to whatever needed a response. Bill got into his pyjamas, had a pee, brushed his teeth and climbed into bed. When I arrived in the bedroom, I picked up his socks and underwear and put them in the hamper; rearranged the rest of his strewn clothing on his side of the chest at the bottom of the bed so he’d know to put them back on in the morning. I brushed my teeth, got into my p.j.s and attempted to roll down my side of the bed covers. The sheet was stuck. He’d forgotten to pull it down again. 

“Bill, you’re on the sheet.”

“What?” from his stupor of semi-sleep.

“You’re on top of the top sheet. Get up and get under it.”

“Okay,” he says, throwing off the bedspread and duvet.

“You have to lift your pillow.”

“What?”

“Your pillow. You have to pick it up. The sheet is under it.”

“Okay.” He reaches for his pillow and plunks it on his knees, then throws back the covers so they cover it and gets up. He pulls down his side of the top sheet and climbs back into bed. A bewildered look crosses his face.

I am smiling. “Are you missing something?”

“Yeah. I think so. What?”

“Lie down,” I say with a chuckle in my voice.

He does, his head hitting the bed so he’s flat.

“What are you missing?” I ask.

His head swivels as he tries to look around. By now, I’m grinning. “What are you missing?” I repeat.

His head moves again and his eyes land on my pillows, which are still upright against the wall.

“A pillow?” he says and sits up and begins to hunt for it under the covers. We’re both chuckling.

“You know you’re fodder for a book someday,” I say as I head toward the bathroom to turn on the night light.

He laughs. “Yeah.” His laugh is deep and rolls up out of him. It’s infectious.

“Would you be upset if I did write about us?” I ask, coming back into the room.

“No.”

“Good. Because I already have.”

We both laugh then.

“Consider yourself warned—again,” I say between chuckles. “And sleep on your side, not your back.”

“Okay. Remind me again when I’m…sleep on my back?”

“No. Do   not   sleep   on   your   back. Sleep on your side, so you don’t snore.”

“Okay,” he says, rolling onto his side.

I turn off the ceiling light, snap on the bedside lamp and get into bed. Just as I start to read my book, he flops onto his back. Within 20 seconds he’s snoring. At 1:00 a.m. I turn out the light. Rolling onto my side, I consider how lucky I am. He’s still laughing after all.